Many vendors can help you manage your online store because of the increased demand for eCommerce platforms. What makes the best platforms different from the rest? Be clear about your business goals before you make the critical decision to select a vendor. This will allow you to determine the best eCommerce platform for you. The right software solution will make or break your business’s growth and survival.
Are you looking to set up an online shop or eCommerce website but need the funds? Don’t worry! You can find many free or low-cost eCommerce platforms and websites.
We can help you navigate the selection process, even though it can be challenging to find the right one for your needs and budget.
This post will cover 20 low-cost or free options to build an eCommerce website. Which is the best online store platform for free? Continue reading to learn more.
We will also discuss the various factors you should consider when choosing one. Whatever your eCommerce solutions need, there is a platform out there that will work for you.
Growth of Ecommerce Market in Last 5 Years
Online sales are a massive opportunity for businesses that sell products. Statista estimates that by 2021, more than 2 billion people will be purchasing goods and services online. In 2022, ecommerce revenue will exceed $6 trillion annually.
This is the perfect time to start an ecommerce website. Online attention is on the rise. Online shopping is becoming more popular. Today, 69% of online shoppers have purchased at least one item.
Ecommerce platforms online are easy to set up and manage, while others have a low price. The best ecommerce features include a website builder and payment gateway. Inventory management is also included. There are also marketing tools.
Many business owners prefer to sell online through an online marketplace such as Amazon or eBay and instead opt to create their websites with ecommerce functionality.
What is an eCommerce Platform?
An ecommerce platform refers to the software an online store uses to manage all their merchant purchasing and seller needs. These requirements include product pages, user reviews, transactions, customer support, and returns.
Consider these Factors when choosing an eCommerce platform.
How much will the platform cost use? You will unlikely make a lot of sales if you start a new eCommerce site. You want to avoid high fees that you can afford for several months but have the sales to pay it off.
Some platforms offer free trials and transaction-based business models.
Some platforms charge high flat fees regardless of how many customers or transactions you make. Before you choose a platform, make sure you do your research.
How much will it cost to continue using the platform after paying the initial setup fee and other costs? Some, like the WooCommerce standard version, don’t have monthly fees.
You will need to pay for web hosting services, usually between $5-15 per month.
Shopify is another example. They charge $29 monthly but include web hosting and eCommerce software access.
Installation and Usage Difficulty
Is it easy to set up and install? Is it quick, or does it takes days? It can be time-consuming to start a business. You need tools that will help you save time and allow you to focus on building your business.
How easy is it to use once you have it installed? WooCommerce and Shopify are well-known for their ease of use. On the other side, Magento is as powerful, if not more so, but has a reputation for being difficult to learn.
Are you able to customize your website? How flexible is WordPress? WordPress is known for its flexibility. You can make almost any customizations to your eCommerce website.
Sometimes there are just too many options. This is why you might consider using a premade template website created by a professional designer.
Some platforms have a limit on how customizable they can be. This is usually because they are solely focused on selling services and products.
Before you choose a platform, determine how many customizations are required and if the platform can accommodate them. Also, check if customizations are easy to do. Is it enough to install an additional plugin to add a new feature? Is it necessary to re-code an entire section of the platform?
What integration does the platform have with other products or services? Can you create blogs, share content on social network, or link to printing services on-demand?
WooCommerce integrates easily with other WordPress plugins, which is often a great choice. This may be less important if your eCommerce site is particular.
Add-Ons and Extra Plugins
Extensions are often the most critical part of an eCommerce platform because they allow you to add additional functionality. Extensions can be used to add additional features that are too specific or complicated to be included in the default plugin.
WooCommerce and Shopify have this advantage. Both offer rich libraries of thirty-party plugins.
WordPress has more than 50,000 plugins. These plugins include everything you need to collect emails, add a forum, display stock tickers, and almost any other function that WordPress offers.
While plugins and extensions are available on other platforms, such as Shopify’s App Store, Wix’s App Market, or Wix’s App Market, there are fewer options than WordPress.
What is mobile support? Can it create responsive, mobile-friendly pages for your shop? How do physical products look on different devices? You can try it yourself by downloading a demo.
