Cheapest Possible Ways to Launch your eCommerce Store

Cheapest way to launch eCommerce store

In today’s era, no one wants to spend money to launch eCommerce store. They feel a headache to adopt the new platforms. The reason is that they are quite having less budget and doesn’t know the benefit of approaching the new features and technologies.

We are here to guide how you can launch your eCommerce store with minimum cost as much as possible. 

Membership Enable-Launch eCommerce store

Launching your eCommerce store may seem like a daunting task, but when you break it down it becomes simple and manageable. On top of that, we’ve put together this guide with top three of eCommerce platform to launch your eCommerce store at a very low cost.

Nowadays every business companies need to have their own eCommerce store at where the customer can purchase their product easily and can track their order.

With the help of an eCommerce store, you can generate more sales and order. As we all know generating sales is the main aim to launch an eCommerce store. No sales, no business. And to grow business you have to launch an eCommerce website for your product.

In eCommerce website, you will have the front-end for the customer and back-end for Admin. In the Back-end, you can manage your product, categories, order management, invoice management, system configuration, manage the customer and their order and many more things.

This is what the basic things that every business owner needs to know who want to launch the eCommerce store.

What Do You Need to Start an eCommerce Store?

There had never been a better time to launch eCommerce store than today.

Anyone with a computer can get started within a matter of minutes and with low cost.

The three things you need to start an eCommerce store are:

  1. A domain name (this will be the name of your online store)
  2. A web hosting account (this is where your website lives on the internet)
  3. SSL Certificate and
  4. eCommerce platform

Online store builders and eCommerce website builders – what’s the difference?

We refer to WordPress, Dokan and Shopify as ‘eCommerce website builders’ and ‘online store builders’. There’s no confusion in the term. These terms both mean the same thing: they’re referring to platforms that help you create an eCommerce online store.

Find Your Perfect eCommerce Platform

An eCommerce platform is an online software which lets you build your very own online store, without any advanced tech skills, coding knowledge, or a dozen computer screens. All you need is just an internet connection and a great business idea!

When starting an online store, the first step is choosing the right platform.

There are lots of free online store platforms. Some are cheap, some are expensive, some are reliable, and some aren’t.

Best Open Source eCommerce Marketplace Platforms to Start Online Business 

Which eCommerce Platform Should You Choose?

We know the choice can feel overwhelming, but it all comes down to the purpose of your eCommerce online store.

Having researched each eCommerce platform thoroughly, we’re in a great position to tell you which platforms match your needs.

  • WordPress – best free and open source platform. This means that you can not only get it for free, but even it suit your needs 100%. The best eCommerce tool for WordPress – an eCommerce plugin called WooCommerce – is also free and open source.
    You can get a great and reliable hosting plan that’s been WordPress-optimized for as little as $4/month. (Later on, as your site grows, you might want to switch to a higher plan at $12/month.)
  • Dokan is a commonly used multi-vendor WordPress plugin or marketplace software that leveraging the power of WooCommerce. It is the ideal plugin to built the multi-vendor marketplace like Amazon or eBay.
  • Shopify – eCommerce platform to start online store. Perfect for stores of all sizes, it has a brilliant inventory system, scalable plans, and the best sales features on the market.

If you need a large-scale online store, or even have big aspirations to scale up, you’ll want to use powerful platforms like Shopify or Dokan.

These eCommerce platforms help you sell in bulk, and have powerful analytical tools to help you track your finances, marketing campaigns, and onsite visitors.

If you just want a website to sell a few products on, then you can also go with these platforms.

Test Your eCommerce Platforms

If you’re serious about building a successful eCommerce online store, then you need to test out your eCommerce platforms before launching your business site.

The best way to do this is with a free trial!

Don’t just try one – you can experiment and compare different online store platforms to find the best fit for you and your business.

Follow the links below to sign up for a free trial:

When playing around with cheap eCommerce website builder, ask yourself:

  • Is it easy to choose a themes and plugins to make custom changes?
  • Are they suitable for your business?
  • Is it easy to add products and their categories?
  • Is it possible to edit the navigation to include sub-menus and new pages?

