How to Make an Online Store in 2024: 20 Easiest Platforms

June 12, 2023
Reading time24 minutes
Jaqueline Corradi
Jaqueline Corradi
Content Manager

Learning how to make an online store may be simpler than most people think as long as you can count on efficient tools. It's possible to find several solutions on the internet that were developed to help you create an ecommerce website without having to know how to code or being a design expert. 

Besides creating a website, you also need to plan how to make your business idea viable. For example, defining what products to sell, how to source them, and establishing processes to keep track of every order, packing, and sending them on time. Check out the article to learn more about that. 

How to Make an Online Store Step by Step

1. Choose the Products You Are Going to Sell

If you already have a physical store and just want to sell the same products online, deciding what to insert in your website catalog may not be a problem. Although, for entrepreneurs who are creating their business now, it's something very important to consider. 

By having an online store, you can sell the items of your brand products, for example, craftsmanship items, clothes, and accessories. There is the opportunity to be a reseller as well, where you are not in charge of the manufacturing process.

Selling your brand products

 The aspects you have to consider to sell your brand products online start with the production part. You need to calculate how long each item takes to be finished to define the delivery time,including the time your suppliers take to deliver the raw materials. 

Also, calculate when it's necessary to replace the products in your inventory and the quantity you can produce. Thinking about those needs will prevent you from selling more than you are able to deliver or telling the wrong estimated delivery time to your clients. 

It's necessary to create a packaging and shipping system, as well. Many ecommerce website builders already have partnerships with shipping companies, which can facilitate things for you regarding defining rates, for example. 

Dropshipping

When you are going to sell other brand products, one very popular system is using dropshipping, which has been offered by many big suppliers from different sectors. In this case, you are only responsible for making the sales.

The suppliers are the ones in charge of taking care of the inventory, storing, packing, and sending the products. It means you won't have to spend money locating a storage space or having to take all the selling steps. 

That's a very helpful solution for entrepreneurs who don’t have a lot of capital to start selling online. Here, all you need is your computer, a good internet connection, and focusing on marketing strategies. 

2. Define Your Niche

Some companies develop their strategies by focusing on offering a big range of products, for example, selling electronics, from smartphones to TVs. While other ecommerce websites focus on a specific niche, such as accessories for gamers or vegan skincare products.

Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. Selling a huge variety of products amplifies the number of potential customers, but the competition is bigger. Having an online store that sells very specific products may reduce the number of customers, on the other hand, the competition is smaller. 

When building your business plan, think about those differences, and study the market sector you want to get into. It will give you a better vision to determine what to sell, and the strategies to apply.  

To choose the niche you want to invest in, consider the following aspects:

  • Profitability: search for a niche that is profitable. Analyze the return on investment you could have.For example, if the manufacturing expenses is too high for a product, it may not worth selling it. Also, consider the shipping, and material purchase costs.
  • Demand: is there a considerable demand for the product you wish to sell in the online market? That's one of the first questions you need to answer when defining your niche and the focus of your ecommerce.
  • Passion: what are you passionate about? Taking into considerations your passions, the areas you are deeply interest in, can help you choose what to sell. After all, you will be working with something that already has your attention, and being an expert on your sector is a differential.

3. Get to Know Your Target Audience

After deciding your niche, it's time to research who your target audience is. Discover what their needs and buying process are, try to understand how your online store can solve their demands, and create marketing and selling strategies considering that. 

Draw a profile of your target audience considering these 3 main aspects:

  • Demographics: age, gender, occupation, and income.
  • Location: where your target audience is mostly located.
  • Interests: lifestyle, hobbies, opinions, personality.

4. Create Your Brand's Name

Another crucial step in how to make an online store is choosing your band's name, in case you don't have one already. The brand's name is very important to a business as it's one of the main elements that integrate its visual identity, and it's how your customers will get to know you.

