If you need help with any of the technical steps, we have quite a number of guides on various related topics:
📋 Common eCommerce questions answered
Okay, this is a tricky question. Or, rather, a complicated one.
First off, you cannot really launch an eCommerce store for free. I mean, okay, you kind of can get to a 90% finished store for free, but then getting it operational will cost you money. Here’s what I mean:
Some tools allow you to “create” an eCommerce store for free. However, after you do the work, if you ever want to sell anything and collect payments from customers – kind of the whole point when you start an eCommerce business – that will cost you money.
Now the question of how much exactly:
- If you go the total DIY route – meaning an eCommerce store running on WordPress and WooCommerce – the cheapest this can be is around $60 a year. This includes the cost of a domain name for your eCommerce store, a hosting plan, and anything else you need to make things work.
- If you go with a more beginner-friendly solution, you’ll need to pay in the neighborhood of $29 / month plus $14 / year for a domain name. This sort of setup runs on a platform called Shopify. This costs a lot more, but, at the same time, it’s Shopify that handles all the heavy lifting involved in getting your store online and running reliably.
If you ask me, being able to launch a fully functional eCommerce store for as little as $60 / year is incredible news! Such a thing wasn’t possible even five years ago.
Yes. And, more importantly, you don’t need any programming knowledge or skills walking into this.
The best tools available today are straightforward to use and have been created for business owners specifically, and not for website developers.
Anything you want, really.
And I’m not exaggerating. Most online store platforms allow you to sell anything, from physical shippable goods to digital products (ebooks, downloads, apps, files, software, images, etc.), services, memberships, etc.
Basically, anything you can put a price tag on, you can sell online through your eCommerce store.
One of the main misconceptions about online stores is that they are only for showcasing your products, and that everything else that happens after people add stuff to cart is yours to worry about (fulfillment, payments, etc.).
This isn’t true.
Modern online store solutions handle everything that’s involved in the actual day-to-day of a store owner, not just presenting the products on the website.
What this means is that as soon as someone buys anything from you, you’ll see that order in your eCommerce store’s software. You’ll be able to process and fulfill it from there.
Online stores handle payments with the help of what’s called payment gateways. They are an integral part of most online store software and work seamlessly behind the curtains. You don’t have to worry about the technical aspects of the process.
From your point of view, customers can pay for your items online, and then you receive a transfer afterward.
The store’s software lets you set the tax rates according to your jurisdiction. Then those taxes will be taken into account when showing product prices as well as processing payments later on.
No. You can select a beautiful ready-made design from the web and have it installed in your store. Designers are expensive, so this is a real benefit!