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The 10 Best Free Online Stores For 2022

The best free eCommerce platforms include Square Online, BigCartel, WooCommerce, PrestaShop, Ecwid, and Magento.

    Kate Hoots
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If you aren’t already selling online, it’s time to get started. The challenge is discovering how to set up an online store quickly — and without spending a fortune. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling. From a physical store owner looking to add online sales to your business plan to an artist or musician with digital items to sell or even a service provider needing an easier way to connect with customers, online continues to be the best way to reach customers and drive sales, with a massive 32% growth in eCommerce sales reported last year.

The good news is that it’s not just possible to create a free online store, it can be fast and easy to do it, even if you don’t have a lot of technical expertise or any web development experience at all. To help you, we’ve identified 10 of the best free online store options for you. Check out our list of the best free eCommerce platforms, then follow our step-by-step guidelines for using these free online selling platforms to reach your customers and start making money!

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Best free online store for makers and artists with a small product line.
Best free online store for makers and artists with a small product line.

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Best free online store for selling on a WordPress site.
Best free online store for selling on a WordPress site.

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Best for mid-size businesses that can handle a technical challenge and sell internationally.
Best for mid-size businesses that can handle a technical challenge and sell internationally.

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Best free online store for sellers who already use Square to process in-person payments.
Best free online store for sellers who already use Square to process in-person payments.

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Best for individuals and novice sellers who want an easy-to-use free online store.
Best for individuals and novice sellers who want an easy-to-use free online store.

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Other Featured Options:

  • Magento: Best for mid-size and large businesses that want a customizable solution and have technical support on tap.
  • Stripe Payments: Best free eCommerce option for businesses that want to sell online without a full store.
  • Shift4Shop: Best free online store for businesses wanting a sophisticated no-cost option.
  • Mailchimp: Best free eCommerce platform for companies adding online sales to their sales mix.
  • PayPal: Best free eCommerce tool for businesses that want a full sales site.

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

10 Best Free Online Store Options

This list of the best free online store options includes free eCommerce platforms that are easy to use, even for beginning sellers. A few of these free online selling platforms require a little more expertise. Read our summaries of 10 best free eCommerce platforms to see which is right for your free online store:

  • BigCartel
  • WooCommerce
  • PrestaShop
  • Square Online
  • Stripe
  • Shift4Shop
  • MailChimp
  • Ecwid
  • Magento
  • PayPal Business

1. Big Cartel: Best Free Online Store For Makers & Artists With A Small Product Line.

Big Cartel



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Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Geared toward artists
  • Customer support available for all users

Cons

  • Limited products on free plan
  • Not scalable
  • Limited integrations

Incredibly easy to use, BigCartel is a cloud-based, fully hosted website builder designed with artists, not tech experts, in mind. That means you don’t have to download any software, take care of your own site security, or learn complicated operations to use BigCartel. You just have to answer a few easy questions to open a free online store, list up to five items, and start selling almost immediately.

  • Free plan allows up to 5 product listings
  • Can upgrade to paid plan, reasonably priced at $10-$20/month
  • Custom domain
  • Free themes to customize your store’s look
  • Sell online and in-person
  • Discounts and promo codes
  • Sell digital products only on paid plans
  • Shipment tracking
  • Automatic sales tax calculation
  • Sell on social media
  • Sell internationally, with up to 20+ currencies
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) tools
  • Integrations with print-on-demand services

Payment Processing Costs

Building your online store and connecting with customers is just the beginning. You also need to be able to take payment from them when they want to buy. BigCartel makes it easy, offering several good choices for processing customer payments. You can start with two well-known payment processors, Stripe and PayPal, and then add ePay for instant checkout and Venmo payments. You can also offer your customers a buy now, pay later option (BNPL) that lets them spread their payments out over time at no risk to you.

Unlike some eCommerce platforms, BigCartel does not take a portion of each sale you make in the form of transaction fees. However, the payment processor you use almost certainly will. These processing fees are unavoidable and fairly standard among processors. Once you decide on how you’d like to accept payment in your online store, be sure you understand the payment processing fee structure for that provider.

