eCommerce is a booming industry, as it allows customers from across the globe to shop for products from the comfort of their homes. With that said, you may be wondering how to create an eCommerce website. Fortunately, there are website builders and e-commerce platforms that make eCommerce website development easy.

To help you get started, we’ve created this guide on how to build an eCommerce website, as well as information on how Pietra makes it easy for Creators to create an eCommerce website.

What Is an eCommerce Platform?

An eCommerce platform is software that allows business owners to create and manage an online store. eCommerce platforms come with many tools and resources to make it easy for business owners to manage their online store.

Pietra is an eCommerce platform that also provides fulfillment and supplier services, helping business owners manage everything from setting up their eCommerce website to handling their inventory and shipping.

What Are the Different Types of eCommerce Platforms?

In order to create an eCommerce website, you first need to know about the different types of eCommerce platforms. Below are the three most common types of platforms you can choose from when creating an eCommerce website:

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): A SaaS eCommerce platform is a cloud-based software that allows you to create and host an eCommerce website. Examples of SaaS eCommerce platforms include Shopify and Pietra, which provide eCommerce website builders, payment processing, shipping, inventory management, and more. SaaS eCommerce platforms make it easy for small businesses to build an online presence and create an eCommerce website, as most functions are handled for them.

  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): A PaaS eCommerce platform is similar to a SaaS eCommerce platform but has one added element—hardware. With a PaaS eCommerce platform, companies receive both hardware and software to run their eCommerce website and gives them the ability to develop applications. While this offers more customizability, managing a PaaS eCommerce platform requires knowledge and more resources.

  • On-Premise Platform: Depending on the size and resources of your company, you can create an on-premise eCommerce platform that’s built by your web design and IT departments. However, this requires a lot of bandwidth, knowledge, and resources, which is why it’s typically only used for much larger eCommerce businesses.

These are the most common options businesses can choose from when it comes to choosing an eCommerce platform.

What Features Should You Look For in an eCommerce Platform?

Now that you know the different types of eCommerce platforms, it’s important to know what features to look for in the type of platform you choose so you can run your eCommerce website. Consider the features below:

  • Customization features: In order to create an eCommerce website, you need to ensure it’s customizable so it can align with your brand. eCommerce website builders should have tools and features that allow you to add your brand’s color palette, logo, products, and images, as well as layouts and templates that meet your needs.

  • Integration capabilities: When it comes to eCommerce website design, it’s important to have integration capabilities that allow you to use the applications you need to run your online store. For example, Shopify easily integrates with Pietra, so you can benefit from Pietra’s fulfillment and supplier services while running your store on Shopify’s platform.

  • User-friendliness: As a small business owner, your focus should be on growing your brand, not figuring out how to run your website. When looking for an eCommerce platform, ensure it’s user-friendly so you can easily run your website while still having time to dedicate resources to other areas of your business. In addition to an eCommerce platform being user-friendly for you, it should also be user-friendly for your customers, with easy navigation, fast page speeds, and customer reviews.

  • Mobile-friendliness: Having an eCommerce website that is mobile-friendly in this day and age is essential. As you look at eCommerce platforms, ensure it’s compatible with mobile devices, is responsive, and easy to use on a smartphone or tablet.

How to Create an eCommerce Website

Now that you’ve picked an eCommerce platform, it’s time to build your eCommerce website. To create an eCommerce website, follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose your theme: Your theme is the layout of your website, and includes elements such as your fonts, color palette, page layouts, and backgrounds.

  2. Customize your website: With a theme chosen, you can begin to design your website. With Pietra, you can work with freelance designers to help customize and create your eCommerce website to ensure it aligns with your vision.

  3. Add your products: After you’ve designed your website, the next step is adding your products. With Pietra, you can find suppliers and receive samples of thousands of products to find items perfect for your store.

  4. Determine your shipping and fulfillment logistics: To get your products to the doorsteps of your customers, you then need to determine your fulfillment logistics. Pietra’s Fulfillment Services can manage your inventory and ship your products straight from one of our warehouses to your customers.

  5. Establish your payment options: To ensure you get paid, it’s important to have several payment options for customers to choose from. Additionally, with Pietra, you can easily enter your banking information for payment.

  6. Preview and publish your website: Now that all of the logistics are set up for your eCommerce website, the final step is to preview your website to ensure there are no bugs or UX issues and publish it.

Create and Manage Your eCommerce Website with Pietra

Now that you know how to create an eCommerce website, it’s time to get started. With Pietra, we make it easy to set up shop in the Creator Marketplace to start selling your products. However, Pietra is more than just an eCommerce platform. In addition to our eCommerce website builder, you can gain access to our sourcing marketplace and built-in fulfillment services that make it easy to manage your online business.

Additionally, Pietra Creators get access to our library of resources, such as tips on how to manage an eCommerce website or draft a business plan. Learn more about how Pietra works and review Pietra pricing to find a plan that works for you.