You want to find a platform that’s not only easy to use, but offers everything you need.

Choose The Best Plan For You

Once you’ve tested a few online store website builders and are happy with your choice, you need to sign up to the right plan so you can get building.

Different pricing plans come with different features. As you would expect, the more you pay, the more you get. Which plan suits you best depends on the size of your business type and your growth ambitions.  

If you’re looking to create an eCommerce store, you will obviously need a paid plan. Uploading and selling products requires more complicated software than building a normal eCommerce website.

Plans start at just $249 per year (Dokan’s Pro Plan).

Plans start at just $29 per month (Basic Shopify Pricing Plan).

What Features Do You Need?

Remember, different online stores have different needs. Shopify and Dokan may be expensive, but they offer more features.

Let’s have a look at the features shows: 

Shopify

Key Features of Basic Shopify

  • Online store
  • Unlimited products
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Multichannel integration
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Discount codes
  • Staff accounts (2 max)
  • Print shipping labels
  • Shopify POS app
  • Access to Shopify App Center

Best for: Launching a full-fledged online store.

Key Features Shopify

  • Everything from Shopify plan
  • Staff accounts (5 max)
  • Gift cards
  • Professional reports

Best for: Growing your online store.

Key Features of Advanced Shopify

  • Everything from Advanced Shopify plan
  • Staff accounts (15 max)
  • Advanced report builder
  • Third-party calculated shipping rates

Best for: Scaling up an established business.

Dokan

Key Features of Free Dokan

  • Front-end Dashboard for Vendors
  • Front-end Simple Product
  • Order Management
  • Withdraw System for Vendors
  • Individual Vendor Stores
  • Order Email Notifications
  • Storefront Widgets

Key Features of Starter

  • Front-end Dashboard for Vendors
  • Front-end Simple Product
  • Order Management
  • Withdraw System for Vendors
  • Individual Vendor Stores
  • Order Email Notifications
  • Storefront Widgets
  • Multiple Commission Types
  • Multiple Product Category
  • Front-end Variable Products
  • Front-end Grouped Products 
  • Vendor Management UI
  • Admin Reports
  • Earning Reports
  • Vendor Statements
  • Shipping Management
  • Coupon Creation
  • Making Announcements
  • Social Login & Registration

Key Features of Dokan Professional

  • Front-end Dashboard for Vendors
  • Front-end Simple Product
  • Order Management
  • Withdraw System for Vendors
  • Individual Vendor Stores
  • Order Email Notifications
  • Storefront Widgets
  • Multiple Commission Types
  • Multiple Product Category
  • Front-end Variable Products
  • Front-end Grouped Products 
  • Vendor Management UI
  • Admin Reports
  • Earning Reports
  • Vendor Statements
  • Shipping Management
  • Coupon Creation
  • Making Announcements
  • Social Login & Registration

WordPress + WooCommerce

Key Features

  • Huge numbers of themes available.
  • Plenty of shortcodes to embed products on any page.
  • Split products according to categories.
  • Customize store based on location.
  • Products ratings and reviews option.
  • Add unlimited products and corresponding products images.
  • Selling option of both digital and physical products.
  • You can add affiliated products directly to your store
  • Add unlimited products variations.
  • Multiple shipping options (including free shipping)
  • Tax options.
  • Different payment gateway to accept credit/debit cards.
  • Support multiple currencies.

Get A Domain Name For Your eCommerce Store

A domain name is the name of your online store.

A good domain name is the key to launching a successful online store. It builds trust with customers and helps to establish your brand.

For example the domain name of Nike is as under:

https://www.nike.com

4 Tips While Choosing A Domain Name:

  • Pick the right country code – if you’re selling products to US or international customers, choose a .com domain.
  • Avoid brand names – you may fall to legal trouble if you include a brand or product name in your domain.
  • Be unique – play with words to differ you from the crowd, but don’t be too obscure. Try to pick a unique domain name.
  • Add a keyword – adding a popular key to your domain name which helps you climb search engine rankings. The higher you rank in Google, the more traffic you get and the more traffic, the more sales.

