14 Free Ecommerce Platforms to Start Your Business
Customer behavior has changed significantly over the years, nowadays, millions of people prefer buying online. Buying in the comfort of your home, just with a click, has seduced many and emerged as a great business opportunity that you can enjoy. There are several free ecommerce platforms that will help you start.
Many people dream of having their own company or store and a free e-commerce platform can be the initial push you need. Whether you want to sell the products you create, such as craftsmanship, or resell, you will find an enormous market to work on.
Initially, not having to pay for an ecommerce website can save you money to invest in other parts of your business. Creating an online store is an incredible possibility not only for those who are at the beginning of a new business but also for those who want to expand their commerce revenue.
You can grow and sell to people that are miles away from you.
14 Best Free Ecommerce Platforms
If you think starting to sell online is very complicated and expensive because you will need to know coding and design, we have good news. You not only don't need those skills as you will also find several free ecommerce platforms, where you can customize your online store, manage the portfolio and add new products easily.
Wix is one of the most known ecommerce platforms in the world, and it doesn't disappoint when it comes to creating an online store. They offer a 14-day free trial, so you can test all the features the CMS (control management system) has. If you see that that's the ecommerce platform you need, then you will pay for the plan you opt for.
You can choose from more than 500 free online store templates, divided into different categories, such as fashion boutiques, beauty stores, or electronics stores. After this, you will customize the design, add the products, connect payment options, choose a domain name, and get published.
You can also enjoy other Wix free tools, for example, the Wix Logo Maker, and Business Name Generator. To set up forms of payment, it's possible to define the ones you are going to use from a global network of payment providers and also use Wix Payments.
At the platform, you can manage and track orders, get integrated analytics, use built-in marketing tools, sell on multiple sales channels, and even offer subscriptions.
- More than 500 free templates
- Wix Logo Maker
- Business Name Generator
- Wix Payments
- Automate your taxes
- Use multiple sales channels
- Offer subscriptions
- Track and manage orders at Wix Dashboard
- Built-in marketing tools
For 14 days Shopify offers a free ecommerce platform, so you can try on one of the most famous online store website builders. Shopify has more than a million stores using their platform, for sure, that says a lot.
At Shopify, you have the chance to start your business from zero, beginning by using their branding tools where you can generate a business name and create a free logo. Then, create your website, customize it with their image bank, and set up the store.
If you wish to be a reseller, you can find products to sell with a feature Shopify offers called Oberlo. You just add items to your store, and the packaging and shipping are Oberlo's responsibility. You will be able to focus on how to conquer more clients and strategies to increase sales.
To build the layout, you can choose among several free template options that are customizable with the drag-and-drop store builder. They also have 2.0 Themes that were made to help enhance the customer experience. All the design is mobile-friendly.
Another feature offered is the Shopify Payments system where you can manage all the payments of your customers, and you will have the possibility to insert popular payment methods at your store.
Also, you can manage everything at Shopify Dashboard, including in the mobile app, and the inventory is synced in all your sales channels.
- Business name generator
- Free logo maker
- Free image bank
- Free templates
- Designed for mobile
- Partnership with Oberlo
- Shopify Payments
- Built-in SEO
- One inventory synced with all your sales channels
- Manage your store from your smartphone
With Site 123, you can rely on a free ecommerce platform test for a 14-day trial. After you make your registration, choose which template you desire to use. All of them are mobile-friendly, add your products to the system, and define taxes and shipping options.
Site 123 is an amazing tool for small businesses, with an easily manageable platform. When adding the products, you will have the option to add many pictures, write a description, and edit whenever you want.
The website will come with SSL certificates, protecting your clients’ transactions. You can add the main payment options, such as PayPal and Credit Cards.
- Track your orders
- Choose the accepted currencies
- Manage the inventory automatically
- Create coupons
- SSL Certificates
- Responsive design
- 24/7 live support
Have you ever imagined creating your website store in just a few minutes? Webnode has developed a functional and intuitive platform that makes it possible. You will set up the template, customize it, add the product images, describe each item, define the prices and you are ready to start.
You can offer different payment methods through Webnode, Paypal, credit card, wire transfer, and payment upon pick up. Your customer will also be able to choose the shipping method, for example, FedEx or DHL. On the platform, you can control all the order statuses, and analyze the performance of your store.
