Knowing how to build an eCommerce website is the backbone of online entrepreneurship, big or small, with automated website builders playing a crucial role in the process. Whether drag-and-dropped in minutes or created manually from scratch, a high-quality website is the starting point for lead generation, lead distribution, and conversion, the three pillars of online business.

Source: Statista

With millions wondering how to create an eCommerce website and whether it's possible at all with no coding knowledge, thousands are acting to capitalize on the ever-growing industry: by 2026, the eCommerce market is expected to total over $8.1 trillion, captivating aspiring entrepreneurs and almost forcing them to look into how to make an eCommerce website so it can grow their bottom line.

However, the problem of creating a website that rocks is still there, with many entrepreneurs missing out on the brilliant (and the only viable) promotion channel and their ultimate representation in an online marketplace. Many don't even know about super-effective website builders that can dramatically speed up website creation!

But you won't be among them – you will learn to create and run an eCommerce site right now.

With no further ado, let's explain how to build an eCommerce website from scratch, pondering over the need for establishing a strong online presence in the first place.

In this article you will learn:

  • Why you need an eCommerce website
  • What you need to start an eCommerce website
  • How to build an eСommerce website step-by-step, including how to create an eCommerce website with drag-and-drop builders
  • Why starting now is the best time to kick things off with your eCommerce website

Allow us to recommend two related reads: how to create an eCommerce website like Amazon and build a software startup. These two will synergize with what you'll read below, creating a coherent action plan for you.

Why You Need an eCommerce Website

Before digging into the nitty-gritty of how to create an eCommerce website, one must answer the question: do I need one, or maybe people talking on the streets will be enough?

As obvious as it sounds, an online presence is paramount for the lion's share of businesses, especially eCommerce, not to mention that the very "e-" particle unambiguously emphasizes the digital nature of eCommerce. 

Moreover, not only do eCommerce websites pop up on the web like there's no tomorrow, but they are developing at breathtaking speed, making the knowledge of how to build an eCommerce website a must for anyone willing to level up their marketing game.

What You Need To Start an eCommerce Website

Developing your web resource is a rather responsible and time-consuming process, even if you know how to build an eCommerce website. It is not enough to simply choose the design and structure – you need a comprehensive approach.

Here are the most important aspects to consider:

  • Website development essentials
  • Target products
  • Launch budget

Let's elaborate on these so you can know more about how to build an eCommerce website from scratch and make sure you don't miss any important preparations before taking action.

Website Development Essentials

Your website will only fly if you put data to work. Not only should you have a unique value proposition, but it should hit the right people – your target audience – at the right time. 

Among the customer data you need are demographics, psychographics, location, and any other marketable lowdown you can collect. This data will help form a clear vision of potential customers and quickly decide on the required site format.

In addition, it is worth considering the possibility of introducing advanced technologies like a lead distribution and lead tracking system, especially if you're going to scale fast.

Target Products

There may be two options: 

  • You already run an offline store. If so, you can easily digitize your products.
  • You don't have an offline store. If you are about to launch an eCommerce website without having an offline store, you must select the target products in advance. Search among the high-demand categories if you have not decided what to sell.

When determining your target products, pick ones you know a lot about or have personal experience with. Once you know what you will sell, choosing a website configuration that resonates with your offering becomes easier.

Launch Budget

Creating an eCommerce website is quite expensive, so be ready to splurge. You need to allocate funds for marketing, payment for hosting services, and purchasing a domain name. Soon, you must also pay for the security installation feature, various plugins, themes, and other vital infrastructure elements.

How To Build an eCommerce Website Step-by-Step

You need to perform several steps to create an eCommerce web resource from scratch:

  1. Choose an eCommerce website-building platform
  2. Choose a matching design
  3. Create product pages
  4. Set up payments and shipping
  5. Domain connection, testing, and launch

Let's review all the steps in detail.

1. Choose an eCommerce Website Building Platform



Arguably the world's most popular eCommerce platform, Shopify allows you to create and run your own online store without any coding knowledge. Instead, you can use a ready-made suite of web design and eCommerce tools, including:

  • Drag-and-drop website builder to customize your website and product offering
  • Thousands of customizable themes and apps to create your unique style and branding
  • Custom domains to look credible and professional

With Shopify, you can create an affiliate website from scratch – for example, one built around affiliate promotions, reviews, or comparisons. Likewise, you can complete smaller business goals with narrow-focused tools like slogan maker, business name generator, shipping and purchase order templates, and more.

