How to build an online store in 2020 and start selling online

Elena TikhonovaApril 20th, 2020

Have you ever thought on how many clients you can find on the Internet? Have you ever tried to open a shopping website or sell throught the social nets?

2020 started with a serious virus attack. Many countries ordered a quarantine, closed the borders and locked people at home to prevent virus spread. Offline small businesses had to go online to survive. In these conditions the fast opening online store is a necessity.

We know that building an online store can be a terrifying thought especially when you are not a techy and not a millionaire. Well, the Alt-team knows the solution. We started our online business in 2010 and for ten years we have been helping hundreds of users start their online store on CS-Cart platform.

Online stores can be:

  • A landing page with one service or one product;

  • Small store (under 100 different products);

  • Medium or large web stores (over 100 different products and more);

  • Marketplace (examples: eBay, Amazon, AliExpress).



Shopping websites can be:

  • A landing page with one service or one product;

  • Small store (under 100 different products);

  • Medium or large web stores (over 100 different products and more);

  • Marketplace (examples: eBay, Amazon, AliExpress).


What type of online stores are?

Online stores can be:

  • A landing page with one service or one product;

  • Small store (under 100 different products);

  • Medium or large web stores (over 100 different products and more);

  • Marketplace (examples: eBay, Amazon, AliExpress).


What is the best way to start an online store and don’t go bankrupt?

You should know that any online store development from scratch takes lots of time and more money! For the entrepreneur it’s important to invest money so as the project pays off and makes a profit as soon as possible.

To avoid wasting money, it’s smart to use a ready-to-use eCommerce solution like CS-Cart, Magento or Shopify, for example.

You don’t have to invent a bicycle if there is a well-designed model of a web shop you can use. Choose the most appropriate variant of eCommerce platform for your business and buy it. Later you can hire developers to modify it to meet all your demands.

Usually, the best variants of the shopping carts are not free. But anyway it is cheaper to buy a paid shopping cart solution than to develop an online store from scratch. In addition, the box versions have default themes. At the beginning you can use the default skin, but changing colours a bit to combine it with your design style and logo.


What do you have to pay attention to when choosing the CMS for the online store?



First of all, it should be a pleasure to run the online store. Convenient administrative panel differs from the “inconvenient” one by full-fledged functionality.For example, the ability to filter products by brands, sizes or colours is an essential for customers who are looking for a concrete product on the online store. At the same time, a fast content management, order tracking system, promotions settings are primarily things for the store administrator. Not all free eCommerce scripts can boost these essential for any online store functionality and the web store owners have to contact the web developers and order extra modifications of the CMS. It often costs more than a price for a paid shopping cart system.


Store design

The appearance and colour scheme of the website is the first that the website visitor faces with. It influences the customers’ willingness to browse the website pages closer, search any product and put it in the cart for purchase. The online store pages must open fast, be attractive and work on any devices: personal computers, tablets, mobile devices.



The most popular delivery services and payments systems must be included in the base of the eCommerce platform. First think what payments gateways you need and how you  will deliver the orders to the customers.



It’s essential to choose the most profitable eCommerce solution for the business. Compare costs, functionality, helpdesk systems and support services of different eCommerce platforms and select the one that is perfect for your type of business.


Technical Support Service

If you are far from any coding skills and the thought of changing any image on a website causes a panic, you should pay more attention to the conditions for technical support (oral, written), ready-to-use lessons, detailed manuals. You are the first person who is supposed to manage your own online store. You should be comfortable with this eCommerce content management system.


Prices on extra development

Platform for web store creating is a kind of template for eCommerce websites. This template is easy to change by the person without any coding skills. But, there are situations when the website owners are not satisfied with the standard functionality in the base and he wants to change the core of the platform or to add the features that are not in the base. Here it’s important to find out the pricing on these extra development or the cost of website maintenance on this platform. The cost of the development depends on the eCommerce platform complexity and the number of the developers who are working with this platform. For example, the extra coding for Magento is more expensive than for CS-Cart. Although Magento is a free solution, and CS-Cart costs USD 345.


How to choose the web developer for online store creating?


The doer (web developer)

You may hire a freelance developer or contact the web agency. In the first case, your project depends on one person fully and if he is ill or takes a vacation, your project will last a long time. The work with web agencies takes a bit more money, but it’s safer. You make an agreement with the company and have tight deadlines. There are penalty payments if the company can’t finish the project on time.



It’s important to pay attention to the freelance experience or the number of successful projects of the web agency, before paying for a work and starting to cooperate with the web developers. Young developers or programmers who haven’t worked with the concrete CMS before, spend more time on trivial tasks and possibly take more money as the cost of the developer’s work depends directly on the number of the hours that the specialist spends on the tasks solutions. The experienced developers know all “the pitfalls” in web store development on their “favourite” shopping carts and give the most appropriate pricing.


Contact Us to open an online store

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