With ecommerce and an automated website, everything is just several steps easier than opening a traditional brick-and-mortar. There are many ways for you to optimize for the cheapest way to build your ecommerce website.
Yet, we highly recommend against going for a development package solely for the low price. It comprises minimal functionality, probably quite a few bugs, and is wrapped around a generic design made for the mass.
With that said, we have listed 10 super affordable alternative services to build an ecommerce website.
Option 1: Squarespace
Squarespace can be a go-to name for global tech newbies out there for the aesthetic and engaging websites, thanks to their smart ads on social media platforms. It is well-known for small and scaling online clothing stores.
The service is highly favored because it’s super easy to manage, modify, and customize to any of your needs with a complete toolset from thousands of themes, and layouts, to hardware, at your disposal.
Celebrities also love Squarespace because it brings the finest results with a product setup, a mobile-ready design that is unique and satisfying, stable work across browsers, and the right tools.
- A free trial is available until you launch the site.
- The Business package starts at $23/month, and Basic Commerce from $27/month. Note that without the option for eCommerce, the standard business package won’t provide you with the check-out sites and payment gateways.
- The advanced version for eCommerce starts at $40/month.
- A yearly plan will save around 45% of extra cash.
How To Build
The account setup with Squarespace is relatively straightforward, just follow the instructions when you get there.
It’s useful to know that Squarespace is built for regular websites and not ecommerce, but it’s an excellent option for creating a unique and engaging website.
And it’s also beneficial to list your online store elsewhere to increase visibility when starting, in that way, you can boost sales while building a brand name.
Option 2: WooCommerce
WooCommerce is the for-the-retail version of WordPress, the dominating platform for website builders. Up to 42% of business owners choose WordPress as the trusted place to hold their online shop.
The one beautiful and powerful thing about the WordPress ecosystem is that you can launch your new online store and an accompanying blog all in one place. And you can do so at such an affordable cost upfront, with little time investment.
- WordPress: Free.
- WooCommerce: a free and open-source plugin – the best ecommerce tools on WordPress.
- Hosting and domain: Unless you own a self-hosted site, WordPress requires you to purchase a hosting account. Many providers offer a monthly plan for as little as $2.85 to $4 for WordPress hosting and a domain name for $8.88 to $10 per year.
- WooCommerce-optimized themes: $0-$500
- WooCommerce’s premium extensions for your upgrade: one-time payments vary from $49 to $249, applied for paid membership features, dynamic pricing, and smart coupons.
How To Build
- Once you purchase the hosting and domain name, install WordPress.
- Go to Extensions, install the WooCommerce plugin, and run the setup wizard.
- Decide on a theme for WooCommerce that fits your brand image. Remember to see the showcase of themes optimized for ecommerce stores and not for regular information.
- Install necessary WooCommerce plugins and premium features as needed.
- Upload your product details.
Option 3: Ecwid
Ecwid is a simple and quick solution aiming at supporting sales performance on existing websites. It offers a great free plan to help you quickly get started selling online.
This platform is flexible, provides a user-friendly backend, access to social media for cross-channel selling, and access to platforms of your familiarity such as Weebly, Wix, and WordPress.
Ecwid is best for businesses with an existing online presence and hoping to elevate their current asset for better sales.
It’s not suitable if you’re looking for something scalable or highly customizable. Still, if you want something that sets up fast to increase sales in multiple channels without modifying too much on what has been built, Ecwid might be what you need.
- 100% free plan for launching a selling website for 10 and under products, with limited advanced features.
- Premium plans start at $15/month.
- The Business package ($29.17/month) provides more selling options, from a POS to appearances on Amazon or eBay.
How To Build
Launching your online shop with Ecwid is simplified as a plugin solution. You’ll need an email address for signing up and filling out primary payment information, and after less than an hour of setting up little details, you’re good to go.
What’s more, there’s a mobile app that you can use to make changes with the store at any time on the go. A credit card is only needed when you decide to go for premium plans.
Option 4: Wix
Another famous website builder solution is Wix. It is best known for its effortless drag-and-drop experience with advanced features for scalability.
You can count on Wix to make it come true for any niche you may operate in. With every mobile-friendly and massively attractive template accompanied by a seamless shopping experience, you’re on the right track.
However, Wix is only suitable if you need a combo of a store, a blog, an advanced CMS, and email marketing. Because it can’t offer you a complete ecommerce website solution, only the order tracking, abandoned cart recovery, and automated sales tax remain.
- Free for 14 days
- Business Basic Plan starts at $17/month
- Transaction fees depend on the payment gateway, charging around 2.9% + $0.30.
How To Build
Wix created Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) to help you save time deciding what to build for your niche with just simple steps. After signing up, you’ll be asked a couple of questions about your plan with the online store, then Wix will offer you some freshly picked suggestions.
You’ll get to choose from over 500 design templates and start customizing on your own, or answer a few more questions and let the ADI do the work for you.
Option 5: Shopify
While the learning curve with WooCommerce can be quite something, and the simple done-for-you platforms cannot provide high-end functionalities, Shopify is an excellent combination of both. Shopify is simple, quick, and powerful to build an online store in minutes as a SaaS platform.
- Subscription is required. However, a 14-day trial period is provided.
