If you’re just starting out your online business or are looking to create a new website, you likely know that success is nowhere near guarantee and you may therefore be hesitant to invest a substantial amount of money into your online platform. However, luckily for you, there are many free website builders, webstore builders, and activity booking/event planning tools on the market that you can explore!
One of the major names in webstore building is Shopline. You can customize the appearance of your shop by first choosing from pre-made themes then using drag and drop design to change up the elements. When listing products for sale, there are a few features that stand out like the ability to import products from your instagram page’s photos, the option to set up pre-orders, and the ability to remind customers when a product is almost out of stock. Other built-in tools include membership tiers, coupons, promotions, and store credit. If you wish to further push products, you can have a shopping cart-add on that suggest products to customers, and if they leave a cart without completing the order, Shopline includes abandoned cart reminders. Once orders have been placed, businesses can use Shopline’s order management system which includes delivery tracking. In order to help businesses assess how to improve, there also are analytics and marketing tools (like SEO). As you would want from any webstore, Shopline builds secure websites. If needed, businesses can also reach out to Shopline’s support team for assistance.
In terms of cost, Shopline isn’t fully free. It only provides a 30-day free trial. After that, you must choose from one of their three plans (ranging in price from USD $310-1,780 per year).
Wix is another of the big names in web design, and it can be used to create both websites as well as webstores. Users simply choose a template based on what best fits their needs (whether it be for a blog, an online shop, event management, offline business creating an online platform, etc.) and customize with drag and drop design. If they wish to do so, users can also use ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) to aid the process.
As an added bonus, all websites and stores made with Wix area already mobile view optimized. They also come with a custom domain and email, however the domain will be a Wix domain unless you choose a paid package. There are built-in features for email-marketing, analytics tools, personalized SEO plans, and SSL certified security. Other standout features include the option to create member logins (for member-only pages).
For webstores, there are the standard elements like product listing with coupon and discount options, order tracking, inventory management, as well as more advanced onlines like customized shipping and tax for different regions of the world. You can also set up an online store for drop shipping and multichannel sales.
If you are setting up online booking, sales are commission free and auto-reminder emails are sent to customers. Wix caters its features to a range of business, offering, for example, online ordering and reservations for restaurants. If users need assistance, they can get in touch with Wix’s support team or ask questions through the live chat. Lastly, you can also create web apps with Corvid by Wix.
Wix has a free option as well as four other plans ranging from USD $13-39 per month. Upgrading plans comes with benefits like removed Wix ads, increased bandwidth and storage, more add-on like visitor analytics, event alanders, and site boosters.
Weebly can be used to build both websites and webstores. As with many other website and store creators, users can fully customizable pre-designed themes with drag and drop. Weebly, however, also allows its users to customize by going through the html/css script. All created sites are SSL secure, include integrated analytics, social media marketing, SEO, emailing marketing, website search, and abandoned cart reminders, and they are SSL secure. Users can transfer an existing domain or buy one form Weebly. For webstores, Weebly offers product listing and organization, advanced inventory and supply tracking, coupons and gift cards, the option to set up customer reviews, and checkout with a fully-integrated shopping cart and automatic tax calculator. There are also tools for both domestic and international shipping. If users encounter confusion or troubles, they can seek help through 24/7 email and chat support.
Weebly’s most basic plan is free, and it has three others ranging from USD $6-26. If users wish to connect a custom domain, they will have to purchase a plan. When users pay for a plan, they gain advantages like the ability to sell digital items, access to unlimited storage, phone support, advanced ecommerce insights, more customer payment options, and the removal of ads.
WordPress is one of the world’s most-used website builders. It uses customizable, mobile-friendly themes that are customizable with drag and drop. WordPress offers built-in SEO, Google Analytics, and Mailchimp tools, and users can further add on with limitless plugins for whatever other needs or wants they may have. Webstores set up with WordPress include all the standard features, as well as options to accept one-time or recurring payments and to do international transactions. If needed, businesses can find help from WordPress’s support team through 1-1 QuickStart sessions as well as live chat or email.
WordPress does have a free plan, but many features are reserved for the four paid ones. For example, custom domains, access to live chat and email support, custom ccs, google analytics, custom plugins, the removal of ads, unlimited products, and the ability to accept payment from a wider range of countries all requires a purchased plan. WordPress’s plans, however, aren’t expensive. The cheapest is only USD $4 per month, and they max out at $45 per month.
Eventbrite is used primarily for online event booking. There is a built-in payment process and event managers can view analytics for purchases that are made. While users can’t customize event listing on Eventbriteitself too much, Eventbrite allows users to embed checkout on their own sites or to create custom branded websites (although only with higher transaction cost plans). Eventbrite offers built-in payment processing, analytics, and support. It also has features aimed at both online and in-person events. For example, it offers equipment rentals, staffing and logistic assistance, and mobile ticket scanning for in-person events.
Free tickets sold on the site are always free for the event manager, however, for paid tickets there are three different available packages. One charges a fee of 2% + USD $0.79 per ticket sold, one charges, 3.5% + USD $1.59, and one has a custom option. Packages with higher cuts include more benefits like customizable checkout forms and product training. The fee can be absorbed by either the event manager or passed onto the ticket purchaser.
Another option for online ticketing and event management is Ticket2u. Users can create event listings, customizing with discount and promo codes and registration and reservation forms, and after customers purchase tickets, they can organize the event with participant management, seating charts, stock inventory control, event reminder emails, and more. Management is also made easier with a dedicated organizer page. Ticket2u additionally provides the option to embed a listing on other sites.
Listing events is free, but there is a handling fee for each ticket sale. Typically, this fee is 6% of the ticket price, but for charitable events the fee is lowered to 5%. Organizers can choose to absorb the fee and pay for it themselves, pass it off to customers and avoid the additional cost, or split it between themselves and their customers.
Talking about simplicity and the new trend observant, GoBuddy offers a full online business suite that effortlessly combines product selling, ticketing, bookings, and webinars all in one place.
Without any plugins and coding, anyone can simply register an account and setup own webpage in seconds. GoBuddy provides its customers with a management portal where they can list products and activities, send guests and customers messages, arrange deliveries, and set up automatic billings.
For added convenience, GoBuddy includes software for webinars and virtual activities so users who register for events created with GoBuddy don’t have to download another streaming app or program. GoBuddy also provides unlimited time for virtual activities, allowing for more freedom and comfort as there is no restrictive time limit.
In addition, GoBuddy also allows users to create bundling combinations between products and events. There is also a matching portal where users can connect with other merchants to cross-sell among each other.
The basic plan, which includes all ecommerce and booking software features, is always free, but there is the option to upgrade to the builder plan for HKD 99 per month (about USD $12.50). With this upgrade, users can accept online payments, create discounts, larger shipment networks, live shopping, and access to the matching portal for cross-selling.
Visit https://www.gobuddy.asia for account registration.
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