The Best Free E-commerce Tools for 2020
Running an e-commerce business can be an expensive venture, particularly if you’re just starting out and are trying hard to make a profit. Until you’ve grown enough to justify spending money on the tools you need, there is a range of free tools that can give you the upper hand.
This is a very useful tool for e-commerce sites. Having a striking website design along with multiple product pages means you’re likely to use a lot of images. Compressor.io does what it says on the tin – it compresses your images. Even better, it does not reduce the quality of the images.
With compressed images, your e-commerce website runs a lot faster, meaning customers are less likely to abandon your site due to slow loading times. Compressor.io supports JPEG, PNG, GIF and SVG formats.
Speed Test Tools
There are a number of tools on the internet to test your website speed. Our favourites are Google’s Page Speed Insights and GTMetrix. Simply type your e-commerce stores URL and they will begin to analyse the page.
It will provide you with an overall score and go into detail about where improvements can be made. Make sure you pay attention to the mobile tab on Google’s Page Speed Insights, as these can sometimes wildly vary from the desktop test. Just because the desktop site is fast, doesn’t mean the mobile experience cannot be improved… and in today’s world of mobile e-commerce, it’s more important than ever!
Why not try testing your site before and after you’ve compressed all of your images, to see how it works!
Google Mobile-Friendly Test
Whilst you’re testing your page speed, you should take the opportunity to test whether your site is mobile friendly. User experience is extremely important when trying to retain the attention of a potential customer. If that experience is disrupted because the website is not optimised for a mobile user, this could deter a lot of your audience.
Fortunately, the Google Mobile-Friendly Test quickly tells you at a glance whether its suitable for mobile or not. If it isn’t it can point you in the right direction, by giving you a basic overview of what’s wrong with the website.
Unsplash is without a doubt one of the best websites for free stock images that you don’t need a license for. There’s no subscription plan and no extra requirements – simply download and use.
We wouldn’t recommend using images with products that are similar to yours. For example, if you sell handbags, don’t use stock images that show handbags. Chances are you’ll lead people on and they may even ask where to buy them from!
Unsplash has a vast amount of images in all sorts of categories and it’s regularly updated with fresh new images to use. You can use them on your website or even as part of your visual social media content.
You can take your stock images and edit them with Canva. Canva is a free design tool that acts as an easier and simpler alternative to Photoshop. It can help you to easily create banners, website and blog post graphics or even social media visuals. For start-ups, it’s the perfect compromise.
Check out our full article on how Canva can benefit your business.
As a growing e-commerce business, it’s likely that you’ll need a mailing list and a way to communicate with that list. Enter Mailchimp.
Mailchimp provides an email marketing service and among its pricing plans, there is a free plan that allows you to send marketing emails up to 2,000 contacts. You’ll only receive the basic package, including a limited number of email templates, but we think it’s ideal for starting out.
Once you’ve earned a bit of money for your business, you can invest in the paid plans from Mailchimp or even another email service provider.