How to start an online store from scratch in 5 easy steps

  • 06 Nov 2020

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With shoppers moving more and more to the online realm to make purchases and reaching for the virtual shopping cart, it’s more important than ever before to develop an online presence, especially for small business owners.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to e-commerce and starting from scratch may feel daunting.

But fear not, you don’t need a design degree or a background in tech to build your own online store. We’re here to help.

Do you need a business license to have an online store?

The first thing you’re going to want to do is to check the legal requirements for opening an online store in your country. Why? Because based on where you trade, the government may or may not limit quantities of imports or exports.

With things changing in the UK, you may want to stay on top of updates on the government website.

Decide which products you want to sell

If your business is already up and running, deciding what to sell online will be an easy task. That being said, you may want to consider things like shipping and packaging before you make that call. Is this an easy deliverable?

Depending on your products and services, you may also want to think about selling gift cards as the festive season approaches. Not sure how? Take a look at easy-to-use tools like SumUp Gift Cards.


Build my own or use an existing solution?

Once you’ve decided what you want to sell online, the next step is to establish how you’ll create the website that you’ll use to sell. There are multiple options out there, but if you’re looking to cut time and don’t have the resources to spend hours on developing and designing a site, we’ve created simple online store solutions specifically built for small businesses.

How to create a design-friendly online store

Good design allows your customer to find what they want to with ease. People are visual creatures. That’s why the layout and design of your online store plays a huge role in their purchasing decisions. Pictures, shapes and images all work together to create the way that your customers perceive your brand. Try not to overload your website, keep your colour themes and layout consistent throughout and remember that practicality is always more important than looks.



Last but not least is our good old friend marketing. Once you’re up and running, you’ll need to get your products heard, and there are a lot of ways you can do that. It goes without saying, but if you don’t already have a social media presence, create one. It’s one of the best ways to build a loyal following and to show your customers who you really are. If time allows it, hitting your laptop once in a while to write a blog or a newsletter with product updates, news and discounts may be worth your while.

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