HOW TO SET UP A FREE ONLINE STORE IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD A WEBSITE. A REVIEW OF 5 BEST FREE E-COMMERCE STORE BUILDER
The cost of Setting up and maintaining a website have I got to know that its very hard for some new and emerging online businesses. The very reason why some small online business owners do share their products images directly on social medias and forums. This makes their business looks unprofessional, and at the same time lacking patronage.
There are actually many reasons/benefits of setting up a business website among which are the fifteen salient points I listed here.
Now that I can’t afford a website, what then is my option you asked. To this I will advise that you set up an online store.
If you really want to take your business online, opening an online store is actually easy and profitable. Shopping online has been the mainstay of many people around the world these days. And people prefer shopping or doing their various purchases from online stores.
Hence, if you have a business or something you’re passionate about selling, then you can consider opening an online store.
Meanwhile, before starting an online store, research online and check out your potential competition. If you have a business idea in mind, it is worth the time and effort to see what else others are selling in your niche of products. If you have no idea what you want to sell, you’ll also need to go online to search out what would be most profitable to sell. GET YOUR COPY OF NICHE RESEARCH BLUEPRINTS: UNCOVERING PROFITABLE NICHES IN 7 EASY STEPS HERE.
You see, many work at home businesses start an online store because they have homemade products to offer. An example is handmade baby wears and diapers. Many home based businesses have found success with putting their skills into work and selling their products online. Other popular handmade online stores include arts, selling shoes, wears, books, creams and services etc.
This does not mean that you cant have online store success if you don’t make your own products. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of home based businesses that successful by opening stores stocked with store-bought inventory.
Whatever your choice, whether handmade or store bought, there are many options for hosting your online store. These options depend on how comfortable you are with web design. Some companies, like Yahoo, shopify, Etsy etc. offer online stores that are very user friendly and simple to set up. They can cost anywhere from $30 to $200 per month for the storefront services. Many home based businesses were successful with eBay stores, which gives them the opportunity to sell in auctions or in a fixed price format.
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That being said, let me now walk you through the list of 5 best free online store builder in 2020
1. GUMROAD FREE STORE BUILDER
What is Gumroad?
Gumroad is an internet platform that helps you to sell your products to your clients, without the stress, costly fees, and low rates of conversion of a marketplace model. Gumroad gives you the opportunity to share your products all over the internet or on your website, in addition to giving you insights into who your customers are, how they find you, and how to keep them coming back for more.
In a nutshell:
If you have a digital product; the like of ebook, software, Video or audio products, you have or physical product that you want to sell on your website directly to your customers, or to your following on social media, Gumroad is your home base for:
- Creating and selling products
- Interacting with your customers
- Gaining insight (tracking) into how you are making sales
- Building a follower base.
- Setting up a membership site
- Integration with your website etc.
How can I use Gumroad to make money?
Making money as a digital creator on Gumroad is as follows:
- Create an account and set up your payout information.
- Create a product and upload all relevant files.
- Publish your product and share the link with the world via social media, your website, email newsletter, telephone poles, bathroom walls, etc.
- Your followers/fans/family/friends/enemies go to that link, enter their payment information, and receive their download link.
- Your account will be verified and your sales then turn on your payouts.
- Every Friday, you will be paid the net amount of your sales (your sales minus their fee).
- If you sell physical products, they will process payments on your behalf, but you will be in charge of shipping the products to your customers.
What you can sell?
You can sell anything on Gumroad, in as much as you are giving good value of your product to your customers. The items sold on Gumroad are e-books, films, music, software, and tutorials. You can also sell memberships, pre-orders, and one-time purchase products, both digital and physical.