What To Consider About BigCartel

We think BigCartel is a good option particularly for artists and makers who want to build a free online store that’s easy to use and maintain. Of course, the flip side to that ease of use is this platform’s limited features and customization options. If you’re going for eCommerce in a big way, BigCartel may not suit you. But if you’re looking for a simple and free online store platform, and if you plan to list no more than five products at one time, BigCartel should suit you just fine.

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2. WooCommerce: Best Free Online Store For Selling On WordPress

WooCommerce



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Pros

  • Always free
  • Customizable
  • Unlimited growth
  • Numerous integrations available

Cons

  • Limited customer support
  • Site hosting not included
  • Developer knowledge required

WooCommerce isn’t really a platform; it’s simpler than that. It’s a plugin — a piece of code — that you add to an existing WordPress website to add eCommerce capabilities. (You’ll need a paid WordPress account to make the plugin work.) WooCommerce is open source, and that means it’s entirely free to download and use. It also means you will need to handle the work of coding and building your online store on your own. Here are some highlights:

  • Unlimited customization
  • Free themes available
  • Works exclusively with WordPress sites
  • Sell physical and digital products
  • Guest checkout or customer account
  • Shipping calculator
  • Delivery options include pickup, local delivery, and shipping
  • Inventory management
  • Coupons and discounts
  • Product reviews
  • Built-in SEO best practices
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Mobile friendly
  • Geo-location support for shipping and tax calculation

Payment Processing Costs

WooCommerce comes with eight built-in payment processing options, including WooCommerce Payments, Stripe, PayPal, and BNPL option Klarna Payments. If you don’t like the built-in payment choices, you can add one or more of the dozens of payment extensions available.

Although you can’t escape paying a percentage of sales to your credit card processing provider, WooCommerce is also set up to allow you to accept check payments, direct bank transfer, and cash on delivery. WooCommerce itself does not charge any transaction fees.

What To Consider About WooCommerce

We rate WooCommerce as one of the best free online store options, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for every user. For one thing, this plugin works only on paid WordPress accounts, so while the eCommerce plugin itself is 100% free you’ll have to budget for a WordPress subscription. Furthermore, if you don’t have coding experience, you may find the software frustrating. However, if you’re already using a WordPress site, you’ll find yourself ahead of the curve when it comes to using WooCommerce to add a free online store.

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3. PrestaShop: Best For Businesses That Sell Internationally & Can Handle Technical Challenges

PrestaShop



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Pros

  • Always free
  • Highly customizable
  • Numerous integrations
  • Strong user community

Cons

  • Expensive customer support
  • Developer skills required

An open-source eCommerce solution with an international reach, PrestaShop helps users sell their goods across the globe. It’s free to download and use, although you’ll still pay for web hosting, support, and any extensions you add. PrestaShop is a technically complex option and to get the best experience, you need a solid understanding of code or the resources to hire someone who can manage the technicalities for you. In exchange for this complexity, however, you gain access to robust features and endless customization. Here’s a summary:

  • Multiple available currencies, languages, and international payment processors
  • Multi-currency checkout
  • Automated exchange rates
  • Inventory, supplier, and manufacturer checkout
  • Product variants and bundles
  • Digital products
  • Social media sales
  • One-page checkout
  • Giftwrapping option
  • Tax calculation
  • Create coupons and discounts
  • Reports and analytics
  • Abandoned cart recovery tools
  • Coupons and discounts
  • Customer engagement tools

Payment Processing Costs

PrestaShop is free to download and use, but if you want to process credit and debit card payments, you’ll need to add a merchant account or a third-party payment processor. That’s not free. PrestaShop partners with ViaBill and Stripe and you can add an integration with PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Klarna, Skrill, Authorize.net, GooglePay, Square, and more. Each processor will charge a set percentage of the sale as a transaction fee.

PrestaShop itself will not charge any transaction fees on the sales you make.

