You’re an artist, and you’ve got a good idea for a business. Maybe you want to open up a gallery in LA, or you’re dreaming of making your living doing what you love most. Whatever your vision, there’s a way you can use the internet to make it happen.
Websites like Fiverr and Upwork are great for those with an entrepreneurial spirit looking to make some extra cash. But what if you’re looking for something more than a side gig?
Luckily, there are a plethora of fully equipped websites that provide you with the tools to set up a professional online store. No design skills necessary!
So whether you’re looking to begin your career or you’re just looking for a way to supplement your income, here are 11 websites that enable you to do so.
Shopify is the number one choice for experienced e-commerce entrepreneurs who want to set up an online store. There are plenty of tools within the platform to assist you in creating your perfect store.
If you’ve ever logged into Shopify and seen the drop-down menus for creating a new product or arranging a delivery, you’ll know what I’m talking about. But even if you haven’t, it’s still a pretty user-friendly interface. And the more you use it, the more you’ll learn.
The best part of Shopify is that you can launch a store in less than a day. Once it’s up and running, connecting with customers is pretty easy. Although, you may have to hunt down some dedicated help if you’re looking to grow your business beyond the initial launch stage.
WooCommerce is, in a word, amazing. This platform allows for fully equipped online stores to be created without a software engineering background. The free version of WooCommerce provides you with all the functionality you need to get started, and it’s easy to use. So if you’re looking for an online store platform with a minimal learning curve, then WooCommerce is your go-to choice.
As a designer, my favorite part of WooCommerce is its ability to integrate with other platforms. It’s a one-stop shop for those looking to set up an online store.
The downside to WooCommerce is that it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as Shopify. But if you’re going into business for yourself, then you deserve to make a few compromises. It’s a minimalistic approach that encourages experimentation. So if that’s what appeals to you, go for it.
Square is more than a payment processor – it’s a complete business platform. So not just limited to accepting payments, the Square Store App enables users to create a store in no time at all. Once you’ve got your store set up, connecting with customers is as easy as 1-2-3.
The best part of Square is that it offers an array of payment methods – from credit cards to PayPal to Apple Pay. And what’s more is that it integrates with more than 40 different platforms, including Shopify, so you can take full advantage of your store’s functionality no matter which platform you decide to use.
The downsides to Square are similar to those of WooCommerce. There isn’t a lot of flair in the design of the platform. But, as a business partner, the simplicity is what appeals to me.
Venmo is a cash-back app designed to make paying with cash less painful. Compatible with both iOS and Android, Venmo connects to your bank account and offers you the option to pay with either cash or a credit card. Better late than never, I suppose.
The great thing about Venmo is that it enables you to receive payment quickly and easily. Plus, with the growing number of credit cards that are now being accepted on digital platforms, Venmo makes paying with plastic a thing of the past.
The downside to Venmo is that you have to create a bank account and navigate the KYC (Know Your Customer) process to verify your identity. The verification can take up to 10 days to complete. So, if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get started, Venmo isn’t for you.
Stripe is one of the most trusted and popular service providers when it comes to online stores. And it’s one of the few companies that offer a complete e-commerce solution, enabling you to build and run your store without any design background.
The best part of Stripe is that it boasts a huge number of customers. The platform currently has over 24 million active monthly users, which enables you to potentially reach a hugely receptive audience. If you’re looking for a solution that’s already been proven to work, then Stripe is the clear choice.
The downside to Stripe is that it charges a 15% processing fee on all transactions, regardless of whether the merchant is a business or individual. This can be somewhat costly, especially if you’re looking for a minimal solution that doesn’t come with any additional perks.
Backpage is one of the longest-lived and most popular classified ad websites, with over 200 million monthly active users across mobile and desktop platforms. They’re known for their vibrant community of users, who help each other find jobs and opportunities, as well as those in need of personal services. So, if you’re looking for a way to get in touch with potential customers, Backpage is an obvious choice.
The great thing about Backpage is that it doesn’t just relate to jobs – it really is a one-stop-shop for everything from retail to real estate to personals. And because it’s so comprehensive, you can use it to build a variety of businesses, including an online store.
The downside to Backpage is that, like the other platforms mentioned so far, it is somewhat utilitarian in nature. Although, there is definitely a lot of potential with this platform.
Podia is a B2B (Business to Business) commerce platform used by major companies like HP, Microsoft, Dell, and more to create online stores for their products. With Podia, you can set up a fully-fledged online store in less than an hour – no coding necessary!
The great thing about Podia is that the platform provides you with all the tools you need to set up your own online store. There are tons of integrations available so you can take advantage of everything the platform has to offer. Plus, you can try the demo now, so you can see how easy it is to use. If you’re looking for a solution that’s proven and trusted, then Podia is the clear choice.
The downside to Podia is that the demo stops working once you reach level 2. So you’ll need to either pay for the full version or find a way to upgrade your account after you’ve reached that point. The pricing is also quite high, starting at $25,000 per year. Plus, there are no real-world examples of successful businesses created on this platform. But, if money is no object to you and you want to have the most user-friendly experience possible, then Podia is the clear choice for you.
The last but not least on our list is Shopify’s own e-commerce platform – the best of both worlds!
The amazing thing about this solution is that it provides you with all the functionality you need to create a fully equipped online store, while offering a beautiful interface. Launching a Shopify store is incredibly straightforward – simply follow the prompts to create your business and you’ll be up and running in no time. If you’ve been searching for an alternative to WooCommerce, then this is the clear choice.
One of the best things about the Shopify store is that it comes with a lot of functionality out of the box. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive add-ons to utilize all the features. Plus, since Shopify is a part of Amazon, you can take advantage of all the perks that come with being an AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) affiliate.
The downside to the Shopify store is that it doesn’t come with a design template. You’ll have to find a way to make it look like it did when it was initially launched. Also, since it’s a part of Amazon, you’ll have to follow their rules for affiliate marketing. Should you decide to go this route, make sure to read the rules thoroughly before you begin promoting products on behalf of Amazon.