I am sure that by now most eCommerce owners understand the importance of visuals for marketing. What do ‘Visuals’ include? They include images, animated GIFs, videos and the newer growing trend of cinemagraphs. Adweek predicts that by 2018, 84% of marketing will be visual, and by 2020 will account for 80% of web traffic. So why have visuals become so important? Because visual communication:
- Helps with better information retention
- Saves advertisers time in getting their message out
- Allows advertisers to connect with audiences emotionally
- Provides clear messaging that distinguishes you from the competition
With the rise of visual usage comes the rise of visual tools designed to ensure you can provide content that delivers without the expense of hiring professional designers. Giving small to medium business the chance to create perfect visuals to are able to display difficult concepts in a clear, easy-to-understand way, emotionally connect you to potential shoppers and stand out from the crowd.
In this post we will look at 23+ affordable online design tools to help you create perfect visuals without design know-how.
1. Adobe Spark
Tool: Design App
Adobe Spark is a design app that enables you to create animated videos, web stories and social visuals in minutes. It gives users access to beautiful typography, fonts, icons and images, and professional themes. Their basic free plan lets you try your hand at designing video stories, graphics and video and is available on IOS, desktop and Android with the ability to sync between devices before upgrading to their premium plan. At only $9.99 p/m, paid-for Spark will give you full design control.
Price: From $0
Tool: Photo Collage Maker & Editor
BeFunky is a photo editing platform that will help you take your product images to the next level, create image collages and do basic designs from flyers to business cards. Photo editing is as easy as uploading the photo, making your adjustments and saving, right from your computer or phone. BeFunky basic has ads but you can upgrade from as little as $3 p/m.
Price: From $0
Tool: Avatar Creator
100% free, the Bitmoji app enables you to make your own customized emojis (a.k.a. digital avatars) that you can use for the “meet the team” section of your site or to personalize your messaging when communicating with customers. Also a great way to add a little fun to your message selling in email and social private messaging, the Bitmoji chrome extension will get your Avatar on the web with ease.
Boomerang by Instagram
Tool: Video Maker App
This is one of my personal favorites…. If you’ve been active on Instagram, you have probably seen the Boomerang download option or those popular videos that run in a loop. This free video maker allows you to take mini videos or up to 10 photos and put them together to form a video loop – great for showcasing your products on social media. Plus, no signup is needed to take advantage of this online design tool!
Tool: Design Software
There is very little you cannot design with Canva, making it the leading online design platform. With the recent launch of their IOS app version they have grown into a considerable resource for online marketers and increasing their design capabilities continuously, which now includes even logo design. Super easy to use; I have personally used Canva on anything from social posts to business cards and often choose it over ‘fancier’ design programs I used to use. This platform offers free and cheap templates that can be adapted for almost any brand or niche.
Tool: Infographic Maker
If you’re finally getting your content marketing strategy off the ground, infographics can be a great tool for Pinterest or blogs to show that you’re an authority in your niche. Enter Ease.ly, the tool that helps you easily create infographics without the need for a designer. With Ease.ly you can create your own or adapt one of thousands of templates.
Price: From $0
Tool: Cinemagraph Maker
Flixel is a cinemagraph maker you can use from your Mac or iPhone. Cinemagraphs are photos with moving elements and are becoming an increasingly popular tool for eCommerce products, and 2014’s Apple Design Award winner Fixel is leading the cinemagraph maker tool way. If you don’t use IOS you can also try the Android alternative: Fotodanz.
Price: From $0
7. Free Logo Design
Tool: Logo Design Tool
As we know from our Online Store Feedback post, having a good logo is important for branding and trust-building. With Free Logo Design, you can now build your store’s logo for absolutely free. It is easy to navigate and offers 1,000s of free templates to get you branded in no time at all. If you do need your logo in a higher resolution the cost is $59, a very affordable alternative to contracting a designer.
Tool: Slideshow, Animation & GIF Maker
With Giftmaker you can create animated avatars and icons, turn videos into GIFs and resize, edit and combine GIFs online. GIFs are a popular Messenger add-on and social media content that are shared and easy to engage with.
Tool: GIF Maker and Library
Another free GIF maker you can use to up your visual game. What makes this online tool so great is the access to hundreds of thousands of ready-made GIFs you can use if you don’t want to make your own and/or want to keep up with GIF trends.
Tool: Diagram Maker
Become a chart and diagram expert with this handy online diagram maker tool. Gliffy is easy to use and lets you choose from templates or create your own to create diagrams in minutes. Design options include: overview, flow charts, network diagrams, floor plans, mind maps, Venn diagrams, SWOT analyses, wireframes, site maps, UML, business process models, technical drawings and organizational charts – all the behind-the-scenes a growing business needs. Their basic package lets you make unlimited amounts of diagrams, export your images and gives you 24/7 support.
Price: From $8 p/m
11. Google Photos
Tool: Photo Collage and Animation Maker & Storage
Another collage maker and animator, Google Photos is a great free tool. Plus, as it is part of your drive it will help you keep all your photos in one place, nice and organized. As any online seller will tell you, having organized product photos is a must for efficiently. From Google Photos you can edit and make collages and animations like the one above right from your storage that collates camera, laptop and phone photos.