What To Consider About PrestaShop

Keep in mind that while PrestaShop is free to download, you’ll still bear the cost of hosting and integrations, as well as expenses related to hiring a developer if you don’t know how to code. To get support from PrestaShop, you’ll pay an additional cost. Overall, while this may not be the easiest solution, its extensive features and international reach mean PrestaShop earns its place on the list of the best free online store platforms.

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4. Square Online Store: Best For Sellers Who Already Use Square

Square Online



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Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Ideal for low-volume merchants
  • Sell in-person and online
  • Integrates with the Square ecosystem

Cons

  • Limited customization
  • Limited features
  • Limited payment options

Already using Square’s point-of-sale payment processor, and looking to add online selling to your mix? If so, you may not have to look far to find the best free online store. Square Online is an easy-to-use website builder that lets Square customers create a complete online store for free with site hosting, security, and customer support.

Here’s a sample of what Square Online includes:

  • Unlimited digital and physical products
  • Sell services, tickets, and donations
  • Sync with Square POS
  • Automatic tax calculator
  • Create coupons and discounts
  • Sell and accept gift cards
  • Unlimited products
  • Automatic inventory, orders and items sync with Square POS
  • Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest integrations
  • Free SSL security
  • Inventory management
  • Order status text alerts
  • In-store & curbside pickup
  • Third-party delivery
  • Automatic tax calculator
  • Coupon codes
  • Square gift cards
  • SEO features
  • Order customization

Payment Processing Costs

Use the free Square Online store, and you have just one choice of payment processor: Square. You’ll pay the typical Square processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. You can enable Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Square Payments as well.

If you decide you want a little more from your Square store, you might consider signing up for a paid plan, reasonably priced at $12/month and up. In that case, depending on your plan level, you will pay a slightly lower percentage, at 2.6% + $0.30, and gain the choice of adding PayPal as a payment option for your online store.

What To Consider About Square Online

Square is one of the leading payment processors aimed squarely at small businesses. If you’re leaning toward Square or already use it to process your payments, Square Online could make the step up to a free online store an easy one for your business. As you continue to see growth, you may decide to take advantage of other Square offerings, like scheduling, invoicing, and banking, among others.

Get Started with Square Online

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5. Ecwid: Best Free & Easy-To-Use Online Store

Ecwid



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Pros

  • Suited for startups
  • Easy to use
  • Add an online store to any existing site

Cons

  • Not scalable
  • Basic design tools

It won’t get you a complete free online store, but sellers who want a simple solution that lets them sell up to 10 products online will like what Ecwid has to offer. It’s not a platform but a widget: a simple, easy-to-use software application anyone can activate by copying and pasting just a couple lines of code into an existing website. The free plan includes an instant one-page website with your products listed. Here’s what else the free plan delivers:

  • Sell on any website or social media feed
  • List digital goods
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Social media advertising
  • One-tap checkout with Apple Pay
  • POS options
  • GDPR compliance
  • Self-help support options
  • Gift cards

Payment Processing Costs

Payment options are somewhat limited with Ecwid. The free plan lets you connect with three point of sale options: Square, Clover, and Alice. More than 40 payment gateways are supported, including Stripe, PayPal, 2Checkout, and Authorize.net.

You can expect to pay the usual transaction processing fees to your provider. Ecwid does not add any fees on top of that.

What To Consider About Ecwid

We think Ecwid’s free plan is best suited to very small online sellers, those who are just starting out, or artists who sell their pieces and want a free online store that lets them reach more customers. In that capacity, Ecwid can give a great start to sellers looking for an easy way to take a limited number of products online. As you find success, you may discover that you are ready to transition to a paid plan, starting at $15/month.

