Creating an Online Store for Free? Here's How it Works!

We explain to you how to create your own online store using free software.

Table of contents
  1. What should I consider when creating a free online store?
  2. What are relevant selection criteria for a free online shop software?
  3. What are the most important features of free online store softwares
  4. What are the 6 best free online shop softwares?

Do you want to create your own online store quickly and preferably for free? Then you are exactly right here. We will explain to you what you should consider when creating a free online store and which functions you must not do without so that your free web store becomes a significant tool for your success. Lastly, we take a look at the best free online store softwares so that you can get started quickly and well informed.

What should I consider when creating a free online store?

A free online store is especially a good choice for you if you are not yet sure if and how much you will sell. You can eliminate this unknown with free software. You don't have to shoulder unnecessary costs until the black numbers are on your side. As we mention further below, there are a multitude of free web tools that allow you to gain your first e-commerce experience uncomplicatedly.

Creating an online store is also the start of their own business for many people at the same time. When creating an online store, you don't need any special qualifications, but previous basic considerations should serve as the starting point for a comprehensive concept. You can read here what you should generally pay attention to: Create your own online store in 5 steps . We have also already created a comprehensive checklist for an online store for you. So you can create your online store well prepared.

But the fact is that a free shop software brings some restrictions with it. You should discuss these first and determine whether and how long you can remain loyal to this decision. 

What are relevant selection criteria for a free online shop software?

  • Easy operation

Even with free software, handling is important. Therefore, check whether the shop editor is easy to use and works ideally on a modular principle. It is also state of the art to add elements via drag & drop.

  • Functionality

Of course, free systems do not offer the same functionalities as a paid shop software. Nevertheless, you want to offer your goods accordingly and you need to make sure that at least the basic principles fit. Some freeware, for example, only allows a very limited selection of products.

Don't just focus on the shop design in this check-up, also check the following topics:

  1. Payment & shipment
  2. Multilingualism
  3. SEO & Marketing
  • Domain & webspace

As a rule, neither a full-fledged domain nor webspace is free. Either you get these in advance from the provider of your choice or you use the offer of the shop software. In both cases, you pay a few euros per year for this. Occasionally, you can also attach yourselves for free to the provider's domain, so that your shop URL could look like this: However, Google notices this and rates it rather negatively. 

  • Technology

The technical maintenance, care and updating of your web shop is your responsibility. Familiarize yourselves with all mechanisms, but also clarify the procedure for security and functional updates on the provider side. After all, your online store should always be up to date.

  • Security & Data Protection

Are there automatic back-ups or do you have to make these yourself. Also inform yourselves where, if necessary, the server hosting of your shop-software is stationed. Can you guarantee your user':Innen full EU-compliant data protection?

  • Responsive Design

This is also an absolute must-have, which you should not do without when selecting your free web shop. Therefore, check whether your online store looks good not only on the desktop, but also on tablets and smartphones.

  • Service & Consulting

Free web shops usually have no free service. Maybe there is a community, a functioning forum or current tutorials that support you with questions, so you don't have to resort to fee-based services every time.

  • Customer support

How do you want to interact with your customers, or rather: which service and support options do you like to use yourself when you have questions about a product or an order? Live chats are a fine thing in this respect.

  • Extras

Do you want to control mailings from your free online shop system or represent a blog? Should the web shop actually be integrated into an existing website? Or do you need an interface to your ERP system. These and many other topics can also be important selection criteria.

Recommended E-Commerce-Platforms & Shopsystems

On our comparison platform OMR Reviews you can find more recommended e-commerce platforms & store systems. We present over 230 solutions that are specifically tailored to the needs of small and medium-sized companies, start-ups and large corporations. Our platform offers comprehensive support in all areas of online commerce, from product presentation to customer management. Take the opportunity to compare different e-commerce solutions, taking into account real user reviews, to find the perfect system for your individual business needs:

What are the most important features of free online store softwares

An online shop should - even if it is operated without costs - meet high demands. On the one hand, as mentioned above, he should meet your wishes, but he must also stand out from the competition and convince your customers. Visitors should feel comfortable with you. The virtual shopping experience must fit, so that your web shop runs well in the long run. In this context, pay attention to the following points:

  • Rely on a clear and contemporary menu structure. Browsing is also nice and even generates revenue, but if your visitors have long known what they want to buy or research, they should be led there quickly.
Beispiel einer Onlineshop-Menüstruktur

Example of a menu structure in an online store

  • Uncomplicated and intuitive the entire ordering process should also be. Your customers should be guided step by step and also have the possibility to view all placed orders.
Beispiel Bestellprozess

Example of an ordering process

  • High user comfort can be achieved through short loading times and correct display also for mobile views.

