How to Build an Online Store 2017 | Top 5 Tools To Get You Started

Last updated on November 29, 2017

how to build an online storeBelieve it or not, a frequently asked question that we get from our friends and website visitors is – “How do I build an online store?

Learning how to build an online store from scratch can be a daunting task. We know how it feels as we were once in your shoes just a few short years ago.

We wanted to build an online store to kick start a side business with the dream of growing it into a full-time income.

But when it came down to actually getting the ball rolling, we had absolutely no clue where to get started!

Here are just a few questions (out of many more) that overwhelmed and pretty much paralyzed us from moving forward and taking decisive actions:

  • Should we use PayPal? What other options are there?
  • How should we price our products?
  • What should our be for our brand? What about the ?
  • Which should we get?
  • Where do we get customers? How do we use advertisements?
  • Do we need to to help us?
  • How to build an online store from scratch?
  • What is the best way to ?

The list goes on and on and the ones above are just a very small list of what was overwhelming us.



“Don’t let all the tiny details paralyze you from building your business. You will never have all the answers – so just get started right now!”

Now, we can’t tell you how to price your product, or how to build your brand.

But we can tell you one thing based on our experiences, is that whatever your answers are to these questions, more often than not (for most businesses), they will continue to change and evolve as your business grows.

So our first advice to you is – “don’t sweat all the details”.

We know we know, it’s hard….

“I MUST get all the details PERFECT before starting….”

“Everybody tells me to plan EVERYTHING out before press the start button.”

We get it and we’ve been there. The online store (especially your first one) is a reflection of who you are, and so it has to be perfect.

But does it have to be perfect before you start?

How to build an online store - perfectionism

What you ought to know is that you can sit and doodle your pen for days and weeks, and things will never be perfect.


Perfectionism can actually hurt your progress.

Your strategy, products, everything, will change and evolve as you grow, as you collect feedback from your shoppers, as you test things and find out what works and what don’t.

So don’t sweat the details, and just get going.

Get started – this is the key to gaining momentum, achieving small (yet meaningful) victories, and eventually success.

We’re not saying that those are not legitimate questions. They are very legitimate, but they are not questions that should stop you from getting started.

You can figure out the answers to those questions along the way.

And don’t worry too much about how much it costs to build a website either. Gone are the days where you have to throw thousands of hard earned dollars at a computer programmer to help you build a website – and you won’t know for sure if they will run away with your money.

Nowadays, you can build your own ecommerce online store for a set, transparent, monthly fee. If you want to stop using the service, you can walk away at any time.

Worried about hiring a designer? You don’t have to anymore. Here are some free, professional looking ecommerce storefront templates for you to use. One less thing to worry about!



“Choose an ecommerce builder that is flexible and has the potential to grow along with you as your business grows.”

What we can be helpful with, is share with you which ecommerce online store builder are available for you to build your ecommerce store.

After all, you do need a website to get going, right? Once you have a store up, you can then start to collect feedback, test your ideas, and start to make changes (if necessary) to grow your business.

Your first version of your online store does not have to be perfect, but just a store to get you started. Having a “primitive” version of your store is better than not having anything.

So when you are choosing your builder, keep in mind to find one that is flexible and can grow alongside with your business.

Before introducing a few tools that can help you build your online store, we just want to make sure you appreciate that these website builders are just tools. They are here to help you build your business.

Many people mistaken that their online stores are their business, but they really are not. Your website is not your business. You, the entrepreneur, the “mastermind”, is the business since you are the driving force behind it.

We just want you to appreciate that if one online store builder doesn’t work out for you, your business will not die (figuratively). You can always test other builders to find one that is as close to perfect as it could be.

So don’t let the concern of picking the “perfect” online store builder stop you from moving forward.


1) Shopify (500,000+ Active Online Stores)

Shopify is one of the best online store builders in the market today. They are easy to use, has well over 100 professionally designed templates to make your website look stylish and worthy of shopping on, and provide 24/7 support.

how to create an e-commerce online store - shopify

Click to see Shopify

One of the highlights of Shopify is their App Store, which contains hundreds of additional tools that you can bolt on to your online store when you are ready, especially when your business really starts to grow and expand.

