← Back to Blog

Here Are the Best Free E-Commerce Tools in 2020

  • Conversion Rate Optimization

E-commerce is red hot right now and full of opportunity.

By the end of 2020, experts predict worldwide e-commerce sales will reach over $4.2 trillion. But getting the ball rolling can be difficult, especially when you don’t have deep pockets.   

Many e-commerce store owners are on a shoestring budget and have to make every dollar count. Fortunately, there are a ton of great tools that allow you to optimize your digital store for free. 

Here are the 8 best free e-commerce tools that can help you level up your online store without spending a dime.

Free Downloadable Bonus

Want More Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies?

Get access to our free CRO toolkit and skyrocket your organic traffic, on-page conversion rate and more (includes resources not found in the blog post).

1. PageSpeed Insights

Delivering an amazing shopper experience is incredibly important. After all, if prospects are anything less than wowed, they can simply go elsewhere to find what they’re looking for. 

One of the biggest factors that impact shopper experience is site speed. And research has found that today’s digital shoppers have very little patience for a sluggish e-commerce site. “Forty-six percent of people say waiting for pages to load is what they dislike most about browsing the web on mobile.”

PageSpeed Insights from Google is one of the best tools for testing site speed and identifying areas for improvement. It’s super easy to use. I’ll use Bacca, a brand that sells handmade wooden laptop stands, as an example. 

Just enter your site’s URL and click “Analyze.”

PageSpeed Insights provides a score from 0–100 to provide a baseline reading of how fast the site is, for both mobile and for desktop. Zero to 49 is considered poor, 50–89 is okay and 90–100 is great.  

For mobile, Bacca received an 85, which is solid.

And for desktop, it received a 96, which is excellent.

Scroll down a bit further, and PageSpeed Insights provides specific data, such as the First Contentful Paint, which “marks the first point in the page load timeline where the user can see anything on the screen” and the speed index, which is the average time it takes for visible parts of a site to be displayed.

There are also “Opportunities,” which are specific elements that can be improved.

Here, Google suggests serving images in next-gen formats and properly sizing images. Given how vital site speed is, this is one of the first tools I recommend using, and it should help iron out any kinks that could disrupt the shopping experience. 

This brings me to my next tool.

2. Compressor.io

As we just learned, it’s important that images aren’t too bulky because it can adversely affect site performance. To prevent this, you can use an image file reduction tool like Compressor.io to drastically reduce the size of your images without compromising their quality. 

And it’s dead simple to use. All you have to do is drag and drop or upload a file.

Then, Compressior.io will show you how much it can compress the image. In this case, it can take the image from being 1.19 MB to 950.95 KB—a 20 percent reduction.

Just click on “Download Your File,” and you’re all set. It’s that easy. While it may not seem like that big of a deal if you’re reducing the file size of just one image, the results can be major when you do it for dozens of images. 

And considering that most e-commerce stores use a lot of images for displaying products, this can be huge. 

Your site should load much quicker and run more efficiently, which will make for happier shoppers.

3. Mobile-Friendly Test

In 2021, more than half (53.9 percent) of e-commerce sales are expected to come from mobile devices. So it should go without saying that building a mobile-friendly online store is extremely important.

One of the best free e-commerce tools for mobile optimization is Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Simply enter your URL—I’ll use the women’s shoe company Charlotte Stone as an example—and click “Test URL.”

This tool will analyze your site and let you know whether or not it’s mobile-friendly. Charlotte Stone, for example, is mobile-friendly, and this tool provides a screenshot so you can see exactly how users experience it.

If there’s an issue, PageSpeed Insights will let you know what it is, so you’ll know what to address. It’s quick, easy, and completely free.

4. Google Trends

More than 3.5 billion searches are performed on Google each day, which equals about 40,000 per second. That’s a staggering amount of data, making Google perfect for performing market research to gauge consumer interest.

Google Trends is a free tool that allows you to enter a search term or topic and see what’s happening. Here’s an example of how you might use it. Say you have a men’s fashion e-commerce store and are looking for new products to feature.

You would simply type in “men’s fashion” to see what’s popular at the moment

At the top, you’ll see the interest over time, which provides you with an overarching view of what the collective interest level is like.

Scroll down, and you can check out related topics and related queries, which provides some really helpful information for determining what people are searching for most frequently. 

For instance, this data shows that roaring twenties and jumpsuits are extremely popular topics at the moment.

Roaring twenties is up over 400 percent, and jumpsuits are up over 300 percent. So these could potentially be items you could add to your men’s fashion store, blog about or post on social media. 

They’re by no means “evergreen” where they’ll generate interest and bring in traffic for years to come, but they can certainly bring targeted traffic your way for a few weeks. And after that, you can simply rinse and repeat and find new topics to focus on. It’s all about striking while the iron is hot. 

Google Trends is a gold mine for data like this and can help you keep your finger on the pulse of your industry. 

5. SEMrush

Did you know that 93 percent of all website traffic comes from search engines? It’s true, and this shows that e-commerce brands that thrive at SEO are usually the ones that are the most competitive. 