Cheapest Ways to Launch your eCommerce Store with Shopify

Assume that you already have the domain name and web hosting. Now move forward.

Just go to Shopify.com, click “Start your free trial”, enter your store name, and then click “Create your store”.

Choose Your Store Theme

Visit the Shopify Theme Store and choose a theme you like to install. There are so many free options. To save time and money, try and find one. A few popular themes are New StandardSupply, and Simple.

Once you’ve found your desired one, click “Start with this theme”.

Shopify Theme Store-Launch eCommerce store

How to Customize Your Theme

To edit your store’s outlook, go to Online Store → Themes → Customize Theme.

On the right-hand sidebar you’ll see all section of your theme like Header, Body, Footer, etc.

Open each section and check what can be done with the theme.

Add Your Logo

If you don’t have any design skills, just enter your name in the Shopify Logo Maker (or logo maker app for Android) and test out until you get a decent looking logo.

Create Your Standard Pages

When your logo will complete, prepare the following sections for ready.

About Us, Terms & Conditions, Privacy & Returns Policy, Shipping & Delivery Information, and Contact Us.

To create a standard page, go to → Online Store → Pages → Add Page.

About Us — The about page is where people will go to learn more about your business when they’re still deciding if they want to buy or not. You can keep it short and attractive. 

Shipping & Delivery Information — Most of the sellers on AliExpress have very similar delivery prices and time-frames which you can follow and copy-paste.

Contact Us — Keeping in close contact with your customers is very important for your business. Make sure you place a very clearly visible ‘Contact Us’ link on your store.

Contact Page-Launch eCommerce store

Policies — To create basic policy pages for your store, go to Settings → Checkout and scroll down to the Refund, Privacy, and TOS statements section to generate the each policy sample.

Policies Page-Launch eCommerce store

Add a Payment Gateway

To start money collection, connect a payment gateway, such as Shopify Payments, to your store.

Adjust Shipping Settings

To adjust shipping settings, go to Settings → Shipping and delete all non-international shipping zones, and edit the international zone rate to Free.

Later, you can adjust your shipping rates to include more delivery options, but free shipping is enough for now.

Here is the short demo video.

Set Up Your Billing Information

Before launching your store, you’ll have to enter your Shopify billing information but you won’t be charged until your 14 day trial periods ends. Go to Settings → Account and enter your billing information.

Your online store is now ready!

Cheapest Ways to Launch your eCommerce Store with WordPress + WooCommerce + Dokan

Assume that you already have the domain name and web hosting. Now move forward.

Install WordPress manually

Download the latest version of WordPress from wordpress.org.

Then unzip the zip file and upload it to the public_html (or similar) directory of your website. If you’re not sure how to log in to FTP, ask your hosting provider for your FTP account information.

The rest will be done by your web hosting provider.

Install WooCommerce

Etsy is the first and foremost eCommerce website. The difference between Etsy and a standard eCommerce site is that Etsy has multiple vendors. Instead of selling their own products, they invite others to sell their products on the marketplace.

We’re clarifying this because the most popular eCommerce solution in the world is WooCommerce.

WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that adds all the essential eCommerce features instantly to your site: shopping carts, checkout, payment processing, etc. There are a lot of paid extensions available to add more eCommerce features to your site.

If you’ve never used WordPress, it’s not so difficult to install the plugin. You can search for plugins and install them straight from your WordPress admin dashboard.

WooCommerce to Create eCommerce Store

After successful installation click on the Activate button to activate the plugin.

Activate-WooCommerce for eCommerce Store

Now you will get WooCommerce in the plugins list.

WooCommerce-Plugin-list

Install Dokan

The installation of Dokan is so easy, that anybody can install it with some few clicks.

Here is the installation guide in a video.

Configuration of Dokan

When you are done of activating WooCommerce, go back to the Plugins menu again and click Add NewUpload File Downloaded File. Click Choose File and select dokan.zip file that you downloaded from https://wedevs.com/account/downloads/.

Click Install Now. When done, click Activate Plugin.