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6. Magento: Best For Customizable Solutions

Magento



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Pros

  • Free to download
  • Impressive feature set
  • Highly customizable and scalable
  • An active global user community

Cons

  • Developer skills required
  • Steep learning curve
  • No customer support

Unlike other software you can use to build a free online store, Magento Open Source software comes loaded with a ton of advanced features and built-in functionality that will meet even the biggest companies’ needs. And it’s completely free to download and use. The catch: Magento is not known for user-friendliness. In fact, you need a good amount of experience with software development to implement this platform. With that in mind, we recommend Magento primarily to larger businesses that have a team of software pros on hand. Because you use Magento to build a free online store that meets your exact needs, it’s fully customizable. Still, an impressive number of features are built-in:

  • Integrated checkout, payment, & shipping
  • Mobile optimized website
  • Global selling
  • Multiple store capabilities
  • Catalog management
  • Instant purchase
  • One-page checkout
  • Inventory management
  • Coupons and discounts
  • Share on social buttons
  • Sell digital products and bundles
  • Multi-site capabilities
  • Advanced SEO tools
  • Permissions
  • Print invoices, packing slips, and shipping labels from your admin
  • Advanced pricing rules
  • Order tracking
  • Filtered search

Payment Processing Costs

Build a free online store with Magento, and you’ll immediately be able to accept purchase orders, checks, and money orders. To accept card payments, you’ll need to integrate a payment processing service. You’ll find prebuilt integrations for Square, PayPal, Stripe, Braintree, and other popular options. Your transaction fees will depend on which processor you choose.

You don’t have to worry about anyone else taking a cut of your sales, because you will pay $0 in transaction fees to Magento.

What To Consider About Magento

If you have the technical know-how to make Magento work, you won’t find a better software for building a free online store. However, if you’re just getting started selling online, Magento may be more powerful than you are ready for. In general, Magento is a good solution for mid-size to large businesses that need customizable and feature-rich selling software. Magento is only a good option for smaller businesses if they have the resources to hire a developer.

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7. Stripe: Best For Businesses That Want To Sell Online Without A Full Store

Stripe Payments



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Pros

  • Aimed at small business
  • No added fees
  • Integrates sales and delivery
  • Automatic customer communication

Cons

  • Does not include website
  • Setup requires iPad

A longtime champion in the payment processing arena, Stripe takes on another element of eCommerce with the introduction of STORES, a partnership with OmtrekSoft. STORES is billed as M-commerce, or mobile commerce, and it enables online selling without requiring the buildout of a complete online store. And you can add other elements that help you track inventory and delivery as well as enable your customers to track their orders in real-time. This requires the use of three separate free mobile apps: SHOP, SHOPPER, and SHIPPER. Here’s what SHOP itself allows users to do:

  • Build a simple online store
  • Invite customers to buy
  • Receive orders as they’re placed
  • Manage orders all the way through the process
  • Automatic order updates via email and SMS
  • Track and optimize field operations
  • Monitor deliveries on GPS map
  • Promotions and daily deals
  • Integrated rewards program

Payment Processing Costs

When you use the SHOP app from Stripe, you’ll be locked into using Stripe for all your payment processing on sales made through SHOP. But don’t worry, you won’t have to pay a premium for the service. Stripe will charge its standard 2.9% + $0.30 fee per transaction made via credit or debit card. That’s probably similar to what you pay for card processing in your brick-and-mortar store and comparable to what you’d pay for online sales with most processors.

What To Consider About Stripe

We included this option from Stripe in the list of the best free online stores, even though it’s technically not a store because we think it fills an important niche.

If you’ve found success selling at a physical location, these days your customers may be clamoring for a way to order online and even to have their purchases delivered. Through the SHOP app, Stripe has found a way to meet those customers’ demands without requiring busy business owners to find time to build and maintain an online store. Even if you’d like to someday make eCommerce a part of your business plan, Stripe and SHOP may be just what your business needs right now.