Choose a name that is easy to remember and spell, which is also associated with your brand's main characteristics. The name of your brand must be aligned with your business mission and values.

5. Register Your Business and a Domain Name

Once you have defined the brand's name, check if there isn't any other company registered under the same name. If not, register your company, this way you avoid problems and guarantee copyright protection. 

To start the process of building an online store, you will also need to register a domain name, which is the address of your ecommerce website. You can use the same name as your brand. It's advisable to opt for simple suffixes like ".com".

5. Build a Business Plan

Once you have defined what you are going to sell, how to source the products, made complete research about your target audience and competitors, and selected the sales channels, it's needed to put everything on paper. 

Write your business plan to organize your ideas, and understand how to put everything into practice and create a successful company. The business plan should include: 

  • Company values
  • Mission
  • Goals
  • Company description
  • Products and services offered
  • Market analysis
  • Marketing strategies
  • Financial planning and projection
  • Budget 

6. Select an Ecommerce Platform to Build Your Website  

The easiest way for people, who are learning how to sell online, to have their own website store is to use ecommerce builders, such as Wix, and Shopify. That way, you won't need to build a website from scratch

You will already count on a developed system, pre-built customizable templates, plugins to install, and a dashboard to manage your ecommerce. Using those resources doesn't require coding or design skills. 

Research the platforms, choose the one that fits your needs better, and start developing your online store. In every step of the process, remember to consider the customer experience, think about how they are going to navigate through your store, and in ways to convert access into sales. 

An ecommerce platform must provide:

  • Easy to use editor
  • Pre-built templates for online stores
  • Responsive design
  • Payment and shipping tools
  • Centralized inventory
  • Seamless checkout process
  • SEO tools
  • Web hosting

7. Build Your Online Store

After you have chosen the ecommerce website builder you will use,  it's time to start making the online store itself. Choose a pre-built template according to your online store type and personalize it. 

The design is a crucial part when it comes to providing a good user experience, make sure the template is mobile-friendly. Besides, pay attention to structuring the content on each page in a way that the main information stands out. It must be easy and pleasant to browse through the pages. 

Choose the color palette and add design elements that are aligned with the brand's visual identity. This helps to create a cohesive brand image, adding credibility to your business. Build the website considering your target audience's preferences and needs too, and review all the pages to make sure everything is placed correctly.

8. Upload the Products

With the online store website completely structured, and organized in multiple sections, you need to upload the products and create their pages. 

Write a complete product description with all the important information about the item, including size, color, brand, and how-to-use instructions. Take good product photos with high resolution, which shows the product as close as possible to reality.

9. Optimize the Website

Another important step of how to make an online store is optimizing the website according to SEO best practices. This will increase the chances of having your website pages appear on Google's first search results for keywords related to your bussing, providing more visibility and increasing organic traffic.

Google's algorithm considers several aspects to place a page on its SERPs (search result pages). Some of them are the use of keywords along the text, optimized URL, meta description with the keyword, responsive design, and fast page load time. Analyze these elements, and implement the best practices on your website. 

10. Promote Your Online Store

Beyond knowing how to make an online store, it's essential to develop marketing strategies to promote your business and catch your target audience's attention. Enjoy social media to invite people to visit your website. 

You can create profile pages for your brand in the social media channels that your target audience uses the most. Plan the content you are going to post and publish new posts regularly to engage with your audience. 

You can also advertise your website on other websites, and social media platforms, and create marketing campaigns for special occasions.  Encourage people to buy your products by offering special discounts and other benefits such as free shipping.  

20 Easiest Platforms to Make an Online Store

1. Wix

Create your own Ecommerce with Wix today

Wix offers an industry-leading website builder for online stores where you are going to count on more than 500 free templates, separated into categories, like fashion & clothing, electronics, home & decor, and much more. 

If you still don't have your brand's identity well-developed, enjoy Wix Logo Maker, and Business Name Generator. To be found online easily, you can also create your own domain name. The platform allows you to add up to 50,000 products to your online store. Wix provides features to manage your inventory and suppliers in a single platform as well.