Dokan Pro Installation

Now, you will receive a message stating you need the core plugin of Dokan. Dokan Pro requires the core plugin to make it functional. So, you will need to install the Dokan core version which is completely free.

Dokan Core Plugin Installation-Launch eCommerce store

Click on the Install Now button and wait a minute. Dokan will be installed and activated automatically.

Dokan Pro Installing-Launch eCommerce store

You have to keep both core and pro version of Dokan installed and activated for the plugin to function properly.

Dokan Pro and Core Plugin Together-Launch eCommerce store

Upgrade from free to pro version

If you are using the free version of Dokan Marketplace and want to upgrade to pro version, just download the dokan.zip from https://wedevs.com/account/downloads/ and install it. Now, click on the Activate button. You are done!

If you are using FTP to transfer your files to your server. Then just unzip the plugin and upload dokan-plugin directory to your /wp-content/plugins/ directory.

Dokan License Activation

Right after activating Dokan plugin, you will see a notification to activate the license. The Dokan license activation is required to receive automatic updates.

If you are done with testing the plugin and sure to use it on your live server, only then you should activate the license.

Dokan Plugin Activation-Launch eCommerce store

Steps to activate the license

  1. If you are not already logged in to your admin panel, please log in first.
  2. Go to Dokan → Updates. You will see two fields for your email and license key.
  3. You will find the license keys on your weDevs Account Dashboard.
  4. Write the email address you used to purchase the plugin and copy paste the license key from weDevs Dashboard.
  5. Now click Save and Activate.

Basic Configuration

Vendor registration form

One of the most common asked questions is

“I can not sign up as a vendor. The registration form is not visible”.

When you install WordPress for the first time, the registration form is not enabled by default. You have to enable the registration feature from the settings.

  1. Go to wp-admin → Settings → General
  2. Check the box which says “Membership – Anyone can register“.
  3. Now, click save.

Now the vendor and customer registration form will be visible on /my-account/ page.

Membership Enable-Launch eCommerce store

WooCommerce Settings

Dokan Multi Vendor is based on WooCommerce. It comes with several built-in WooCommerce functions, such as, Payment, Shipping, and Tax. These are essential features that you need for smooth operation of your marketplace. So you need to configure these WC settings to use Dokan properly.

Payment

All the transactions from in the checkout page is being handled by WooCommerce. So you can use any WooCommerce compatible payment gateway with Dokan. By default WooCommerce has Bank Payment, Cheque Payment, Cash on Delivery, Credit Card and PayPal integrated. All of them works fine with Dokan.

But as these configurations have to be made from backend, only admin can modify these settings. Vendors can not configure any payment settings.

Cash on Delivery

Please note that the Cash on Delivery method is a bit tricky for marketplaces. Because the payment will be collected by the delivering party. If the admin is delivering the products to the end customer, then everything is fine. Then the admin can keep his commission and send the vendor the rest of the money.

But if the products are being delivered by the vendors, then the vendors will have to send the commission amount to the admin. Or you have to find out any convenient way. The choice totally depends on your business policy and planning. You should discuss with your vendors before deciding the method.

The solution that seems the best to us is using the subscription add-on. Dokan subscription enables you to charge the vendors for creating products. So you don’t have to worry about the payment. The vendor can have it all and you can charge them for creating products and keeping them online everyday/week/month/year.

Shipping

Dokan plugin has the most advanced feature to enable the sellers to add shipping costs from the front-end. Using this feature is optional. If you do not like this feature and want to use the old school WooCommerce shipping classes, then no action is required.

The state based shipping option of Dokan plugin can be found on wp-admin
WooCommerceSettingsShippingDokan Shipping.

Dokan Enable Shipping

Click on the enable checkbox and click on save. If you want to apply taxes on then you can select taxable else you can select none.

Check out all the documentation of Dokan.

Over to you….

With the help of the Dokan platform, you can sell your product easily with no more upfront investment. Dokan is really helpful for the people who want to launch their eCommerce store with a small investment. There are many online store website available as similar to the Dokan but apart from all of them, Dokan is the best and highly recommended platform.

Leave a Reply