Shopify is free for the first three days, $1 per month for the next three months, and then you have to choose one of the paid plans: Basic ($32 per month), Shopify ($92 per month), or Advanced ($399 per month). You can save 25% if you pay for your subscription annually.

Related Read: Shopify vs. BigCommerce – which one to go with?

Magento 2 (Now Adobe Commerce)

Adobe Commerce

Magento 2 is one of the best platforms for building an eCommerce website, now part of Adobe's software suite Adobe Commerce. With Adobe Commerce, you can personalize the on-site experiences for B2B and B2C segments for all your websites, brands, and campaigns and leverage multiple AI tools to drive the right content to the right customer.

Key features:

  • Omnichannel personalization across every touchpoint
  • AI-driven tools, prompts, and decisions
  • Easy integration with your digital store

Price: Custom, based on Gross Merchandise Value (GMV), the total value of merchandise sold over a specific time, and Average Order Value (AOV), the average value of sales over a specific time.



WooCommerce is an eCommerce platform and WordPress plugin that allows the launching of an online store without coding knowledge. With WooCommerce, you can drag-and-drop your website structure from scratch in minutes and leverage multiple built-in advertising, email, and social features to tap into untapped markets and audiences.

Key features:

  • All-encompassing code-free eCommerce platform
  • Abundance of themes, templates, and structure elements
  • Advanced anti-fraud protection

Price: $39 or $70 per month, depending on the package, if billed monthly. Paying annually saves you 35%.



Prestashop is an eCommerce platform that allows you to create an online store in just six simple steps, from preliminary preparations like checking your legal status to setting up your payment gateways to launching your store online.

Key features:

  • Data-driver, customer-focused, intuitive website design
  • Informative for customers, including delivery, sales, GDPR policies, and more
  • Mobile-friendly and feature-packed

Price: $4 to $14 per month



Squarespace is a CMS and website builder that offers a drag-and-drop interface and a huge library of templates to choose from. Likewise, you can implement advanced item management, secure shopping cart functioning, and fast payment processing, among many other things. Through integrations with third-party extensions, you can cover the features not provided by the platform – for example, tax calculations.

Key features:

  • Comprehensive platform for eCommerce website creation and management
  • Huge library of customizable templates, grouped by themes: marketing, design, fashion, etc.
  • Integrates with 38 third-party extensions to help you manage your website and store

Price: €15, €24, €28, or €42 per month, depending on the subscription plan, if paid monthly. Paying annually saves you 14% to 29%.



Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder that allows you to create any type of website, from an online store to a blog to a restaurant website. With an advanced drag-and-drop editor and over 900 customizable templates, you can unleash your full web design potential while making yourself visible to your target customers. Like other eCommerce website builders from the list, Wix enables all store elements and functionality, including a shopping cart, checkout process, inventory management, customer analytics, multichannel selling, and more.

Key features:

  • Comprehensive eCommerce website design and marketing toolkit, including a custom domain and around-the-clock support
  • Over 900 designer-made templates and themes
  • Web app development through a native full-stack development platform Velo

Price: €10, €20, €29, or €149 per month, depending on the subscription plan.

Remember, you have only two options: developing a full-fledged eCommerce site from scratch or using a website builder with all the necessary features. In the first case, you will have to make a lot of effort and spend a lot of money. In the second case, you can build a website in minutes and with minimum to no investments.

How To Build an eCommerce Website From Scratch

Important Aspects


With mobile phones dominating the market, it's extremely important to guarantee a seamless experience for mobile users. A mobile-friendly eCommerce website mostly means a quality layout across various devices and operating systems and also an optimized website structure so your customers can quick-jump to the most important website sections.


With the ever-growing average data breach cost well over– $4 million in 2023 – you need an impregnable website defense. For that, check if the eCommerce solution in question provides robust security features specifically for your type of store and develop a contingency plan in case you have to react to a security threat or an actual breach.

Functionality and reliability

For 25% of businesses, an hourly downtime on their servers costs $300,000 to $400,000, making it crucial to have redundancy measures in place. 

