How to Create a Simple Online Store With Less Than a $100 Budget
Want to create your very own online store, but worried you lack the budget? If that’s the case then the good news is that it doesn’t take as much money as you might think to get one started, and you can actually pull it off even if you only have less than $100.
The trick to creating a simple online store on a small budget is to carefully spend what money you do have on the areas that matter most - while not wasting any money on unnecessary bells and whistles. That can be hard if you’re new to ecommerce, which is why you should keep reading to find out exactly what you need to do.
Before you jump in and create your online store, you must make sure that you’re fully prepared. In particular you will need a business idea that you’ve fleshed out into a business plan so that you fully understand what you’re going to do and how you’re going to make money.
Think about what products or services you’re going to sell, who your target market is, and how you’re going to reach them. It may help to look into your potential competitors either, both to see how tough they are as well as learn from them.
Domain and Hosting
While Software as a Service (SaaS) ecommerce platforms may sound attractive, they are generally more expensive in the long term and cost anything from $30 to $50 a month. Instead of that the more budget-friendly option is to sign up for a webhost and domain – then install a free ecommerce platform.
The cost of signing up for a webhost and domain can vary, but it is possibly as low as $60 for a year. However if you want your website to be faster or would like to build a larger store then you may have to find a better hosting package.
As far as ecommerce platforms go, there are some excellent free options available nowadays such as Magento or WooCommerce. It may take some time to set them up, but once you’re done you’ll have the makings of a simple web store ready to go.
If you don’t need a full-fledged ecommerce platform you could simply build your product page as an order form. Online form builder services like AidaForm available for free and start with 20$/month when you need to collect payments.
After you’re done setting up your website, you should have a little bit leftover. That can be used for extras, such as marketing, advertising, or branding.
As far as marketing is concerned, it may be best to stick to the free route initially and focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content marketing, and social media. Similarly for branding you can use Canva or other platforms to design a simple logo without spending a dime.
Generally the best place to invest the rest of your budget when you set up a new store is in advertising. Even as little as $10 or $20 can go a long way if you spend it on Facebook ads and target the right group of people.
To sum it up, all you really need to spend on to create a simple online store is your website (hosting and domain), or the SaaS service that you want to use. As for the rest of your needs you can use free options initially – so $100 should be more than sufficient.
If and when your store starts to pick up and you start to make more sales, you can upgrade your website, hosting, and invest more in marketing and other areas. But for now the most important thing is to take the first step and create your online store.