Gone are the days when you needed a truckload of money to start an eCommerce venture. I’m not saying that you don’t need a huge amount of capital to start your own shop online. It all depends on the nature and volume of goods you deal with. But one variable of the equation has been tackled successfully over the years.
I’m referring to the availability of free, open and affordable ecommerce platforms that gets you going from day one. Whenever there is a new software platform is launched, developers first think how best they can convert it to an online shop. SaaS providers like Shopify have made the need for custom code totally unnecessary.
Made Freshly competes with Shopify trying to help users sell online quickly and efficiently. Is the web app capable enough to go head on with a giant like Shopify? Let’s go check out!
Made freshly works hard on your behalf to simplify creating a virtual store. Simply add product details and images to your store in just a few simple steps. Boost your sales with the help of our professional store designs and functional tools. To make your store unique, select a store theme and customize the design to your taste. Without the need for any knowledge in ecommerce, you can start managing your store in no time at all.
I spent a few minutes trying to locate the pricing plans page. To my surprise, I couldn’t actually find one. So, I clicked on the sign up page thinking some choices would be displayed there atleast. But, even in the sign up page there was no mention of a subscription and by default a free account is created.
After email verification and logging in , you will be greeted by an overlay requesting for the PayPal address you want to integrate with your store. Usually, in an online shop running on any platform, you get started by adding a bunch of products you deal in. Likewise, Made Freshly starts there too.
Adding and Updating Products
Adding products to your online store is a no brainer. Fill up the product creation form like you do any other web form and you will have the product listed in no time. Most of the fields are self explanatory and as far as I can see, all required information about a product that the customer would like to know is collected beforehand. This should help keeping inquires to a minimum and increase the chance of conversions.
You can add multiple images to a product and each product can have multiple options (varieties, colors etc.). The order of images and product options can be realigned by dragging and dropping them around.
By default the free shipping option is selected. But Made Freshly has a dynamite shipping groups and rates feature. You can have multiple shipping policies for each product based on your terms. For instance, you can have a shipping charge for US and one for Europe.
Customization and Pricing
Once the products are all added, they will be automatically displayed in the storefront subdomain. If you aren’t satisfied with the default design, there a few cool themes to choose from the Design section of the app. The available theme choices are very limited but they are unique nevertheless. Since more than half of the themes are available only when a plan is upgraded, there definitely should be more themes for premium users.
Themes are meant to alter the layout of the store. For those looking forward to tinker every single aspect of the store, options to edit the colors, design, font and pages of the store are available in the same Design section too.
Finally, I found the subscriptions plans under the Settings page. There are only two paid plans and surprisingly none of them come with support for unlimited listings. Plans are mostly differentiated based on the number of listed products, themes, images per product and product pages. Custom domain integration and discount codes are supported in both free and paid plans as well.
I never once thought that Made Freshly would be completely free despite the dev team trying hard to create such an illusion. It’s a great idea to promote a free account left, right and center for customer acquisition. But beyond a point, if there are premium plans, it is the duty of the developers to ensure that users are aware of them before they’re too committed and feel tricked.
Made Freshly’s plans are affordable when compared to Shopify and in my opinion the web app makes for a very competent eCommerce platform. So, it’s in their best interest to disclose the pricing upfront in the homepage rather than hiding it in the Settings page. That said, Made Freshly has got everything to help even a novice run an online shop without any fuss.
Share Your Thoughts!
Do you own an eCommerce shop? Do you prefer custom code or pay as you go options like Made Freshly and Shopify?