Another advantage is that you can define custom shipping and automate your taxes for every sale. Wix also gives you the option to sell your products on multiple marketplaces, like Facebook, Instagram, eBay, and Amazon, and you can control everything in one dashboard.

Key features:

  • More than 500 free online store templates
  • Wix Logo Maker
  • Wix Payments
  • Create a domain name
  • Sell products on multiple sales channels
  • Inventory management

2. Shopify

Shopify home page

With Shopify drag-and-drop store builder, you will easily customize your pages by choosing one template, then inserting images and other graphic elements, such as the brand's logo, to align with your company's visual identity. 

To facilitate the payment process, Shopify payments enable you to accept credit cards without the need for any third-party account. The system supports over 100 external payment gateways. Besides, the platform offers a comprehensive dashboard where you are going to get a detailed view of your business. 

You can check the number of sales, growth rate, track orders, and have a better understanding of your audience to create more effective sales and marketing campaigns. Sell in different marketplaces and have all your inventory connected to Shopify. 

Key features: 

  • Drag-and-drop store builder
  • Designed for mobile
  • Shopify payments
  • Comprehensive dashboard
  • Shopify mobile app
  • Built-in SEO features
  • Inventory management

3. SITE123

Site123 home page

SITE123 allows you to develop your ecommerce with just a few steps. Create your account, select the plan that suits you best, then choose the template that has more to do with your store type.

Use the website editor to customize the sections of your website and align it with your brand's visual identity. Regardless of the template you select, you already are going to have a mobile-friendly online store. Create a custom domain to be found easier online, and strengthen your brand as well.

Key features: 

  • Pre-built templates
  • Website editor
  • Mobile friendly
  • Custom domains
  • SEO tools
  • 24/7 customer support

4. Webnode

Webnode home page

Webnode offers you several pre-built template that can be customized to suit your store specificities. You can manage the sales on the dashboard, keep track of each order and send notifications to customers, so they can follow up on their order status as well.

The platform also allows you to offer a wide range of local payment options, including wire transfers, credit cards, PayPal, and payment upon pick up. Define the shipping methods that are best for your customers. Your products can be delivered through DHL and FedEx, for instance. 

With the store statistics feature, you can analyze the website traffic, identify the most popular products and understand what are the weak points of your website that need to be enhanced. 

Key features: 

  • User-friendly website builder
  • Create a custom domain
  • Reliable hosting
  • Pre-built templates
  • Add new products in minutes
  • Intuitive store management
  • Local payment methods
  • Store statistics
  • Import products in bulk
  • Quick and simple checkout

5. Shoplazza

Shoplazza home page

With Shoplazza, you can choose a pre-built theme, then use the drag-and-drop online store builder to customize the pages as you wish. You will count on an inventory management system to organize the stock and the orders.

The sales stop automatically when the inventory reaches zero, avoiding selling out-of-stock items. You can upload an unlimited number of products and customize up to 300 product variants.

You even have the option to add the buy button on other websites and blogs, which weren't created by Shoplazza, so you can sell in more places. Improve the checkout process using the platform AI (artificial intelligence) suggestions. 

Key features:

  • Pre-built templates
  • Drag-and-drop online store button
  • Inventory management system
  • Marketing tools
  • SEO tools
  • Staff accounts
  • Multiple payment options
  • Shipping partners

6. BigCommerce

BigCommerce home page

BigCommerce offers fully customizable themes with built-in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and you can able edit them using the drag-and-drop editor.  The platform also allows you to enhance user experience by customizing the checkout process.

You can enable multiple payment methods and create more than 70 native discounts and promotions, without requiring scripting. Enjoy the SEO tools, such as customizable URLs, to optimize your online store and be found easily on search engines. 

