Choosing the right eCommerce platform is not an easy task for any online business.
If you are an eCommerce beginner, this process is even more complicated and stressful.
Here's the deal:
Today I will show you how to start selling online quickly and set up your free eCommerce store in 5 to 10 minutes.
You may not want to read this, but here we go:
Nothing is ever free in the eCommerce world, so free here means you will have no upfront or fixed monthly fees. That is usually important for those just starting out.
For sure, you will stil have to pay a percentage of each sale to the shopping cart provider and to the payment processor.
Since you know what to expect, let's dive right in.
Table of Contents
Here's the truth:
If you only have a handful of products to sell, then you shouldn't pay enterprise pricing unless you need all those features. Many people can do with just a free basic store with a few products.
Try out these utterly free eCommerce stores to start selling online instantly!
I have compiled these 9 free services that can get you started with your own free eCommerce store.
Once you master the basics of running an online store, you can upgrade to their premium features or just move onto a different eCommerce platform.
For referral sales from their marketplace (Gumroad discover), they take an additional 10% fee. The free plan offers:
- Unlimited products
- Real-time analytics
- Customer management
- Limited posts and workflows
- SD streaming
- 5% + charge fee (3.5% + 30¢)
Big Cartel markets itself toward artists and makers. Suppose you're an artist, designer, or maker. In that case, you can try selling on Etsy or other alternatives to Etsy to expand your audience.
With only one image per product, you'll want to take the best pictures you can. Read our tips for taking great product photos and use these free image editors to polish up those pictures.
The free plan offers these features:
- 5 products at 1 image per product
- Big Cartel subdomain
- Pre-made themes
- Real-time dashboard
- Sell on Facebook
Ecwid gives you a basic store with the ability to sell through multiple platforms like WordPress and Weebly. There are no transaction fees or setup fees from Ecwid, but you'll still have to pay those transaction fees for whoever processes your payments.
Other features include:
- Up to 10 products
- Mobile shopping cart
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Supports numerous platforms like
eCRATER gives you a free store, and it maintains a marketplace for products similar to eBay. They take no fees unless you get a referral sale from their marketplace. They take 2.9% of the sale, but you keep 100% of the sales proceeds from any sale you make.
eCRATER has numerous features, but some of the more prominent ones are:
- eCRATER subdomain
- Unlimited products with up to 10 images per product
- Unlimited disk space
- PayPal support
- Facebook app
- Advertising tools like promotions, Google AdSense, and feedback system
- eBay importer
This eCommerce store offers many features if you decide to go with its premium version that starts at $20 per month. The free store displays ads, so that may be a turnoff for some customers.
The free features include:
- Up to 50 products with 3 variations each
- Unlimited hosting, bandwidth, and automatic backups
- Free SSL
- 50+ themes
- Transaction fees start at 2%
- Single-page checkout
Storenvy’s model is like eCRATER's model, but Storenvy has a more modern interface and design. Storenvy charges a 10% referral fee for each sale that takes place on its marketplace. But you get to keep 100% of the sales proceeds from your own store.
For the free store, you’ll get these features:
- Up to 500 products
- Email tools to reach out to customers
- Promotional tools like discounts
- Order management and fulfillment tools
- Various integrations like with Stripe
- Mobile optimized
This eCommerce site is in its beta stage. But the prices are very competitive for what the service offers. If you decide to upgrade, then their popular Pro plan gives you your own domain name and the ability to list up to 2,500 products.
The free version features:
- Up to 25 products
- Drag and drop visual store editor
- Numerous store templates and designs
- All plans have most of the features of the store, with the difference in prices being the number of products and domain name
- Allow shoppers to browse the store in multiple languages
- SEO tools
Spreesy (now CommentSold)
Spreesy is a service based on an increasingly popular trend known as Social Commerce. You can have your own Spreesy store, and it integrates with all major social media platforms.
Update: CommentSold Acquired Spreesy and now has only paid monthly plans!
If you have a large social media following, then you can quickly drive sales with their integrations. For example, customers can just comment with their email address on your shoppable Instagram post. They'll then get a secure checkout link to purchase your product or digital goods. The same is true of other social media outlets like Twitter and Pinterest.
Other features of Spreesy:
- Manage your Spreesy account on your mobile device with the Spreesy app
- Supports major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest
- Integrates with ShipStation, Etsy, Google Analytics, Shopify, and more
- Promotional tools like discounts
- Spreesy fees: flat 3% transaction fee per sale
You may already be familiar with Square. It's a popular POS system for many small businesses. Square also offers a free online store with its own subdomain. You can use your own domain if you have one. There are no other fees than the transaction fees you pay when a sale happens. Like many other websites, Square has different themes you can use for your store.
Other features about Square stores include:
- Drag and drop visual editor
- Mobile-ready store
- Integrated hardware like POS systems and card readers
- Customer Relationships Management (CRM) tools like Customer Engagement and Square Gift Cards
That's not everything, though;
There are many more marketplaces and free webshop platforms than those listed here. However, those 9 free online stores that I handpicked are more than enough to get you started.
Furthermore, one of these free eCommerce stores will definitely do the job for anyone just starting their own online businesses and learning how to run an ecommerce site with minimum startup fees.
After some time, when your online business outgrows the current platform or the free plan, you can start thinking about upgrading or completely moving to another one.
What is the alternative to using listed eCommerce stores?
Basically, you need a website.
And with that being said, having an e-commerce website actually means you also need to handle the following tasks on your own:
- register a domain;
- choose a web hosting for your website;
- deal with SSL/TLS certificates and HTTPS;
- select a platform for your webshop;
- build a website from scratch.
All this can be overwhelming even for a tech-savvy person. So if you want to start fast and with no upfront fees - go for one of the listed options and start selling online almost instantly...
Author: Drasko Georgijev
I'm a financial technology professional with 15+ years of experience in payment cards, eCommerce, transaction processing and switching.
From time to time, I'm sharing some useful tips, tactics and news about Digital Commerce and Fintech.
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