SIGN UP: GUMROAD FREE PLAN
Did you desire a store that blends/plugs perfectly into your existing site? If that’s what you want, it’s Ecwid for you. No website? Not to worry, you’ll get an instant starter site too freely.
free eCommerce platforms – Ecwid
Free plan: Ecwid also has a free plan that’s very useful. Once you sign up, you can set up a fully functional store that sells up to 10 products in two categories. Here’s what you get:
- Mobile responsive customizable online store with product options
- Mobile responsive shopping cart
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Add it easily to WordPress or any other website
- Sell simultaneously on multiple sites
- Facebook Pixel
- Built-in support for SSL certification, security, server configuration, and hosting,
- 40+ payment methods in multiple currencies
- Real-time shipping rates from some carriers
- Built-in Google Analytics integration
Limits of free plan
You may not be able to get access to digital goods, staff accounts, and promo codes. These features along with many more are available only in the premium plans.
Other key features:
- Sell on the go with Ecwid mobile
- Store management app
- Multiple sales channels like Facebook, Instagram, or other POS
- Unlimited products, including digital goods
- Inventory management, automated tax calculation
- Order creation, product filters, and variations
- In short, Ecwid’s free plan can be a fine option for small merchants who have basic selling requirements.
Price & transaction fees
Beyond the free plan, three paid plans are available:
- Venture – $15 per month
- Business – $35 per month
- Unlimited – $99 per month
None charged directly by Ecwid, but your chosen payment processor will likely charge fees
SIGN UP: ECWID FREE PLAN
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What is Payhip?
Payhip is an e-commerce srv ice platform that offers solutions for entrepreneurs and bloggers. Their offerings are packed with smart tools and features for hosting and selling digital products directly online. You can now also sell physical products, as well as create memberships for your business. The company was founded by Abs Farah and Kahin Farah and is currently based in London, UK.
This one unique thing about Payhip is that there’s no waiting time to get paid! Once you sell an eBook the money is right there in your PayPal account, instantly.
What are the benefits/features of using Payhip?
- Payhip platform is – user-friendly. Seriously, anyone can use Payhip, start selling and making money.
- Payhip will save you a lot of time and that’s because everything is hosted and configured on the Payhip website. You don’t need to configure anything else on your site or blog.
- It’s cost-effective. The website takes a very small fee of 5% per transaction for each eBook sale, and zero monthly fees (Basic account). PayPal and Stripe charge their own fees on top of that.
- Built-in reporting tools – You get access to reporting tools such as daily views, daily sales, top visitor sources, and conversion rates.
- Access to marketing tools. – You have the option to create coupons and social discount codes.
- Set up affiliates – You have the ability to signup, manage and reward your own affiliates.
- Product promotion tools – You can embed your product and Buy Now buttons right on your website or blog.
- Grow your list – You get access to tools to set up mailing lists so that your customers can subscribe and stay up to date with your digital products, and more.
- Instant digital product delivery via email link to buyers.
- Membership tools – Set up memberships for your products.
- Sell physical and digital products – As well well as selling eBooks and software, you can use Payhip to sell physical products.
- Ability to make your products private.
- Add an ISBN (Internation Standard Book Number) for your eBook.
- Upload a few preview or sample pages.
- Add a limit number to how many copies of your product or eBook can be sold.
- Generate a unique license key for each of your product/eBook sales.
- Memorable URL to your Payhip shop for you to promote!
How much does it cost to use Payhip?
Payhip will cost you nothing to set up or even host your digital products. As I mentioned above, the website takes only 5% commission per transaction fee for a Basic Account.
Other plans apart from the free plan include
A Standard Plan – $29 per month (Unlimited digital downloads, membership plans, and revenue. Plus 2% transaction fee. Stripe and PayPal have their own fees.)
A Professional Plan – $99 per month (Same as Standard plan but with zero transaction fees, however, Strip and PayPal have their own fees.)
Advantages/features of Payhip.
- Easy to set up. Once you’re set you can forget about it and let it do the work for you.
- Easy to update files when you need to.
- Your customers are emailed a link to download their digital product/eBook instantly after purchase.
- Earnings from eBook sales are paid instantly and directly into your PayPal or Stripe account.