The related point is that managing your website from a mobile device is crucial. Are mobile apps available? Is there a mobile-friendly version? Can I view and manage products using the app/website?
Payment Gateways and Processors
A payment gateway, also known as a processor, is a company that lets you accept and send money to your customer. It’s basically how you get paid when selling stuff.
Stripe, Square, PayPal, and Authorize.net are some of the most popular options. You will need a payment gateway to accept payments through your website.
All these gateways charge a small transaction fee. The fee depends on the volume of your transactions and other factors. However, it is generally around 2.9%. There may also be additional monthly usage fees or fees for certain types of transactions like international payments or currencies.
The number of available payment processors will depend on where you live. Some are restricted to certain countries or regions. Some have restrictions on what type of eCommerce website can be created.
Last, consider how easily your data can be transferred. Can you take your website design, images, and content with you if you leave the platform?
It is easier to use some platforms than others. This is typically easier with open-source platforms.
WordPress lets you export almost anything. Then you can move your site to another server or install it locally.
Wix will work only if it is hosted on Wix servers. You cannot export your site to be reused elsewhere.
Best Ecommerce Platforms You Should Consider for Your Online Store in 2023
How do you find the best ecommerce platform for your business? We are an ecommerce developer and have extensive experience with many ecommerce platforms. This can help you grow your online business.
Different business models, sales volumes, and many other factors will require different requirements. Suppose you require specialized features, such as recurring payment, site builders, or selling digital products. In that case, something other than the most popular ecommerce platform might suit you.
Amazon and other ecommerce giants are now occupying more than half the market. Thousands of online shops are also vying for their share. You must be able to compete by providing the best user experience on your ecommerce site.
The first step is to choose the right ecommerce platform for eCommerce enterprise development for your retail business.
Ecommerce is constantly evolving with new prices and add-ons. Here is a list of the top ecommerce platforms software providers for running a business in 2023.
Shopify is, arguably, the best software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for ecommerce. Shopify’s robust platform includes complementary tools and features that allow you to sell on your website, in your store, or via social media platforms. You can also dropship from your website. You can choose from more than 100 paid and free themes to get your store online quickly.
Shopify store development can handle all aspects of your business. You can also use our best-in-class suite of business tools to create a business command center. Shop Pay offers payment methods offers processing at low transaction fees. Shopify POS allows for in-person sales, and Shopify Fulfillment helps you get physical products to customers.
Magento is one of the most flexible e-commerce platforms. It offers extensions and third-party integrations that allow for unique shopping experiences.
Magento attracts some of the biggest names in ecommerce today, such as Nike, HP Inc., and The North Face.
Magento Open Source (free) requires significant development to make a site work.
Magento Commerce and Magento Cloud are the paid versions for larger ecommerce businesses. These include B2B features that are not available on Magento open source.
Magento Commerce Edition starts at $24,000 per year for large ecommerce transactions.
Magento allows companies to choose their hosting so that they can pick the correct server for them.
Magento, an open-source ecommerce platform, is well-known for its large community of developers and partners that provide support.
BigCommerce is an online SaaS ecommerce platform that allows business owners to create online shops using a variety of customizable templates.
BigCommerce is similar to Shopify. Prices range from $29 to $249 per Month, depending on your needs. You can also limit your sales volume with each plan.
BigCommerce, however, is more expensive than Shopify’s $29 plan. It offers many additional features, such as professional reporting, a ratings and reviews system, gift cards, and other tools. (But it does not include the abandoned cart saver like Shopify).
You can also purchase BigCommerce Enterprise Edition for large ecommerce businesses (over 1 million in sales), with prices that vary depending on the size of your company.
BigCommerce is an excellent value for money, with an easy setup and various payment plans offering various features to suit your needs.
Wix is a rising star in the ecommerce category. Wix is a powerful website builder, well-known for its stunning templates and easy use. Wix also offers an eCommerce option. Wix users can transform their website into an eCommerce storefront.
