When it comes to starting an eCommerce business, most newbies are quick to turn to third-party marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon, mostly due to a lack of experience with web design or online marketing strategies. The typical costs associated with starting a business, estimated to be over £12,000 according to a Lloyds Banking Group study, is often another off-putting factor for someone who is just looking to make a little extra cash.
However, low-cost online store builders have made it easier than ever before for the average person to build a fully functioning, professional and high-converting eCommerce website, without having to invest their life savings or spend years of their time learning coding and web design.
But, with so many options to choose from when it comes to storing building software, how do you know which is best? Well, in this detailed article, I’m going to reveal the top 5 online store builders for launching an eCommerce business for less than $50. In fact, some of the solutions outlined in this guide are entirely free to use or cost less than the price of your average Friday night takeaway.
The best part about WooCommerce however is that it’s entirely free to use, the only cost is for WordPress hosting, for which I would recommend one of the dedicated and exclusive WooCommerce hosting solutions from some of the biggest providers around. Generally speaking, hosting won’t cost more than $10 – $20 per month.
- Cost: Free (Hosting Required)
- Established: 2011
- Users: 3.5 million (approx.)
Launched way back in 2004, Shopify is one of the original and most popular online store builders around, powering a whopping 500,000 websites and increasing yearly. Some of the biggest benefits of using Shopify include it’s simple pricing, huge range of extensions and internal Shopify payments system. Furthermore, Shopify is compatible with some of the best dropshipping add-ons around, making it extremely popular among those who prefer to source their products directly from manufacturers or wholesalers, rather than hold physical inventory.
- Cost: From $29 / month
- Established: 2004
- Users: 500k (approx.)
Another reliable and robust company, BigCommerce excels in simplicity, flexibility and efficiency. At the time of writing this article, BigCommerce powers more than 100,000 online stores across over 60 different countries, from start-ups to globally renowned brands such as Toyota. It also prides itself on flexibility, as well as its extensive built-in features and detailed analytics.
- Cost: From $29.95 / month
- Established: 2009
- Users: 100k (approx.)
While technically a platform for building blogs and other information-type websites, Weebly is quickly becoming a popular choice for launching an online store, mostly due to the extremely low pricing, growing features and ease of use. As it stands, Weebly powers over 50 million websites across the globe, making it extremely reliable, established and trusted. Pricing starts at less than £10 per month which includes a free domain and Google Adwords voucher.
- Cost: From £9 / month
- Established: 2006
- Users: 50 million (approx.)
Similar to Weebly, Wix was originally launched in 2006 as a general website builder but recently launched a tailored eCommerce option after it’s boom in popularity. With over 500 customisable templates, multichannel selling options as well as dropshipping extensions, Wix is becoming a strong competitor to Shopify and WooCommerce.
- Cost: From $17 / month
- Established: 2006
- Users: 180 million (approx.)
To conclude, these are the 5 best low-cost online store builders based on my several years of experience in the eCommerce industry. However, some viable alternatives which are growing increasingly popular include 3dcart and Mozello. For more detailed information, along with comprehensive reviews of each, please refer to this list of the best online store builders.
When it comes to learning how to use any of the software solutions mentioned in this guide, YouTube is the place to go. With tons of lengthy, professional and detailed videos which take beginners through the entire process of setting up a store on WooCommerce, Shopify, Wix or BigCommerce, you can’t go far wrong. Here are a few suggestions to point you in the right direction:
- Complete Shopify Tutorial for Beginners
- Complete WooCommerce & WordPress Tutorial
- BigCommerce Tutorial for Beginners 2020
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