- You have access to a bunch of useful marketing tools.
- EU VAT is taken care of, saving you an enormous amount of time.
- Ability to update your customers with the latest revisions of my eBooks if they choose to signup.
Selz is an ecommerce solution that provides businesses with a multichannel nel platform that allows them to sell their products and services through the channel they prefer.
You can use Selz to create an online store, starting with one of their website themes and using the drag-and-drop store builder to customize it to your brand. Selz also gives business owners the capability to add “buy now” buttons, product widgets, or full stores to their existing website to sell products. Finally, Selz allows you to sell via Facebook and Instagram and integrates with Google Smart Shopping. Whichever method you choose, Selz provides web hosting, an SSL certificate, and perhaps most importantly, payment processing.
With Selz, you can choose from four service plans. Plus, Selz gives you the ability to try their platform for free for 14 days, no credit card required.
- Ease of use
- Multichannel platform
- Digital product features
- Third-party payment processor fees
- -Access to all sales channels
- -Unlimited products
- -Unlimited storage, bandwidth, customers
- -Customer analytics
- -Discount codes
- -Secure digital file delivery
- -Global tax settings
- -Apps and integrations
- -Custom domain
- -Abandoned cart
- -Fraud protection
- -Everything in previous plan plus:
- -Tax invoices
- -Custom receipts
- -Custom fields
- -License keys
Everything in previous plans plus:
-Real-time shipping rates
-Connect label providers
Your very own team of marketing, design and ecommerce experts to create your webstore, set up your sales channels, and integrate your business systems
Other special features:
- Professionally designed free themes
- Drag-and-drop store builder
- Change colors, images, fonts, layouts
- Built-in blogging platform
- Web hosting and free SSL certificate included
- Use a Selz domain or attach a custom domain
- selz review, online store theme
- All of Selz’s templates are optimized for desktop and mobile. Image source: Selz
- Multichannel Selling
- Add products to an existing website, blog, or social profile by embedding customizable “buy now” buttons, widgets, or your entire Selz store
- Install the Selz plug-in for WordPress and easily add ecommerce functionality
- Create a fully functioning, mobile-responsive Facebook store
- Sell on Instagram
- Integrate with Google Smart Shopping
- Manage all social channels from single dashboard
- Payment Processing
- Selz Pay (powered by Stripe) accepts all major credit cards
- Funds deposited directly into your business bank account, Monday through Friday.
SIGN UP : FREE SELZ PLAN
What is WebStarts?
WebStarts is everything you need to create and maintain your very own website. Traditionally websites are written in HTML code, that code is stored on a server, and a domain is pointed to it. The process of setting up a traditional website is tedious, technical, and expensive. If you don’t know how to code you might hire a web developer. Next, you need to purchase server space. Finally, you need to register a domain. It’s a hassle to manage three different bills and three different companies. The whole process is so confusing it leaves a lot of people wondering how to make a website at all.
With WebStarts you don’t need to know any code to create a beautiful website. Our easy to use drag and drop editor makes it a breeze to place photos, text, and other elements exactly where you’d like them to appear on your page. And when it’s time to add a domain name, you simply choose one and it’s automatically set up to work with your site. You’ll never have to worry about hiring an expensive web designer or not being able to make changes to your website in a timely manner again.
WebStarts hosts your website in the cloud. So you’ll never have to worry about configuring web servers, using an FTP program to transfer files, or configuring IP addresses again.
When you create a website with Webstarts you can add a domain name to your website and it starts working instantly. There’s no fiddling around with registrars, DNS, or pointing IP addresses.
You don’t need to have a web design software program installed on your computer to make changes to the look and feel of your website. Just log in and everything is drag and drop. Nothing could be easier.
SIGN UP HERE
Let me conclude by saying, what then are you waiting, it doesn’t matter whether you can afford a website or not. I assure you with the free E-commerce store builder above, you can definitely set up an ecommerce store and get people to buy from you online.