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8. Shift4Shop: Best For Businesses Wanting A Sophisticated Option

Shift4Shop



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Pros

  • Generous free plan
  • Flexible and robust features
  • No transaction fees
  • Can grow with your online business

Cons

  • Inconsistent customer support
  • No choice on payment gateway

Shift4Shop is an eCommerce platform that offers a range of paid plans in addition to a forever free plan. Unlike other companies that offer a free plan that’s bare-bones only, Shift4Shop’s free End-to-End plan lets users build a fully hosted and completely free online store, with premium features and no limits. And this is a fully hosted platform, not open-source software. Shift4Shop software is very user-friendly, making it possible to build a free eCommerce website that works, even if you’re not a tech pro. The only catch is you must use the in-house payment processor, Shift4Payments. Here’s what you can expect from the free plan:

  • Unlimited orders
  • Real-time shipping
  • Single-page checkout
  • Advanced reporting
  • Product reviews
  • Purchase orders
  • Shipping labels
  • Unlimited product images
  • Unlimited product variants
  • Inventory control
  • Digital downloads
  • Giftwrapping
  • Registry and wish lists
  • Gift certificates
  • Email marketing
  • Store credits
  • Daily deals
  • Promotions scheduler
  • Saved carts
  • Customer-relationship management tools
  • Tax rate features
  • Upsell and cross sell features
  • Blog
  • Google Pay and Apple Pay
  • Financing solutions offered at checkout

Payment Processing Costs

If you use Shift4Shop’s $0 End-to-End plan to build a free online store, you will need to use Shift4Payments as your store’s default payment provider. Expect to pay the typical transaction fee of around 2.9% + $0.30 on each sale as your payment processing fee. Shift4Shop does not charge additional transaction fees on top of payment processing charges.

What To Consider About Shift4Shop

Among free online selling platforms, it’s hard to find one that combines such generous access to advanced features with extreme ease of use. Shift4Shop is not an open-source software solution that requires coding and web development knowledge. If you’re looking for a fully functional and fully free online store, and if you don’t mind limiting your payment options to Shift4Payments, this could be a good option for you.

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9. MailChimp: Best eCommerce Platform For Small Businesses Adding Online Sales

Mailchimp



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Pros

  • Start selling in minutes
  • Sell from your current website or connect a new domain
  • Automate customer communications based on activity and engagement
  • Connect 250+ integrations

Cons

  • Transaction fees
  • Support options limited on free plan
  • MailChimp branding on pages

After years atop the list of best free email newsletter software, MailChimp decided in 2020 to dip a toe into eCommerce. The result is a free plan, in addition to paid plans, that lets users build sites with unlimited pages and bandwidth and enough features and tools to run a functional free online store. Though the paid plans, at $10-$29/month offer more tools, the free plan still boasts an impressive number of features:

  • Online store with unlimited pages and products
  • SEO tools
  • SSL certificate
  • Site visit analytics
  • Unlimited products
  • Payment processing
  • Abandoned cart emails
  • Order and shipment confirmation
  • Sales reporting
  • Basic appointment scheduling
  • Free stock photos
  • Pop-up forms

Payment Processing Costs

MailChimp websites include payment processing by Stripe. Expect to pay the standard transaction fees to Stripe, as you would to any payment processor. In addition, on its free plan, MailChimp charges its own 2% transaction fee.

What To Consider About MailChimp

If you’ve used MailChimp for email marketing, you probably know that it’s not only highly-rated but also as easy to use as it is effective. The addition of eCommerce to the MailChimp family seems to be in line with previous offerings from this company that’s not monkeying around when it comes to your business.

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10. PayPal Business: Best eCommerce Tool For Businesses That Want A Full Site

PayPal



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Pros

  • Easy signup
  • Easy payout
  • Adds eCommerce to existing website
  • Access to PayPal business features
  • Sell online or in-person

Cons

  • Must take payment via PayPal
  • Not a complete website

Let’s face it, eCommerce isn’t the same for every business, and not everyone wants or needs a full website for sales. If you have an existing website that you like and want to add a simple payment option, a PayPal business account might be just what you need in order to deliver a free eCommerce option. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Checkout
  • Buy now, pay later options
  • Recurring payments and subscriptions
  • Invoices and estimates
  • Social media selling
  • Accept credit and debit cards
  • Accept payment in person
  • Create QR codes for touch-free payment

Payment Processing Costs

PayPal is a convenient payment option, and it’s free to sign up for a PayPal Business account. If you use that account to make sales, you’ll pay transaction fees that are higher than the average for payment processors. These fees vary widely and will depend on how you accept payment. For example, if you use a PayPal/Venmo QR code for transactions above $10, you’ll pay 1.9% + $0.10. Under $10 and you’re looking at 2.4% + $0.10 per transaction. And when you use PayPal Digital Payments, the rate will be 3.49% + $0.49 per transaction. If you’re drawn to PayPal Business, make sure you understand the transaction fee schedule.

