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How To Create Your Own Online Store How To Create Your Own Online Store

How to Create Your Own Online Store - Step-by-step guide

Last Updated on 13/06/2024

Realistically, there are few businesses today which can survive without an online presence. The good news is that it’s never been easier to build a brand online. In fact, you could learn how to build an online store in minutes.

On this very page, we’re going to show you everything you need to know to build your own online store. This will include the utilisation of website builders, what they’re all about, and what to look for in your favourite with some recommendations. When you’ve finished reading, you should be ready to take the next step online.

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What are website builders?

In order to understand how you’re going to build an online store website, you’ll first need to know the tools we recommend you use. Website builders are what we’d suggest to the majority of readers. While it’s possible to create your own sites from scratch and there are some advantages to this that is beyond the reach of most people looking up how to create my own online store.

Website builders are the perfect solution, providing a way to create online store presence without any technical knowledge or experience. They’re designed so anyone with access to a computer can get their business, blog, or anything else they want online easily. Plus, you can rest assured that the best website builder is very much capable of creating an online store you can be proud of.

Are website builders suitable to build your own online store?

The answer if you’re reading this is very likely yes. It really comes down to two questions. Firstly, do you want to build an online store website? If yes, then you’ll need a method of doing so.

Secondly, are you capable of coding a website yourself? If the answer is no, then you’ll need a user-friendly alternative. In that case, we highly recommend website builders to help create an online store presence.

Three great website builders for an online store

If you’re looking to build your business online, there’s no shortage of excellent options. And if you keep in mind what to look out for as explained above, there’s bound to be one that’s just perfect for you.

To help get you started, we’ve selected three fantastic website builders for you to check out, which we think represent some of the best ways to create an online store right now.

Shopify

There’s arguably none that’s more singularly devoted to providing an ideal platform for you to easily create an online store. They’re an all-in-one option. This means you can find free website designs to get started quickly, plus all your ecommerce needs are covered.

For instance, marketing transactions and shipping are all taken care of, and they’re one of the most reputable website builders of any kind out there. The likes of Gymshark, Hill House Home, and Desmond & Dempsey are all proof of their capabilities.

With a free trial and costs starting at £1 a month, it’s well worthy of your consideration.

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Shopify Highlights
  • Customizable templates
  • Safe and efficient platform
  • Build it your way

Wix

Well-suited to small- to medium-sized businesses, Wix is a simple drag and drop style website builder with tons of features useful for an ecommerce business.

In terms of the sheer amount of customisation you can access, they’re tough to beat. This is really important if you’re trying to build an online store which stands out in a crowded market. It’s also highly scalable, with the option to create a free online store website, meaning you pay nothing, with higher paid tiers available as your needs and business grows.

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  • 99.9% uptime

Squarespace

There might not be any free plan at Squarespace but they’ve made sure they have everything you need to create an online store to be proud of. Building your site is both immensely simple and, thanks to one of the greatest collections of professional templates, it’s one of the best looking website builders too.

Importantly, the templates are built with ecommerce in mind and with all the online shop features you should need. You can do everything from modifying products and tracking inventory to setting up payment methods and shipping options. You can even add email notifications and discount codes to enhance the experience. This, alongside fantastic mobile optimisation, helps Squarespace stand out amongst immense competition.

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  • Excellent templates
  • Integrated marketing & analytics tools
  • Access to over 40 million images

How to create my own online store: 10 things you’ll need to know

It should now be clear whether a website builder is right for you. And since you’re still here, we’ll assume you decided they were the right way forward. Good choice. But we’ve got some good news and bad news for you. The good news is that there’s a fantastic amount of website builders to choose from. And all are capable, to varying degrees, of helping you build an online store website.

The bad news is that even when you only use quality options, you’ll still need to know what to look for to find one that’s right for your business. To help, we’ve selected 10 vital things you’ll need to take your store online.

⚒️ A quality reputation

Just as is the case when looking for the best domain registrar, your website builder needs to have an excellent reputation to even be considered. The reason for this is two-fold. For the first thing, a bad reputation is a red flag. Even if everything else looks good, if lots of other people are having a terrible time, it’s likely you will too. Furthermore, if you’re using a subdomain, it’ll be harder to create online store magic if it’s with a provider of poor standing. 

🛍️ Sound security measures

Your online store will contain a lot of sensitive information, including payment details. Therefore, excellent security features are a must. A quality website builder should offer SSL encryption, software updates, secure infrastructure DDoS Protection, user authentication, secure payment processing and more. That way, you can be sure that users can shop on your site with confidence.

📞 Quality customer service

Not only do you need to be able to offer quality customer service and have all the relevant tools at your disposal to do so when you build an online store, but you need access to customer service from your website builder yourself. This provides you access to a team so you can work together to resolve any issues you might have. We’re not just talking about an FAQ here either, as we expect broad access to an actual in-person team who can answer your questions quickly and proficiently. 

💵 Templates which suit your business

The practicalities of how to build an online store really begin with the pre-designed templates and themes. These provide an attractive starting point ready for further customisation. 