Wix Stores adds new pages automatically to any site that you already have. This includes a product page, shopping cart page, and thank you page. Adding Wix Stores is optional if you already have an online store template.
Wix is a leader in the area of beautifully displaying your products. There are many options for galleries to showcase your products. You can also choose from professional-looking templates that are customizable and easy to use.
Square Online Store
Square allows you to accept online and offline payments. Although they are best known for their “square”-shaped device, which plugs into a headphone socket, Square also offers an online payment option.
They are an excellent option for online and offline businesses wishing to combine the two. You can offer pickup and delivery, appointment scheduling, and many other services.
One of the many templates they offer is for restaurants, shops, or other businesses.
The basic plan has no monthly fees and costs 2.9% + 30c per transaction. This plan is perfect for small businesses starting.
Square is designed for small, local businesses that want an online presence.
NopCommerce allows you to create an eCommerce website for free. It is a platform that uses ASP.NET, an open-source web framework developed by Microsoft. It supports over 1,500 integrations and is intended primarily for enterprise users.
It is a free and open-source eCommerce platform. There are no monthly or initial fees.
Numerous corporate clients use nopCommerce, including Microsoft, Volvo, The North Face, and BMW. NopCommerce is an excellent option for eCommerce if you are using ASP.NET.
Weebly is a famous website builder. You can also create an online shop as part of the web design package. Drag-and-drop design allows you to customize your layout easily.
Weebly offers other features such as email marketing, SEO and analytics, a mobile application, shipping tools, and inventory management. You can also pay via Stripe, Square, and PayPal.
A free plan is available, but it only has a few features. The entry-level Personal plan costs $9 per month and allows you to add your domain.
Weebly is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an easy-to-use eCommerce website builder with the most basic features.
OpenCart is a free, open-source, and downloadable platform that offers over 13,000 extensions and 36 payment options to make your website as unique as possible.
OpenCart is entirely free to download, update and use. To design the website, however, you’ll need to host it yourself.
OpenCart Cloud is also available, which integrates with PayPal. Prices can vary.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud
Salesforce Commerce Cloud was previously called Demandware until Salesforce acquired it. It offers a cloud-based ecommerce platform and top-notch SaaS solutions.
Commerce Cloud’s AI system is a distinctive feature that allows brands to offer a unique shopping experience across all channels. It gives brands deep insight into customer behavior and can help them deliver it to their potential customers.
Commerce Cloud is an excellent tool for developers and designers.
There are two pricing options, B2C Commerce and B2B Commerce. Prices vary depending on add-ons purchased and the volume of sales.
OsCommerce is open-source ecommerce software that can be downloaded entirely for free.
With almost 9,000 available add-ons for free, it is easy to personalize your website. More are being added daily by the dedicated community of developers all over the globe.
PrestaShop is an open-source, affordable ecommerce platform. It’s ideal for those who have some technical knowledge. PrestaShop doesn’t have built-in support, and integrations can sometimes be tricky. PrestaShop users can help each other with their problems by asking the community.
Inventory tracking, online shopping carts, international selling, and analytics reporting are just a few business tools and features available to businesses. PrestaShop gives you much control over your site’s privacy and security settings.
PrestaShop can make it challenging to maintain your ecommerce website. This is due to the number of unvetted modules and add-ons and the complicated setup.
SellerPrime was formerly SellerPrime. SellerApp is an eCommerce platform that Amazon sellers can use. It focuses on analytics and competitor tracking as well as business reporting. This allows you to gain in-depth insight into the sales data of your online store and eCommerce performance optimization. You can also access portfolio analytics and consulting options for real-time insight into your performance. It also provides intelligent alerts about stock levels, revenue status, and sales data anomalies.
Shopify Plus is an enterprise eCommerce platform that allows high-volume merchants to sell their products. It can scale with its business and grow with it. This multi-channel platform has enterprise-grade selling capabilities and is designed to support high-demand sales campaigns and product drops. Your mobile, social network, real-life, and online sales channels are optimized and centralized.
The app adapts to your business environment and makes it easy to add, update, and manage products without the need for codes. You can also customize it to match your branding.
