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Set up an online store in minutes to sell on a website, social media, or marketplaces.

The Best Way to Create an Online Store For Free

9 min read

What’s the best way to make money online? There are a lot of options available to aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs. One of the most popular routes, however, is to create an online store. Building and operating an online store has a lot of notable advantages. It’s a good opportunity to gain some business management experience. There is tremendous variety in the opportunities available when making an online store. And, when done right, building an online store is a low-cost venture that does not need to require a ton of work.

One of the biggest obstacles to starting any business is often the overhead cost. But this does not need to be a major concern when creating an online store. In fact, it’s possible to create a store online with little to no upfront cost. Does that sound intriguing? Here is a detailed guide on how to make a free online store, and make good money doing it.

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Create My Own Online Store For Free: Getting Started

Even if the setup process is free, you will need some preparation time beforehand. Identifying what products to sell, who to sell to, and how to sell are all crucial early steps.

Existing Website, or Creating a New Website?

The first thing you will need when building an online store is a website of your own. Creating a website usually costs money. However, there are ways to set up your online store’s website for free with certain ecommerce platforms (more on that later).

This step might also look different if you already have an existing website for your business or a blog. If you already have a website, then you can add ecommerce features to create an online store for free. However, this does not necessarily mean that you no longer need to pay for your domain.

Even if you do end up paying for website hosting, it usually only costs a few dollars per month.

What To Sell?

Another crucial early consideration is figuring out what to sell in your online store. If you already have a business, then this part is easy. You can continue to sell your existing inventory, perhaps making some slight moderations to suit your new online platform.

But if you’re starting a new business, figuring out what to sell requires some research. Finding a niche that works for you is highly recommended. This usually means finding products related to a hobby or activity that is in high demand, but has low market competition.

Additionally, other considerations like price points and shipping and handling costs are also important during this phase.

Finding an Ecommerce Platform

Ecommerce platforms like Ecwid have made online stores easier to start, and easier to operate, than ever before. There are several good options to choose from when searching through ecommerce platforms, but very few that are free.

So if you’re trying to learn how to make a free online store, choosing a free ecommerce platform is important. Ecwid is one of the few platforms that are free to use, and even lets users set up their websites for free as well.

Ecwid’s free plan allows online store owners to create product listings, set up payment and shipping options, and design their own custom website layouts. While more advanced options are available for a fee, Ecwid’s free plan offers unbeatable value with zero upfront cost.

Other Considerations When Creating an Online Store For Free


Even if you create an online store for free, you may still incur some operational costs. But there are several ways to minimize these costs while running your online business. For instance, one popular business model for online stores is to use dropshipping.

Dropshipping is a method of order fulfillment where online stores simply act as facilitators between manufacturers and consumers. With dropshipping, you simply need to create product listings for the items you wish to sell, and set a good price point. The product’s manufacturer is responsible for warehousing and order fulfillment. This means you have no direct inventory costs. You only pay for inventory when a customer buys something from you. Therefore, you always make a profit.

Another option to keep operation costs low is to sell handmade goods. This may seem like a more niche idea than others. But a platform like Etsy has helped many entrepreneurs run their own successful online stores selling handmade crafts.

Payment Methods

Another important factor to consider is which payment methods you will use for your online store. Offering multiple payment methods can be a huge convenience for your customers, which can result in more sales. There may be processing fees involved with certain payment methods, like most credit card companies. However, you will only need to pay these fees when making a transaction, so there is no direct cost.

Availability and flexibility of payment methods should be a factor to consider when choosing your ecommerce platform as well. Some platforms are more flexible than others when it comes to adding multiple payment methods to your online store. Ecwid, for instance, is highly adaptable and makes it easy for stores to accept multiple payment methods from customers. So if you’re wondering how to make a free online store with PayPal, simply signing up for Ecwid is a good place to start.

Business Strategy and Marketing Plan

Last, but certainly not least, is everything involved with operating your business. This includes a marketing plan, setting and maintaining a budget, and preparing for potential expansion. It also includes things like your store’s name, your website layout, and your social media presence.

Creating an online store is relatively easy to do. But this does not mean you shouldn’t do any work when running your store. How much time and energy you put into growing your business can make a huge difference.

However, if you are just getting started, then those first few steps are most important. That’s why Ecwid makes it extremely simple to get started on building your free online store. Want to learn more about what it takes to run an online business? Read our guide to marketing your business online.


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About the author

Anastasia Prokofieva is a content writer at Ecwid. She writes about online marketing and promotion to make entrepreneurs’ daily routine easier and more rewarding. She also has a soft spot for cats, chocolate, and making kombucha at home.

Ecommerce that has your back

So simple to use – even my most technophobic clients can manage. Easy to install, quick to set up. Light years ahead of other shop plugins.
I’m so impressed I’ve recommended it to my website clients and am now using it for my own store along with four others for which I webmaster. Beautiful coding, excellent top-notch support, great documentation, fantastic how-to videos. Thank you so much Ecwid, you rock!
I’ve used Ecwid and I love the platform itself. Everything is so simplified it’s insane. I love how you have different options to choose shipping carriers, to be able to put in so many different variants. It’s a pretty open e-commerce gateway.
Easy to use, affordable (and a free option if starting off). Looks professional, many templates to select from. The App is my favorite feature as I can manage my store right from my phone. Highly recommended 👌👍
I like that Ecwid was easy to start and to use. Even for a person like me, without any technical background. Very well written help articles. And the support team is the best for my opinion.
For everything it has to offer, ECWID is incredibly easy to set up. Highly recommend! I did a lot of research and tried about 3 other competitors. Just try ECWID and you'll be online in no time.

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