You can also make your products available on multiple sales channels, in marketplaces, and on social media. If you have a B2B company, BigCommerce has specific solutions for that too, including quote management, bulk pricing, and customer groups. 

Key features: 

  • Page builder visual editor
  • Theme customization
  • Checkout customization
  • Preview before publishing
  • WordPress integration
  • SEO tools
  • B2B tools 

7. Ecwid

Ecwid home page

Use ECWID design tools to develop your website, then add your products, set payment and delivery methods, and you are ready to launch it.You can control everything from a single platform and commercialize your products on other marketplaces, such as Instagram and Amazon, with a centralized inventory.

Your customers will have the option to choose the channel they prefer to use, enhancing their experience. If you have a physical store, you can integrate your website into it by offering the option to pay in-store, with the benefit that the inventory is going to be updated automatically.

Key features: 

  • Design tools
  • Centralized inventory
  • Sell on social media and marketplaces
  • Automate your marketing
  • Sell subscriptions
  • Offer promotional discounts
  • More than 50 payment options
  • Automated taxes

8. WooCommerce

WooCommerce home page

WooCommerce is an open-source ecommerce platform built on WordPress. If you already have a website developed by WordPress, all you need to do is add the WooCommerce plugin and start setting up your online store. If you don't have a website yet, don't worry, the platform will offer you multiple tools to develop it. 

You can offer multiple secure payment options, accepting major bank credit cards, bank transfers, checks, and cash on delivery. The platform enables you to integrate your online store with 140 region-specific gateways, including ApplePay, GooglePay, and Stripe, for instance. 

You are going to have an intuitive dashboard built to facilitate the management of daily tasks of an ecommerce, which allows you to automate several processes such as tax calculations, and have live shipping rates. You can also manage everything from the WooCommerce mobile app for IOS or Android. 

Key features: 

  • Open-source ecommerce platform
  • Built on WordPress
  • Fully customizable
  • Add hundreds of extensions
  • 140 regio-specific payment gateways
  • Live shipping rates
  • Automated tax calculations

9. Jumpseller

Jumpseller home page

Jumpseller allows you to choose from multiple responsive template options to start building your online store and use the customization features to add your brand's identity to it. You can have your ecommerce in multiple languages, which helps to provide a better user experience for customers from different countries and reach a bigger audience. 

To make sure your customers' data is secure, Jumpsellers uses firewalls, and intrusion detection, and the checkout process is protected by HTTPS/TLS data encryption. The platform supports multiple payment gateways, for example, PayPal, Stripe, and Mercado Pago. You can enable manual payments too, such as bank transfers, checks, and cash on delivery. 

Key features: 

  • Pre-built templates
  • Customizable designs
  • Popular payment options
  • Global shipping options
  • Supports multi-language
  • Refine product search

10. Strikingly

Strikingly home page

By using Strikingly, you are going to count on an easy-to-use website editor, which enables you to invest in developing an intuitive website that is attractive to your customers. Add products, set prices, define shipping and payment methods, and integrate with PayPal or Stripe.

You can also add coupons, and membership log-ins, and create your own domain. To enhance security your website will get HTTPS automatically for free. Use the analytics built-in to analyze your online store performance, identify the main sources of traffic, how many visitors turn into customers and what is the bounce rate.

Key features: 

  • Easy-to-use website editor
  • Optimized for selling
  • Add membership log-ins
  • Connect to PayPal and Stripe
  • Analytics built-in
  • HTTPS built-in
  • 24/7 support

11. Weebly

Weebly home page

With more than 40 million users around the world, Weebly provides advanced ecommerce tools. You can create a completely customized website with the drag-and-drop editor, and then add features like a fully integrated shopping cart and a secure checkout directly on your website.  

From Weebly's dashboard, you will be able to manage your inventory, track products, and automatically update shoppers when items are sold out. You also have the option to display the number of items remaining on product pages, which helps to create a sense of urgency. 