🖥️ An interface that works for you

Essentially, the interface is what you use to create and design your website, without the need for code. It must be user-friendly and allow you to achieve everything you want without any technical knowledge. Often on website builders, this practically consists of a drag and drop editor where you can simply select the elements (text, images and videos are common) and place them on the page to easily arrange everything you want the user to see. 

📝 Quality content management

Your  content considerations don’t end once they’re placed on the template. If you want to build an online store website, you’ll want to keep in mind that this is an ongoing, ever-evolving process. That’s why you’ll need quality content management. This means you can reorganise pages, add or edit content or integrate other media elements, just as a few examples. 

🤝 The features and tools you need

Today, website builders are capable of offering you a dizzying amount of features that can accommodate ecommerce functionality. This can include product management to improve your listing, a shopping cart allowing users to easily manage their purchases, payment integration which provides people with the ability to pay easily, shipping options, discount and bonus offers and more to maximise your site quality. Basically, if you’re going to build your own online store, you’ll need a builder that has the features you need. 

💳 A reasonable cost

Some website builders cost money; others don’t. If you’re looking to create a free online store website, that’s entirely possible, but you may be missing some features. More can be provided, and from the finest website builders, for a very reasonable amount. Ensure that whatever you pick has all you need for the right cost. 

📱 Mobile integration

This consideration is two-fold. Firstly, whether you wish to create an online store app or want to go for the optimised mobile browser version, a modern online store should be available portably. Any tool/platform you choose should comfortably accommodate this. It’s also of great help if the website builder itself can be available to you on mobile so you can manage your business from anywhere.

🚀 Scalability

When you learn how to build an online store, you must keep the future in mind. That’s why just like when looking for the best hosting provider it’s so important that your website builder is capable of handling large volumes of visitors without experiencing performance issues. In other words, your builder should be able to match the scale of your business growth. 

Shopify
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Wix
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IONOS
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Square
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What to do next: Setting up your online store

There are, of course, variables in the way different website builders work. However, we think that the following is a sound baseline of knowledge to get started with the overwhelming majority of mainstream options.

Wondering how to create my own online store? Here’s how:

⚒️ Choose a website builder

Check out our recommendations, consider your needs, and choose a tool/platform best suited to your requirements and budget. The individual builder will likely have different plans for you to choose from as well, so pay close attention to those.

⭐️ Pick your basic template

The first step is the easiest and might just be the most fun. You pick a template and in moments, you’ll have the bones of what will become your online store.

🤝 Personalise with your own touches

A great website builder will provide plenty of tools and ways to make your store your own. For instance, you may add your logo and generally edit the design so it suits your brand identity.

🛍️ Add products

Because we’re talking ecommerce, now would be the time to add your products to the online store. Text and images are often easy to add to the template using a drop and drag interface. Make sure to structure, explain, and organise your products so they’re easy to understand.

💳 Select payment and shipping options

You have your products, now to add a way to pay. Mainstream providers should be easy to integrate, including e-wallets and debit cards. Shipping settings can then determine your fees and shipping options for the user.

❓ Add policies and legal information

Because we’re talking about how to create an online store app and/or website, you’ll need to add policies which set out refund policy, privacy policy, shipping policy, and general terms and conditions. Ensure all relevant laws and regulations governing online businesses are adhered to.

🥇 Test

Thoroughly test the shopping experience, making test purchases and generally experiencing it from the customers’ perspective to ensure everything is up to scratch.

🚀 Launch and market

If everything looks good, you’re ready to launch. Of course, the journey doesn’t stop here, as once the store is live, you then have to market your store and maintain the site to provide the best chance of a successful business. 

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Wix
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Create an online store FAQ

💻Can I use a website builder to make my own online store?

Our guide to creating your own online store is interested in providing guidance towards the simplest and most broadly accessible ways of creating a viable ecommerce business. Website builders are the most mainstream option, so it’s vital that our page answers whether these are suitable for online stores. Keep reading to find out.

👍Are website builders suitable to newcomers?

Just because you want to open an online store, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re technically minded. This can cause a problem because hiring someone else to create your website can be expensive. The obvious solution then is website builders. If they’re useable for your online store, the next question is whether they’re suitable for newcomers, so all our readers can take their business online.

💵Is it possible to open an online store website for free?

There are a lot of considerations before you open an online store. There’s the best way of doing it, whether a website builder is suitable and if so, how to find one which works for you. You don’t necessarily need additional financial stress on top of that. That’s why our guide to creating an online store will make clear whether it’s possible to open an online store for free, and if so, what you can generally expect.

Conclusion: A website builder for all retail needs

Many people reading this page will have begun without any idea of how to build an online store. Even for complete beginners, the news is all good. In fact, website builders are built specifically so anyone can get a website up and running. This includes excellent facilities for online stores. And with an abundance of world-class, easy to use options many of them for free and even more available very cheaply anyone can take their business into the virtual world.

Shopify
1.
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from $9 per month
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Wix
2.
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4.9/5
$16 per month
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WordPress
3.
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4.8/5
$4 per month
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IONOS
4.
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4.8/5
$1 per month
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Square
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