Some of these Apps are free, and some are paid. But they are well worth it as these apps can help you automate a lot of your operations, such as inventory management, shipping, marketing, bookkeeping, social media, etc.

Shopify already includes a lot of these basic tools in their core platform, but these are just additional tools you can pick and choose from if you want to, providing you with a lot of flexibility over the longer term.

(Watch which this short video walk-through demo from Shopify to get a sense of how easy it is to create your own ecommerce website, without knowing anything about codes! Click on this image below)

Shopify also has well over 780 qualified experts that can help you set up your store, design your store or tweak / customize it. You don’t have to hire them if you don’t want to, but they’re there to help you if you need them, which makes Shopify a very well rounded service to help you build your online store.

Shopify has over 70 payment gateways to help you process your sales. They are all integrated with Shopify so don’t worry about finding the perfect one quite yet. Just start building your store.

1) See our comprehensive review on Shopify here

2) Here are also some case studies / examples of how other people have used Shopify to build some very successful businesses online.

3) Shopify Plus (Enterprise Level Users) – If you’re in the big leagues and your business generates 6 to 7 figures in sales per year, this is how Shopify Plus can help you grow even more.

Try Shopify Free for 14 Days


2) Wix eCommerce (388,000+ Active Online Stores)

Wix is a pure drag and drop website builder, where you can insert content such as text, images, and slideshows, pretty much anywhere you want on your webpages.

Wix’s ecommerce tools and features are improving rapidly as the company has turned its focus towards offering online store owners the best possible solution for their business.

Recent developments such as SEO Wiz and Wix Code have helped push Wix above both Squarespace and Weebly when it comes to ecommerce.

And yes, while some ecommerce store owners may point out that Wix still falls slightly short when compared to dedicated ecommerce website builders, we see Wix eCommerce as an ideal choice for any small business looking to start trading online.

how to Build an online store website - Wix

We recommend Wix for individuals and small businesses looking to run an online store because it keeps things simple and makes it very easy for you to set up and start selling products.

Alongside offering a range of selling options (think product variations like size, colour, etc), wix can also help you promote your ecommerce store with integrated email marketing – a massive bonus for those of you just starting out.

Wix also offers you an integrated shopping cart where you can connect to your payment processors such as PayPal, Square, Stripe, and WorldPay. You can even conduct offline payments.

A huge bonus for Wix Ecommerce users is the release of Wix Code, which will give you the ability to easily create dozens of product pages with just a few clicks. This will not only help users find what they want but also make your store feel more professional – perfect for increasing sales!

So if you are an entrepreneur just starting out, or a small business owner looking to sell online, then Wix is definitely an ecommerce builder to consider.

It not only simplifies the setting-up of your store, but also the selling side of things too, saving you time you can focus on growing your business.

1) See our comprehensive review on Wix eCommerce here

2) Read more about Wix Code and discover the how it can kick start your online store

Try Wix for Free


3) BigCommerce (95,000+ Active Online Stores)

BigCommerce is another strong candidate you should consider if you are asking the question “how to build an online store”.

They are a direct competitor of Shopify, and they do offer you a bit more ecommerce related tools than Shopify. BigCommerce is well known for the comprehensiveness of their tools. So if you can’t find certain features with Shopify, you just might be able to find them with BigCommerce.

how to build an ecommerce online store - bigcommerce

They offer you some really professional looking templates to dress up your storefront, and they also have an App store to help “extend” your online store’s functionality if you need more tools.
If you need help tweaking your store, create a customized design or even to set things up for you, BigCommerce does have experts that you can hire to help you get this done.

Having said that, BigCommerce is flexible enough that if you want to add more features and make changes to your store down the road, it can be done either by yourself or with the help of hired experts.
BigCommerce has over 60 payment gateways integrated into its platform, so you will find one that works for you.

Try BigCommerce Free for 15 Days


4) Weebly eCommerce (441,000+ Online Stores)

If you don’t need all the advanced features that Shopify or BigCommerce offer, and you want to use a website builder that is in our opinion one of the easiest to use, then Weebly is a builder that you want to seriously consider using to build an online store.

