How to make your first online sale

How to make your first online sale

If you’ve already set up your online store, congratulations! You’re ready to start selling. We’ve come up with a few ways for you to get your store out there and make your all-important first sale.  

Haven’t set up your store yet? Take a look at how easy it is!

So, whether it’s in real life, with social media and online communities, or through advertising, here are a few ideas to help make your first sale…

How to promote your eCommerce store in real life

Even though your store is online, there are lots of ways to share it offline too:

  • Friends and family – Once you’ve set up your online store, tell your friends and family about it. Ask them to spread the word and share it with their own personal and online networks.
  • Sign-written vehicle – A little unusual, but stick with us! This is especially good if you have a strong online presence – which you will do now your beautiful site is ready! Have your web address, unique hashtags or social media handles made into a sticker. Put it in the rear window of your vehicle and you’ll have an easy way to direct people to your online presence.
  • Physical presence – If there are local places where your ideal customers regularly hang out, why not drop off some flyers? Leave them there for people to find and they can navigate to your store in their own time.
  • Pass on printed material – If you’re already attending things like makers’ fairs, local events or marketplaces, have business cards printed. Include your store details and hand out cards when somebody makes a purchase. That way, customers can share your store with their own friends and family. Who knows, they might even come back online and make a repeat purchase!

Leverage the power of online communities and social media

It couldn’t be easier to share your store online. However you choose to connect, be genuine and make it easy for customers to find you.

  • Share a link to your store on social media – Once your site is set up, you can share it to your online channels directly from the store itself. Click the social buttons and off you go!
  • Keep a link to your store in your bio – Whether you’re an Instagram person, a Twitter devotee, or you’ve set a Facebook business page, the bio section is prime real estate. The text ‘about you’ at the top of the page is highly visible. Put your store link there. If people are looking at your social feeds and they like what they see, they can explore your eCommerce site with a click.
  • Online communities – Join small business groups or residents’ groups local to you. There are communities of makers, side hustlers and business owners across the internet. A small word of warning: be sure to genuinely engage. Often communities will have rules about when, or if, you can post promotional material. Not only will people remember you better if you’re genuine, you might find that the support of a community is valuable in its own right.
  • Write a blog – Your blog is a great place to keep your followers up to date with everything that you’ve been up to. Sharing your store on your blog can be particularly useful, especially if you’ve got an engaged following. So, let your readers know your store is ready for business!

Don’t be afraid of online advertising

It might sound scary, but don’t worry! With the tools available to small businesses today, it’s easy to start advertising.

  • Google ads – You can drive traffic to your store in a few simple steps. Land the right customers on your website with clever targeting or take people to whichever product page you want to promote.
  • Facebook ads – If your ideal customer is on Facebook, then Facebook’s targeted advertising allows you to reach them.
  • Competitions and giveaways – These are different to the structured advertising on platforms like Facebook or Google. Social posts, where you offer a giveaway or hold a competition can help raise awareness of your products. Even if your followers don’t win the competition, you will at least have made them aware of your store. And you never know… they may go on and buy from you anyway.

 A quick word on advertising…

The key thing to remember with any kind of advertising is to know your audience. Have a clear idea of the kind of people that buy from you, where they like to spend time, what appeals to them and what doesn’t. For example, don’t advertise on Google, if people won’t be searching for your products on a search engine. Or, if you know that the kind of people that buy your products don’t use Facebook, you’ll probably be disappointed if you advertise there. So, bear your audience in mind when you plan your advertising.  

Good luck with your new store…

We hope this blog is helpful; these are a few ideas to help you on your way to your very first sale. Remember to be creative and keep letting people know that your store’s ready and open for business.

Excited? So are we… 😄 🎉

Set up your store today! Register for a free 14-day trial and you’ll be one step closer to selling your products online…

How do I create an online store for free?

Happy smiling woman sitting on sofa, couch and using laptop to create an online store for free

If you own a business, building a website for your ecommerce store is the best way to expand your company. Considering that ecommerce sales are predicted to make up to 17.5% of retail sales globally by 2021, the world of ecommerce offers endless opportunities for you to help your business and brand grow. 

