Long gone are the days when it used to cost arm and leg to launch your own ecommerce store. These days you can find plenty of very affordable online store builders. However, there are obviously big differences in the quality between the cheap ecommerce store builders.
On this page we list what we consider for most companies/people to be the best cheap ecommerce website builders. In addition to being extremely affordable, the top options are also easy-to-use and make it possible to quickly build a nice-looking online store.
Quick comparison of the best cheap ecommerce platforms in 2021 and their prices
About WooCom (WooCommerce): This ecommerce platform works with WordPress, which is a free and good online publishing platform. The prices listed above represent the cost of ecommerce hosting at our number one recommended WooCommerce hosting service, Hostinger. It is good to note that using WooCommerce will demand more effort from the one building a store than using, let’s say, Zyro. As such most new store owners might be better off choosing, for example, Zyro.
#1 Best cheap ecommerce platform in 2021 – from $8.99/month
Launching and running an online store should be seen as a long-term commitment: it just usually takes time to start generating lot of revenue and nice profit margins. Thus, it can be a good idea to pick an ecommerce platform that gives very good discounts for those who are willing to purchase a long subscription. And out of those companies giving discounts, Zyro gives the best discount: it is available for a per month price of $8.99. Open Zyro account.
If you are new to ecommerce a 4 year subscription can understandably seem bit intimidating. Luckily though Zyro gives good discounts also for 2 and 1 year subscriptions. For a 2 year subscription the discounted per month price is $10.99 and for a 1 year subscription it is $13.99. The regular monthly price is $24.99.
30-day money-back guarantee: As getting to enjoy the cheapest Zyro prices requires buying a long-term subscription, it is nice to know that Zyro is at the time of writing this offering a generous money-back guarantee. The 30-day money-back guarantee is available for all subscriptions.
Free hosting and a domain name: All of Zyro’s plans come with free hosting and if you choose at least 1 year subscription you also get a domain name for free for a year. Those things can obviously mean nice additional savings when compared to some other ecommerce platforms. Pick your Zyro subscription.
More reasons other than the very affordable price for choosing Zyro as your ecommerce website builder
Zyro is a rather new website builder, but after recently trying it myself I can clearly see why it has already become quite popular. The platform just makes it very easy to build an ecommerce website that looks professional and modern.
A big help for those things is the fact that Zyro has really nice free ecommerce templates/themes that you can use for your own store and customize. Additionally, Zyro should also be an extremely safe and trustworthy platform as it is owned by a huge web hosting company. For more about Zyro you can see our review or you can just launch your Zyro store.
Zyro promo code: you can get the discounts mentioned above without any kind of special discount code, but if you are looking for even cheaper prices, it might be a good idea to try Zyro promo code ZyroOFF – that code might provide additional savings.
This is how good and simple a cheap ecommerce website builder can be
In the picture above you can see an example from Zyro. To get started with Zyro’s ecommerce builder you simply pick a free ecommerce template you like and then use their simple “drag and drop” -builder to do the modifications you want to do. In addition to having lot of nice features the builder also, for example, makes it so that your store will be automatically optimized also for those who are using a mobile phone to shop in your ecommerce store. Start building your store.
#2 Another good and affordable ecommerce platform
3dcart can also be an excellent choice for building and running an online store in a very inexpensive way. That as their cheapest regular ecommerce plan, called “Startup Store”, costs normally just $19/month when paid month-to-month.
However, if you are willing to pay for a year in advance you can get the plan for an even cheaper per month price: 3dcart offers always a 10% discount for those choosing an annual subscription and additionally they run lot of discount promos. With the 10% discount the per month price for the Startup-plan drops to $17.10 and if you happen to stumble upon a special 3dcart promo, the price might go to as low as $9.5/month.
3dcart is one of the oldest ecommerce platforms, but they have done a quite good job on updating their platform. And based on my experience 3dcart’s store builder includes all the key features you need to run a nice online store.
Free trial: At the time of writing this 3dcart is giving new users a 15-day free trial. Test 3dcart for free.
A dropshipping-plan starting from less than $10/month: As seen from above, 3dcart is rather cheap option for launching an online store. However, if you are looking to do just dropshipping, it gets even cheaper. That is because 3dcart has a plan that allows you to do dropshipping for less than $10 per month. Choose your dropshipping subscription.
More about 3dcart: See our 3dcart review.
#3 Shopify – $21.75/month – the best ecommerce platform of 2021 is also quite inexpensive
If you are looking to quickly build a high-quality online store on a small budget, you should strongly consider picking Shopify as your ecommerce platform. That is because at least in my opinion Shopify is at moment the best e-commerce platform and also quite cheap to use.
The reasons why Shopify is such a great e-commerce solution include, for example, how easy it is to use, how good their apps are and how awesome their customer service is. Additionally, Shopify has really nice looking free store themes that you can use for designing your online store. And still one more great thing about Shopify, is that all their plans include pretty much all the same important features. Open your Shopify account.
On Shopify the cheapest proper e-commerce plan costs just $29/month when paid in monthly basis, but you can actually even get a really nice discount on that price if you are willing to pay for at least a year in advance. With that discount the price per month can go to as low as $21.75/month.
Free trial: Even though Shopify is cheap, it is understandable that most people want to try it before paying for it. And as such it is good to know that Shopify offers new customers a 14-day free trial. Even during the free trial you have access to all the most important features of the platform and can thus easily decide if you want to pay for Shopify. Try Shopify for free.
More about Shopify: Shopify review.