Their drag and drop builder interface is simple to use, so the learning curve is far lower than the other online store builders we’ve highlighted in this article.

how to build an online store - weebly ecommerce

However, the drawback, as mentioned, is that they don’t offer the most comprehensive set of tools, which is okay if you plan on creating a simpler store.

You can still set up a store that offers multiple products, with variations for each product (different color, sizes, etc), have a fully integrated shopping cart using either PayPal, Stripe or, so that your shoppers never leave you website to ensure a consistent, fluid experience, set up coupon codes, automatic email notifications, etc.

Again, although Weebly is not as comprehensive when it comes to e-commerce features, they are hands down the easiest to use if compared to the other builders mentioned in this article. So if you don’t need advanced tools, and want to set up a functional store quickly, Weebly is worth checking out.

Try Weebly for Free


5) Squarespace Commerce

Shopify and BigCommerce are both powerhouses in the world of online store builders. But if you don’t need all those tools and features as you plan on running a simpler storefront, then Squarespace is a good candidate for you to consider.

Squarespace is not a dedicated e-commerce builder, but they do have quite a good set of tools to help you sell either physical or digital products online.

You can have full control over product variants, inventory management, generate coupons, configure shipping costs, sales taxes, customer email lists and other basic helpful tools for you to get started and become successful.

How to build an online ecommerce store squarespace commerce

Squarespace has always been known to have very stylish, polished and professional looking templates. So if you want to look good, and don’t need all the ecommerce bells and whistles, they are worth exploring.

If you need help, or just don’t have time to set up your Squarespace website, there are Specialists for hire which can not only help you set things up, but also help you customize your design, perform some custom coding or even full-service packages (pretty much like hiring your own website creation and design team).

Lastly, Squarespace is a cheaper option than Shopify and BigCommerce (that is if you don’t need the full e-commerce power offered by Shopify / BigCommerce).

Try Squarespace Free for 14 Days



Learning how to build an online store to sell products online is not a straight forward task. But it can be much more complicated and stressful if you let all the micro details paralyze you from getting started.

When we first started building online stores, we worried about all the details which in retrospect didn’t really matter as much, as most of what we thought were the answers turned out to different after a while.

Instead of spending days agonizing and researching to inform ourselves, we should have just started building our store, then tackled those questions as we went along. This approach would have saved us so much time.

Having said that, to get you started, we do recommend you take a look at Shopify, Wix, BigCommerce, Weebly, and Squarespace. Each has their own pros and cons, and we discuss them in much more depth in our detailed reviews:

You will see much more in-depth analyses of what we think of each builder.

Remember, there isn’t a right or wrong builder. Each will have its own quirks, so it’s worth investing the time to study them a bit, then sign up for perhaps 2 of them and play with them for a bit. This is the only way to get a good sense of which one will work for you.

Don’t worry about whether each builder can do all 2,000 things you have in mind, especially with Shopify and BigCommerce. You can almost always find workarounds for them as both are very flexible platforms, and they have experts for hire to help you if you want to pursue that route.

They key to launching a business, is to launch it. Take action, build an online store, and then start tweaking it as you move forward.

See our e-Commerce Online Store Builders Comparison Chart

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Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.


Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

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Leave a Reply

69 Responses to How to Build an Online Store 2017 | Top 5 Tools To Get You Started

  1. #

    Hey Jeremy,

    You got a nice list of e-commerce development platforms here. Especially, the suggestions are very helpful as to how an entrepreneur should start an online business.

    Thanks for the great post!

    • Tom Watts

      Thanks Riyaz,

      Glad you found the discussion helpful.

      – Tom

  2. #

    Great article! Nice reminder not to sweat the details, just start! Thank you!

  3. #

    Nice Content Jeremy.
    We prefer the wordpress plus wocommerce combination. Its is more customizable, and you need to pay just on time.
    Best regards
    Zsolt from Hungary

  4. #

    I am really glad to see that you shared with us how to build an online store. That is really effective content.

    I want to say that image editing service will give you better conversion rate from your online store. Thanks a lot for sharing this nice content.

  5. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Thank you! I find your articles and blog very helpful!

