Great e-Commerce Platforms to Build a Store for Free
The task of building your own web business is not an easy undertaking. It can be stressful, confusing, and an either cheap or costly experiment. For the would be ecommerce entrepreneur, digging through the massive amount of information available online to find the best ecommerce platform for their business is exhausting. Every platform’s sales page has the same pitch, that it is the most cost friendly, easy to use, and profit inducing machine far superior to their competitor.
The question goes from what platform is worth investigating to which is best to invest your time and money into. Below are some of the best platforms in recent years, each with their advantages and disadvantages that can make building your business less of a stressful process.
WordPress has taken massive strides in recent years to make their content management system more effective for not only bloggers but business owners. They have worked with developers to create better plugins capable of supporting full fledged ecommerce operations.
WP e-Commerce & WooCommerce are the top two plugins for wordpress users wishing to create a web business and process transactions through their site.
WP e-Commerce was developed by three developers, Justin Sainton, Gary Cao, and Dan Milward. The focus on simplicity and user experience makes it a contender for the best WP plugin for ecommerce matched only by WooCommerce. Regardless of your product, the plugin has a range of options for making it simple to list your product and control how it is presented to your potential customers.
With everything from inventory control to how your web business accepts payment, customization is only a few clicks away. It is one of the most downloaded plugins used for the WordPress platform and is constantly updated. WP e-Commerce has been optimized through several years of testing to be able to make the process of completing an order for your customers as quick and painless as possible.
This can lower bounce rate and lead to a less abandoned cart rate, raising your overall sales and repeat buyers. Like WooCommerce, WP e-Commerce has dozens to hundreds of available addons and upgrades that range from free to a few hundred dollars depending on the complexity and the vendor.
If you’re looking for another simple solution, Ewcid is a popular choice. Ewcid’s greatest strength is that it allows those with sites to easily integrate Ewcid quickly without too much hassle. Ewcid is capable of selling across multiple devices whilst also being integrated directly into your social media channels to make shopping and reaching customers even easier. When it comes to ecommerce, bridging the gap ever so slight gap between your web store and your customer at as many opportunities will only lead to higher sales.
Your web store would also be able to easily integrated into shopping aggregate sites and marketplaces alike such as ebay, google shopping and amazon, making the channels for which your site can be visible amongst competition more effective. It will allow customers to buy directly from your site or through one of those 3rd parties, opening the possibility up to reviews which could increase traffic.
Wix offers a simple drag and drop store builder that makes it appealing for any newcomer to ecommerce. It’s cheap, effective, and clean design makes it customizable within reason and makes it a valuable addition to this list.
While it is not an overly complicated piece of software and may not have many of the options that are offered of other paid services, for free it offers a solid space for you to host your products while you learn. It is often treated as a starter service for many ecommerce users as it’s easier than any of the alternatives. It’s the newbie friendly web store builder for small businesses.
Definitely the most flexible of the options presented, OpenCart has been around for nearly a decade. OpenCart is an open source ecommerce platform. This means that it is a piece of software that promotes the collaboration of web developers and programmers to alter, develop, or improve the software.
This leads to a large community of users discussing the best ways to use the software, solutions to problems, and selling their services as support in place of a central team. It is a lighter option than many of its competitors, and for the price of free it is definitely a contender for best free ecommerce system. It’s out of the box features make it a robust system. However, it is not recommended for the non tech savvy. To access it’s full potential, it requires some coding knowledge.
It’s Your Choice
Ultimately, every system has its advantages and disadvantages. Only you can really understand your business so making the choice that’s best for it comes down to your own awareness of what’s required.