Another advantage of Webnode is the access to a free ecommerce platform during the construction of the online store, you will only have to choose a paid plan when ready to launch.
- Create an online store in a few minutes
- You will be notified about all the orders in the store
- Responsive templates
- Various shipping options
- Diversified payment options
- Customizable product pages
- Store statistics
When you access the BigCommerce website, you will see it's divided into two main sections "Enterprise" and "Essential". It's because the CMS offers online selling solutions for big companies and small businesses.
But, in both of them, you can have a free ecommerce platform to try their features which are many. At BigCommerce Essentials, you can choose the layout that fits your business better, customize it, and use the platform to sell in various channels, like eBay, Facebook, and Amazon.
After creating the pages, and adding the products, you are going to find several tools to help you grow. For example, optimized URLs send an email to shoppers who left the cart right before finishing the purchase, and activate social sharing on products.
You will also count on resources to manage your inventory, and create a personalized shopping experience, and payment integrations.
- Marketing tools
- Page builder completely customizable
- Single page check-out
- Recover abandoned carts
- Multi-channel inventory management
- Automatically syncing inventory
- 65 payment gateway integrations
Want a free ecommerce platform to build your online store without having to change for a paid plan in a limited period? Ecwid offers exactly that. You can start selling right away, counting on a simple and easily manageable platform.
Once you set up your website store at Ecwid, you can sync your account to sell in multiple other channels and control everything from the dashboard in a centralized inventory. You will be able to rapidly add products to your Facebook and Instagram feeds and also put links for TikTok, WhatsApp, and other social media.
You can make automatic e-mail messages to send to your customers, for example with a coupon. Besides, it's possible to create Ads for Google, Facebook, and several channels at Ecwid.
- Centralized inventory
- Sync with multiple marketplaces
- More than 50 payment options
- Choose as many carriers and shipping rates as you want
- Email marketing automatized
- Manage your store from the desktop or smartphone
If you are looking for an open-source ecommerce platform, WooCommerce offers a 30-day trial and it's built on WordPress. To start selling, you need to have a WordPress account, build your website through it, then add the WooCommerce plugin.
After that, it's time to set up your store, choose the design, menu, and payment, and shipping options. You will be able to offer secure payment choices to your customers, bank transfers, and major credit cards, and count on 140 region-specific gateways.
Managing your store is easy and can be done on your desktop, tablet, or smartphone. On the interface, you are going to control the orders, and update products. To make it simpler, shipping rates and taxes can be automatically calculated as well.
- E-commerce for WordPress
- WooCommerce mobile app
- Offer flexible and secure payments
- Hundreds of extensions to customize your store
- Google Analytics
- Content can be translated into 24 languages
- Select multiple currencies
With the 14-day free trial, Jumpeseller offers modern themes for you to create a personalized online store. But that's just the beginning, you will find an enormous variety of apps to integrate with your store and do automatic tasks, like sync with social media and create digital invoices.
Offering different payment methods is always important, Jumpseller has integration with local and international options. It will help you to easily sell to anywhere in the world because they have integrations with many shipping companies such as DHL and UPS.
- Responsive themes
- Customizable designs
- Supports multi-language
- Allows refine products searches
- International payment options
- Global shipping options
Strikingly offers you the possibility to use a free ecommerce platform as long as you wish, and, if you feel the need, you can scale up to one of the paid plans. After creating your account, the first step is to choose the best template, customize it and add the products.
The platform has a very intuitive interface, making it easy to set everything you need to build a website store in just a few minutes. In the free plan, you can sell just one product, but that can be the perfect opportunity to test the market, invest in your store visibility, and turn potential customers into clients.
Then, after getting to know the market, and understanding your audience, you can expand your portfolio. Besides, you are going to count on 24/7 support and be able to manage your store on your desktop or mobile devices.
- Customizable templates
- No transaction fees
- 24/7 support
- Smart customization
- Integrated with Stripe and Paypal
Shift4Shop is a free website builder which offers many resources, starting from giving you a wide variety of professionally designed, industry-specific, and mobile-friendly templates. They have a web design tool to help you customize everything, but you can edit directly the HTML and CSS too.
The free plan includes unlimited products, features, and bandwidth. You will also count on migration assistance and fraud protection. Shift4Shop provides marketing tools, as well, like built-in e-mail marketing, and the possibility to include group deals, daily deals, coupons, and discounts, among others.