    I have a question:

    What if inside the online store I want to put like a quizz to lead customers to the most suitable product for them? is that possible with wix or any of the simple ones (as I just want so sell few articles)?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hello Amir,

      For Wix, you can create custom quizzes using one of their apps in their App Market. Just search for “quiz” in their App Market and you’ll find it.


  6. #

    Hi I am someone who wants to launch an online shop and I found this article very helpful. I was just wondering about taxes and how can to settle it, could you write something about it? Thank you kindly

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hello Dino,

      The ecommerce builders listed above have built in tax calculation features that you can implement so you charge your customers the appropriate taxes. You’ll have to configure the amount of taxes you need to charge, and remit them to the proper government agencies.

      So the online store builders have the tools available for you.


  7. #

    Let me ask you this… what if I am only interested in selling one type of product? I think my own on-line website would be good, but maybe I should be considering something else. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Debbie Hill

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hi Debbie,

      The ecommerce builders listed above could be used to sell only one product. Having said that, you probably don’t need more advanced platforms such as Shopify or BigCommerce. So simpler builders such as Wix, Squarespace or Weebly can probably get the job done.


  8. #

    Excellent article, Jeremy. Can we use these website to build a market place like Amazon with multiple sellers coming on-board? Thanks

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hi Surinder,

      None of these ecommerce builders have the tools to enable you to build a marketplace. Try searching for “marketplace builders” and you should be able to find some options.

      Good luck!


    • #

      You can use woocommerce in wordpress to build marketplace.
      I have recently created for my client.

  9. #

    Very good insights Jeremy. One important question though: when going online, we go global. It seems these builders have not thought about the multi-language support for these elements: buttons from the purchaser side, home page, products description, check-out, notifications and T&Cs. Any though or recommendation on this?

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hi David,

      There are a few premium apps within Shopify’s App Store that can help turn your online store into multi-language store.

      BigCommerce will be introduce a multi-language function soon, too. Though I’m not sure when that will be released.

      For some of the other drag and drop website builders such as Wix, Squarespace and Weebly, we have more details here on how to help convert your website into multiple languages.

      Hope this helps.


  10. #

    Good information Jeremy, thanks for it. I’ve spent couple hours looking for some websites like the mentioned in here. Just one question, what do you think about amazon web services for a online store?


    • Jeremy Wong

      Hey Oscar,

      I haven’t used Amazon web services before, so I can’t provide you with personal experiences. But I think they’re just a hosting service so you need to layer in a website builder.

      All the ecommerce store builders highlighted above are “hosted” website builders. So they come with hosting services and maintain it for you, so you don’t have to configure your hosting manually.

      If you use your own hosting service, it becomes a bit more technical. We have more discussions about that here.


  11. #

    The blog is very good it is very informative, it make feel less concerned about starting my online store. I have being trying to start but I want to make sure I am doing the right thing and not ending up on many more debts and troubles. Thank you very much for all your advises.

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hello Aracely,

      Glad to hear that you’re finding our discussions helpful! Best of luck on building your online store!


  12. #

    Is shopify working well for europe too? or to aks it better, which e commerce do you recomend to sell in europ?

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hello Negin,

      Yes – Shopify does work well for merchants located in Europe. Here is a list of European payment processors that can be integrated with a Shopify store.

      You can use Shopify to set up your store even if you’re located in Europe, and sell to global customers.


  13. #

    I would recommend shopify too. It’s pricing is fine. The good thing about it is that you can also create Facebook shop with that tool. I have built my first website on wix however. It was also great. I think wordpress is a bit to difficult for anyone not being familiar with html but if you do, it will pay off as buying only the domain won’t charge you as much as both wix and shopify. If you are lacking time, choose shopify or wix.

    • Jeremy Wong

      Thanks for your input, Natasha.

      One tip for domain names it that you don’t have to purchase it through a website building platform (such as Wix or Shopify). You can just purchase one through GoDaddy, then connect it to your website.


    • #

      Shopify has definitely been the best choice I’ve made, its the easiest setup even a dummy like me can’t mess it up.