However, ecommerce sites can often be expensive. Most website builders charge extra if you want an additional ecommerce add-on with your website, although with Go Sitebuilder we offer it as part of our affordable and high quality package. However, if you’re new to the world of ecommerce, there are ways you can test the waters by setting up a store for free! 

Use social media 

Although you can’t make payments directly via social media, using platforms such as Instagram to show off images of your products is a great starting point for your ecommerce store. This is a good way to advertise your products, as it gives you the opportunity to get creative with your marketing: you can post short videos on how to use a certain product, or put together a collage of your best selling products. 

Social media is also a trusty source to turn to for a free ecommerce option as it gives the buyer the freedom to share their views on your products. For example, you can encourage people to comment on your posts with their views on your products – if what you’re selling is of good value for money, or is a quality item, the chances are the feedback will be positive, and can therefore prompt other potential customers to enquire into purchasing your products. Social media content is also easily shareable, which could help gain increased visibility for your ecommerce business. 

As most social media platforms have direct messaging services, a buyer can contact you if they see a product they like, and then you can arrange a simple payment via Paypal, or they can make a bank transfer. The downside is that there is no security for the buyer – although your business might be 100% genuine, there is no way for them to know that you’re not a scam. This could deter potential buyers from making a purchase with your business. 

Focus your attention on local sales 

Facebook marketplace is a great way to build your local reputation, which is ideal if you’re planning to build an ecommerce website which is mainly targeted at selling to individuals within your area. People on Facebook marketplace often know  what they’re looking for, so it is important to include relevant keywords and tags in your product descriptions. This way, your items are more likely to appear  in users’ search results. 

If you’re unsure of your pricing strategy, Facebook marketplace is also a good price comparison source – most offer discounted prices, as the products are second hand. If you have good quality photos of your products, and they are brand new, then you could get away with charging a bit more. However, you’ll need to really justify the reason for the price difference: make sure you write a great product description, and emphasise that you are a local business to really connect with potential customers. 

The downside to Facebook marketplace is that it is a fairly saturated market: most people will be on it to find the cheapest bargains they can find, and you don’t want to reduce your profit margin excessively by competing with other sellers who offer very discounted prices. Nevertheless, the platform is a good way to build your reputation as a local, trusted seller, and is a good starting point for your ecommerce business. 

Use a free ecommerce site 

Using a website builder with a free ecommerce section is perhaps the best way to build an ecommerce site for free. Most website builders will offer the option of having an SSL certificate, which shows buyers their details will be protected, although you might have to pay extra for this option. 

Building a website to advertise your products is also the best way to make your ecommerce site seem professional and high quality. This is because it allows potential customers to find your products easily by having them in categories, and gives you space to provide high-quality photos and in-depth product descriptions. 

The problem with free ecommerce sites is that they will often have hidden costs along the way, or have features which make your site seem less professional for the user. Freewebstore lets you create an ecommerce site for free, but its backend is complex and fairly restrictive, making it difficult for you to create a site with a web design which is right for your business. 

Webstarts is also another free ecommerce option, but it doesn’t give you any SEO options, such as a personalised URL or title tags and descriptions for products. If you want your website to rank on Google’s search engines, these factors are key: without them, Google’s algorithms won’t be able to see if your products are relevant to a search engine result, consequentially giving you a poor ranking on its search engine results. 

The best option for an ecommerce website is picking a website builder which offers all of the necessary features for your ecommerce site, at a low-cost price. Go Sitebuilder is an incredibly cost effective option, as we offer ecommerce features, SEO optimisation, SSL certificates and more within our bundle. And, with our 14-day free trial, you can see if it’s the right site builder for your ecommerce business free of charge!

How do I find a niche for my online store?

Asian woman using smartphone with happy mood smile face in shopping mall niche market

An online store can help you make some cash on the side, or it can be the start of a great new business venture. Either way, to make the most of your online store, you’ll need to put some research in at the beginning to make sure that you are supplying a product that will sell! If you’re still looking for a website builder, make sure you do your research and choose one like Go Sitebuilder that doesn’t have any hidden fees for selling products online. 

