Building an e-commerce web site

The short overview:

  1. At least one domain name
  2. A web hosting provider
  3. A software package to run your shop
  4. A subscription to one or more services to provide payment facilities to your shop
  5. Invoices archiving
  6. A subscription to one or more services to provide payment facilities to your shop
  7. One or more various Internet ads subscription
  8. Presence in the social networks
  9. Referencing


 

The more detailed overview:

1. At least one domain name

You can have more than one domain name pointing to a single shop. If you want to cover more than one country, it can be useful to have, e.g. my.shop.be, my.shop.ro, my.shop.eu, …

2. A web hosting provider

There are a lot of providers around the world, offering different subscription plans, different packages, different pre-build web sites, …
Most of these web hosting companies are also offering the domain names service alongside.
It is more easy to have both under the same company. You need to choose your plan based on your business case because what's made up these plans are :
  • Disk size of the web site
  • Traffic (bandwidth) allowed per month in GB/s (some companies offer unlimited bandwidth)
  • Number of databases (normally, this kind of e-shop web site requires at least one)
  • Email addresses associated (can be interesting for notification and inquiries to avoid placing your own private mail address on the web site)
  • etc.
All of these providers have their own easy to use interface to upload files to the web site space.
 

3. A software package to run your shop

Of course, you will not hire a team of developer to write your own customized web site. There are lot of web packages available on the Internet under Open Source license, and thus free for use even in case of commercial usage like this.
Some of them are proposed as “modules” or “packages” at no supplemental costs by some web hosting companies.
On top of my mind, I know https://www.prestashop.com/ who's used all around the world. I'm sure that you already bought something on a site running this software ;-) !
If the web hosting company you would choose doesn't offer this option, no worries, we just need to download a zip file with all the web pages, upload them on the newly created web site and to configure it – I can do this for you, at no cost (or at least a good bottle of wine ;-) )
All these software request to have also a database, why this should be a mandatory option in the web hosting plan you will choose.
 
Remark: if you look for such solution on your own, take one that is offering “responsive” themes or design. This means that your web site will be mobile-friendly, at no cost then.
 

4. A subscription to one or more services to provide payment facilities to your shop

Well, the one I'm thinking to immediately was called Ogone, now apparently they became Ingenico (http://payment-services.ingenico.com). In one subscription, you would be able to offer various payment mechanism like online banking, credit card, debit card, bank transfers, Paypal, …
As I never build an e-shop myself, it needs to be investigated if it is really necessary.
For instance, if you want to offer only Paypal payment, you don't need them.
But if you want to offer multi-channels selling, it may be worth to check what they have to offer exactly.
 

5. Invoices archiving

You know that depending of the law of the country where your site will be running or  your company registered, you have to archive all your invoices for a certain period of time.
I don't know how far this can be integrated in the e-shop solution itself, but this should be kept in mind when calculating the storage you need and the functionalities too.
 

6. A SSL certificate issued by a public certifier to allow encrypted web connection

You have to buy one of these to protect your customers and to let them know that they are really interacting with you.
A certificate is not only needed to set up an encrypted web connection, but also to guarantee that the customers are really in connection with your web site and company.
You know, this green lock in the address bar of your web browser :
 
web secured.png
 

7. One or more various Internet ads subscriptions

Part of your marketing strategy, you may need to have some advertising campaign by Google and Facebook for instance.
Most of the time, these campaigns are paid per click or per display.
 

8. Presence in the social networks

It may be a good idea to have also a company Facebook page, where you post relevant informations like promo, etc.
 

9. Referencing

Referencing is the use of some techniques to help your site to be listed in the beginning of the search results of the most used web search engines. They are indeed some tips to be applied if you want to rank high in the result of Google, Yahoo, …
There are some companies specialized in this kind of services on the market.