  14. #

    Hi, all of that sounds so exiting. I would love to start my online business and use Facebook, etc.
    My question, do I need to already have a product or service to sale? Can I find some things to sell online, what can I sell and where to find ideas on what to sell? Do I need a warehouse? Can I just have a virtual store and sell to costumers from an online store with online products?

    What can I sell? What is good to sell? Where to find something to sell without having to buy it first?

    Thank you so much. I am ready!!
    Christine 🙂

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hey Christine,

      It definitely helps to have an idea before building a website. You can take a look at this guide on what to sell online.

      Also, Shopify has some great resources, such as this dropshipping guide, which you might find helpful!


  15. #

    Hi Jeremy,

    I am newbie and interested to open an online store. However, I am facing problem with the sourcing of products to be sell in my store. I have done a lot of researches and realize that none of the e-commerce website builder provide sourcing services. Do you think that it would be an extra advantages for them if they provide sourcing service to customers?

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hey Queenie,

      That’s always a challenge especially if you’re not sure what you want to sell.

      There are various sources / guides online that will give you some ideas on how to source products. We do have a discussion about this topic here as well. Hope it will at least point you in the right direction.


  16. #


  17. #

    Hi, Thanks for this amazing and informative article that help us a lot to start an online store and boost our business.

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hey Vinit,

      Thanks for letting us know. Glad we were able to be helpful to your business!


  18. #


    I love it how you find time to answer every comment. Your post is obviously insightful.

    • Jeremy Wong

      Thanks, Varun! I appreciate your comment.


  19. #

    Hello Jeremy. Thank you for such an informative article. I have been thinking of building my own online store for a while now. My question is, Shopify and these other online store builders are based in the U.S., right? I’m living in the United Arab Emirates, so I would guess these builders are not the right option for me?

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hi Noura,

      It should be fine as these ecommerce builders operate worldwide. If you can access their website, then you should be able to sign up for an account.

      The only thing is that you need to ensure that you can find a payment processor that can collect payments for you (since you live in UAE), and can be integrated with Shopify.

      Take a look at this page here. It seems that Shopify can integrate with a few payment processors that works with merchants based in UAE. So looks like you’re in luck!


  20. #

    I am stuck. I have a lot decided for my new store. Problem is tying to get product on my website to sell customers. Thank you.

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hey Natalie,

      It’s easy to get stuck and become paralyzed with what to do next. What I’d suggest is take a look at our online store builder comparison table here, or take our Quiz here, and pick at least 2 ecommerce web builders to sign up to. They’re free to test out, and just play around with them to see which one you are most comfortable with.

      All of the ecommerce builders we’ve suggested will allow you to upload products and to set up your online store.

      It’s an investment in time, but well worth it to get things moving forward. I understand it can be a bit scary, but it will be well worth it!


    • #

      Hello Natalie,

      You need to connect with vendors and convince them why joining hands with your store makes sense. Then comes the stage of deciding commission. It’s a long and exhausting process but there is no way to launch a multivendor store without doing this. You can opt for drop shipping if you don’t want to bother with vendors, shipping, and other tiring details. Connect with me on Twitter (@varunforreal) if you have more queries. Thanks.

  21. #

    Hi Jeremy,
    Thank you for the post. Very interesting!!
    I was wondering what do you think of Big Cartel?
    I just started to make my own brand of jewellery, I am making them on the side as I am working full time.
    I need something easy to use with a really nice design and I wont need a thousand of pictures but enough to show 100 or 200 hundreads product maybe later on espacially as I’m doing different colour for each.
    Thank you in advance for your help! Have a good night

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hey Leslie,

      I haven’t used Big Cartel before so I can’t say if I like them or not.

      I do know that they have a 300 product limit and their theme / storefront design selection is very limited (I just checked and they only have 10 designs for you to choose from).

      For instance, Shopify has well over 100 designs for you to choose from. Shopify also offers you a fantastic ecosystem (such as Apps, Experts for hire) so when you are ready to scale up your business later on, these tools / services are available to you.


  22. #

    Great read! VERY INSIGHTFUL! Thank you!

    • Jeremy Wong

      Thanks Shelley! Glad you found our discussions here helpful.