What is a niche?

Choosing a niche can mean several things, but the aim remains the same; providing a product or service that is different from others. Choosing a niche in general means deciding on the area you want to specialise in; that is, instead of DIY products in general, choosing kitchen DIY products, or painting products. This comes down to the old adage of being a jack of all trades and a master of none; if you specialise in an area, then people are more likely to trust you and your knowledge than if you sold many different products. 

This concept applies to a niche product – where you choose a specific type of product to specialise in (think leather shoes rather than all shoes) and to a niche market. A niche market is when you design a product for a specific market and then focus your marketing efforts on that small community. 

Why do I need a niche for my online store?

If you don’t choose a niche then you’re setting yourself up to disappear among the thousands of other online stores that are selling the same things as you. In 2020, competition is fierce in the ecommerce industry, product markets are saturated and consumers are becoming more and more demanding in terms of the convenience and speed of service. 

Choosing a niche product means that you won’t be in direct competition with huge competitors, who will be able to provide a faster, more convenient service. Because of their infinitely larger resources, this is not a competition you will be able to win. If you have a niche, however, you are more likely to appear higher up on a search engine results page when a user is looking for a specific product. More clicks – more revenue!

How to choose a niche product

Many niche products are unique, handmade products that cannot be replicated, so if you make jewellery or ceramics then this is a good area to move into. You’ll still need to focus on a niche though – in handmade industries it’s a good idea to focus on your brand to help you with this. Is your jewellery made with precious stones from a certain area? Do you have a certain glazing technique that makes your ceramics stand out? This is what you’ll have to rely on to set you apart from others. 

Other niche products are designed due to personal experience. Is there a gap in the market that you think needs to be filled? For example, Hatch is a clothing brand that was created by a mother who was looking for dressy maternity wear for events such as weddings and parties, but couldn’t find anything she liked. This company focuses on two niches; maternity wear and formal wear, making it a great example of a niche product. 

How to choose a niche market

A niche market, on the other hand, focuses on the consumer rather than the product itself. This makes your marketing easier, but also gives you more freedom in the items that you want to stock and sell. A niche market can be defined by its own unique needs, identity or preferences in comparison to consumers in general. 

A good example of this is conscious buyers. These are people who want to make less of an impact on the environment by reducing their waste and plastic use, and are looking for more sustainable solutions. Once you’ve decided on a niche market, it can help you decide on other things that are important for your ecommerce strategy. 

For example, how much would you charge for your products and how old are your audience likely to be? People are more likely to spend more on sustainable goods rather than traditional ones, and Gen Z and millennials are more eco-conscious than baby boomers. Once you’ve decided on a niche market, everything slots into place. 

Other considerations when choosing a niche

Make sure you carry out research when deciding on your niche; you don’t want to spend ages elaborating your ecommerce plan and then find out someone has already had the same idea! It’s also a good idea when you’re starting out to choose a product that will have high profit margins, as otherwise you might not make any profit at all after subtracting your time, website builder costs, delivery fees and potential return fees. 

There are lots of things to think about when choosing a niche for your ecommerce business, so why not have one less thing to worry about? Choose Go Sitebuilder as your website builder; we’re one of the cheapest website builders with a free integrated ecommerce platform, and no limits on the number of products you can sell. Try our 14-day free trial today to see how quick and easy it is to get your website up and running. 

How do online shopping websites work?

Happy African American family with daughter using laptop at home, shopping online and reading how online shopping websites work

We’ve all thought about selling products online; whether that’s our own handmade gifts or choosing items to sell on for profit, and with website builders you can set up an ecommerce site in minutes! However, there are other things that you need to think about to be able to manage a successful and profitable ecommerce business. Let’s have a look at them here!

What an online shopping website needs

When choosing a website builder for your online store, it’s important to create a checklist to make sure it has all the features you need and that it doesn’t have hidden extra costs. For example, many website builders offer a free ecommerce template, but charge you more if you sell more than a certain number of products. Here’s a list of the basic elements an ecommerce website should have:

Product catalogue

Your customers need to be able to see what you’re selling! A product catalogue includes a list of available products, descriptions, and images. You want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to find what they’re looking for, so make sure you put your products in categories and if possible add a search bar. If your products don’t fit well into categories, then add a “best-selling” or “most popular” section – if others are buying it, that could persuade others to do so as well! 