Make sure your website can handle the target traffic and scale if you exceed your expectations. Keep in mind that there will be peak hours when the traffic may increase tenfold compared to the average value.

Multi-channel sales support

In the future, you may have ideas for expansion, like entering new markets, using additional sales channels, etc. The chosen platform must have enough resources to implement such solutions.


No platform in the world can cover your needs with its in-built tools. However, all leading eCommerce website builders can integrate with third-party software, tools, and extensions. Ensure your eCommerce platform supports integrations with the other software you use or may use in the future.

1. Choose a Matching Design

The design of your future site is what visitors will see first, which is why it is necessary to pay special attention to this aspect. Platforms usually have several built-in themes, so it's worth considering the products' features when choosing the best solution. 

Pay attention to the following when choosing your eCommerce website design:

  • Homepage with a clear offering
  • Branded fonts and color palette
  • Engaging visuals: photos, images, graphics, etc.
  • Navigation system

2. Create Product Pages

Product cards give potential customers basic information about your product range, so they must be drawn up correctly. 

In the process, you need to fill in the following fields:

  • Descriptions: The texts should contain answers to popular questions that visitors may have. For example, you can specify the product's size, color, and material.
  • Image: It is very important to let the buyers look at the product as far as they do not have the opportunity to touch it. High-quality and detailed images are required.

In addition, it is worth specifying information about delivery methods, the possibility of returning goods, and reviews of real customers.

3. Set up Payments and Shipping

The more payment and shipping options you provide, the better. 

Payment-wise, these can be:

  • Digital wallets
  • Debit cards
  • Credit cards
  • Token payments
  • Mobile payments
  • Third-party payments services

Platforms usually have built-in payment gateways for different countries. By specifying your location, you can get all payment options available for your region.

Supplementing a convenient payment method with suitable delivery conditions will significantly improve the customer experience. 

Answer these questions before setting up your eCommerce payment gateway:

  • What shipping concept would your customers like the most: a variable fee, flat rate, or only free shipping?
  • What shipping locations will you support: local, national, or international?
  • Will you use a dropshipping system?
  • Which service providers and carriers would you like to work with?
  • What delivery services would your customers like to see among the shipping options?

4. Connect Your Domain, Test, and Launch

To bring your website to life, you must create a new domain or connect an existing one. When entered in the browser's search bar, it is a name that leads to the created Internet resource. The domain should be given special attention, as it also affects the future promotion of the site and contributes to the formation of the image.

How To Choose a Domain Name

The best solution is a simple domain name that accurately describes your business and is easy to remember. Remember that you can connect your existing domain to your eCommerce website.

When To Launch Your Website

Every owner usually wants to launch as soon as possible to not miss out on the customers they can secure immediately. However, you should not hurry. Make sure to test your website thoroughly before taking action. At this stage, quality assurance is paramount. You don't want to launch a raw website and face unpleasant consequences.

Remember, you need to check how the site will look and work on smartphones, tablets, and computers. Checking the functionality of all buttons, navigation, menus, and links is a must. Then, once you have completed all these steps and are happy with what you've got, you can put your eCommerce website online.

Why Starting Now Is the Best Time to Kick Things Off With Your eCommerce Website

Now that you know how to build an eCommerce website from scratch, you also know there's hardly a better time to launch a website than now. Although you should consider the current market trends, seasonality, and other time-dependent factors, delaying your website launch for too long might lead to an increasing gap between you and competitors.

What's more, knowing how to build an eCommerce website with automated builders like, for example, Wix, doesn't take much time or research. All you have to do is follow on-screen recommendations, drag-and-dropping your website however you see fit and customizing it to your target audience.

With that, we'll leave you with a final thought:  the sooner you get the ball rolling, the better. As eCommerce continues to evolve, it's important to have enough time to grasp the basics, gain some practical knowledge, and start looking for improvements that can give you a competitive edge.

Stacy James
Software developer
Stacy James is a developer for six years and now heads one of the leading companies in software development. During her work years, she achieved significant results and gained invaluable experience, which she wants to share with others now. Stacy strives to improve the software development ecosystem to eliminate waste.

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How To Build an eCommerce Website From Scratch