- 10% discount on the annual payment plan, including the hosting and domain services.
- Shopify offers 10 themes for free and over 50 premium themes starting at $140.
- Shopify Lite – $9/month
- Basic Shopify Plan – $29/month
- Shopify Plan – $79/month
- Advanced Shopify Plan – $299/month
How To Build
First, you must select a pricing plan. Then create your Shopify account, and fill in the essential information to get started.
The user interface here is rather intuitive. For example, you click Products on the sidebar and then Add Products to add a product. You’ll fill in the necessity once the status is changed to Active, it will come out alive and ready to be sold.
After deciding on the theme, you’ll finish and land at the store dashboard. To view the store again, simply click the icon in the menu on the left-hand side, positioned against the Online Store, the drop-down link to change the current theme.
Option 6: Square
If you’re looking for a solution to manage both an online and offline store, Square is the one. From selling in person at the fair to a seamless buying transition, Square allows you to monitor all of your orders under one simple dashboard to ditch a pile of spreadsheets, manual labor, or jumping between tools and apps.
Square has some of the best onboarding around. When you sign up, you have to fill in a quick questionnaire about your business. Depending on what you’re looking for, you’ve got the option to set up a single booking page, a complete online store, or some simple checkout links. The default theme will also be tweaked to match your chosen business category.
- A free version with 2.9% + $0.30 fee per transaction for unlimited products plus a Square branded website.
- The paid option starts from $12/month, billed annually. The fee per transaction is 2.9% + $0.30, including a custom domain and ads removal.
How To Build
After signing up, you can select between a sole booking page, a complete online store, or easy checkout links. You can adjust the default theme; however, the customization capacity is limited.
On the dashboard, you can edit the site and create selling items that will be added to Item Library. For in-person sales, go to Virtual Terminal in the menu, it’s acted as a cash register but syncs digitally.
Option 7: Magento
Much like WordPress, Magento is an open-source solution for highly-skilled development. It has everything you need for a mature website, with a large capacity for performance, huge room for business scalability, and secured transactions.
Magento is capable of doing just about anything you can think of. That’s why it’s perfect for those with certain business growth and ready to expand for more. Hands down, you would need an experienced team of developers to create a store for you if you’re not the one.
Neglecting Magento from this list would be such a miss because over 250,000 merchants worldwide use Magento and generate millions of revenue each year. Brands with rapid growth should consider this platform.
- Free to download and customize.
- The hosting expenses could range from $3 to $100 per month, depending on how rapidly growing your website is and the performance required from your hosting company.
- Free and low-cost themes are available, but decent-looking ones start from $100.
- Probably the priciest thing with Magento is hiring a development agency. However, overseas outsourcing is the go-to alternative option for premium-quality outcomes.
How To Build
You’ll need to contact a hosting service and a domain name before installing Magento. You’ll provide the administration panel to start building everything from scratch.
To outsource an agency from abroad, consider Asia or Eastern Europe. Look at others’ reviews and reliable directory sites for first clues.
Option 8: Branchbob
Branchbob is another easy, convenient, and full-fledged solution to building an ecommerce website. You’ll get access to all the tools and features needed to create an online store that fits your business intention.
Branchbob also offers a custom domain name that handles both the hosting and SSL certificate for you at once. Advanced features can comprise SEO optimization, automated tax, top sellers, and more that you can easily set up without much know-how.
- Free with no extra fees.
How To Build
Once you register for an account, you’ll be asked a few questions about your store and taken right through the dashboard, where you can start creating the first product, add a payment gateway and delivery solutions, and more. Its user interface is friendly for everyone.
Option 9: Weblium
Weblium is a super affordable eCommerce website builder that offers you the shortest pathway to create an online presence to start selling as soon as possible. If you simply need to push products online for an existing brick-and-mortar, Weblium is the perfect one.
You can handle all web hosting services on Weblium, in addition to mobile-first design, cross-browser compatibility, and SEO optimization, Weblium is also occupied with the smooth drag and drop technology and smart AI for you to enjoy a speedy and satisfying building experience.
- The Pro plan, with ecommerce solutions, starts at $8.25 a month.
How To Build
- Account registering
- Basic information filling
- Dashboard creation with hundreds of templates, various styling options, and powerful integrations
- Launch to live
Option 10: BigCartel
Big Cartel is highly regarded as a light ecommerce platform, providing a handy set of tools just what small businesses need.
- Platinum plan: $9.99/month with max 50 products.
- Diamond plan: $19.99/month with max 250 products.
- Titanium plan: $29.99/month with max 500 products.
- Additional domain name fees will cost annually from $100.
How To Build
You’ll need to sign up for a free account and get a subdomain with bigcartel.com in the back. It goes like this in your URL: https://mynewbakery.bigcartel.com. And you can leave it like that without paying the extra cost for a new domain name.
And it’s all come easily for you from thereon. Register to your account, jump straight to the dashboard and start creating your online store.
We hope until now you are persuaded that the cheapest way to build an ecommerce website isn’t always going for the cheapest services out there. Technology is evolving day and night, thus the opportunities for ecommerce to grow and expand. These 10 market-sensitive companies have come up with amazing ideas to help aspiring online business owners build and maintain their online presence to accomplish their dreams.