Online payment processor

This is an absolute must-have. An online payment system is a third party software that handles customer payments, so you don’t have to worry about giving strangers your card details! PayPal and Stripe are popular options, but have a look at our blog on online payment processors to help you choose which one will work best for your site. 

SSL security

If you’re handling online payments and other sensitive information, then you need to make sure you have an SSL certificate. It encrypts the data passing through an online connection, making sure the information and your website are protected from potential hackers. It is the foundation of internet security, and you can tell if a website has one if it has a padlock symbol or https in front of the domain name. Without one, it is very likely that potential customers will not trust your site and buy from one of your competitors instead. SSL certificates can be complicated to get, but thankfully Go Sitebuilder gives you one with every website you create.

Ecommerce template 

You need to make sure the ecommerce template your website builder offers has certain features that make it easy for you to sell and easy for your customers to buy products. This means that each product must clearly state the price and allow the customer to choose different colours and different quantities. An extra feature Go Sitebuilder has is sending you an email when your stock levels start getting low – one more thing you don’t need to worry about! 

Choose your delivery method

One of the things many people forget to think about is how to deliver the products. If you’re selling homemade products that you keep in your house, then this is the easiest method; you just need to find a way to package your product. You can capitalise on this by using it as an opportunity to grow your brand; use your brand colours, stickers or add a handwritten note to make it seem personal. 

If you get your products from a supplier, you will have to decide whether to order the products in bulk and keep them yourself – you’ll have to make sure you have enough space – or dropship your products. Dropshipping is where a supplier holds the stock and sends it straight to the customer – less time intensive for you, but you can’t personalise the brand and returns can be complicated. 

You’ll also have to decide how much delivery will cost and what kind of returns policy you are willing to provide. Returns can be costly for a new ecommerce business, but equally not having one could put potential customers off as they cannot see the physical product – this is why good product photos and descriptions are so important!

Design a good online shopping website

When customers arrive on your website, they want to see a professional-looking site that they can trust. If this sounds like a daunting task, don’t worry! Use a website builder like Go Sitebuilder that gives you thousands of ready to use website templates, so you can have a stylish website up and running in moments. If you want a bit more autonomy, then our web designs are all easily changed to suit your brand colours and company style. 

Unlike many website builders, we have an ecommerce platform integrated into our website builder, so it is incredibly simple to use, whether you’re on a desktop, mobile or tablet. We designed our website to be as quick and easy to use as possible – so you can focus on the important bits of growing your business! Try our 14-day free trial today to see what your ecommerce website could look like!

What homemade items are in high demand?

Woman selling homemade organic beautycare products in a shop which are in high demand

Now that you know how to make money selling homemade items, deciding the kind of product you are going to specialise in is an important step in making your homemade crafts business successful. There are so many different types of homemade crafts to sell, from  creating beautiful jewellery to personalised pillows. It all depends on your creativity and your skillset; but it’s also important to make sure there is a demand for the product you want to sell. 

A good place to start is to look at best-selling products on websites such as Amazon and Etsy to get a feel for what consumers are looking at when they buy a gift for themselves or someone else. Have a look at the most successful sellers on their websites to see how they market their products and interact with their customers on the platforms. 

The most popular homemade items vary from site to site and depending on the year. But in this blog we will outline some of the most popular homemade crafts to sell online.


If you have the skills and creative passion, jewellery can be a great homemade product to sell. There is the opportunity to create unique pieces which you can sell for a relatively high price. Jewellery also has the bonus that products can be easily personalised, allowing you to increase the price of the product and also give customers interesting gift ideas for birthdays and celebrations. 

There are many different types of jewellery you could create from rings to necklaces, and there is scope to use many different materials to make a product more or less expensive. Jewellery is also easily marketable, with the ability to create galleries of beautiful photographs and to use e-commerce facilities on website builders. The small size of these homemade gifts also means postage and packaging should be relatively low cost. 