To help customers to find the product they are looking for, insert the filtered product search tool. Another benefit is that with Weebly you can sell not only physical items but downloadable ones too, which are automatically delivered to your customers. 

Key features:

  • Website editor
  • Complete website builder for online store
  • Fully integrated shopping cart
  • Secure checkout
  • Track and manage your inventory
  • Filtered product search
  • Free ecommerce hosting

12. Pixpa

Pixpa home page

Artists and graphic designers who wish to sell their work on demand need to build portfolio website. This way, people can check the previous projects you have participated in and your art pieces to make sure you are the right person to hire. That's exactly what Pixpa will help you with. 

This website builder allows you to showcase, sell and share your work online. You can use templates made for photographers, creators, and small businesses, then customize it as you see better. The platform provides you with several tools, like built-in SEO, pre-built content blocks, and customizable forms. 

Key features:

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Pre-built templates
  • Responsive design
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Built-in SEO tools
  • Pre-built content blocks

13. Shift4Shop

Shift4Shop home page

Shift4Shop is a free website builder which gives you a big variety of professionally designed, industry-specific, and mobile-friendly templates. They have a web design tool to help you customize everything, but you can edit directly the HTML and CSS too. 

You will also count on migration assistance and fraud protection. Shift4Shop provides marketing tools, as well, like built-in e-mail marketing, and the possibility to include group deals, daily deals, coupons, and discounts.

It also has cart abandonment recovery tools, focused on automatically engaging users, and motivating them to finish their purchase. Another benefit is that each part of your website is pre-optimized for SEO.

Key features:

  • Inventory management tools
  • Product management software
  • Analytical tools
  • Cart abandonment recovery tools
  • SEO optimization
  • Visa CPI Certified Security
  • Real-time shipping rates
  • Integrated with PayPal
  • Centralized inventory to sell in different channels

14. Volusion

Volusion home page

Developing your online store without knowing how to code, and being able to set up everything by choosing a pre-built responsive theme: Volusion makes it possible and also provides a 14-day trial.   

After customizing your website design, you can add several tools such as shipping methods, multiple selling channels, automated email, payment gateways, and stats about your store performance. Besides, the built-in SEO management will help you to gain more visibility.

Key features:

  • Responsive themes
  • Add site search
  • Built-in SEO
  • Integration with marketplaces
  • Secure checkout
  • Comprehensive management system
  • Search friendly URLs
  • Admin Social Management
  • Reporting tools

15. Adobe Commerce

Adobe Commerce home page

Adobe Commerce was created to help businesses of all sizes, small to big companies according to their needs. You can integrate the store with other selling channels, use B2B solutions, and use it to manage your inventory.

Adobe also has a global community where you can find different partners to help you grow. For example, you can have technology partners that will give you directions to optimize the way you use Magento. Community insiders, and certified Magento developers can guide you through creating a better design. 

Key features: 

  • Customer segmentation and personalization
  • Integrates with other sales channels
  • Cloud-based services
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Live search
  • Instant purchase
  • Connected Enterprise Resource Planning

16. SquareSpace

SquareSpace home page

To start making an online store using Squarespace, choose the template that matches your brand visual identity, and customize it by adding images, texts, graphic element and changing the color palette, and fonts. 

Each online store sector has its specificities, taking that into consideration Square Space includes many tools to add according to your preferences. It also has marketing features, so you can implement actions such as email campaigns. 

They provide solutions not only to sell physical products, but also digital content, like ebooks and music, subscriptions, or services. Besides, if you sell online or in-person, you can use the Squarespace inventory to keep everything synced. 

Key features: 

  • Customizable templates
  • Mobile optimized design
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Centralized inventory
  • Real-time shipping estimates for US customers
  • Simple payment and checkout
  • 24/7 support
  • Automate sales tax filing
  • Built-in SEO tools

17. PrestaShop

PrestaShop home page

With PrestaShop, you can fully personalize the website pages by choosing a pre-built theme, adding useful features, selecting the color palette, font, inserting images, and much more. The platform has an intuitive interface, which means you and your team can easily learn how to navigate through its tools and make the most of it to offer the customer experience.

