We know running a business is expensive. By the time you’ve registered your business, bought the perfect domain name, and built up your inventory, you might not have much left in the budget for your eCommerce software. Don’t worry, we’re here to show you the best free ecommerce platforms, helping you decide which one is best for you. Ready to start selling without paying? Here we go:
Things you need to consider before choosing a Free ecommerce platform
There is a myriad of Free ecommerce platform available for you to select. However, they differ in functionality, user-friendliness, and friendliness. Therefore, there is no one meets all approach to choosing the “best” it depends on your preference. So we reviewed a range of criteria:
- Ease of use: Most merchants need a eCommerce website plat that help startups and small businesses release their online stores quickly while making it easy to manage a store once it’s up and running.
- Number of products: Most ecommerce platforms limit the number of goods you can list in the free version, though there are exceptions.
- Product types: The best Free ecommerce platform allows you simply sell physical products, and a few free one also provide sales of digital products with instant download.
- Payment providers: Free ecommerce platform typically integrates with online payment services, like Square, Stripe, or PayPal, but most won’t let you connect a traditional merchant account.
- Multichannel sales: Some ecommerce platforms let sellers tie online, in-store, and mobile sales together via built-in or integrated point-of-sale (POS) systems and mobile card readers.
- Shipping management: Most online sellers need to apply shipping fees to orders, print shipping labels for packages, and notify customers when orders ship; some free ecommerce platforms help you handle this better than others.
- Sitewide Secure Sockets Layer (SSL): Sitewide SSL supports sites rank higher in Google, and SSL on checkout pages is required for secure credit card payment processing.
- Search engine optimization capabilities: A few free ecommerce platform provides you SEO tools that can allow you enhance your Google page rankings; others make these available with extension or paid plans.
- Social media sale integrations: A few free ecommerce platform supports social selling with a Facebook Shop, Instagram Shoppable Posts, and Pinterest Buyable Pins.
Top 5 best Free ecommerce platform
We’ve reviewed the top 5 Free ecommerce platform on the market today to help you figure out which is the best fit for your business. Different enterprise have different demands depending on their business model, sales volume, and a variety of other factors. Here are the top 5 Free ecommerce platform available to online marketer in 2020:
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, so you’ll have to install WordPress (open source) on your host, then install the WooCommerce plugin into your site
Benefits of WooCommerce
- 100% Customizable :It offers several themes, which could be tailored according to your choice and the demand of your business. After selecting the most suitable one, you can customize all its sections (header, footer, product sheets, checkouts, etc. ). It is possible due to the free access to CSS, HTML and PHP style code.
- Great Flexibility: It is suitable for all kinds of online shops, regardless of their market niche or their products! WooCommerce can be built to sell physical, virtual or downloadable product. It can also be adapted to affiliate systems and other business models. Woo brings the ability to accept almost all sorts of payments.
- Optimal Security: Woo-commerce is regularly updated to keep up to date with cybersecurity. It features great shopping cart — secured and robust. It is frequently updated to dismiss all bugs and issues. Thus, with Woo-commerce you need to worry about the security issues. But the Woo-commerce plugin does not combine elements such as the SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) or backup tools, to make backups.
- Apart from this, there are also profits like mobile-friendliness, large community support and more.
Downsides of WooCommerce
- There are plenty of extra fees such as theme, modules, hosting, and domain name. It may label itself as free, however, a theme may cost more than $100 dollars, the domain will be $30 and hosting can be anything from $4 a month to $5,000 for enterprise site
- WooCommerce has some moving parts. It need hosting + WordPress + the WooCommerce plugin. As a starter can get intimidated by this, especially with tasks like SEO, security, hosting, and caching. There is a big learning curve if you are just starting out which is why new starters opt for something such as Shopify
- Frequency of updates
- Hard to implement multi-currency
- Wishlist functionality, which is hard to use in WooCommerce Free ecommerce platform
Magento is a popular eCommerce platform that most business use to take advantage of their online channel. However, the open source edition is not as effective as the Enterprise edition. Fortunately, you can still run a profitable business using Magneto Open Source
Benefits of Magento
- SEO Friendly : Magento stands out in this sense, both in its web architecture and in the sections that can be customized in this sense. For example, it allows you to modify the URL of each of its pages. It is also possible to alter their meta descriptions, the sitemap and other aspects.
- Multiple customization options: This platform has a simple interface, with multiple customization options. Of course, you don’t need to be familiar with style languages like CSS or HTML.
