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Best Free E-Commerce Platform

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Are you on the lookout for the best free eCommerce platform on which to establish your online store? 

Initially, eCommerce platforms were prohibitively expensive, preventing many small enterprises from establishing an online store. Fortunately, several popular eCommerce platforms now provide free or low-cost choices. 

This article will examine the best and most popular free eCommerce systems for starting an online store. We’ve included a full review of the advantages and disadvantages of each so you can choose the best eCommerce website builder for your needs. 

Let’s admit it: there isn’t a completely Best Free E-Commerce Platform out there. 

Even if the Best Free E-Commerce Platform is free, you’ll still have to pay for a domain, site hosting, payment processing fees, and other add-ons. 

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We’ve put up a comprehensive guide on the true cost of developing eCommerce websites. 

As a result, your goal should be to locate an eCommerce platform that allows you to get started for little or no money while also limiting how you run and build your firm. 

You’d also like the platform to be simple to use, feature-rich, and capable of accepting payments via your preferred payment methods. 

With these considerations in mind, let’s look at the Best Free E-Commerce Platform for making money online and growing your business.

You Have Three Alternatives:

We’ll attempt to keep this brief: Three distinct methods for creating a free online store. We’ll discuss the following in this post: 

Option 1: The finest free e-commerce platforms – these systems allow you to sell for free but may have stringent limitations and/or charge commission fees. We’d really only recommend these to those who sell “on the side.” 

Option 2: The top e-commerce platforms with free trials – builders that provide more powerful paying plans that are free to use. Free trials often last approximately two weeks, making these platforms ideal for evaluating a plan and determining it’s worth paying for. 

Option 3: Utilize the best free e-commerce software available – Software tools differ from website builders. They are more powerful, more complicated platforms that are free to install but require additional charges to get started. 

This website has been divided into three sections to allow you to compare the top free eCommerce platforms in each of these categories. Each section includes a side-by-side comparison table of each builder, as well as detailed individual reviews. 

1. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the most widely used Best Free E-Commerce Platform on the planet. It’s a completely Best Free E-Commerce Platform that you may install and use on any web hosting service. 

Because WooCommerce does not supply hosting, you will need to purchase web hosting and a domain name to ensure that your website is accessible to users all over the world. 

Bluehost or SiteGround are both good options. They are both among the world’s leading hosting companies and are WooCommerce’s official recommendations. 

WPBeginner customers may also get a free domain name and SSL certificate from Bluehost, as well as a 60 percent discount on hosting. Essentially, you can begin for $2.75 each month. 

Pros 

  • With WooCommerce, getting started is simple. Even if you’re a complete novice, you can rapidly set up an internet store. 
  • You’ll be hosting your own website, giving you complete control. Although you will have to pay for WooCommerce hosting, it does not have to be expensive. 
  • Numerous WooCommerce themes (designs) are available, allowing you to construct a store that accurately matches your brand. 
  • There are thousands of WooCommerce plugins available to help you expand your business and add new features. 
  • WooCommerce allows you to sell anything, including physical goods, digital downloads, subscription plans, dropshipping stores, and affiliate products. 
  • You won’t be charged any transaction fees if you use WooCommerce. You’ll have to pay your bank or payment services providers, such as PayPal or Stripe. 

Cons 

  • WooCommerce is a little more difficult to get started with than some other solutions if you’re a complete newbie. For example, you’ll need to purchase hosting and a domain name. 
  • You’ll be in charge of keeping your online store up to date as it expands. This could imply changing your hosting plan or purchasing a WordPress security plugin. 
  • We have the most comprehensive WooCommerce tutorial on the web to assist beginners in getting started building an eCommerce website using WooCommerce.

2. Web.com Website Builder

The Web.com website builder does not have a free plan, but it does have a reasonably priced plan that allows you to set up an online store without spending a lot of money. 

Web.com will host your store for you and even provide you a free custom domain and SSL certificate. 

You’ll be able to sell up to 500 products, accept credit cards, track and manage orders, link to Facebook Marketplace, and more in your store. 

Pros 

  • Web.com’s drag-and-drop website builder allows you to create an online store. A free custom domain name of your choice is available. 
  • Through your store, you can offer both physical and digital goods. Web.com can be used to keep track of your inventory. 
  • Email and live chat help are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
  • Although the blogging software is fairly simple and does not offer the same features as a blogging platform like WordPress, you can add a blog to your store’s website for free. 
  • The eCommerce plan is quite reasonably priced, starting at $3.95 per month. 