#4 Wix – $23/month – extremely fast way to build a nice looking online store
If you want to create a nice looking online store as quickly as possible, Wix might very well be your best choice. With this relatively cheap ecommerce solution you can literally have a store design done in less than 5 minutes. After that you just need do some easy customization to make sure that the store is as good as it can be for your needs.
Bonus: WooCommerce – free or $0.99/month
If you are willing to trade putting in some hours of work for low cost, than WooCommerce can be a really good choice for launching an ecommerce store. That is as WooCommerce is itself completely free and as such also obviously the cheapest ecommerce platform. However, the downside of picking WooCommerce is that building a nice online store with it might require much more effort from the one using the platform than the other cheap ecommerce solutions do.
Additionally, it is good to be aware of the fact that while WooCommerce is free, you do need to have a domain name and web hosting for your WooCommerce store. Both of those things will cost you money if you don’t already have an existing website. Luckily though there are these days some ecommerce hosting services that are very good and cheap.
And we in particular recommend using Hostinger for launching a WooCommerce store. That is as their web hosting plans appear to offer excellent value for money and additionally my personal experiences of using Hostinger have been very good. When using Hostinger, the per month cost of running a WooCommerce store can be just $0.99/month.
Steps needed to use WooCommerce for $0.99/month (if you already have a WordPress website you can use it even for free)
- Go to Hostinger (opens in a new window) and pick a long-term hosting plan. Hostinger is the cheapest ecommerce hosting service and despite of that very good.
- Install WordPress to your web hosting (free and easy) to create a website
- Go to your new WordPress website and install the WooCommerce plugin for it (free and easy)
- Start customizing your WooCommerce store (requires some effort and might cost money if you need to buy plugins)
Other relatively cheap ecommerce platforms that you might want to consider
Can you trust a cheap ecommerce platform?
While it obviously depends on the specific service provider in each case, it can be said that generally speaking the companies offering cheap e-commerce solutions are also very trustworthy. Shopify, for instance (see also the page: Is Shopify safe?), is currently listed in the New York stock exchange and has a market valuation of more than $100 billion, so it is not some tiny startup company run from a garage. The fact that a company is listed in the stock exchange means, for example, that you can always get pretty good up-to-date information on how well a specific company is doing financially.
Additionally, it is good to note that because the e-commerce software providers are selling intangible products that can be extremely easily duplicated, “producing” more of the same product costs them basically nothing and as such cheap price shouldn’t equal bad quality. I.e. the situation with e-commerce solutions is completely opposite to something like cars, where the price of a product is largely dictated by the production costs.
The cheapest ecommerce platforms are likely to be that for people from all around the world
A big reason for why some high quality ecommerce platforms are able to price their service so low is that they have managed accumulate a huge number of customers. And thanks to the scale they have achieved, even something like $10/month from each customer is more than enough for the company to cover their costs. A big part of reaching the scale needed for low pricing is offering the platform globally, to as many customers as possible. The end result of those things is that the ecommerce platforms that are the cheapest in general, are also likely to be the cheapest for specific markets. E.g. for Australia, India and UK.
And while I cannot credibly claim to be an expert on, for example, the Indian ecommerce platform market, based on the research I did, I believe that the platforms presented higher on this page should also be the cheapest (quality) options for, for example, India. Below are couple pricing examples.
Hostinger + WooCommerce for India: Starts at ₹59/m, Zyro for India: starts from about ₹660/m, Hostinger for UK: Starts at £0.99/m. And this pattern of low prices should hold also for other countries.
Is there a difference between “ecommerce website builders” and “ecommerce platforms”?
Those two phrases are usually used without making a distinction between them. However, it could be argued that the “platforms” are bit more complicated and advanced than the “builders”. Following that logic, it could be said that Zyro is the cheapest ecommerce website builder that we felt comfortable recommending.
What we excluded from this page:
After some deliberation we made the decision to include on this page only the ecommerce solutions that based on our own testing should be at least reasonably good choices for building and operating an ecommerce store. We hope that this decision might save some readers time and money as they are able to avoid the ecommerce platforms that might be extremely cheap but not really suitable choices for actually operating an online store.
Frequently asked questions about launching an e-commerce store on a small budget:
How can ecommerce platforms be so cheap to use?
It is because once a company has created their platform it doesn’t make a huge difference to their own costs if the platform is used by 100 or million users. And additionally the tough competition between the companies running the platforms helps to keep the prices down.
What other costs are there than the e-commerce platform?
In addition to paying for the e-commerce platform you should also buy a domain name. Most domain names cost about $12/year. In case you don’t yet own a domain name, it is nice to know that all the top ecommerce platforms have made it possible to register at least .com-domains through their service. In addition to the domain name and the platform, many people also choose to invest in a payment gateway, but that is not mandatory as there are also good free options.
In case you are wondering about if you need to buy web hosting for your online store, it should be nice to know that almost all the leading ecommerce platforms give your store free hosting.
How can I acquire products to sell when I have a small budget?
The three most obvious methods are creating the products yourself, buying them from an online marketplace place such as AliExpress that specializes in cheap products and using dropshipping. Dropshipping means in practice that you forward the order placed in your store to the manufacturer of the product and they take care of things such as packaging and shipping.
If you use dropshipping you generate profit by pricing the products higher in your store than what the manufacturer charges you for the product and taking care of shipping etc. All the ecommerce platforms that we recommend, make it possible to do dropshipping in a store created with their software.
How much money do I need for marketing my online store?
It depends. If you, for example, have an extensive network of connections or a physical store or are great at using social media you don’t necessarily need any money at all for marketing. And even if none of those conditions matches your situation, it is nice to know that doing online marketing and advertising can be very cheap and can often be scaled up quickly if your store starts gaining traction.