BigCartel is an eCommerce platform that supports artists, designers, and other makers. You can easily create an eCommerce website or store your artwork and other products using BigCartel.
The basic plan is free and allows you to add 5 products. It also includes a custom domain and a customizable theme. You can track your shipment and other essential features to help you manage your shop.
The paid plans cost $9.99 monthly and allow you to add products, integrate with Google Analytics, and access other features.
BigCartel is a great option for designers and artists who want to create an online shop for their work.
Ecwid is an online shopping cart and store service that’s completely free. Ecwid was created to make it easy for you to sell your products quickly.
It does not have a lot of key features. It focuses on different sales channels such as Amazon, Google Shopping, eBay, or Google Shopping.
Although it is free to create an online store, the free plan does not include the ability to link to other marketplaces. You will need to pay for a paid plan to connect your products with other marketplaces seamlessly. These plans start at $15 per month.
These plans include additional key features such as MailChimp automated messaging, a white-label-branded mobile app, unlimited products, point-of-sale in-person purchases, and Facebook Messenger live chat. Many other key features can help you sell more products.
3dcart is a cloud-based SaaS ecommerce platform that focuses on the needs of search engines, store owners, and shoppers.
3dcart has various pricing plans, ranging from $19 to $229 per month. All include unlimited bandwidth and products. Each plan has a limit on the number of sales, similar to BigCommerce.
Large ecommerce companies also offer enterprise-level packages at 500 dollars per month.
It is simple to set up but requires some knowledge.
Strikingly is a website builder that targets entrepreneurs. The unique visual editor allows you to drag and drop items on any page. It is ideal for people who need to learn more about design or code.
PayPal and Stripe can be used to accept payments. Strikingly supports shipping and coupons, membership log-ins, and other eCommerce features. It is possible to turn visitors into customers and subscribers using signup forms, live chat, and newsletters.
You can start at $8 per month if you pay annually. You can also use your domain. You will need to buy it separately. A limited free plan is available, but only one product is included.
Strikingly is an excellent tool for entrepreneurs who want to design an eCommerce business website quickly.
Mozello, a page builder company, is affordable and allows you to create a website. The design is fun and colorful, which makes it stand out from other options.
All of it is mobile-friendly and multilingual-ready. It also includes a custom design. It includes search engine optimization and digital marketing features that will help you grow your company. It doesn’t require technical knowledge, and you can choose from various premade themes designed by professionals.
Mozello’s most significant advantage is its low price. There is a free version, which is on a subdomain at yourname.mozello.com. The plans start at $7 per month if you wish to own your domain. The plan includes the registration of your domain name. This is an excellent addition.
Volusion is an eCommerce platform for small businesses that provides all the tools and features necessary to get started selling online. First, it lets you create your online store using its easy-to-use website builder and professionally-designed, responsive themes. After creating your website, you can start selling immediately by adding products, uploading multiple images, and managing your inventory.
The app allows you to pay for your goods using Stripe, PayPal, and Amazon through its secure checkout process. Integrated digital marketing tools, social management tools, all-in-one SEO tools, and at-a-glance reporting can optimize your business.
Pinnacle Cart is a flexible e-commerce platform that can be customized to meet your business’s needs. This platform is for entrepreneurs with a clear vision of their online business. The platform’s structure won’t limit them. It adapts to your company, not to your business. This app can be customized to improve business processes and develop new features.
You can also customize your control panel, slider, and landing page. You can integrate it with any third-party app as long as the API is available. Mobile Commerce, Pinnacle Cart’s mobile-ready website feature, can be accessed for free. It uses elements from your online shop and can be viewed on any responsive device.
The Key Takeaway
There are many options available to business owners looking for an e-commerce platform. Although one ecommerce solution might be the most popular, many others offer unique features that could be better suited to your business.
It is essential to choose the right platform for marketplace development for your business. Few companies move platforms more often than every few years. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure you choose the right platform before investing time and money. This list of top ecommerce platforms will help you narrow down your options and choose the right one for your business.
This post will cover everything you need to know regarding eCommerce platforms. We first discussed the various factors that should be considered when choosing a platform.