With eCommerce stores currently taking 17.2% of all retail sales, with a sustainable growth rate of 13.7% yearly, owning an online business has become an extremely reputable way to make money. However, new starters can find this challenge intimidating, and more money is often spent than made. In the past, building an eCommerce store meant knowing programming and HTML, but now there is a collection of simple and affordable providers for anyone launching an independent business.
With the likelihood of having little to no money very common, a new business needs insight into the cheapest and most effective platforms. We’ve done the research for you, so here are the most cost-effective ways to build an eCommerce store so you can get selling.
Using WordPress with WooCommerce
WordPress in itself is a very simple, open-source platform. 27% of all new website owners opt for this route, making WordPress the ideal platform for a huge array of people. Not to mention, it is the solution used by 42% of eCommerce owners due to its high-quality features and reliable sources. The third-party WooCommerce plugin that powers the eCommerce functionality is free, but there are optional paid features. The basic free version is more than enough to get going. Then, if combined with the payment gateway Stripe, you can be taking payments in under an hour.
Ideal for less technical entrepreneurs, and with a huge amount of free learning content available online, it makes building your website less intimidating and much faster.
There are, in fact, two different types of WordPress to choose from to get the best build for your site. These are ‘Wordpress.com’ and ‘Wordpress.org’, and both provide a slightly different service to the user.
The latter is the version we have been talking about and it provides all the services and tools suggested. WordPress.com, however, is just slightly different. It has a free version of WordPress but the tools and service are rather minimal. There are upgrades available in different price plans, which can rise to £36 a month, depending on the size of your site. The most expensive plan is generally for larger eCommerce stores that get thousands of visitors every day. This version will take care of any updates or additions without the need of the owner having to do it. It also offers a huge amount of storage space.
Magento Open Source
Extremely similar to WordPress, Magento is a software that offers an open-source style platform. By this, it means it is open to be developed within a collaborative public manner while giving the user access to the source code. Some of the biggest businesses in the world started on Magneto, and with 20% of all eCommerce sites now using it, it has proved a successful way to grow your business.
Unfortunately for some, this platform asks its users to be skilled web developers. Understandably, this is not an available trait for everyone. Because of this, they may have to pay someone to build the platform for them.
However, Magento is one of the best platforms for flexibility and accessibility, as the software has an accessible tool kit and features to suit almost any site . The most important areas that it offers range from SEO optimisation to product browsing and store credits – everything an online store would need to give a great user experience.
By far one of the easiest platforms to purchase and navigate, Shopify is targeted at beginners.
With dedicated plans for those who want to take their eCommerce further, prices start from as little as $9 a month. The best part about this platform is the service standard. Customers have the confidence that their work is with a reputable site that handles almost every process from payments to shipping, all while offering the user the design flexibility to work in a way that suits them.
By having complete control, the user can learn the interface on a deeper level. While having access to all parts of the platform, Shopify gives them the design freedom that will ensure their eCommerce site has the functionality and look that users are looking for.
A rather simple platform, Big Cartel could potentially be the choice for someone who wants to test if they can build and run their own eCommerce store. The platform is a great starting point but has limited features.
One of the limitations of Big Cartel is that it only allows its users to sell up to five items on the site. However, they offer this for free, making it a more attractive deal to many.
By setting themselves apart and targeting those who wish to have an easy solution for an eCommerce store, Big Cartel is now home to over 250,000 sites. It has also reached a goal of selling $2.5 billion of products for its clients, despite its small service selection.
Thanks to its ease of use and the ability to create a great site with no coding or experience, this platform should definitely be included in your initial decision-making process.
When choosing how to build your online store, be sure to do your research and find a platform that best suits your eCommerce needs. We all want to find the most cost-effective way to build and run a site while being confident in its ability.
For those who are after a small eCommerce site, Big Cartel and Shopify are the cheapest options. However, if you have more products and need more functionality, Magento and WordPress are more suitable.
If you’re still not sure which platform to choose or you don’t have the skills or time to do it yourself, why not take a different route? You can always find a website developer to build your eCommerce site for you. This way, you have an experienced and reliable source that you can talk to and share ideas with so you get exactly what you want.
If this sounds like something for you, then why not get in touch. We might be able to help!