Do you want to skip the read and get right to my top pick? We find Shift4Shop to be the best free online store website builder overall.
Introduction to the Best Free Online Store Website Builder:
Welcome to our guide for the Best Free Online Store Website Builder.
Selling products online has become more popular and many entrepreneurs incorporated it as part of their strategy. They either pursued online selling along with their local stores or switched to online selling entirely. However, selling online is not only about getting a website and then opening the shop right away.
It requires passion, knowledge, and the right tools in order to succeed. There are plenty of builders out there that can help you create an online store and you will have opportunities to pick one that caters to your needs.
Our 5 Best Free Online Store Website Builder List:
Here are our top candidates for best free website builder for online store:
- Shift4Shop – Overall best free online store maker (My Top Pick!)
- Square Online – Unlimited products and no transaction fees but small ads
- ECWID – no ads and no transaction fees but limited to 10 products.
- Big Cartel – No ads and no transaction fees but limited to 5 products
- BranchBob – versatility with generous free plans
Bonus: Shopify (free trial) – Top eCommerce Platform (unlimited products, 4 payment gateways, 0%* transaction fee)
Quick Summary Comparison Table for The Best Free Online Store Website Builder List:
|Rank||Platform||Key Features||Limitations||My View||Try for Free|
|1||Shift4Shop (My Top Pick!)||Comprehensive features, unlimited products||Only free when using their payment processor||Best for an all-inclusive ecommerce platform if using their payment processor||Try for Free|
|2||Square Online||Great integration with Square POS, unlimited products, no transaction fees||Limited customisation and design options, small ads||Best for existing Square POS users or simple online stores||Try for Free|
|4||ECWID||Can add a store to any website, mobile responsive, no ads, no transaction fees||Limited free plan features, only 10 products||Best for adding a store feature to existing websites||Try for Free|
|5||Big Cartel||Good for small catalogs, easy to use, no ads, no transaction fees||Very limited features, especially SEO and only 5 products.||Best for artists and creatives with a small catalog||Try for Free|
|6||BranchBob||Free, easy to use, no transaction fees||Limited customization, not many integrations||Best for those wanting a simple, free online store||Try for Free|
|Bonus!!!||Shopify||Powerful ecommerce features, easy to use||Free trial, Transaction fees without Shopify Payments, paid themes||Best for a scalable and feature-rich online store||Try for Free|
What is a Free Online Store Maker?
A free online store maker is a tool for you to turn your business into an online business. It has customisation options that can help you design your website so your customers can view your products. The best free online store website builder also has numerous features to make online transactions easier.
When you pick the best free website builder for an online store, you will get into selling your products or services in no time. So the next time you find yourself asking “what is the best free online store builder?” – you now have an idea.
How We Chose the Best Free Online Store Makers:
When selecting the best free online store website builder, you should first consider what you intend to sell and how to go about it. If you are someone who intends to open up an online store on the side but not ready to fully commit yet, then you are better off with a free online store maker.
If you do intend to dedicate yourself fully to the online store, it is safe to go for the free website builder for online store with affordable premium plans. That way, you can get access to more features that are usually valuable for entrepreneurs – whether you are a beginner or an expert. The best free online store builder usually offers paid plans that have beneficial add-ons.
Our Best Free Online Store Website Builders in Detail:
1. Shift4Shop – My Top Pick for the Best Free Online Store Website Builders!!!
This eCommerce platform used to be 3dcart before it was acquired by Shift4 Payments, a payment solutions company. 3dcart was already known for its robust eCommerce system and active technical support. After the acquisition, this impressive free online store maker was relaunched as Shift4Shop. This makes it the best free online store builder if you want a store with impressive online transaction systems.
- Zero transaction fees forever
- Allow users to sell a wide variety of products
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Free custom domain
- Extensive inventory management
- Advanced marketing tools and integration
- Plenty more helpful plugins and apps
- Real-time shipping
- Automated tax rates
- Integrated sales channel
The main advantage of Shift4Shop is that you can avail all of its features and functionality at no cost. You can access some tools for free while other eCommerce platforms require a monthly subscription. Additionally, there are a lot of store-related add-ons you can use that do not require complex integration. This is the best free online store builder if you want a convenient transaction system.
Because of the numerous customisation options to choose from, some people find this best free online store website builder a bit overwhelming and difficult to use. According to some reviews, the technical support provides inconsistent guidance or instruction. Some say that it is difficult and lacking while others say it is quite accessible and helpful.
This free website builder for online store and all its tools come with zero cost but only for businesses in the US.
This is the best free online store website builder that's free for American stores. For those who live outside the US, here are its pricing options:
Square Online initially started out as a digital payment company that assists in making transactions for businesses easier. They built tools and created communities that help local businesses sell their products online. With this in mind, they created their own free website builder for online store.
