KillerSites Blog

Building an Ecommerce Website – a Layman’s Perspective

March 25, 2009

There are plenty of articles on how to build an e-commerce website. The problem is that they speak to web-nerds and not to the business people who want to build on online business.

This article speaks to those not so tech savvy entrepreneurs.

What we want to do:

The goal is to create an e-commerce website that builds a business using all the cheap and free tools available in the market today. One great thing about the nerd driven computer revolution, is the strong sense of community and desire to give opportunity to the masses.

Because of this freely available cheap and/or free technology, it is just so much easier today to start a business than it was just 15-20 years ago.

These are some of the questions this article will answer:

  1. What are the components of an e-commerce site, and how do you best get those components into your web site?
  2. What makes an e-commerce website successful?

What are the components of a successful e-commerce website?

The components an e-commerce website:

  1. Payment systems
  2. Shopping carts
  3. Ezines, list management software (newsletters)
  4. Email auto-responders
  5. Web analytic software (web stats)

How do you get these things into your website?

Like so many things is the tech world, there are many competing methods and technologies to do this. That said, I would suggest starting out with the easiest and least expensive methods. Later on, as your web business grows, you can chose more advanced technologies – if the need should arise.

To find these solutions, just use Google. So for a shopping cart, search for ‘shopping cart’ or ‘shopping cart software’. You get the idea. I’m not going to recommend any specific tools/solutions in this article simply because I’m a lazy bastard.


Just kidding. No, it is more or less because these things are moving targets, so what I recommend today may not be the best choice 6 months from now.

What makes an e-commerce site successful?

A few simple things really:

  • Ease of use in terms of the web site.
  • Professional look that instills confidence in your business.
  • Speed of processing.

One thing I want to emphasize is the importance of having a website that makes the prospective client feel comfortable with dealing with you. With so many scams out there today on the Web, people are very reluctant to hand over their credit card numbers … or do any business with fly-by-night looking operations.

Besides everything you can do on your end (great design, professional look, contact information that is obvious) you may want to go with a really well known credit card processor like Paypal. Since Paypal is a fairly well known company, by working with them, you can gain from their fame.

Stefan Mischook