As eCommerce continues to grow and become more mainstream, so too has the number of best free eCommerce platforms for small businesses.
From Amazon to Shopify and everything in between, there are a ton of eCommerce solutions available to small businesses looking to expand their digital presence and drive more customers their way.
However, which one is the right fit?
Luckily, we have done the research for you and compiled a list of the top 6 best free eCommerce platforms for small businesses.
Each of these eCommerce solutions comes with its own unique set of features suited for different types of businesses.
And, as a small business owner, you can probably guess which eCommerce platform is best for you too.
Read on to learn more about each of these eCommerce platforms, their features and how they can help you start your own eCommerce business.
OLITT is a new entrant (launched in 2021) but has proven to be one of the best eCommerce platforms for small businesses looking to expand their reach.
With more than 10K active users, OLLITT provides a simple way for businesses to sell their products and services online.
It also offers a wide range of features that can help attract customers, including customizable themes, advanced product management tools, robust content management options and social media sharing integration.
To get started with OLITT, you just need to create an account.
- No coding needed to get started
- Free SSL certificate to secure your store
- SEO tools to map your store on search engines
- Unlimited storage on the paid plan ($29.99 per year) and host up to 10 websites
- Fewer templates on the free plan
- Support via forum & KB only on the free plan
WooCommerce is a free eCommerce platform that can be used on WordPress websites.
It is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms on the market today, downloaded at least 30,000 times every day from WordPress.or and 5,106,506 live websites are using this platform.
What makes WooCommerce unique is its flexibility.
With WooCommerce, you can easily design your own store to suit any business type or niche.
Additionally, it offers a wide range of integrations with third-party apps like Big Commerce and PayPal.
- WooCommerce is free, making it a low-risk way to start your business.
- Is open source, which means that it can be modified and customized to suit your business needs.
- Has a large user base, with lots of support available online for new users.
- WooCommerce doesn’t charge you any transaction fees.
- Offers a wide range of extensions and add-ons, making it easy to customize your store.
- Is compatible with all major e-commerce platforms, including WordPress, Magento and PrestaShop.
- WooCommerce is mobile friendly, which means that you can use it on any type of mobile device.
- Has a large library of free themes and templates you can use to customize your store.
- The learning curve for WooCommerce is pretty steep, making it difficult for beginners to start their e-commerce stores right away.
- WooCommerce charges a premium fee if you want to use its branding elements like logos and icons in your store.
Gumroad is a free eCommerce platform that provides developers with the tools to create and sell digital products.
With Gumroad, you don’t need a website or any other kind of store to sell your digital products.
All you need is an email address to sign up for a free account.
Once you sign up, you can start selling your digital product on the platform by creating an account and setting an individual product price.
Gumroad is one of the best options for creators of digital products who are looking to start selling their work online and generate revenue from their online efforts.
Gumroad also comes with features like customer support, analytics, and payment integration, which makes it easy for users to promote their products on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter without having to go through any additional steps.
- Simple to use interface: Gumroad’s interface is very simple and easy to use. You can create and sell your digital products in minutes.
- Flexible pricing: Gumroad offers you the flexibility of setting individual product prices that you want to charge.
- Easy payment integration: Gumroad lets you integrate with any payment gateway of your choice, including PayPal, Stripe, etc.
- Discount codes available: Gumroad has discount codes available that you can use to promote your products.
- No A/B split testing: A/B split testing is a feature that lets you test different versions of your product page to see which converts better. Gumroad doesn’t offer this feature at the moment, but it might be available in the future.
- Gumroad doesn’t offer live chat or a Facebook group where you can interact with other users. Instead, they only have email support.
If you are looking for a free eCommerce platform that provides everything you need to start selling digital products online, Gumroad is the best option for you.
It is easy to set up an account and start selling your digital products right away without having to go through any additional steps.
However, if you want to sell physical goods, Gumroad is not the right choice for you.
BigCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce solutions for small businesses because it comes with a number of features that make it a competitive platform.
This includes the capability to create and manage multiple stores, advanced inventory management tools, and website builder software.
BigCommerce also provides support for integrations with third-party apps so you can easily integrate your online store with other useful platforms like Shopify, PayPal, and Stripe.
- No credit card is required to get the free trial
- The free trial is a full-featured version of the app that you can use for 30 days
- BigCommerce offers a number of add-ons and extensions for your store
- You get a free domain (domain extension like mystore.mybigcommerce.com) if you don’t want to spend on a custom domain yet.
- Only 15 days of a free trial is provided to get you started, so be sure that this is what you want before signing up! After the trial, it will cost $29.95/month or more to continue your store’s operations. The price may vary depending on which plan package you chose during the sign-up process.
- BigCommerce is an all-in-one platform that limits your choices and options, without the wide range of choices you would get with other eCommerce platforms.
Shopify is a popular eCommerce platform that offers a plethora of features perfect for both small and large businesses.
With Shopify, you can create an online store in minutes without any technical skills.
As an added bonus, Shopify has an app for your smartphone so you can easily manage your sales from anywhere.
Plus, the platform is customizable to fit your needs with over 100 themes available to choose from.
- Easy to get started. If you are new to eCommerce, Shopify is a great platform for you. It allows you to create an online store within minutes without any technical knowledge or skills.
- Shopify has a plethora of features and add-ons to help grow your business. You can easily integrate your social media accounts and make use of their marketing tools to help promote your business and increase sales.
- You can get live support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through phone or email.
- You will have limited options on templates and plugins compared to other eCommerce platforms like Bigcommerce or WooCommerce. Shopify also has limited support for third-party apps compared to other eCommerce platforms like Bigcommerce or WooCommerce.
- Shopify charges a fee of 2% on all transactions, in addition to the fees charged by any other payment gateway.
- The free trial lasts for 14 days. After that, you’ll need to move onto a paid plan if your budget can afford it. The cheapest option starts at $29/month.
Weebly is a great platform for businesses with fewer than 100,000 visitors per month. This is because Weebly offers easy-to-use drag-and-drop website design tools that will help you build your website in no time.
Plus, Weebly has over 1 million websites currently on its platform, which means there are plenty of opportunities for your business to find the right audience and boost traffic to your site.
Another big perk when using Weebly is its subscription model.
For as little as $12 a month, you can enjoy unlimited storage. You also get a free SSL certificate and a free domain name.
- With more than 100 themes to choose from, you’ll be able to find a design that suits your site perfectly.
- The drag-and-drop interface is easy to use, making it a convenient tool for building your store.
- With their free plan, you get access to live chat, email, and phone support as well as their community forum.
- If you are on the free or Personal subscription plan, Weebly will show ads and branding from Square, our parent company.
- Weebly charges a 3% transaction fee on top of the fees that your payment gateway will charge you.
Choosing the Best Free eCommerce Platform for Small Businesses
As a small business owner, it is your responsibility to decide which eCommerce platform best suits your needs.
However, before you make that decision, be sure to consider these factors:
- What type of customer base do you need to reach?
- What are your company’s goals and how will you measure their success?
- How much do you want to spend on the platform?
These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself before deciding on the right eCommerce platform for your business.
When looking for the right eCommerce platform, you should consider your budget and business goals.
If you are a small business owner with limited funds, there are several free eCommerce platforms that have the features needed to start an online shop.
However, if you have a larger budget and want more customization options, there are also paid eCommerce platforms that offer more features.
The best way to find the right one for your business is to evaluate your needs and decide what is most important to you as a small business owner.