  23. #

    Thank you for the post. I was searching something like this as I am new to the thought so its very helpful for me. The way you have described opening online store is brilliant and now everything is clear to me. I have a question in my mind, would these builders provide us an app for android and ios??

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hi Awais,

      Unfortunately, you will have to hire a developer to build a separate app for you.

      Most website builders now offer responsive designs, so your ecommerce store will look good on mobile devices when people are visiting your online store using a mobile web browser. However, if you want a completely separate, dedicated app, then you will have to construct it separately.

      I haven’t seen any website builders that offer users the ability to build a separate Android or iOS app, yet.


  24. #

    New to the thought of opening my own online business….just reading as much information as I can and this article has been the most helpful. Thank you so much!!

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hi Maria,

      Thanks for your comment and glad our discussions here are helpful!


  25. #

    I have a question I have already built a website, and am trying to incorporate an online store function for potential customers can order products and services. However I want any store pages and parts to match the layout and background of the website to ensure a consistent approach throughout and when I’ve looked they are mentioning templates which I do not think would work to give a consistent approach. would you be able to tell me if there are ones that can allow the website design to flow through to the online store.

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hey Stephen,

      I’m guessing that the website builder you are using doesn’t have ecommerce functions? Or else their online selling tools (such as product pages) should match your overall website design.

      If you are using an external ecommerce widget (such as Ecwid), then it will be more challenging to have the widget match your overall design. However, if you can edit HTML / CSS, you might be able to configure the external widget to mimic your overall site design.

      Alternatively, if synchronizing the design is critical, and that your current web builder doesn’t offer ecommerce tools, then you can consider changing web builder platforms. We have some online store builders here that you can check out.



  26. #

    I’m looking to add an online store to our website but where the items are free (so maybe it’s not a store?!). We’re a small nonprofit looking to be able to offer a handful of items and rather than just using an order form on google forms we wanted something that would look professional, is easy for the end user and also automatically set items as out of stock when appropriate.

    I don’t mind paying, especially if it means we can customise the site with our own branding etc but I’m not sure paying for something like Shopify is the right way to go. Do you have any recommendations?

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hello Emma,

      You probably don’t need an advanced ecommerce builder like Shopify. Maybe something simpler like Weebly or Wix will get the job done quite easily.

      To be honest, I’m not entirely sure if you can set your price to zero and give away your products using Weebly / Wix, but worth a try (they’re free to sign up to test). You can easily set your inventory to zero (out of stock) and can also brand your website with your own logo / colors. That’s not a problem at all.

      Good luck!


  27. #

    Good Article. I am a beginner and wants to start online store. Margin is very low so I don’t want to spend at all atleast in starting and can’t share my tiny profits if any with shopify and others. I want everything free. Let’s see now how you can guide us.

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hi Anjum,

      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, there isn’t such a thing as “free lunch” so there will be a certain level of fees to get started if you want to set up a fully functional store. If an online store builder tells you that you can do everything for free, be careful about that as they have to make money someone to support their platform.

      If you want to minimize your cost, Shopify isn’t a bad choice as long as you use their Shopify Payments to power your check out cart so there isn’t any transaction fees.

      Their lowest plan is $29 per month, and you probably will have to aim to earn more than that if you want to build a viable business. Yes, it’s probably tough at the beginning when you try to gain traction, but that’s the norm when one is starting a new business. Keep in mind that when you start to sell more products, your monthly fee with Shopify will remain the same at $29 per month. So your profit margins will expand as your business grows.

      If you want to use good tools, you’ll have to share some profits to access those tools. The good thing is that if those tools are not working out for you, you can always cancel them. At least give them a try.


  28. #

    I currently sell on ebay and want to start building my own online store front without them. I own my domain name and sell clothing, accessories, toys and antiques. Over 3,000 items with average sales of 7k per month over the past 3 years. I read a few of your posts and want to get your opinion on which you think would work for me. Any guidance would be great.

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hey Brian,

      Since you’re running a higher volume business, I’d suggest you take a look at either Shopify or BigCommerce. Both are top notch ecommerce store builders, and will give you most of the tools you need to build an independent, successful online store.