Beispiel Responsive Design bei unterschiedlichen Endgeräten

Example of a responsive design in online shops

  • An online shop usually also replaces the sales consultation. Good pictures and meaningful descriptions support the convincing work around your goods and offers. 
Beispiel Produktbild eines Onlineshops

Beispiel eines Produktbildes im Onlineshop

  • Even if the online store is the heart of your e-commerce project, you should also present your company on the side. This works very well with an included blog.

The example picture following comes from JOCO, a manufacturer for reusable bottles and containers. The topic „avoidance of plastic“ is discussed in depth. This is not only a current topic, but also boosts sales.

Beispiel eines Blogs im Onlineshop

Example of a blog in an online store - here from the online store JOCO

  • Also the payment methods are an important function. Make sure to offer payment by credit card or invoice as well as Paypal, GiroPay or instant transfer.
Beispiel von Zahlungsarten im Onlineshop

Example of payment methods in the online store

Finally, a tip: Technology does not stand still. Neither does your free shop software. New functions and possibilities to extend your e-commerce system are constantly being created. It pays off to stay up to date and optimize your online store from time to time.

Luckily, you don't have to reinvent the wheel, because we can tell you even more about design and optimization:

What are the 6 best free online shop softwares?

Convenient when you don't have to search long, that's why we provide you here with the six best and free web shop softwares and give you an overview of the most important advantages and disadvantages. You can find these and other online shop softwares like Salesforce Commerce Cloud, with which you can create and operate your web shop, in the category E-Commerce Platforms & Shop Systems Software & Tools on OMR Reviews. There you can check all systems due to real user experiences.

1. Branchbob

"Start selling in just 10 minutes. Sell what you love and earn money with your side job"

You can definitely consider the software from Germany as a solid choice when it comes to free software for creating web shops. The cloud-based platform delivers without restriction what merchants needs. With Branchbob, you create a comprehensive online store that supports different languages, currencies and payment methods. However, restrictions exist in the free shop version, which makes additional services payable.

Nevertheless, branchbob is easy to use and can be adjusted without programming language. Several designs are available that can be customized individually. With the help of video tutorials and live support, assistance is always available to help you set up your e-commerce platform quickly. SEO management and functions for marketing activities make Branchbob's offer almost perfect.


  • Online shops can be set up in a few minutes
  • Easy to use, therefore suitable for beginners
  • Legally secure development in Germany
  • Individual design possibilities


  • For the best use programming knowledge is necessary
  • High definition effort to achieve a full-value search function
  • Additional services are chargeable
Branchbob kostenloses Shopsystem

Branchbob shop system


2. Ecwid

" Sell for free online"

The name Ecwid von Lightspeed stands for E-Commerce-Widgets and exactly this is what it is all about. The cloud-based system can be implemented as a complete solution for shop and website, but can also be integrated into an existing website in the other way around. This can be an advantage if you already manage a website with good performance, you don't need to integrate it into a new system. 

Sell, and that in a few minutes, should be possible with Ecwid, according to the Californian manufacturer. However, the free version only supports a very limited number of products. Ecwid is therefore most suitable for absolute beginners or hobbyists.


  • No design or programming experience necessary
  • Logical construction steps for quick shop creation
  • Offers all essential functions for product management and -sale
  • Well optimized for mobile devices


  • Very rigid templates and design templates
  • No e-commerce functions in free package
  • Also poor support in the free version
Ecwid kostenloses Shopsystem

Ecwid Shop System


3. Mozello

"Create a website or online store for free"

The Latvian provider Mozello besides a free construction kit for online shops, offers the same for websites. In a few minutes you can create your virtual shop, a little more if it should also look professional and individual. For this purpose, various templates are available to you, which you can adjust flexibly. For larger fantasies, however, you should master HTML, CSS and Javascript.