One word of caution: PayPal Business does not easily refund these transaction fees when your customers return their orders for a refund from you. So if you’re considering using PayPal Business, you might want to take a good look at your return policy and factor that in.

What To Consider About PayPal Business

If you’re looking for a free online sales option that’s easy to implement and won’t cost you any time or money to maintain, PayPal Business might be just what you need. We think it can be a solid option for new businesses that have website they like and want to add some online sales to their business plan without developing a completely new website.

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Free VS Open-Source eCommerce Software: Which Is Better?

Most of the free online store options we present above fall into two categories: either a free subscription to cloud-based software or open-source, downloadable software. Let’s take a closer look at these two categories to find out which option is best for your business.

Open-source eCommerce software platforms are apps made available to the general public. You typically download the software for free, and all the documentation used to build the software is available for public use. In general, open-source software is highly customizable, with strong features.

Businesses that benefit from open-source software are typically mid-size to large businesses. These businesses need customizable software, and they often have access to a developer.

Cloud-based shopping carts are generally easier to use for the average seller. Rather than dig into the code, you’ll be able to use pre-made templates and tools like drag-and-drop editors that allow you to customize your site, within set limitations. And if you build your store using a hosted software solution, you won’t need to arrange for site hosting, security, or a custom domain name, unless you choose to do so.

Choosing The Best Free eCommerce Website

It’s a good thing that, in the software world, “free” doesn’t have to mean low value. You can find a wide variety of free, high-quality eCommerce software that lets you dive into online sales without spending a lot of money on monthly subscription fees and other costs. But how can you be certain what type of free eCommerce software is right for your business needs?

To land on a great choice, you’ll have to make a number of smaller decisions along the way.

  1. Cloud-based software or open-source software? This decision should be based on your technical experience and your preferences regarding customization. Sellers who would prefer to have their site’s hosting and security managed for them should choose cloud-based software, while sellers who prioritize customization should choose open-source software. If you choose open-source, look for an option that is free to download, has the built-in features you need so you don’t pay for add-ons, and doesn’t make you pay for software updates. If you choose cloud-based, look for the ability to list as many products as you will need, free hosting and domain name, customer support options, and affordable paid plans, in case you decide to upgrade in the future.
  2. What features does your business absolutely need to be successful? Think about things like the ability to list digital products, calculate taxes and shipping costs automatically, and track your inventory totals. You should also look into customer support options to make sure your business can manage with the support options available.
  3. How do customers rate the software? Go online and dive into the available customer reviews. Do users have a generally positive experience with the platform? Software without a significant number of reviews or with a large number of negative reviews is often outdated and clumsy to use. You can visit our website for full reviews of all the software mentioned here and more.
  4. What payment processors do you want to use? Some of these options for free online stores limit your choices to an in-house payment processor. Others offer numerous integrations so you can work with the processor you’re most comfortable with. Either approach can work well, as long as you know what you’re getting.

Once you’re narrowed your options to one or two platforms, take the plunge and sign up for (or download) the software. Since it’s free, you’ve got nothing to lose, and there’s no harm in testing multiple products. Trying out the software for yourself will give you a good understanding of whether or not it can work for your business.

If you choose to use any of the software apps on this list, we feel confident you’ll have a positive experience. Even if the software isn’t a perfect solution, it is free, and it’s hard to go too wrong with a free option! No matter which software you select, we wish you the best of luck in your venture into online selling.