- On the other hand, you almost never need to search for an extension with Magento, since the feature list is overwhelming and is available right out of the box. This includes features such as coupons, sitemaps and bulk import/export as well as conversion tools such as one-page checkout and order tracking
Apart from this, there are also cons like:
- You can send out product alerts to clients for automated marketing. This can combine price alerts and back in stock messages
- Magento allows you make separate multi-lingual sites that load up depending on the user’s location. This is a great feature for large or enterprise website
- You can customize the user interface and admin area as well as your store so it will look exclusive
Downsides of Magento
- Very expensive plans: Magento Community Edition is a free version, aimed at entrepreneurs and startups. However, it can be quite expensive when you take into consideration the costs for themes, hosting and the domain. In the case of larger companies and online shops, Magento becomes a very expensive solution (compared to Shopify, for example)
- Need for hosting : Unlike Shopify and other e-commerce platforms, Magento customers must host their websites in hostings. Its configuration and proper operation, in addition, is the responsibility of the owners of the online store.
- WooCommerce vs Magento: Which is better?
- Squarespace: Migrate Your Online Store From Squarespace To Magento
Square Online Store was one of the earliest e-commerce platforms that could accept mobile payments from vendors on the go, and has since burgeoned into one of the most widely used e-commerce solutions on the web
Benefits of Square
- Relatively easy to use : Just simply download the online store app, install it into your computer, and then launch its user-friendly drag-and-drop editor to create an unique site for free.
- Predictable flat-rate pricing: Setting up an online store using Square Marketplace is inexpensive. You can create your store with no upfront fee, no listing fees, no setup fees, no monthly fees. Just a 2.9% + $0.30 fee per online sale which is admittedly reasonable compared to the standard transaction fees on other platforms.
- Impressive feature sets: Square shares an exceedingly diverse ecosystem with third-party app integrations. You can take advantage of this to set up additional eCommerce website functionalities.
- Square is a comprehensive selling Free ecommerce platform that facilitates both online and offline selling
- Affordable chip card readers
- Free tools for selling online
- All-in-one payment
- Visually appealing
Downsides of Square
- Some account stability issues
- Not suitable for high-risk industries
- Square does not have an entirely reliable customer support system
- Not ideal for big companies with huge transactions : Square is only good Free ecommerce platform when you want build a basic websites. Because of the simple nature of its features, you will find it difficult to build or run a complex eCommerce store.
osCommerce is a great platform because it is easy to use, easy to tweak, and simply to get running just the way you want it. The main osCommerce software is completely free. You can just download it straight from the official site. The platform has more than 8,845 free add-ons that make the creation of your website seamless.
Benefits of osCommerce
- Amazing support: The online support is pretty awesome, you’re not going to be getting direct support. Besides, there are hundreds of thousands of people involved in the wider osCommerce community with over 1.5 million individual posts, so chances are high you will be able to answer anything that comes up reasonably quickly.
- Easy to make more advanced customizations: If you want to hack, modify and manipulate the site for more control, osCommerce Free ecommerce platform is particularly easy to open up and make more advanced customization to. Even beginners can go in there and make modifications rather simply. In addition, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding and paying a developer to work with osCommerce.
- Supports Free Plugins and Add-ons: Similar to WordPress, the strong community and the sheer number of websites running the osCommerce software mean that there are a wide range of free plugins and add-ons available. Some of these are paid, but a large number are still available free of charge.
Downsides of osCommerce
- Can Be Error Prone: osCommerce can be prone to errors and breakdowns, particularly once you’ve gone as far as hacking the code yourself. This can be a problem if you’re doing a lot of volume — no one wants the shop to be broken when a customer gets to the checkout so it’s important to find an excellent developer who knows how to protect the site. Currently, there is only two osCommerce free ecommerce platform approved developers to assist you, which is a little worrying
- Requires More Manual Intervention: As a result of the way some of osCommerce features are built, more manual intervention is required than with other software options. This means that you’ll have to spend more time making updates, keeping the site secure, and working on things like SEO.
- Doesn’t Always Scale Well: The main point you might consider going with something different like Magento is due to the reason that osCommerce isn’t known to scale that well. Where Magento is built to scale, osCommerce is built for smaller-time applications.
Spree Commerce is a great if you’re looking to build and market a digital website within a short time frame because it boasts a streamlined set of core features that can be customized to fix your requirements. Spree is a Free ecommerce platform. However, you have to pay monthly fees for several functions, hosting, security, and a sellers account among others.
Benefits of Spree
- Easily customization construction allowing users to create the ideal store for their business.
- Light, fast, and flexible with a powerful back-end admin module.
- Comprehensive support package plus Ruby on Rails community offers solid and reliable support.
- Spree officially maintains many extensions to provide additional functionality that isn’t available out of the box.
- Fast and easy integrations with third-party solutions.
Downsides of Spree Commerce
- Coding skills or technical assistance are needed.
- Currently, only a handful of themes is available.
- In some cases, some “common” functionality may require custom development.
What are the best Free ecommerce platform for SEO?
SEO is crucial when it comes to the success of your e-commerce website. As you know, 93 percent of all internet activities start with a simple search. Basically, if customers can’t find your store, then your business is bound to fail. According to eCommerce-platforms.com, below are the top Free ecommerce platform for SEO and their score.