However, the editor does not come with a drag-and-drop function, as one would actually expect and is used to. Also, the free version only allows 5 products, but that is only one of many restrictions with which one has to live in the free package.


  • Lets the online shop be created with a few clicks
  • Supports multilingual display
  • Attractive interfaces that can also be exchanged


  • Really individual is only possible with programming
  • Only allows 5 products
  • No drag-and-drop function
  • No marketing functions in the 0 €-variant
Mozello kostenloses Shopsystem

Mozello Shop System


4. WooCommerce

"Build exactly the eCommerce website you want"

This is one of the most well-known providers for free online shops. This is mainly due to the fact that WooCommerce can be installed as a plugin in WordPress and thus the own website can be easily extended by an online shop. A real advantage is this but only if you are already familiar with WordPress. For bloody beginners, you will surely get all hot with the two systems.

The range of functions of WooCommerce is limited to basic services in the free version. For even more functionality, you will not be able to avoid additional plugins, just as you already know as a WordPress user.


  • Range of functions can be expanded infinitely through apps and plugins
  • The same applies to the numerous available themes
  • Active community and many tutorials available
  • Full control and customization


  • Only usable with WordPress
  • Very complex for beginners
  • Paid extensions and apps
  • You also have to pay for hosting and support
WooCommerce kostenloses Shopsystem

WooCommerce Shop System


5. Shopware

"Create the outstanding with the leading Open Commerce platform"

The system Shopware comes from German house and can be used relatively simply and legally secure. In addition to a free community edition, you can also choose between several paid packages. Flexibility and versatility are written large by the manufacturer, but are only partially included in the free basic package.

The system to extend with plugins is also supported - a few few also in the free tariff. For special needs, you may need to program to create the system fully according to your wishes. If you want to quickly and uncomplicatedly bring a manageable amount of goods online, you are well served with Shopware, but should not have any great demands regarding design and individualizability. For larger projects, we would like to recommend the Enterprise-Edition.


  • Simple and intuitive frontend
  • Multiple languages possible
  • Multiple currencies possible
  • Worldwide community for support
  • Numerous extensions in   Shopware store (partly chargeable)


  • Basic version only offers the necessary functions
  • Service only in form of paid service packages
  • Important functions also only in form of paid add-ons
Shopware kostenloses Shopsystem

Shopware Shop System


6. PrestaShop

"Start and develop your business with PrestaShop"

PrestaShop once started as a student project and today operates more than 300,000 online shops. The software is open source and works like Shopware with a freemium concept. This means that the software and basic functions are available for free, for additional functions you have to pay.

Nevertheless, it can go quickly for you to start and you ultimately only pay for really necessary functions. The software can be drawn from your host via One-Click-Installer. Without installation via Cloud-Agreement it only works in commercial packages. Since PrestaShop is a French-based provider, legal requirements and criteria are in accordance with EU specifications.


  • To test, a live demo is available
  • Multilingual use is supported
  • Large offer of themes and extensions
  • Numerous tutorials and a detailed manual   are available


  • Cloud version still in beta status
  • Using the extra functions can quickly become expensive
  • Professional creation only possible with HTML and CSS
PrestaShop kostenloses Shopsystem

PrestaShop Shop System

Margit Kustor-Neubauer
Margit Kustor-Neubauer

Margit Kustor-Neubauer ist enthusiastische Texterin und freie Redakteurin bei OMR. Mit Background in Online Marketing, Medien und Kommunikation konzipiert sie seit 15 Jahren Content im Einklang mit Zielgruppe und USP. Dank ihrer Expertise und Kreativität schraubt sie die Ergebnisse von Websites und Newsletter nach oben, bringt Redaktionskalender zum Glühen und Blogs zum Überlaufen. Mehr über Margit gibt es unter MKN Textdesign.

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