Building a Successful E-Commerce Website (+ Best E-Commerce Sites)

Deirdre O'Donoghue
Deirdre O'Donoghue  |  June 13, 2019

Open your dream store with a click of a button.

Well, not exactly. But you get the idea.

You can build your e-commerce website from your favorite coffee shop, or even from the comfort of your own couch.

E-commerce is one of the fastest growing industries across the globe, so you’ve made the right choice in pursuing an e-commerce business. And although learning how to make a website is intimidating, we have the tools you need to do it right.

I suggest exploring the whole article to get a comprehensive look at building an e-commerce website, but if you’re here for something specific, use the links below to get the info you need.

Building your e-commerce website

Once you’ve decided on your company name and what you’re going to sell, it’s time to put everything together. Your e-commerce website will show people what your brand looks like, what you’re selling, and who you are as a company.

There are four crucial steps in building an e-commerce website, so let’s dive right in.

how to make an e-commerce website

Conduct market research

Check out what your competitors are doing. Be sure to note what’s working and what could be improved upon.

It’s more effective to proactively learn lessons from competitors than to retroactively change your e-commerce website.

After you analyze what’s going on in the industry of your choice, it’s time to determine your domain name. Once you register a domain name, there’s almost no going back. Make sure it’s exactly what you want for the indefinite future.

Keep it short and concise. The best practice is to name it your company name.

Once you determine your domain name, use one of the top domain registration providers so no one else can take your website from you.

View the Highest-Rated Domain Registration Providers →

File the appropriate paperwork

Often forgotten, business paperwork is needed to legitimize your e-commerce business.

You must register what type of incorporation or organization you are starting. You may be required to obtain a Seller’s Permit as well, or a Vendor’s License if you’re planning on opening a flagship store.

Lastly, you must decide the state in which you wish to be headquartered for tax purposes.

Although none of this is fun or exciting, it’s necessary to keep your e-commerce business up and running for the indefinite future.

Choose the best website builder

Unless you’re a master coder, and even if you are, I suggest using an e-commerce website builder that best fits your business needs.

These platforms allow you to personalize a chosen template and design it the way you’d like. Most of the platforms have a free trial period, then a free option with more restricted abilities, and a paid version with full access to all of the perks.

You should consider the level of creative freedom you would like with your e-commerce website builder, how many product listings you’ll need, and shipping and logistics abilities when analyzing each platform.

Tip: All e-commerce website builders come with support and resources on how to use them, so don’t worry about having previous knowledge.Learn more: 5 Best E-Commerce Website Builders for 2019 →

Launch your e-commerce business

You’ve just done a ton of work. Now, be sure to have others edit your website before the launch.

If you are trying to gain immediate traffic, post your website across social media and choose tactics to get more media coverage. The more people who are talking about the company, the more sales you’ll make on your products.

Creating a buzz around your product launch can be tough, but if you did the hard work at the beginning and created a product that fills a need, then there should be fewer issues getting your launch covered.

Now you’re ready to sell and market your e-commerce business.

Examples of the best e-commerce sites

Get inspired by these five e-commerce websites that each use different e-commerce website builders.

1. A.N. Other

WooCommerce website exampleE-commerce website builder: WooCommerce

2. The Sill 

shopify website exampleE-commerce website builder: Shopify

3. Native Union 

BigCommerce website exampleE-commerce website builder: BigCommerce

4. Boy Bomb

Wix website exampleE-commerce website builder: Wix

5. Indy Plush 

Weebly website exampleE-commerce website builder: Weebly

Ready for takeoff

You know what it takes to build an e-commerce website, so get out there and do it! The hardest part is just getting started. Do your research, fill out your paperwork, choose a website builder, then let your company take off. 

Need to raise more capital before launching your e-commerce website? Discover why crowdfunding is becoming the easiest way to acquire money for your business venture.

Deirdre O'Donoghue
Author

Deirdre O'Donoghue

Deirdre O’Donoghue is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at G2. She brings her passion for research and creativity to her writing. In her free time you can find Deirdre fostering puppies or exploring the Chicago foodie scene.