Creating an online store for free: pros and cons
Today, there are many online services that offer users just a few clicks to create an online store for free. For many, this idea seems interesting, but will such an online store really work? Let’s find out the pros and cons of creating an online store for free.
When considering whether to build a store for free, it is important to keep in mind that in any case, completely free from any costs will not work. After all, for example, you still have to register in the state registration authorities their business activities, pay taxes and social fees, maintain warehouses, pay the work of sellers-consultants or managers for orders, etc. So, usually creating a free online store means only directly developing and filling a store site.
Nowadays, to create a free online store, you can use special online designers, which usually offer convenient visual tools for this purpose. Such designers, as a rule, have the opportunity to choose a thematic template for the online store, select the necessary modules and components, specify the name of the online store, etc.
The advantages of this approach include the lack of costs for designing an online store and programming the required functional components. Also, when using free online designers to build online stores, you do not have to spend money on domain and hosting, as they are provided by designers for free.
The next plus to free online shopping is the high speed of development. Various online designers offer to spend the easiest time creating and filling a store in just 1 or 2 hours, while professional development of online stores, depending on their complexity, can take several weeks or months.
Customers of free online store designers are often offered a wide range of themed templates, sometimes customizable. This allows you to spend a few different templates in the online store and choose the best one, without spending any money.
What about the downsides of free online shopping? They, it turns out, are much more than the pros. For example, many of those who have already tried to create an online store for free with the help of any designer, note that their stores as a result have very limited functionality, expansion or not provided at all, or provided, but for money.
Very often, free online stores have restrictions on adding products to the catalog. As a result, the owner has to display on his virtual showcase only some of the available goods, which reduces the efficiency of the online store and the owner’s profit.
Another significant disadvantage of free online shopping is the lack of individuality in their design. Yes, there are a lot of ready-made free theme templates from different online site designers, but they are not used more than a dozen times in existing stores, and therefore are not unique to visitors or search engines. This may impede the effective promotion of the online store.
The disadvantages of free online store development are the lack of one’s own domain name and hosting: the owner of a free online store can usually obtain only minimal resources and third-level domain names and below. But if the load on the online store grows, the resources available may not be enough, and a domain name of such a low level does not cause trust from search engines and users.
Online stores created with free online designers in most cases will not be able to integrate with the accounting systems of goods, and such stores will, among other things, also advertise online designers themselves. This can also be called a serious drawback of free development for online stores. In addition, it can be noted that the services of free online shopping are often paid for: users can test the service for a short period of time and then, if they like, purchase the right package of services for money; otherwise, the user’s account and the store they created will be deleted.
So, the main advantages and disadvantages of free online shopping are clear. But what decision should be made? It is up to each company to decide for themselves how important a particular plus or minus is in a particular situation.