So you need to have a firm grasp of how SEO works and leverage it as a primary marketing strategy. There are a ton of platforms you can use for this, but one of the best free e-commerce tools is SEMrush

Here’s how it works. Enter your URL, and click “Start Now.” I’ll use British luxury brand Mulberry as an example.

After doing this, SEMrush will supply you with a wealth of SEO information, including:

  • The volume of organic search traffic;
  • The volume of paid search traffic;
  • The number of backlinks;
  • Traffic trend;
  • Top organic keywords;
  • Organic position distribution;
  • Main organic competitors; and
  • Much more

Examining these insights can help you with numerous aspects of your SEO.

For instance, you can determine which keywords receive the most traffic with top organic keywords, including their position, search volume, cost-per-click (CPC) and overall traffic percentage.

You can see who your top competitors are with main organic competitors, along with the number of keywords they currently rank for.

And you can see which sites are sending you the most backlinks to your e-commerce store with referring domains.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much helpful information here, it’s ridiculous. 

You can use it to figure out what’s working, what’s not, and which specific actions you can take to fine-tune your SEO. For example, there may be a particular keyword that a competitor is outranking you for, and you could take steps to improve your ranking. 

An added plus is that you can enter the URL of competitors to get info on what they’re doing, what keywords they’re ranking for, where they’re getting their backlinks from, and so on. And the best part is that all of the basic features are totally free.

6. Canva

I think we can all agree that aesthetics plays a key role in an e-commerce store’s success. If your site looks great visually, it’s going to be much easier to convince shoppers to engage, browse through your products, and ultimately buy.

Beyond that, you need to have strong aesthetics for marketing, so prospects will be motivated to give your e-commerce brand a shot. 

Canva is a graphic design platform that offers a ton of great features and allows you to create everything from logos and labels to social media posts and email headers.  I’ve been using it for several years and have noticed a massive evolution in Canva, where it’s now more robust and user-friendly than ever. 

Here’s what their homepage looks like.

You can browse through the “Create a design” section or search for one directly in the search bar. Say, for instance, you wanted to create a customized logo for your e-commerce store. You can do it here with “Logo.”

Simply choose a pre-made template, and personalize it with the Canva editor.

Edit the text, adjust the background, switch up the font, or do whatever you’d like to make the design your own.

Once you’re done, download it, and it’s ready to roll. Everything Canva creates looks super professional and doesn’t require you to be a design expert. 

That’s why it’s hands down my favorite digital design platform.

7. Grammarly

Another important part of creating a great e-commerce site is having high caliber copywriting. Any misspellings, grammatical errors, or general sloppiness can make your store look unprofessional and stop shoppers dead in their tracks. 

On the other hand, having flawless copy that’s clear and concise can result in higher engagement and put shoppers in the mood to buy.

Just look at Buffy, a company that sells high-quality comforters and sleep accessories. Their copywriting is top-notch and greatly enhances its brand identity.

“Feels like sinking into a tub of whipped cream” sounds amazing, and their product descriptions are equally as appealing.

While your basic spell checker will catch major spelling issues, Grammarly does so much more, including:

  • Correct grammar;
  • Improve style and tone;
  • Ensure you use correct punctuation; and
  • Provide vocabulary suggestions

So, even if writing isn’t your forte, this free e-commerce tool can turn you into a budding wordsmith. You can use it when writing copy for your store, as well as for social media, email, messaging and other documents.

Grammarly is used by over 20 million people and is consistently ranked as one of the top productivity extensions on Chrome.

8. QR Code Generator

QR codes have exploded in recent years. “In the US alone, an estimated 11 million households will scan a QR code in 2020. This is on an increase from an estimated 9.76 million scans in 2018.”

E-commerce owners can use QR codes for multiple purposes, like placing them on the packaging or promotional items to provide a streamlined path for sending people to their online store or for offering special coupon codes to encourage shoppers to buy online. 

They can also be used to track inventory and product IDs. If you’ve ever used them, you know how incredibly convenient they are.

There’s also an inherent interactiveness about them, which many people find appealing. And thankfully, they’re really easy to create with the QR Code Generator from Shopify. 

It involves three simple steps. Just enter your email, select a data type, and enter the content URL.

Click on “Create QR code,” and it’ll be sent right to your email. Then place it anywhere you’d like.

Free Downloadable Bonus

Want More Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies?

Get access to our free CRO toolkit and skyrocket your organic traffic, on-page conversion rate and more (includes resources not found in the blog post).

Conclusion

As you can see, there’s no lack of resources available for optimizing your e-commerce store. Whether it’s making your site load quicker, enhancing SEO, or creating breathtaking designs, you can bet there’s a platform that can help. 

There are countless options available, but these are some of the absolute best free e-commerce tools I’ve come across. Using them can take your store from being mediocre to epic and ensure shoppers have a consistently amazing experience. 

And they cost absolutely nothing. 

Which of these free e-commerce tools are you most interested in trying out?

Like what you read? Leave a comment