      I think Shopify has a better platform and ecosystem (see our comparison between the two here), but BigCommerce offers you a full integration with eBay Marketplace. So in your case, it allows you to sync up your eBay store along with your ecommerce store (if you proceed with BigCommerce).

      Pay close attention to BigCommerce’s pricing plans. Their structure is a bit different from what you’d normally expect, as the plan they “put you on” is determined by how much you sell, not by what you decide by yourself. I’ve highlighted the differences in our Shopify vs BigCommerce discussion (I’ve linked to this post in my sentence above).

      Good luck!


  29. #

    Jeremy, thank you for posting this article, it has been a big help!

  30. #

    Thank you for writing this article! It is VERY helpful and is exactly what I have been looking for!

    Happy New Year!

    • Jeremy Wong

      Thanks Michael! Happy New Year to you too!


  31. #

    Very helpful article. Question – we drop shop products and have quantity price brackets. As I look at various templates available I haven’t found any that offer the capability of quantiy pricing breaks. Are you aware of any? Thanks.

    • Jeremy Wong

      Thanks Mimi.

      Good question. I’m actually not sure which ecommerce builders offer this function. But if I were to guess, I’d suggest taking a look at Shopify or Bigcommerce. Even reach out to their support team to see if they offer that specific function.

      If not, have you considered using Product Variants instead? So instead of the classic variants set up (yellow shirt, green shirt, blue shirt), maybe test 10 units, 20 units, 30 units, etc. So once you get to a certain level (such as 50 units), you can lower the per unit price. So in a sense, your customers will have to buy a pre-determined set of units, instead of say 42 units. Does that make sense?

      Also, since you’re in dropshipping, take a look at this “Ultimate Guide to Dropshipping” from Shopify. Maybe you’ll find it helpful!


  32. #

    Good view of point.

    Noted by

  33. #

    Which of these have you found has the best inventory linkup with tools like PayPal Here or Square? I find that the shop building part is easy, but finding a service that works great online, but also links to a POS has been difficult. I am currently doing double inventories with PayPal Here inventory for POS and my online shop inventory.

    • Jeremy Wong

      Hi Sunny,

      I think Shopify here can really help you. Not only do they enable you to build a very comprehensive ecommerce website, you can also use their POS tools to power offline businesses. The best part is that they will power both your online and offline business, so you only have 1 single system to manage and all the inventory, payment, etc data are all synchronized.

      Here is more discussion about their POS system and how it can help you.


  34. #

    Excellent article. One can get stuck in the research and development mode and, thus, loose sight of forest as you stare at the trees. Understand the key pros/cons of each platform and your needs (short and long term), test out a few platforms, then make a decision and start building your site. Get 80% done now and start selling, then tweak to get the 20% later.

    • Jeremy Wong

      Thanks VeeA! I absolutely agree. The key is to just get started. Testing and building is the best type of research one could do!

      – Jeremy

    • #

      Thank you for this article it really helped to put things into perspective as far as where to start, which has been the most daunting part this far!

      • Jeremy Wong

        Thanks Reg! Glad our discussions here have been helpful to you in getting things going!


        • #

          Good article. I have a question. I already have a massive customer base. I have a Facebook page with over 200,000 members who are all chomping at the bit to buy products from me. They have been asking me to set up an online store for a long time. So I really want to get it right first time.

          I will not be selling many products at first it will basically be 50 units every month (limited editions) this will hopefully generate interest and a want for the products by making them limited. Also I am new to business and don’t want to bite of more than I can chew.

          Then because of demand I will in crease the amount later. I don’t want to spend a great deal doing this as I will not be making hardly any money at first. Which webstore would you recommend for this, the best value for what I need or even a free one which maybe takes a small comission from each sale like EBay for example.


          • Jeremy Wong

            Hi Tony,

            I’d suggest you take a look at pure ecommerce builders such as Shopify or Bigcommerce.

            It sounds like you need a very strong platform that can scale up very quickly especially if you have 200,000 members. So I would highly suggest you take a look at those ecommerce builders.

            Both platforms can integrate with your Facebook page.

            We also have a discussion here comparing both Shopify and Bigcommerce – just in case you want to know how they compare with each other.