eCommerce Website / Online Shop Explained

eCommerce Website / Online Shop Explained

An eCommerce website, or online shop, is a web-based retailer. This means that the entire process of buying and selling is digitalized. Customers select goods from a website, pay for them via an online payment method. Once payment is verified, the goods are then shipped to the customer.

In 2019 over $3.5 trillion in eCommerce sales were registered globally. That number is expected to nearly double to $6.5 trillion by 2023. With such tempting numbers, it can be hard for sellers to resist jumping on the eCommerce bandwagon.

Before you do, let’s take a look at the process involved.

How Online Store Works

The basic theories of an online store are very simplistic and no different from owning a traditional brick-and-mortar shop. The customer enters the shop, makes a selection, then pays for it and leaves. Most shops rely on walk-by customers, or returning customers.

In eCommerce, the key difference lies in how the customer enters the shop. Instead of waiting for a visitor to stumble upon your store, you need to reply heavily on search ranking. While there are other means, search ranking is by far the most cost effective and powerful.

Building an eCommerce Website / Online Store

There are two main ways that first-time users can build their online stores:

  1. Using a web application such as PrestaShop or WooCommerce
  2. Using an eCommerce website building tool like Shopify.

Although some eCommerce stores are built through code from the ground up, this isn’t’ recommended if it’s your first attempt.

Using Web Applications

Building an online store using a web application involves a few parts. These are a domain name, web host, payments provider, and web application. Each of those works together to complete your eCommerce ecosystem.

Learn more: Best hosting solutions for PrestaShop websites

Using eCommerce Website Building Tools

Website builders are by far the easiest and fastest way to build and deploy online stores. There are service providers who specialize in this, offering complete solutions for your use.

They are also mainly code-free, meaning you won’t need much technical knowledge to make use of them.

Great Examples of Online Stores


Example of eCommerce Store
Homepage of Bellroy (visit online)

Bellroy is a popular wallet and bag designer and manufacturing company that sells its own products. Their web store only handles the Bellroy brand and has full eCommerce capabilities, handling everything from catalogue display to payments handling.

Jelly Belly

Example of eCommerce Store
Homepage of Jelly Belly (visit online)

More than simply a digital candy store, Jelly Belly also acts as an round driver for sales and branding. Aside from useful content and sales of its mainstream items it goes as far as to offer gift cards as well.

Final Thoughts

In truth, this article barely scratches the basics of what you need to know if you want to start an online store. However, it does lay down some of the basics of what you need. There are many ways you can get involved in eCommerce though, so look at your options carefully.

Irrespective of how you decide to pursue your online store establishment, do remember that at the end of the day, performance will always remain vital. Nobody likes a slow, laggy online shopping experience. Do check out our best online store hosting selections if you need some recommendations.

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Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld,, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.