Online presence is a great way for entrepreneurs to expand their business. Before opening an e-commerce portal most entrepreneurs use their websites only for marketing purposes. Converting marketing website into selling location is a great way to expand customer base. In spite of all this, there are still lots of retail businesses that don’t sell their goods online. We put up a guide that will help entrepreneurs in building their first e-commerce store, and putting it into work.

Why Go Online?


One look at the latest statistics concerning internet sales is enough to insure most people that e-commerce websites are the thing of the future. In 2012 in United States around $225 billion of sales was done online. Until 2018 this figure will rise up to $491,5 billion with an average 15% of annual grow.

Huge rise of e-commerce business was caused by its practicality and functionality, as well as the increasing number of people who use internet and online paying systems like Paypal, Skrill and Payoneer. Research conducted by IPSOS and commissioned by PayPal discovered that:

  • Opening an e-commerce website increased sales and revenue of 64% small businesses.

  • That it saved money of 73% of internet sellers, by cutting their administrative costs.

  • That it expand geographic reach for more than 48% of sellers that went online.


E-commerce comes with lots of benefits for the retailers, and these are just some of them:

  • Lowering administrative costs

  • Overcoming geographic limitations

  • Eliminating customer’s travel time and costs

  • Providing comparison shopping

  • Being open 24/7

  • Providing more information about the product

This way of conducting sales is especially good for smaller retailers that are able to compete with big retail chains with good SEO, marketing strategies and creative website designs. Business also runs faster, as well as the payments, which leaves entrepreneurs with much higher amount of money that they can use for upgrading their offer.

What Do I Need To Open An E-Commerce Store?

There are two key areas where entrepreneurs should direct most of their thinking, work and passion, when trying to open an online store:

Elaborate Planning

Every e-commerce website needs to have an elaborate plan that should cover all important areas of opening and running this type business. There are many questions that need to be answered before you start working on website technicalities.

  • Will online expansion have sense for business in question? – First thing that needs to be determined is whether certain businesses can be done online. When it comes to retail niche, there are different products that can’t be sold on e-commerce websites because their transport and storing requires special conditions.

  • What resources would e-commerce website need to run? – Although e-commerce comes with lower administrative costs, it still needs plenty of resources so it can run smoothly. Orders need to be taken 24/7 and to be fulfilled in a timely manner, which for example requires plenty of manpower.

  • What is website’s target audience? – Internet marketing is the only way for an e-commerce business to acquire new customers, and most ad platforms require precisely targeted audience.

  • How far would customer’s network go? – Making a prediction on the initial customer network is important for calculating costs and resources needed for making the business functional. Some companies deliver products only in their ZIP code area, while others make deliveries all around the world.

Functional and Nice Looking Website or Mobile App

The functionality and appearance of e commerce website is as important as the look of the location based retail store. Good e-commerce websites usually have:

  • Good SEO optimization- As mentioned earlier, most customers find retail websites on search engines, or social networks.

  • Plenty of product photographs and descriptions- People want to know what they’re buying.

  • Virtual shopping carts- These should enable customers to browse different items and buy them “on their way out”. Check out process needs to be easy and transparent.

  • Alternative payment systems- Some people don’t like leaving their personal data on e-commerce websites, that’s why it’s important to have an alternative payment system that will enable customers to shop with minimal data requirements.

Since the number of e-commerce websites is constantly growing, it’s important for all entrepreneurs in retail business to make their own websites or they risk losing a big chunk of their customer base. After opening an e-commerce website, next logical step for retail entrepreneurs would be to create a mobile app  with the same purpose, because only by following new trends, entrepreneurs will be able to stay competitive on the harsh retail market.