Cons 

  • The eCommerce capabilities aren’t as robust as those of WooCommerce or Shopify.

3. BuyNow Plus

 

BuyNow Plus isn’t a complete e-commerce solution. Instead, it allows you to generate “buy now” buttons that you can embed anywhere on the internet. 

To utilize BuyNow Plus, you’ll need to sign up for a free Stripe account. 

Pros 

  • At only 2% per transaction, the transaction charge is quite minimal. Stripe, on the other hand, levies its own transaction fees on top of that. 
  • You may use BuyNow Plus to handle recurring credit card payments without requiring your consumers to create an account. This is a handy feature if you’re selling recurring memberships for offline things. 
  • You may share the button URLs on social media, add them to your website, and even use them in emails. 
  • You can sell as many different products as you want with BuyNow Plus. 

Cons 

  • BuyNow Plus does not include features such as inventory tracking or website building. 
  • You may get a similar result by integrating Stripe into your website. You wouldn’t have to pay BuyNow Plus’ transaction charge this way. You’ll need your own SSL certificate, although it’s feasible to obtain one for free. Also, go through our recent blog on Build a business with bigcommerce

 4. BigCommerce

 

BigCommerce is an all-in-one (fully hosted) eCommerce platform that you can use to build your online store. You can utilize a WordPress plugin if you already have a website to integrate with BigCommerce. 

While they do not offer a free plan, they provide a free trial that allows you to set up your company and get started without spending any money. 

Pros 

  • To start the free trial, you don’t need to provide any credit card information. 
  • BigCommerce is quite simple to use. You can sign up, fill out your store’s information, and begin adding products. 
  • If you don’t want to pay for a custom domain name, you can get a free domain like mystore.mybigcommerce.com. 
  • BigCommerce allows you to accept payments in a variety of ways. It integrates with various payment platforms, including PayPal powered by Braintree, Stripe, Authorize.net. 
  • You may add a variety of third-party apps to your BigCommerce store to expand its capabilities. 

Cons 

  • The free trial is only 15 days long, so you won’t have much time to start producing money from your store. To keep your store running after that, you’ll need to pay $29.95 per month or more. 
  • Because BigCommerce is an all-in-one platform, you can only use their addons and themes. You won’t have as much variety as you would with some other eCommerce solutions. Check our blog on Top Ecommerce Platform in 2021

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5. Shopify

 

Another completely hosted eCommerce platform is Shopify. Shopify also offers a 14-day free trial similar to BigCommerce’s but does not require a credit card. 

Pros 

  • With Shopify, getting started is a breeze. Their drag-and-drop website builder allows even complete amateurs to establish a professional-looking online business. 
  • If you wish to add more features to your store, there is an app marketplace where you can purchase add-ons. 
  • Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via live chat, phone, email, and Twitter. 
  • Per transaction, Shopify Payments (Shopify’s built-in payment system) charges 2.9 percent + 30 cents. Users will find it easier to get started because this built-in functionality costs the same as Stripe or other gateways. 

Cons 

  • Shopify charges a 2% transaction fee if you use other payment processors like PayPal or Stripe. This is in addition to the third-party payment gateway’s cost. 
  • The free trial period is only 14 days long. You’ll need to upgrade to a premium plan after that. The cheapest option is $29 per month. 

6. Weebly

 

Weebly isn’t as well-known as some other eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify and WooCommerce, but it does provide a free trial so that you may try it out. 

Pros 

  • You can stock your store with any physical or digital goods. 
  • Building your site and managing items in your store is simple with the drag and drop interface. 
  • There are roughly 100 distinct themes (designs) to pick from, so you should be able to find something that fits your site well. 
  • Inventory, shipping, and tax administration functions are all built-in. 
  • The free package includes live chat, email, and even phone help in addition to the community forum. 
  • If you do decide to upgrade to a paid plan, even small businesses can afford it. The e-commerce beginning plan costs $12 per month, payable annually. You can also read about Best E-commerce platform-2021.

Cons 

  • Weebly imposes a transaction fee of 3%. That’s on top of the transaction fee levied by your payment gateway. 
  • Weebly will show adverts and branding from Square, Weebly’s parent business, if you’re on the free or Personal ($9/month) plans. 
  • Even if you pay for the basic plan, you can only sell 25 things at a time. 