Tool: Infographic, Map & Graph Maker
Infogram is another infographic design tool that makes the list, but it isn’t just infographics you can produce. With Infogram you have over 35 interactive map prototypes, millions of images and icons, in-house expert editing, and graphs in GIF, PNG and PDF formats. They boast to be the easiest way to design and share interactive data visualizations, perfect for eCommerce wanting to show valuable information in a crisp, clear way.
Price: From $0
Tool: Screen Recorder
Jing is a video creation app for either Windows or Mac that lets you turn screenshots into video – you can download here. This is a great tool for digital eCommerce sellers who want to produce short how-to tutorials. With Jing, you can choose which segments of your desktop you would like to shoot and you can record for up to five minutes.
Price: From $0
14. Landscape by Sprout Social
Tool: Photo Resizing Tool
Sprout Social’s drag-and-drop photo editing tool Landscape is free and easy to use. This online tool lets you upload any image, choose which social networks you want them uploaded to and then lets you edit accordingly. The advantage of this tool is that when uploading social content, you won’t need to edit every photo manually when posting, which saves you a lot of time.
Tool: GIF Maker
If you want to get more out of your content, why not turn your YouTube videos into GIFs? Another leading online GIF creator is Makeagif, which will enable you to make a GIF from almost anything including YouTube videos and Facebook content. This free tool is easy to navigate and also includes a handy collection of ready-made GIFs you can download.
Bonus: Another free GIF and Meme Creator you can try is Memecenter.
Tool: Social Media Visual Maker
Pagemodo is a visual creation tool designed specifically around Facebook. It enables you to launch professional-looking Facebook pages and create Facebook ad visuals, but it is more than just a design tool. Along with designing cover images, contests, and post designs, Pagemodo will also help you collect leads on social media with custom tabs and contests and offer scheduling solutions.
Price: From $6.25 p/m
Tool: Image Editor
PhotoCollage is a simplistic collage maker and photo resizer that is easy to use and doesn’t require any sign-in. It’s as easy as dragging the photos in, choosing from thousands of templates, adding your text and sharing the content.
Tool: Photo Editing
This is one of my favorite editing sites that I use for resizing images for this very blog. It is as easy as dragging the image or photo into the site and clicking ‘resize,’ after which you can crop, rotate, resize, add special effects, and limit file size to your online specifications. All this for absolutely free!
Tool: Image Resizer
Biteable’s new image resizing tool is a one-click online tool to create 50+ common social media formats. You can also create custom image sizes to fit your needs. It’s simple, easy to use, and fast!
20. Profile Picture Maker
Tool: Framed Profile Photos
Have you noticed the recent trend of people using temporary profile pics with a frame? They normally contain an event or a product/brand they like, and with Profile Picture Maker you can create and add a relevant frame or stickers to display on your business page when you have a specific promotion, etc.
21. Quotes Cover
Tool: Social Cover Designer
Similar to Profile Picture Maker, Quotes Cover is an online design tool that helps you create themed covers for your Facebook pages, events and group covers, Pinterest quote posts, or quoted Instagram images. As we all know, quotes have big engagement on social media and this is a way to easily add some to your content plan for free.
Bonus: More quote creators you can try out include Quozio.
Tool: Video Maker
Soapbox is a video creation tools that proves you don’t need to hire fancy videographers to make the perfect video ads. Created by Wistia, this Chrome extension tool doesn’t require any skill on the part of the user and lets you customize player colors and thumbnails, re-edit videos and include links at the ends of your videos – perfect for creating tutorials. Here’s a full tutorial on how you can use this tool:
Price: From $0
Tool: Image Maker
Stencil is a fast, lightweight, user-friendly image creation tool. With this tool you have access to 650+ templates, over 100k quotes, 2k Google Web Fonts, over 1 million background photos and over 800k icons and graphics to choose from.
Price: From $0
23. Shopify Logo Maker
24. An Intelligent Logo Maker
The intelligent logo maker understands your business and preference. This AI logo maker tool is powered by Designhill. All you have to do is fill certain information about your company along with your design preferences. Based on the data filled the tool would come up with numerous logo design options for you to choose.
Tool: Photo-Collage Maker
Using professionally-designed photo collage templates, Venngage lets you create custom collages without any design experience. You can sign up for a free account, then get started by visiting the templates page and choosing the perfect photo collage template for you. Whether you’re creating travel collages, animal collages or family-photo collages, you’ll see a variety of vibrant designs, neat layouts, and different themes to choose from. Once you’ve selected a template, you’ll jump into the editor. Here you can just double-click on each stock photo and then upload your own. The user-friendly photo-frame feature lets you reposition and resize your uploaded images without having to crop them beforehand. It won’t take you more than a few minutes to design a creative, professional-looking photo collage. Once you’re done, you can save it to print later or share it directly to social media.
Have a favorite online design tool you’re using that’s not on the list? Share them in the comments below!
Nicole is a content writer at StoreYa with over sixteen years experience and flair for storytelling. She runs on a healthy dose of caffeine and enthusiasm. When she's not researching the next content trend or creating informative small business content, she's an avid beachgoer, coffee shop junkie and hangs out on LinkedIn.
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