Bath Bombs and Soaps 

One of the easiest homemade items to make, bath bombs and soaps can be a great product to sell online. With high demand for bath bombs from companies such as Lush and increasing momentum in the sustainable/plastic-free toiletries movement there has never been a better time to start creating these products. 

Before you start selling, ensure that your homemade soaps are safe to use, that they work effectively and smell amazing. Try to have a range of scents and types of soaps that you sell. Also consider selling items together as a gift set, so that when people go to buy a gift they are directed to your site. 

Planners and Notebooks 

Planners and notebooks are another example of a simple homemade gift to sell which is in high demand currently. If you can create beautiful notebooks and planners there is a high chance of sales and demand for your homemade items. There are many different types of planners and notebooks you could sell, some of the best selling types are:

  • Year diaries – a diary that starts in January and ends in December, usually has a few pages at the start for key contacts, addresses etc.
  • Bullet journal style planners – these are often very minimalistic, but have high quality paper and very aesthetic designs.
  • ‘Prompt’ diaries – these could be anything from a dream journal to a ‘one line a day’ type of journal.

Gift and Subscription Boxes

Gift and subscription boxes are a great homemade gift to sell, they can be so varied and allow you to create personalised boxes or set boxes depending on your customer base. You could market these as gift ideas or as a treat for the customer buying your product. 

Some ideas for gift boxes include:

  • Beauty boxes – this could be anything from drugstore makeup to luxury skincare. 
  • Food boxes – this could be a spice selection, different sauces for fresh produce. 
  • Book boxes – customers send you a book preference and you send them a book every month or a gift box of a few books. 
  • Interest-specific boxes – for example someone may be a fan of gardening or dogs and you send them speciality seeds or sustainable dog toys.

Although we have only listed a small number of ideas in detail there are many other types of handmade crafts you could sell. Here are a few more ideas:

  • Sewing or knitting crafts 
  • Printed t-shirts 
  • Pet products (e.g. toys)
  • Candles
  • Ornaments
  • Artisan sweets and chocolate 
  • Arts and photographs 

If you think you can sell these products but need a great website builder, then look no further than Go Sitebuilder. With built in e-commerce services, our simple website builder design means you can have a professional looking website up and running in minutes. Try our 14-day free trial today!

What is an ecommerce website?

Online seller owner take a photo of product for upload to website online shop. Online Shop, Online Selling , Online Shopping and e-Commerce concept.

Back in 1979, British inventor and entrepreneur created an online payment processing system, and the ecommerce business has been growing ever since. Buying and selling online is called ecommerce, and as internet reach grows worldwide, so do ecommerce sales; they are expected to reach 17.5% of all retail sales worldwide, up from just 7.4% in 2015. 

An ecommerce website is an online platform that allows a user to browse different products and buy them, but this could apply to multiple industries and multiple product types.

What are the different types of ecommerce?

Ecommerce can take many forms. Well-known companies like TopShop or Mountain Warehouse have B2C (Business to consumer) websites, which means the company sells their product directly to the buyer who will then use it themselves, but there are other ecommerce models.

B2B ecommerce sites are where businesses sell to other businesses, like Polygon, which sells video conferencing and content sharing solutions to other companies. Ebay is an example of C2C ecommerce, where an individual sells something to another individual. C2B is rising in popularity with the growth of freelancing and the digital nomad lifestyle, where an individual supplies products or services (like blog writing or stock photography) to a business for them to use. 

There are also different ways to carry out your ecommerce business. Do you sell physical products, like books, or digital products, like music, video or graphic design? This will impact whether you have to deal with postage and packaging and possible returns. You will also have to decide whether to sell B2C retail (individual items) or B2B wholesale, where items can only be purchased in large quantities, as this will affect your pricing and marketing strategy. 

How to build an ecommerce website

When designing your ecommerce website, or using a website builder to design it, there are some elements you want to make sure you include. The first is to choose a layout that represents your brand and the product or services you are trying to sell. When in doubt, remember to err on the side of simplicity; we know from experience that customising each level of your website can be time consuming and frustrating, so it’s a good idea to find a website builder that offers ecommerce templates. Then you can just drag and drop the information you need into the website without wasting unnecessary time. 

