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Free and low-cost e-commerce software for your business

3-minute read

Thinking of expanding your business? An online store might be the solution! Whether you sell directly to consumers (B2C) or other businesses (B2B), e-commerce helps you reach new customers beyond your local area.

How does e-commerce software help?

Setting up your own online store is easier than ever with e-commerce software. These tools enable you to

  • sell products and services online with minimal upfront investment
  • reach customers 24/7
  • expand your company’s geographic reach
  • boost your business’s visibility online
  • automate some functions to lower costs
  • increase customer retention and loyalty

What does e-commerce software do?

A basic e-commerce storefront is a web-based system that allows customers to shop for products and helps streamline the order fulfillment process. Here's what most e-commerce solutions offer:

  • setting up an online store with a shopping cart
  • accepting payments online with PayPal and/or major credit cards
  • showcasing your products in an online product catalogue
  • optimizing your store for search engines
  • tracking inventory automatically to avoid stockouts
  • analyzing your performance with reports
  • promoting your business with online marketing tools

AI capabilities in e-commerce software

Artificial intelligence (AI) has arrived in e-commerce, offering several innovative features to enhance customer experiences, boost sales and streamline operations:

  • Personalized product recommendations that can appear on product pages once shoppers have added an item to their shopping cart, increasing the chances of conversion.
  • Smarter search, suggesting relevant products even if the search terms aren't a perfect match.
  • Dynamic pricing, adjusting prices based on various factors like real-time demand, competitor pricing and historical data to maximize your profitability.
  • Targeted advertising, by identifying the most likely customers for specific products and campaigns and displaying personalized ads.
  • Optimized inventory, by combining historical data, real-time insights and predictive capabilities to recommend optimal inventory levels.

Free and low-cost e-commerce solutions

E-commerce solutions come in all shapes and sizes, from simple email order systems to complex business integrations. If you are looking for low-cost or free tools, you may want to consider the following.

Revised March 2024

This table lists applications alphabetically and isn’t exhaustive. Hyperlinks to external sites do not constitute endorsement by BDC of those websites or any information, opinions, products or services expressed or described on them.

Furthermore, the list is only a starting point and excludes applications that are neither low cost nor free. We have also focused on turnkey solutions rather than on solutions that you can integrate into an existing website. When assessing e-commerce software for your organization, you will probably consider many other factors. It is important to shop around and compare different e-commerce platforms to choose the one that meets your specific business needs and budget, including hidden costs.

BDC will review and edit this list regularly. If you are an e-commerce software vendor and would like us to consider adding your solution, please contact us.

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