You can manage everything from a single platform, including the inventory, the payment process, and shipping. Enjoy the marketing tools and sell internationally, by having a multilingual store and adding multi-currency options.

Key features: 

  • Pre-built themes
  • Easy-to-use
  • All-in-one-platform
  • Sell internationally
  • Marketing tools
  • Analytics tools
  • Customer support

18. Sellfy

Sellfy home page

Sellfy was developed focusing on helping creators to sell their digital products and merchandise online.  To begin, all you need to do is sign up for the platform, add your products, then customize every page to have your brand's identity.

You can also use Sellfy to commercialize your products on social media like Facebook and Instagram and manage everything in one place. Use the built-in marketing features to promote your store and enhance your revenue. 

You can sell a huge variety of digital products, such as ebooks, videos, audio, and other files in multiple formats. It's also possible to create digital subscriptions and charge your customers periodically, another possibility is offering video streaming services on demand. 

Key features: 

  • Easy-to-use
  • Sell products and subscriptions
  • Responsive design
  • Customization tools
  • Built-in marketing features
  • Sell from social media
  • Multiple payment options

19. BigCartel

BigCartel home page

The BigCartel platform is recommended for artists who want to sell their products online. To begin building your online store, select one of the pre-built themes, and customize it according to your brand's visual identity.

Then, add the products, and set up important configurations such as the payment and shipping methods. You can count on very useful tools to manage your store, fulfill orders, update products, check stats, and run promotions from any device. 

Key features: 

  • Developed for artists by artists
  • Easy-to-use
  • Pre-built themes
  • Personalization tools
  • Management tools

20. ShopWired

ShopWired home page

ShopWired is considered the best ecommerce platform in the United Kingdom. It offers you beautiful and responsive themes, so you can build your online store without having to design it yourself, but still be able to customize the details to be aligned with your brand's visual identity. 

The platform integrates the most important features for managing an online business, so you can centralize all your tasks in a single place. You will be able to keep track of all the orders, update the product catalog, and create promotions. If you already use another platform, you can fully migrate to ShopWired in 7 days or less.

Key features: 

  • Responsive design
  • Pre-built themes
  • Customization tools
  • No coding or software installation required
  • All-in-one platform
  • Sell on social media
  • Customer support
  • Insightful reports
  • Advanced b2b features

FAQ: How to Make an Online Store

How much does it cost to build an online store?

It isn't possible to set one price. It depends on several factors, including the ecommerce website builder and the plan you choose to use. You need to consider other costs related to the type of online store you will create too.

How can I source products for my online store?

It's possible to buy the raw materials from other companies and manufacture the items, buy them already made and be a reseller, sell digital products, or opt for the dropshipping business model. In this last case, you will only be responsible for promoting the products and the partner company of your choice will be in charge of storing, packaging, and delivering the products sold on your online store.

Is it possible to start an online store with no money?

You can make an online store website for free as there are ecommerce platforms that have no paid plans. However, you need to have a budget to buy or manufacture the products, and pay the other costs related to opening and keeping a company functioning, such as the taxes.

Where can I sell products online?

Besides creating your own ecommerce website, you can sell products on social media platforms, like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp, and in marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.

Start Making Your Online Store

Now that you have learned how to make an online store, enjoy this moment to put your ideas into practice and create a profitable online business. One of the advantages of having an ecommerce website is that you can change it as you see the results of your strategies.

Therefore, use analytics tools to analyze performance and important metrics such as the number of access per page, average time spent on your website, and most visited pages, to identify the strong points of your ecommerce and what needs to be improved.

You don't need to build a perfect online store, don't wait for that to launch your business. As your ecommerce grows, you will be able to perfect it, and also update it as new technologies are launched.

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