Entrepreneurship, freelancing and self-employment have never been more popular. In the internet age, an online selling business has never been easier to get up and running.

Creating an online store has never been easier. It could be a good initial risk-free step towards running your own bricks-and-mortar store, or you may be focused upon running an online-only store.

To start an online selling business, you will need a clear idea as to exactly what you intend to sell and what, if any, unique slant you could put on the business that will set it apart from competitors. You will then need to decide on a business name and a domain name for your website, which should be linked in some way.

The domain name should be easy to remember and easy to say, to increase the chances of potential customers remembering (and recommending) your website. The domain name should ideally contain keywords related to the products you sell, to aid search engine optimisation. Have a read of our guide on choosing a domain name for your business.

Next, you will need to build the store for your online selling business. There are a range of platforms from which you can create your website without the need for specialised computing or coding skills, like our Ecommerce Website Builder. This platform allows you to add products, product details, a checkout and other information, such as an “About Us” and “Contact Us” option.

It is important that you select an online store building platform carefully, to ensure that it has the capabilities to grow with your business.

Once your store is up and running, you will need a marketing strategy to ensure potential customers are aware of your store. This can include raising your business’ profile on social media, generating awareness of promotions with email newsletters, search engine optimisation and paid ads.

Choosing the right payment options

The most important part of your online store will be making money and you cannot do this without a range of easy payment options for your customers. Payment processing companies, such as PayPal, Stripe and Square, are easy to set up, while credit card payments are still the most popular payment method for online purchases. Our Ecommerce Website Builder has a wide range of payment providers for you to choose from.

You may also want to consider digital wallets, such as Apple Pay, Visa Checkout and Masterpass. If you think you may open a physical store in future, you should ensure your payment software includes the option of a point-of-sale system.

Choosing the right shipping option

Finally, you’ve made or sourced the goods, you’ve sold the goods, now you need to get them to your customers. In considering your shipping method, it is essential that you take the time to choose the right option for both your business and your clientele.

Although free shipping is popular, real-time rates could be a better idea. Real-time rates are automatically calculated for individual orders to prevent you from charging too little or too much in postage costs. However, you will need to ensure that the online shop builder platform that you have chosen offers these features.