For more information on setting up an online store, check out our complete guide to starting an online store for your brick-and-mortar business as well as our free eBook: The Beginner’s Guide To Starting An Online Store. And, if you’re interested in eCommerce but not quite ready to take the plunge, take the first steps by learning how to sell on social media, including Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram.

Free Online Store FAQs

Which free eCommerce software is best?

For beginning sellers who want an easy-to-use, free selling solution, we recommend Square Online. It’s an all-in-one free eCommerce software that includes web hosting. Square Online also offers unlimited product listings, and you can sell in person as well as online.

What is the best open-source eCommerce platform?

We think the best free eCommerce software overall is WooCommerce. It provides the tools most businesses need to sell online, and it is relatively easy to use. Especially if you already use WordPress for your website, you’ll find the free WooCommerce plugin to be an affordable and agile solution for your eCommerce needs.

Are there free website builders with eCommerce built in?

BigCartel, Ecwid, and Square Online all offer elements of both website building and eCommerce. However, many popular website building software, such as Wix and Squarespace, do not offer any free eCommerce features.

Do any free eCommerce platforms have unlimited products?

All open-source eCommerce platforms allow users to list an unlimited number of products. Square Online and Shift4Shop are the only cloud-based eCommerce solution we know of that have limitless products on their free plans.

When should I upgrade to paid eCommerce software?

Only one free online store plan lets users plan for unlimited growth: Shift4Shop’s forever free End-to-End plan. If you use another free eCommerce software, you might consider upgrading to paid eCommerce software when you find yourself needing to access features such as real-time shipping and tax calculation that aren’t available on the free plan. This only applies to cloud-based software since most open-source platforms are always free.

Is free eCommerce software worth it?

Using free eCommerce software is a great way to get started selling online without incurring expenses that limit your profitability. Once you have established your online store and seen how adding eCommerce to your sales mix can benefit your business, you may be more willing to set aside a budget for a more robust eCommerce solution. For that reason, we recommend choosing software that offers an affordable paid plan you can grow into, even if you don’t need it right away.

What is the easiest eCommerce platform to use?

We often recommend Shopify as the overall easiest platform for beginners who want an easy entrance into eCommerce. Although it’s not free, most users find Shopify to be reasonably priced compared to competitors. You can learn more about Shopify and what it costs, to decide if it is the right solution for you. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial, too, to see if Shopify can deliver what you need for your online store.

Among free eCommerce software, Big Cartel is one of the easiest to use. Although the free plan limits stores to five products, it can be a good way to get started selling online, and Big Cartel’s paid plans are among the best priced available.

How do I make a free online store?

First, do your homework. Visit our website and read our reviews of the most popular eCommerce options. Narrow your search to the best one or two platforms for your business, then download the free software or sign up for the free trial plan, if you’re looking at something other than free eCommerce software. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to building your sales website!

 

In Summary: 10 Best Free Online Store Options

  1. Big Cartel: Best free online store for makers and artists with a small product line.
  2. WooCommerce: Best free online store for selling on a WordPress site.
  3. PrestaShop: Best for mid-size businesses that can handle a technical challenge and sell internationally.
  4. Square Online: Best free online store for sellers who already use Square to process in-person payments.
  5. Ecwid: Best for individuals and novice sellers who want an easy-to-use free online store.
  6. Magento: Best for mid-size and large businesses that want a customizable solution and have technical support on tap.
  7. Stripe Payments: Best free eCommerce option for businesses that want to sell online without a full store.
  8. Shift4Shop: Best free online store for businesses wanting a sophisticated no-cost option.
  9. Mailchimp: Best free eCommerce platform for companies adding online sales to their sales mix.
  10. PayPal: Best free eCommerce tool for businesses that want a full sales site.
Kate Hoots

Kate Hoots

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
An expert in business banking, consumer finance, and online payments, Kate Hoots has been writing about small business commerce since 2020. A former journalist for the West Linn Tidings and the Wilsonville Spokesman, Kate boasts wide experience in business leadership and communication. She has a degree in English Literature from Lewis & Clark College.
Kate Hoots
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