It also has cart abandonment recovery tools, focused on automatically engaging users, and motivating them to finish their purchase. Another benefit is that each part of your website is pre-optimized for SEO.
- Inventory management tools
- Product management software
- Analytical tools
- Cart abandonment recovery tools
- SEO optimization
- Visa CPI Certified Security
- Real-time shipping rates
- Integrated with PayPal
- Centralized inventory to sell in different channels
Developing your online store without knowing how to code, and being able to set up everything by choosing a pre-built responsive theme: Volusion makes it possible and also provides a 14-day trial.
After customizing your website design, you can add several tools such as shipping methods, other selling channels, automated email, payment gateways, and stats about your store performance. Besides, the built-in SEO management will help you to gain more visibility.
When adding your products, you have the opportunity to use some tools that will make it even simpler and more effective, like variant pricing, import products via CSV, and rich text product descriptions.
- Responsive themes
- Add site search
- Built-in SEO
- Integration with marketplaces
- Secure checkout
- Comprehensive management system
- Search friendly URLs
- Admin Social Management
- Reporting tools
Squarespace is an ecommerce website builder that will enable you to create pages that better suit your business needs. Focusing on growing and expanding, before creating your account, you will choose which template has more to do with your brand visual identity, and customize it, the images, the color palette, and fonts.
Each online store sector has its specificities. Taking that into consideration Square Space includes many tools to add to your choice and also has marketing features. This way, you can implement actions such as email campaigns, through the platform.
They provide solutions not only to sell physical products, but also digital content, like ebooks and music, subscriptions, or services. Besides, if you sell online or in-person, you can use the Squarespace inventory to keep everything synced.
- Customizable templates
- Mobile optimized design
- Easy-to-use interface
- Centralized inventory
- Real-time shipping estimates for US customers
- Simple payment and checkout
- 24/7 support
- Automate sales tax filing
- Built-in SEO tools
Sellfy is an easy-to-use ecommerce platform that allows you to create your online store with just a few clicks. It was developed focusing on helping creators to sell their digital products and merchandise online.
To begin, all you need to do is sign up for the platform, add your products, then customize every page to have your brand's identity. You can also use Sellfy to commercialize your products on social media like Facebook and Instagram and manage everything in one place. Enjoy the built-in marketing features to promote your store and enhance your revenue.
You can sell a huge variety of digital products, such as ebooks, videos, audio, and other files in multiple formats. It's also possible to create digital subscriptions and charge your customers periodically, another possibility is offering video streaming services on demand.
- Sell products and subscriptions
- Responsive design
- Customization tools
- Built-in marketing features
- Sell from social media
- Multiple payment options
The BigCartel platform is recommended for artists who want to sell their products online. You will find the proper tool to make it easier to run a creative business. To begin building your online store, select one of the pre-built themes, and customize it according to your brand's visual identity.
Then, add the products, and set up important configurations such as the payment and shipping methods. You can count on very useful tools to manage your store, fulfill orders, update products, check stats, and run promotions from any device.
- Developed for artists by artists
- Pre-built themes
- Personalization tools
- Management tools
Deciding which free ecommerce platform to use
With so many options for free ecommerce websites, many people get in doubt about which is the best platform to use. The answer is it depends on your company needs, what are your priorities, and the main plans to develop your business online.
As presented in the list above, there are free e-commerce platforms with no limited time to use and ones with free trial periods. You can sign up for several of them to test the resources and interfaces.
How to use a free ecommerce platform
One of the main advantages of using a free ecommerce platform is that you don't need to build a system to store your website from scratch. This would be much more difficult, requiring a coding and design team, while those CMS have all the bases ready to be customized.
Register at the platform of your choice
After you navigate through different free e-commerce websites, take time to read the benefits each of them offers, and decide which you are going to use, the first step is very simple: create your account.
You will see some e-commerce builders that offer free trials that don't even require you to sign your credit card. Pay attention to the free period each one has and if it's sufficient for you.
Create your Domain Name
The name of your website store is very important because it's one of the ways customers are going to find you online. Try to create a name that is easy to spell and to remember, if you don't have a business name, some of the platforms offer a tool called a name generator.
When you are using a free ecommerce website, many of them don't have the option to take their CMS name off the domain address. To have a website such as "www.mystorename.com", usually you have to pay a fee.
