You may have a great business idea for a product to sell online. However, you might fall short on the capital to fund your sales campaign. The first thing to do before you launch your online store is to scope and assess your immediate competition. Simultaneously, you must be prepared to capitalize on sales opportunities in the future. So, conduct a thorough market research to find out what your customer needs. You must also identify what other companies are doing to fulfill that need. Simply knowing the best way to sell does not make the cut anymore in today’s competitive market.
It is necessary to get creative with limited resources in unique ways to understand how to start an online store with almost no money! Many ecommerce platforms including Ecwid, Weebly, BigCommerce, and Volusion either offer a free trial or feature a basic plan. Alternatively, you can consider Constant Contact and Big Cartel which are two prominent names in the market that let you build and sell free of cost by starting an online store for free.
Here we discuss the different ecommerce platforms that will help you start an online store with almost no money.
If you own a small business and are looking for a simple but functional online store, Ecwid is a great choice. This platform allows you to sell up to 10 products for free. Though many may view this feature as a limited opportunity, it is still a great way to start selling without any investment necessary upfront. The online store can be easily integrated with your existing website for you to start selling instantly. It is compatible with popular website builders and hosting services including Wix, Joomla, and Weebly among several others. Ecwid helps you start an online store for free. You can also check out their Venture plan that extends access to premium features not included in the free store. For a mere $15, you can increase the number of products to 100 and enjoy dedicated staff support.
Weebly offers a free plan for building and launching a basic website. Unlike Ecwid, there are no free plans for online stores. You can still start your online store with almost no money using the Pro plan that will cost $12/month. The best part about the Pro plan is that you still get to enjoy a ton of free features and tools to help you efficiently sell your products online. For example, you will enjoy Google Ads credits worth $100 upon subscription. The Pro plan also features unlimited storage with free SSL security protection for your online store.
Powered by Bluehost, WooCommerce is another affordable ecommerce option for small businesses and first-time sales entrepreneurs. If you are a WordPress user, WooCommerce is a great choice as it is built for seamless integration with WordPress. Again, it is not completely free but its basic plan will cost you no more than $13.99/month. The Starter bundle provides you with 100GB storage space with a dedicated IP including seven web domains over a secure SSL connection. Additionally, you get $100 worth of Google Ads credits among other marketing tools and resources. WooCommerce also provides discounts on their subscriptions for the online store so we recommend you to check their official website for offers. Currently, the WooCommerce Starter plan is available for $6.95/month. Note that the offers are subject to change depending on the policies outlined by the ecommerce business.
BigCommerce features a trial plan that helps you start an online store with almost no money for a limited period. The trial is valid only for 15 days but nevertheless gives you access to the complete online store. One of the main highlights of the ecommerce platform is its integration with SEO services to drive free traffic. The pages are built for better search results and allow you to optimize parameters accordingly. The online store is highly responsive, features flexible product and inventory management, and customizable online checkout options for moving inventory efficiently. Accepting payments just got a whole lot easier with BigCommerce as the online store supports PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net. These are commonly used payment platforms that offer well-rounded payment options for instant checkout. The Standard plan of BigCommerce will cost you $29.95/month which some might consider to be quite pricey. But with this plan, you can start your online store for free as you eliminate the need for investing in a physical storefront.
Volusion is a slightly premium option to consider when you want to know how to start an online store with almost no money. Note that some capital investment is necessary to pay for the services that boost your online sales. For $29/month, you can sell up to 100 products over the platform that features unlimited bandwidth over a secure connection. On the bright side, there are no transaction fees applicable on sales so you get to save some money. You can start the online store for free, use the services, and cancel anytime you want during the trial period. However, you will have to purchase a premium plan to avail all the marketing and sales features after the first 14 days of free subscription. The online store is intuitive to use and you can add products or manage inventory services with ease. Built-in-SEO tools also divert organic traffic to your online store. You can seamlessly integrate major marketplaces like Amazon and eBay among several others.
Alternatively, you can explore Big Cartel and Constant Contact, two services that offer a free plan that is better than a trial package. They may not be ranked among the top providers but can help you start an online store for free. Big Cartel and Constant Contact, both offer a free platform for building a website and selling a limited number of products.