Before choosing a website builder, be aware that many providers have a base price for a website, but then charge extra if you want to use their ecommerce platform or if you want to sell over a certain number of products. At Go Sitebuilder, our monthly fee includes all our services, including an unlimited ecommerce platform, voucher and discount codes and automated warnings when you start running out of stock; and it’s so simple you can upload a product in a matter of moments!

What features should my ecommerce website have for shopping?

Let’s start with the basics: You need to get paid! Choose a payment gateway, like PayPal or Stripe that will allow your customers to easily purchase your products through your website; check out our blog on payment gateways for more information. 

The problem with ecommerce is that your potential customers can’t hold your product in their hands before they buy it. This is why high-quality product photos are so important; make sure you have more than one for each product and that the images are well-lit and show off all the product features. Detailed product descriptions also allow your potential customers to decide if your product has everything they need; aim for 150-250 words per product. 

Transparency is essential for an ecommerce website, so make sure your postage and packaging and returns policy are easily accessible. If a visitor arrives on your site and can easily find all the information they need without having to search for it, they are much more likely to order a product from your website rather than somebody else’s.

What features should my ecommerce website have to improve user experience?

Think about arriving at your site from a visitor’s perspective. If they know exactly what they want to buy, then having a product search bar will allow them to find it quickly and easily. If they’re just browsing, though, why not have your most popular products on the first page to give them an idea of what you sell, and persuade them to buy something. 

Most importantly, you need to make sure your ecommerce website is responsive – meaning it works equally well on desktop, tablet and mobile devices. According to Statista, in the US nearly 50% of ecommerce sales took place on a mobile in 2019 and you don’t want to miss out on this market. 

If you’re still looking for a website builder for an ecommerce business, then Go Sitebuilder is a great choice! We offer unlimited products, an integrated super-simple ecommerce platform, full responsive design and more! Try our 14-day free trial today to see what we can offer you and your ecommerce business.

How do you make money selling handmade items?

Cheerful vigorous woman making money by selling handmade items online using Go Sitebuilder

Do you have amazing handmade gifts that are not selling as well as you hoped? No matter how unique your products are, they will not sell unless you utilise as many platforms as possible to promote your items. With 76% of UK consumers buying nearly half of their Christmas present online, there has never been a better time to market your gifts online 

There are various methods for selling products, ranging from selling on social media platforms, through a built in ecommerce service in your website builder, or using other platforms such as Etsy.

In this blog we will take you through the different ways to make money by selling handmade items. Read on to find out more! 

Have a Unique Product

When there is so much competition for selling the best handmade gifts on the market, having a unique product that you believe in can really help sales. The product you make should be easy to market and you must ensure you know everything there is to know regarding your gift. 

When devising a way to sell your product you should think through the following questions to devise the best marketing strategy:

  • What price should I sell my product at?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • Can my product be sold as part of a set? (for example a hat, scarf and gloves)
  • Can my product be personalised to increase sales and price?

Sell Direct

In order to show your amazing handmade gifts in the best light it is important to have a website where you can promote and sell your products. You can use your web design skills using website builders, creating a visually stunning and useful website for selling your gifts. Selling directly through your website also allows you to take 100% of the profits, which you can reinvest into making more handmade gifts.

However, when choosing a website builder, make sure to choose one that has an ecommerce service. This means it has a way to market and sell products on your website, using online payment. Features to look out for are:

  • Pricing of individual products and collections
  • Capacity to upload high quality product photographs
  • Ability to take payment
  • A way to take reviews of your products and display them 
  • A way to sort your products in different ways (e.g. by popularity or price)

If designed and marketed correctly this can be a highly effective way of increasing awareness about your products and creating a loyal customer base. 

Use a Third Party Site

Many businesses that sell homemade gifts use a third party site to showcase their products. Sites such as Etsy and Not on the High Street allow businesses to showcase their products on their sites. The benefits of these platforms is the reach they have. More visitors means there is a higher likelihood of sales and increased exposure of your website. 

