Ever since the first online stores emerged in the 1990s, e-commerce has been on the rise as the convenient solution for consumers to shop without leaving their houses.

According to statistics, e-commerce sales grow steadily year after year, showing how online stores are becoming an integral part of today’s digital economy. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the world saw a massive shift into online shopping, and many retailers moved their operations online to adapt to the situation.

Selling your products on the Internet has great potential, both as an addition to a physical store and as a standalone business. With the ability to reach a wide, even global audience 24/7, e-commerce offers a new level of convenience.

E-Commerce Websites: Core Information

If you want to sell online but are not interested in marketplace-style platforms like Amazon or eBay, creating your own e-commerce website is the way to go. While it is a more complicated process than selling on established platforms, it can be more rewarding and proficient than other methods.

How to Start an Online Store?

Usually, an e-commerce website is created on a special platform, like Magento, Shopify, or WooCommerce. Occasionally, it can be made from scratch, but it is more complicated and takes longer to develop. You would also need to have much more technical expertise to successfully create an online store from scratch.

To sell online, you need to have not only the front-end (the visual aspect of the website), but also the whole back-end infrastructure to handle payments, inventory management, marketing, customer data, and security. Trying to sell products without a fully realized, functioning website will likely be a disaster, and a costly one at that.

Creating an online store usually involves several steps, each of which requires a lot of attention—from designing the visuals and writing the code to setting up extra frameworks and making it user-friendly.

You might need to buy e-commerce integration software, additional frameworks for customizing themes, or even hire assistance with the initial setup, but over time, these expenses will pay off as your e-commerce business grows. When planning how to build your website on a budget, think about the return on investment, not only the initial savings.

While you do not have to hire a development company to build you an online store, it would be a good way to save time and potentially money on fixing mistakes that could have been avoided if professionals had been involved from the very beginning.

Law and E-Commerce

As you will collect sensitive data about people who purchase your products, like addresses, credit card numbers, and other personal information, you will need to strictly adhere to laws and regulations regarding data protection and privacy. Failure to do so may result in catastrophic consequences – from your shop’s closure to high financial penalties. The loss of reputation that can be suffered in such a situation is not worth the risk.

Always make sure that the payment gateway you choose is secure and compliant with top industry standards to protect both your customers and your shop. Implement extra security measures, such as SSL certificates, two-factor authentication or advanced encryption, for an additional layer of protection.

You also need to ensure that the products you are selling can actually be sold under your local law, as well as to always check if they can be legally sent to the area where your customers are located. Certain laws may differ from one state or nation to the next and are not always clear at first glance!

What to Consider Before Starting an Online Store?

If you have already decided that you want to start an online store, there are several factors you need to consider before diving head first into the e-commerce world. Carefully planning everything instead of rushing into it will save you a lot of time, money, and reputation.

Your Budget

There is no need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on e-commerce development services. Instead, look for someone who offers help in your price range. Unless you are trying to extremely cut corners and sacrifice quality, you will surely be able to find reputable developers.

When you are low on budget, consider platforms like Magento or Shopify and ready-made templates. These options can provide a more cost-effective alternative for those who can’t afford the services of a whole team of website developers.

Functionality of Your Website

Of course, you need to consider how you want your website to look and what functionalities it needs to have to fulfill its purpose. For example, you need to decide how many different payment options you want to offer, whether you will integrate an inventory management system, or if you want an AI-powered support chatbot to be available to customers.

E-commerce integration software can help you implement many different features and streamline the process of managing your online store in the future. Customer management systems are equally useful – but it is up to you, whether you want to use them!


In 2024, there is no point in creating a website that only works well on standard PC screen sizes. If your shop looks bad or is unresponsive on devices other than personal computers, it will not be good enough for a modern shopper.

Most Americans use phones and tablets to do their online shopping. It is essential to make your store mobile-friendly, then. People are less likely to buy from a seller who does not take the time to optimize their website so that it works for them. Show your customers that you truly care about their experience and go for responsive, cross-compatible design.

Your Expertise

If you are new to e-commerce and have never run an online store before, you will likely benefit from hiring an experienced developer who can guide you through the process. While it is perfectly possible to do everything on your own, you risk making costly mistakes and wasting time that could be better spent working on other aspects of your business.

If you, however, possess some knowledge that could be helpful in the website development process, you can definitely use it to your advantage and perform some of the tasks on your own.

Building an E-Commerce Website: Conclusion

Not all e-commerce websites are the same; they use different platforms, programming languages, and design elements. The costs and skills needed to build one differ, depending on the store’s size, complexity, and target audience. You must take all of it into consideration before making any decision about building your website. Rushing into the design and development without careful planning could result in a website that does not serve its purpose, and this is not something you want for your business.