Start an ECommerce Business Online: Free or Paid

You can start an online e-commerce store easily these days. The technology has improved dramatically in the last few years. It continues to improve day by day, and anyone wanting to start an E-commerce Business online will find they have a varied choice.

Options To Consider

There are a few options to consider and think about once you have decided to open an e-commerce store.

1. What type of storea girl in a green top holding a sign with the word open

2. What type of products

3. How many products

4. The look of your store

5. Pricing (high end, low end or middle range)

A. Let’s take a look at what type of store you want. Will it be a single product store (for instance, your store only sells footwear) or will it be a store that has a multitude of products in all different niches. What you have to think of here is which type of store will be more profitable in the long run for you. This is for you to decide. You will probably have something in mind when deciding on opening an e-commerce store. If you have it takes a lot of the hard work out of deciding what you want to sell.

B. Next what sort of products do you want to sell? The choice of products to sell are absolutely fa nominal. It definitely can be overwhelming and really you can be spoilt for choice on what to sell. There again you may have already decided on what you want to sell. If so another decision made. If you have not made a decision, its a good idea to pick products that are trending and selling like hot cakes. A quick research online will tell you these facts.

C. How many products will your store carry? This brings us back to what type of store. Depending on what type of store will depend on how many products to showcase in your store. (and your budget)

D. The look of your store is very important, it needs to be easily navigated and user-friendly. You have to think about a theme for your storefront and colour themes too. Will it take on a feminine hue or a masculine one. Many e-commerce builder websites have templates that you can choose from. Of course, here we go back to what type of store you want. This is why you need to think about this question first. Along with product choice.

E. Will your store sell products on the high end or low-end scale? Will your store have coupons, discounts and sales? All of these questions need to be answered beforehand. So it’s a good idea to draw up a plan

The easy way to start an online store with AliDropship plugin.

AliDropship is the best solution for drop shipping

 

Read more about drop shipping here

Choosing an online store site builder

Once all your questions are answered and you have a plan in place its time to think about which provider you would like to have as your site builder. An e-commerce site builder is a program that lets you build, customize, and run an online store. You can of course just build a website, get some cheap hosting and do it yourself. Why do that though when there are either f.free or cheap e-commerce website builders on the web.

The best e-commerce sites will come with the tools to walk you through the entire process: hosting, design, pricing and payment options, marketing tools, reports, and security.

E-commerce website Builders

The Free Web Store….. As the name suggests it’s free. There is an upgrade to the premium that starts from $20 per month. The store comes with free SSL with both free and paid versions. This is great news, knowing there is just one thing less to pay for.

The free webstore provide you with guides and walkthroughs showing you how to start your free web store. In fact, they seem to have thought of everything and most of it is free.

As you can see from the comparison chart the free option is limited. It is a good choice for newbies wanting to start off slowly with only a few products. Test the water so to speak.

A screenshot of free and premium options

 

Woocommerce.…. If you have a WordPress account or website then you can easily use the Woocommerce plugin. If you only stick to the Woocommerce plugin there is no charge. However, There are numerous options and upgrades of the plugins which they charge for. Depending on your type of store you may need some of the extra upgraded plugins. Woocommerce offers some good features with the free version which are. “Quote”

  • Sell products: physical, digital, or virtual.
  • Calculate flat rate shipping.
  • Calculate taxes.
  • Accept PayPal payments.
  • Accept credit card payments using the Stripe gateway.
  • Customer account area. This is where your customers can see the status of their orders and download any digital products they’ve purchased.

Then there is the added cost of providing hosting, an SSL certificate and payment processor fees.

You will find out the whole kit and caboodle on Woocommerce pricing here, they provide a free e-commerce 12 lesson course on how to find your way around the Woocommerce store.

Big Commerce.…. Big Commerce is an Australian based site builder. There is a 15-day free trial period, this should be ample time to find your feet within Big Commerce. Once the free trial is over the monthly charge starts from $29.95.

Big Commerce has free SSL on all plans. One of the best features of Big Commerce is the ability to integrate your store with Social Media websites. This is fantastic as it will get more eyes on your products.

Your e-commerce webstore will be a showcase on Google Shopping and you can even sell from blogs or emails just by using a buy button.

Pricing comparisons screenshot


Shopify…..Shopify has a 14-day free trial, after that the payments start from $29 per month. They will email you tons of great information on how to do almost anything with your Shopify store if you are signed up for their newsletter. The reading is very good and very informative. You can also enrol free to their Academy, which includes live workshops, on-demand courses, business tools, and an engaging community.

 

pricing comparison screenshot

 

Etsy…..Etsy is quite unique, it is a store mainly for handmade items and products. It’s also for handmade and ready-made crafting supplies as well as vintage items that have to be at least 20 years old.

To start a web store on Etsy it won’t cost anything as their pricing structure is not based on a monthly charge. They have 3 basic selling fees. A listing fee, a transaction fee, and a payment processor fee. There is also an expanded set of tools to help jump-start growth and express your brand which is called Plus and this costs $13.90 per month, jumping up to $27.70 per month in January 2019.

eBay…..Who doesn’t know eBay? It is a well-known place for selling all kinds of items. You will get 40 free listings per month on eBay, but if you sell an item you will have to pay a final value fee. Now and again there will be promotional offers for listing your items. If you use up your free listings you will be charged an insertion fee. Here you will find an overview of their fees.

The above are all the fees for selling without an eBay store. To sell with an eBay store there are various price structures. They have quite a few different costs for different options, like relisting your item and listing your item in 2 categories will incur an insertion fee. So the fees on eBay can be quite complex depending on what you want from your ads. The prices below are an indicator of their store fees per month. As you can see if you pay yearly it is cheaper.

e bays subscription fees for monthly and yearly

Storehippo Multi-Vendor.…. Storehippo is a multi-vendor e-commerce platform from India. What this means, in essence, is you can have more than one store You can have a chain of stores all operating to bring in more revenue.

Storehippo has quite a few unique features. As well as a 14-day free trial Storehippo give you a free initial setup. This gives you 30 days of grace on every plan to set up your store. They support a loyalty program that is beneficial to your customers for repeat purchases. The choice is yours of course, whether or not you want to start a loyalty program for your loyal customers. Storehippo is another web store that offers free SSL.

price comparison screenshot

My Online Store….. My online store is based in the Netherlands and they have over 40,000 merchants using their software. This comes as no surprise as My Online Store is great for newbie’s starting out in the business without much capital. They have a bimonthly newsletter, with articles mainly on “tricks of the trade” They also have a blog that has plenty of tips to help you on your way.

My online store is free to join and has an option to upgrade. The free option is very limited. Once your business gets more customers and you get more products then a simple upgrade is all that is needed. Included is free SSL but only with the paid versions.

price comparison screenshot

Conclusion

These are the most popular e-commerce site builders but by no means all of them. You might want to take a look here for a comparison of 10 of the best-voted e-commerce websites.

I hope you found this article helpful, If you have any questions please leave them in the comment box below.

Please share if you enjoyed my review. Thank you.

Regards

Janet

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