7. Big Cartel

 

Big Cartel is a hosted Best Free E-Commerce Platform created specifically for artists and creative professionals. It could be a terrific option for you if you want to open a store offering handmade goods or anything similar. 

Pros 

  • There are no transaction costs on the free plan. However, you will have to pay Stripe or PayPal fees (Big Cartel’s only options for payment processing). 
  • You can change the URL of your free shop if you want to. It must be in the format name.bigcartel.com, but the name can be anything you wish. You can’t modify your URL on many other sites because it’s based on your username or store name. 
  • Your free plan allows you to have up to 5 goods, more than other hosted free plans. 
  • It’s simple to get your store up and running, and it’s even easier to add products. Big Cartel takes you through the process step by step. Please read our blog on How to Create an Online Store with WordPress and Bluehost.

Cons 

  • You’ll need to alter the HTML of your website theme if you wish to customize it. This platform isn’t as user-friendly as the majority of other eCommerce platforms. 
  • The free plan offers a limited number of features. If you wish to use features like inventory tracking or discount codes, you’ll need to switch to a paid account. 

8. Wix 

Wix includes a website builder that enables you to create a website in one of two simple ways: through drag and drop or the use of Wix’s ADI, artificial intelligence designer. Additionally, you may drastically tweak it without learning a single line of code. 

Nota bene: Wix offers a free eCommerce website builder – but you must upgrade to a premium plan to begin selling to clients. 

Free Plan:

With a free and secure web hosting account, you may establish an online presence. 

Up to 500 megabytes of bandwidth and 500 megabytes of storage 

Hundreds of totally configurable designs, as well as a mobile-friendly website 

Access to a large library of icons, graphics, clip art, and complimentary applications. 

Wix domain name for free – (username.wixsite.com/siteaddress) 

Email marketing, SEO support, and a variety of other marketing solutions are available. 

Limitations on the free plan:

Your website’s URL will include the Wix favicon. Additionally, you’ll notice Wix advertisements on every page. You are not permitted to use a custom domain or modify the templates. 

Most significantly, the free plan does not allow you to collect money. Once again, while you can create your store for free, you must pay to begin selling. 

Additional distinguishing characteristics:

Pages without advertisements and a custom favicon 

Wix Artificial Design Intelligence assists in the creation of customized websites. 

500+ website design templates for every sort of website 

Integrated tools for customizing the design and layout 

Unmetered bandwidth and ten gigabytes of storage 

Coding without complications for increased functionality 

Mobile-friendly and search-engine-optimized 

Google Analytics is included. 

Wix is the best free eCommerce platform for websites that want everything taken care of and only want standard website functionality.

Selecting the Most Effective Free eCommerce Platform:

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So, which Best Free E-Commerce Platform is ideal for you? What you’re looking for will determine this. 

WooCommerce is the perfect solution if you want to start small and have complete control over how your business grows. 

You can get started for $2.75 per month with our special Bluehost offer. That’s the equivalent of a cup of coffee. 

Take a look at the Web.com website builder if you want to use a non-WordPress eCommerce platform that is also economical. When compared to Shopify or Bigcommerce, it’s simple to use and inexpensive. However, compared to other platforms, it is limited in terms of features and adaptability. Would you please read our blog on Shopify vs. WooCommerce: Which Is Better For Your Store?

Selecting the Best Free E-Commerce Platform:

Which free eCommerce platform is the best fit for you? That depends on the nature of your search. 

If you want to establish a business on a shoestring budget and have complete control over its growth, WooCommerce is the perfect solution. 

You can get started with as little as $2.75 per month with our exclusive Bluehost bargain. That is less than the cost of a cup of coffee. 

If you’re looking for an economic non-WordPress eCommerce platform, check out the Web.com website builder. It’s simple to use and quite inexpensive in comparison to Shopify or Bigcommerce. However, it lacks the capabilities and flexibility offered by competing platforms. 

If you want to try out an online store for free but are willing to pay for something that fits your business well, BigCommerce and Shopify are both excellent full-featured solutions. 

We hope this article educated you on the finest free eCommerce platforms for beginners. Additionally, you may want to check out our guide to the top email marketing services and live chat software for eCommerce to help you grow your store’s sales. 

BigCommerce and Shopify are terrific full-featured solutions if you want to try out an online store for free but are willing to pay for something that is a suitable fit for your business.