- Impressive website templates
- Advanced features designed for businesses and services
- Integrated transaction system with store inventory and appointment system
- Multiple payment options
- Automated system that handles taxes, payroll, and employee benefits
- Delivery and shipping add-ons
You can get most of the features above without the need for a monthly subscription. But what sets Square Online apart from others is the abundance of third-party apps in their marketplace. This is the best free online store website builder with apps that help you sell, manage inventory, and handle your business. Additionally, this free website builder for online store is known to guarantee an intuitive user experience.
This best free online store website builder option does not offer a domain name for your website. A Square logo is displayed on the footer of your website but you can remove this if you upgrade to a paid plan.
You can use Square Online for free but if you decide to upgrade to a premium plan – you can choose three.
This is the best free online store website builder for creative professionals to sell their masterpieces. It was created by the same people who needed it – artists, filmmakers, illustrators, musicians, and more. Big Cartel is also surprisingly easy to set up a store with. After all, the best free online store builder is something that should not be difficult to use.
- Free and aesthetic themes
- Real time stats
- Free custom domain
- Automated tax
- Shipment tracking system
- Assists in discounts and promotions
- Vacation mode
Big Cartel is considered to be the best free online store website builder for “light” eCommerce needs. It has a free plan and the paid plans are affordable. If you have some technical knowledge, you can make tweaks and changes to the site’s code of this free website builder for online store.
According to some reviews, this free website builder for online store lacks channel integration. You end up copy-pasting from your social media and other sales channels. This may be the best best free online store website builder for starting out but it is not ideal for larger stores that require advanced functionalities. It also has limited payment options compared to others.
While artists can access some of the features of Big Cartel through their free plan, it is recommended to go for the paid plans to take full advantage of what this best free online store website builder can bring. It will help you track inventory, allows bulk editing, and give you more options when customising your store.
Branchbob is another best free online store builder that offers generous plans. You can access tools and get benefits with this eCommerce platform but they are not as extensive as Shift4Shop. This free website builder for online store requires no coding experience.
- Can sell unlimited products and variations
- Zero transaction fees
- Unlimited storage
- Get custom domain
- Automated inventory tracking
- Numerous language options
With Branchbob, you can sell unlimited products and their variations without additional cost. Most of the functionality and features you can use to enhance your online store are available for free.
Many find the templates of this free online store maker outdated compared to themes from other premium platforms. Third-party apps are considered few and limited. On top of that, the Branchbob logo is displayed in your website’s footer and some might find it annoying.
You can use this as the best free online store website builder since it does not come with any hidden costs.
Ecwid is a free eCommerce plugin that you can use to construct an online store for free. Unlike the other builders we have on this free online store maker list, Ecwid is not standalone software. Instead, it provides you with a widget you can place on your site. This explains its name – Ecwid – for ‘ecommerce widget.' You insert some lines of HTML code into your site and from there, your store will be displayed.
- Free option gives you discount coupons, payment gateways, and up to 10 products to sell only
- POS functionality
- Mobile POS
- Built-in design tool to match your site's template/design
- Completely free
- Decent features included in the free plan of this best free online store builder option
- Secure and user-friendly
- Responsive design
- GPDR compliant
- Lacking SEO features for the free plan
- Doesn't allow you to create a complete eCommerce site
- Phone support available only for Premium plan subscribers
Like we said, Ecwid is completely free. However, if you want to upgrade to a paid plan, here are its pricing options:
Be sure to read their service terms before deciding to use or subscribe to this plugin.
Shopify appears on our list of the best free online store builders, despite offering only a 14-day free trial. A highly popular and all-around eCommerce builder, it has extensive features that allow maximum customisation and scalability. As a result, your site grows alongside your business. What's great about Shopify is that it's well-suited to all sizes of businesses – from small to large enterprises.
Here are Shopify's pricing options if you're sold to the platform after its two-week trial offering:
Conclusion and Recommendations for the Best Free Online Store Website Builder:
Now, to wrap up this best free online store website builder review;
If you plan to build an online store, there are tons of options for you. If you know what you need from the best free online store builder, then you should narrow the choices down to the following;
- Try Shift4Shop for free – Best free online store maker overall
- Try Square Online for free – Unlimited products and no transaction fees but small ads
Is it possible to create an online store for free?
Absolutely! Some online store platforms offer free plans, even the paid ones have a free trial period. Once you get the hang of how to manage the best free online store builder, you can upgrade to premium plans.
Are Premium Plans even necessary?
If you are just starting out with your online store, it is safe to stick with the free plans first to get to know the whole system better. Once you feel like you have learned enough, unlocking the paid Premium plans can help you scale your business more. The premium plans usually have amazing additional features that help you manage your business and sell more. But that does not mean you should not try a free website builder for online store first.
Does Wix have a free online store maker?
Wix lets you add an online store to your free website but you need a paid plan in order to accept payments. So you really can’t do ecommerce on it for free.
That's all for now:
If you've read all the way through this free online store maker guide, we are thankful. We hope you can now answer the question of what free online store maker options are right for you! We have a large collection of articles, guides, and comparison reviews of eCommerce solutions, web hosting providers, website builders, and more! Feel free to check them out;
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