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Nowadays, it is really not difficult to put your business online, regardless of the many useful options on the Internet. If you’re looking for free eCommerce platforms, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we share six of the best tools for building a free eCommerce website.
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Some of these tools allow you to create a store and start selling for 100% free, while others allow you to set up a store for free, but charge you to start selling. What’s more, some of them are very easy to use, while others require a certain learning curve.
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We will examine each of them step by step in terms of the following aspects: features of the free plan, limitations of the free plan, prices of paid plans, transaction fees and more.
Bluehost gives you a free domain name and allows you to create an eCommerce website using WooCommerce. You also get SSL and other features without any modification restrictions. You are the sole owner of your store, which is not standard on some other platforms. With their basic plan, you get prices as low as $2.75 per month for 36 months.
Let’s start with the list. Here is the ultimate review of the best free eCommerce platforms on the market:
Wix includes a user-friendly website builder (similar to Weebly or Squarespace) that helps you create a website in one of two easy ways: drag and drop or with the Wix ADI AI Designer. What’s more, you can even customize it heavily without knowing anything about code.
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Note: Wix is also a great store builder that lets you create an e-commerce site – but you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan to start selling to customers.
Your site title will contain the Wix icon. Additionally, you will find Wix ads on every page. You cannot own your own domain or modify a template.
Most importantly, you cannot accept payments in the free plan. Again, although you can set up your store for free, you must pay when you are ready to start selling.
Among the free e-commerce platforms, Wix is ideal for websites that want everything taken care of and only need basic website functionality.
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Premium plans start at $17 per month. There are three premium plans – Basic, Unlimited and VIP – for small businesses, startups and mid-sized e-commerce owners.
All of these plans allow you to join your own domain and are ad-free. They differ in memory size and the level of support and applications available. All three plans provide unlimited bandwidth.
While these business and ecommerce plans allow you to set up a store, receive payments, and view detailed analytics, you’ll need to choose between their unlimited or VIP business and business plans to access more advanced Wix Business apps like currency. e-commerce. converter, automatic sales tax, etc. It costs $25 and $35 per month.
Wix Payments allows Wix Business and eCommerce subscribers to accept card payments, digital wallets, and more without having to integrate third-party payment gateways.
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It’s only available in some countries, but in the US it’s 30¢ plus a 2.9% fee for each transaction. In EU countries, it is lower, 1.9% of the transaction amount + EUR 0.30. These are similar to the fees charged by other payment processing software options.
Right at the top among the best e-commerce platforms is WooCommerce. It is a free and open source eCommerce plugin that integrates seamlessly with WordPress (both WordPress sites and most WordPress plugins). While “plugin” might not sound like much, WooCommerce is actually a full-featured tool that has all the e-commerce features you could possibly need. In addition, there is also a huge ecosystem of extensions that allow you to upgrade the WooCommerce main menu and fully customize it to your needs.
WooCommerce is a power user’s delight as it gives you complete control over your e-commerce platform. For beginners, it is the perfect solution to start your online store, which you can gradually develop and learn.
A basic plugin with free add-ons should be more than enough for most online stores just starting out. However, if you want to use other payment gateways, integrate directly with certain shipping solutions, or have WooCommerce help with taxes, you will need an additional investment in some extensions. There are quite a few available.
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Here’s something important to note – WooCommerce itself is completely free; as well as WordPress – the CMS that WooCommerce works with. As with setting up any website, however, there are additional costs – primarily web hosting and a domain name. That being said, there are some very affordable options for those looking to keep costs down as much as possible. For example, Bluehost provides you with an optimized web hosting space, a free domain name for the first year, and a quick one-click installation of WordPress and WooCommerce. All this for the price of $2.75 per month.
If you end up using the native WooCommerce Payments module, transaction fees will be 2.9% + $0.30 for each transaction made with US-issued credit or debit cards. There is a 1% fee for cards issued outside the US.
If you choose to use PayPal, it’s also about 2.9% and $0.30 per transaction. Other payment methods have their own tariffs and fees.
Want a store that plugs into your existing website? If so, Ecwid is for you. No website? Don’t worry, you also get a free splash page.
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Ecwid has a free plan that is very useful. Once you sign up, you can set up a fully functional free e-commerce site that sells up to ten products in two categories. Here you get:
You will not get access to digital goods, employee accounts or promotional codes. These features, along with many others, are only available in premium packages.
All in all, Ecwid’s free plan can be a great choice for small merchants who have basic sales requirements.
If you have t-shirts, paintings, jewelry or other crazy things to sell, Big Cartel will make you feel right at home.
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It is not possible to have your own domain with the free plan. You will also not be able to add more images to the product or track inventory.
Since minimalism is a strong point of The Big Cartel, the platform will not be overloaded with too many features. At the same time, the free plan gives you enough to set up a store, sell and accept payments.
Gumroad is a suitable platform for selling digital, physical and creative goods, although the focus is more on digital products and creative things like photography, writing, podcasts and designs.
, but they charge a commission on everything you sell, unlike the other open source e-commerce platforms on this list.
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In addition to losing some key premium features, you’ll also pay a higher transaction fee on a free account.
Additionally, Gumroad promotes product branding with custom URLs and markets your products with custom previews for social channels like Facebook and Twitter. Thanks and updates in automated workflows help you stay in touch with customers.
For premium plans, it’s lower at 3.5% + $0.30 (USD) per sale. An additional 10% commission is charged on first purchases for sales made through Gumroad.
Shopify is a full-featured e-commerce platform, including hosting. Quite popular among free e-commerce platforms, it takes care of everything – marketing, payments, shipping and secure checkout, and is easy to set up.
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Note: Like Wix, Shopify lets you create a free e-commerce site – but you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan to start selling to customers.
While there is no completely free plan, you can sign up for a free 14-day trial of Shopify without entering your credit card information.
During the free trial period, you can set up your store and explore the features. However, you will need to pay for one of the plans before you can sell products or services.
Shopify is a delight for anyone who wants a hands-on approach to setting up and maintaining an online store. With a range of plans to suit every need and type of online business, it has something for everyone.
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All plans except Lite allow you to create fully functional Shopify stores. The Lite plan allows you to sell only on Facebook and brick-and-mortar locations, and integrate the Shop button into your existing website.
There are no separate transaction fees when using Shopify Payments (available in some countries). If you choose an external payment gateway, we’ll charge you an additional fee of 2%, 1%, or 0.5% for Shopify Basic, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify plans.
If you want something that lets you create a working store for free as part of your business plan, your best options are Ecwid or Big Cartel. Gumroad is also an option if you’re willing to pass on transaction fees.
Shopify and Wix also allow you to create a free e-commerce site, but once you’re ready to start selling publicly, you’ll need to sign up for a paid plan.
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Finally, if you’re willing to go the DIY route, you can get creative
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