Choose a Template
The free ecommerce platforms provide several different templates, even divided into categories such as electronics stores, beauty, or books. It helps you to find one that has more to do with the type of product you sell and with your target audience.
The templates are customizable, so you can add your logo, and product sections, choose the colors, the font, and icons. Many of the platforms use the drag-and-drop tool, allowing you to position and resize everything.
Keep in mind the store has to have your brand visual identity. That's a strategy to avoid being forgotten by your customer, and also to promote identification, increasing the chances of selling.
Define the payment and shipping methods
The most common payment methods to insert on an online store are bank transfer, credit card, and payment gateways, such as Paypal. Most of the ecommerce builders already have all this set, you just need to select the methods you will accept.
Another very important step is to define the shipping options and the rates. Some platforms already give you options for shipping companies they have partnered with, making it easier to negotiate rates and give the best deals to your clients. If you want to use another company, you have to list all the information on the platform.
Register the products
Before adding the items you will sell, you have to consider two options. If you are a reseller, ask the company for pictures and a whole description, with detailed information, of each product.
If you are going to sell items you produce, it's up to you to take the pictures and write the description. Beware of having images that are true to the product, showing the colors, size, and details.
Have you ever bought something online and been disappointed when it arrived because it was very different from the images you saw? It's an awful experience, and you certainly want to avoid your customers from having it. It could compel them to never buy at your store or even write bad reviews.
With the pictures taken, reserve some time to write detailed and appealing descriptions, consider inserting keywords in this part. It will help your products to be found easier. After it, you just have to upload everything on the e-commerce website, and set the prices.
Manage your store online
With everything set, it's time to release your online store. To help you control all the activities you need to do, use the ecommerce builders dashboard to manage your orders, and track them. To invest in your business growth, develop marketing strategies, and get to know your potential client’s profile.
Essential Features to Have on an Ecommerce Website
You probably have already heard the term user experience and we can also say customer experience. When accessing your online store, no doubt, you want people to feel attracted by what they see, compelled to navigate through sections, and, certainly, finish the purchase.
To conquer it, you should pay attention to installing features that help you analyze your store performance, gain visibility, and enhance the customer experience.
Adding SEO features to your online store will help you in several ways. It provides you with valuable data to understand your customer behavior and to create strategies to improve your website.
You will have access to information such as how the user got to your ecommerce site, how much time they spend on each page, by which device, and others. For example, if the data shows you have a high number of access but a small rate of conversion to sales, you know what point you need to develop more.
Having features that enable you to manage your catalog by automatizing several processes, like updating the inventory, and notifying you and the customer about each order status, makes it faster and easier to avoid errors.
Besides, you can also sync one inventory to keep control of all of your sales in different channels. You will be able to visualize everything in a much easier way.
Many free ecommerce platforms have built-in marketing tools, for example, social media sync, auto email messages, and the option to add a blog section. Counting on those features and creating plans to use each one makes a big difference, conquering more access, and increasing sales.
Some platforms allow you to manage ads for Facebook, Google, Instagram, and other websites, in the same dashboard. You can also send automatic emails offering a coupon discount or notifying when there are items on sale.
It's up to you to study your market, know your competitors' strategies, understand your potential customers’ profiles, and set a marketing plan. The features provided will make it simpler.
Differences between Free Ecommerce Website Plans and Paid Ones
When developing the idea of having a store online, It's not unusual that people ask themselves about what platform to use, and, mainly, if they should opt for a free or paid version.
As you can see, free ecommerce platforms have many features and can help you start without extra costs. But, when your business begins to escalate, it may be interesting to consider signing up for a paid plan. Because they offer benefits such as having your own domain name and advanced SEO tools.
Analyze it on your business plan, define which features and tools are essential, to begin with, and what you want to add only in the future. The choice will always depend on the individual aspects of each company.
Use a Free ecommerce Platform and Start Selling
With the COVID-19 pandemic, customer behavior has changed significantly, and, even with the commerce reopening, many people have developed a taste for buying at e-commerces. It's practical, saves you time, and also gives access to a huge diversity of products.
According to Statista, in 2020, e-commerce retail worldwide reached 4.248 trillion US dollars. In 2023, it is expected to reach 6.310 trillion US dollars and keep growing.
As you can see there is a big market to go for and you can enjoy the free ecommerce platforms to give your first step. That can be a great opportunity to expand your business or to create a new one.
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