How to Start Selling Goods and Services Online

Start your own e-commerce store

How frequently do you shop online?

If you’re like most people, you’re no stranger to online shopping. Each year the number of online shoppers climbs higher and higher, and we don’t see that trend declining any time soon. According to Statista, “Retail e-commerce sales worldwide are forecast to more than double between 2018 and 2023, surpassing 6.5 trillion U.S. dollars in 2023.”

Those statistics make starting an e-commerce website pretty appealing, don’t they? And if you need any extra motivation, think about how nice it’ll be to be your own boss, make your own hours, and be able to work from anywhere in the world.

Starting an e-commerce website

How do you start planning for your online business and creating your e-commerce site?

Before we discuss the elements every e-commerce site should have, let’s talk about getting your other ducks in a row. In order to build the best e-commerce website you can, you’ll need to consider:

  • Your ideal customer.
  • Your products or services.
  • Your differentiator, or what sets you apart from the competition and makes people choose you over them.
  • Sourcing your products.
  • Inventory.
  • Shipping.
  • What you’ll name your business and online store (hint: it should match your domain name for consistent branding.)

Once you’ve spent some time on those items, you can get down to business creating a website to sell your goods and services so you don’t miss your piece of the e-commerce sales pie.

First impressions matter

Have you ever landed on a website to browse and do some shopping only to scan it and think, “This doesn’t look legitimate,” and then exited the site? What gave you the impression that the website wasn’t genuine or could be a scam?

Typos and bad grammar, no product descriptions or photos, a lack of contact information, an unsecure website connection, and cluttered design are all reasons we’ve heard for people leaving a website without making a purchase.

Elements every e-commerce website needs

When someone lands on your website, they shouldn’t be driven away by any of the reasons we mentioned above. You want to inspire trust in your site visitors and help them through your marketing funnel so they’ll become customers.

What elements does your e-commerce website need to inspire confidence in your site visitors?

  • Security
    • The threat of having your personal and financial information exposed or hacked is real. With SSL, a secure connection is established between your site visitor and your website. That means any information passed from their end to yours (like billing details) is encrypted and kept safe from prying eyes.
  • Cluttered design
    • Websites are visual things and humans are visual creatures. You can try creating your own website with code, or make life a little easier on yourself by using a website builder.
    •’s WebsiteBuilder offers specific themes already optimized for e-commerce and you can drag and drop elements within these themes to customize your site.
  • Product photos and product information
    • Again, humans are visual creatures. You need clear photos that accurately represent your products. You also need a clear description of what you’re selling. If not, you risk people not purchasing or purchasing, being disappointed, and leaving bad reviews for your new online store.
  • Typos and bad grammar
    • If your online site is full of typos and errant punctuation, you run the risk of someone thinking it’s a fake site that’s set up to phish for your personal or financial information.  
    • There are many free online tools, like Grammarly, that can help you perfect the spelling and grammar for the writing and copy on your e-commerce website.
  • Contact Information
    • We know you’re doing your best. Even so, mistakes can happen. On the off chance that there’s an error in an order, your customers will want to know how to contact you. Make sure that information is apparent and available from the moment you launch your site.

From a consumer perspective, your e-commerce site needs these things. Without them, you’re doing yourself and your online business a disservice.

Are you ready to start building your online store?

Check out’s Website Builder today!

With WebsiteBuilder, you don’t just get highly-customizable templates. With our business plan you’ll receive dedicated e-commerce features in your builder like:

  • E-commerce shopping cart
    • Sell your products across web and mobile devices.
  • Inventory management
    • Track your inventory and stock.
  • Payment processing
    • Choose from Stripe or PayPal.
  • Coupon codes
    • You’ll have the ability to offer coupon codes to your visitors and customers to drive more sales.

So what are you waiting for? Get your domain name and start your online store today!

Natalie Brownell
Natalie Brownell Marketing Manager. She believes in the power of words and loves a good story. She resides in MA and spends her days behind the keyboard with her two feline coworkers. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Natalie Brownell
Natalie Brownell Marketing Manager. She believes in the power of words and loves a good story. She resides in MA and spends her days behind the keyboard with her two feline coworkers. Connect with her on LinkedIn.