Free Online Stores: Do They Actually Exist?

Free Online Stores: Do They Actually Exist?

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A lot of budding entrepreneurs around the world want to sell online. If you’re one of them, it’s easy to be tempted when you see ‘get free online stores’ or ‘start your online store for free’ ads online. But the harsh truth is that they’re anything but free.

It’s never really free

The Reality

Most websites that call themselves free do come with a cost. That’s something you’ll realize when you actually start doing business. Here are some typical limitations a free website builder will put on your business.

Advertisements

Realistically speaking, you’re paying a free website provider. How? You’re letting them put ads on your website, even if they’re just banner ads. This instantly makes your website look cheap and tacky. That’s when most people realize that they don’t want the ads, and pay to get them removed.

Dependency

Once you’ve built your website using a certain building site, then you’ll have to tolerate their service. Even if you’re ready to pay premium charges for upgraded services, you still don’t own the website. When you want to leave, everything on it has to be left behind.

Also, shifting midway when your business is up and running is a nightmare to say the least. You’d have bear additional charges later when you’re going through a major website change or redesign. These website builders let you run for free for a year. After that, they’ll start charging you.

Self-Service

Although these services boast of convenience and ease of use, you’ll still have to pick from a limited range of templates they have. You’ll have to make all the changes you want by yourself. That’s essentially you building your own website. There’s also the content that you have to write, the images to source, inner pages, and links that you have to provide. This can be a lot more hassle than you think, and that’s not something that most people can afford to waste their time on.

SEO(Search Engine Optimization) Limitations

Relying on such websites can also limit your SEO exposure. This can badly impact your ranking and visibility.

Risk of spamming

Some of these websites spams your customers, by showing ads of your competitors to your customers. This can have you lose out on sales in two ways. One is that the customer is frustrated with the ads that they see, and the other is by the customer seeing something they want on a competitor’s ad on your website.

Having A Website Does Not Guarantee Sales

There are billions of websites on the Internet. Among them, close to 1,10,000 lakh websites are e-commerce based. There’s no guarantee that you being an addition to that number will mean you’re going to get sales. Traffic is what generates leads. More leads means more chances of conversion. Sales is what drives every business.

Pay For Google Adwords

You can save money and build a website for free. But to generate traffic, you’d have to pay Google for Adwords. Depending on the industry of your choice, you’d be charged $50-$100 a day for decent traffic.

Better Website

Having a professional built and stunning website that looks better than your competitor will definitely get you more traffic. That in turn, can generate more sales. Your target customers might not be tech savvy, but they sure can definitely identify a cheap website when they see one. They want to see quality stuff, so they’ll move to a better service. Stay on the lookout for this, and ensure that you don’t lose customers.

SEO Charges

Free website pages aren’t search engine friendly. To have a truly good SEO, you’d have to pay an SEO firm separately. They’d charge you based on various factors.

So you’d either have to pay SEO experts or Google Adwords to get traffic to your website. You can also opt for paid website builders like Shopify that do this for you. In any case, you’ll have to pay to get customers. The latter is better, since your rankings are what gives you visibility. That’s why small and cheap websites don’t rank high on Search Engine Result Pages.

So, it’s better to opt for paid website builders that come with powerful tools and features. They actually generate a lot of valuable traffic.

 

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