The site you choose will depend on your product and how you want it marketed as both sights are visually different. Generally Not on the High Street is a little more expensive and often personalised, whereas Etsy has a larger selection of gifts at all prices. Often these sites take a small percentage of each sale you make, so although it’s easy to set up, it can be more expensive than setting up your own site in the long run. 

Utilise Social Media

Social media is a great way to market your handmade items, there are low costs and a large audience. With so many businesses using social media for these reasons it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. However, there are certain ways to use social media to your advantage and stay ahead of the competition. 

Having a presence across all platforms is essential in gaining followers. The most important sites for marketing goods are Instagram and Facebook. But other sites such as tumblr may also help. A persistent presence across social media platforms allows more people to interact with your business and your products. Ensure you are:

  • Posting regularly with relevant content 
  • Using high quality images 
  • Using hashtags (these should be relevant to your post and content)
  • Collaborating with others (this may include creating something together for a collection, or tagging high profile craft businesses in your photographs)
  •  A public account (so that everyone can see your photos)
  • Utilising the sale features on sites such as Instagram to promote your products 
  • Linking to your website 

So if you are ready to start promoting and selling your products online then then look no further than Go Sitebuilder, an easy and professional website builder. We have an ecommerce platform built into our website builder for no extra cost, making us the cheapest website builder in the UK with this feature. Our simple ready to go website templates mean you can have a professional looking website up and running in minutes. Try our 14-day free trial today!

What are the best payment tools for your online shop?

Be trendy. Joyful young pretty woman researching the best payment tools for her online business shop using tablet and credit card.

When you’re opening your online store, it’s easy to get sidetracked by creating a stylish web design, uploading your beautiful product photos and publicising your ecommerce business. However, it’s also important to think about the most important bit – how you get paid! There are a multitude of ways you can get customers to pay for your products, and the most popular are payment gateways. 

What is a payment gateway?

A payment gateway is a third party service between sellers and buyers. It takes money from the buyer and sends it to the seller’s bank account in a secure way. Essentially, it’s the virtual equivalent of a till that you’d find in a physical store. 

Why do you need one?

Although it is possible to have an ecommerce store that is reliant on bank transfers and cash on delivery, most online retailers opt for a payment provider instead. They are easy to add to your website, and many website builders – like Go Sitebuilder – already have many integrated into their platform. 

From a buyer’s perspective, a payment gateway offers convenience and efficiency; often they can pay with just one click, rather than having to get up and hunt out their card details from their wallet. This is likely to drive sales as there are no boundaries to them ordering your products. Online payment gateways also allow you to reach clients from all over the world, rather than being limited to one country. 

Using a payment gateway also generally has a lower transaction cost, but most importantly they provide highly effective security and anti-fraud tools that keep both you and your customers safe. Although a bank transfer might seem easier, there are no security protections and having a PayPal or Stripe account will incite much more trust than just handing over your bank details for them to pay you.

One drawback of payment providers is that your customers will need to have an internet connection to be able to pay you, and they’ll need to input some of their personal data to be able to carry out the transaction. Read our blog on privacy policies to make sure you are protecting your and your customer’s data. 


Paypal has over 87 million active accounts in 190 markets and 24 currencies worldwide. This makes it a great option for small businesses because it’s easy to set up and use, your clients will already be familiar with it, and they have cheap fees. You also don’t need a specialised merchant account to sell things online with PayPal, which removes another set-up hassle. 

However, due to their popularity, it can be difficult to reach their customer service department, and if you breach the terms of use they can suspend your account. Be aware that PayPal’s Seller Protection policies don’t cover digital goods, so it might not be the best option if you’re selling technology. 


Stripe is rapidly joining PayPal as a leader in online payment gateways. The two have the same fee per transaction, and offer basic plans with no setup costs, monthly fees or contracts. Simple to set up, Stripe allows you to offer your customers discounts and coupon codes, lets you pro-rata charges and makes it easy to rebill a customer without having to store their credit card details. 

It has a seamless checkout experience, that enables the buyer to stay on your site when making a payment, rather than being redirected to a third party site. It even gives you a clear interface of graphs and charts so you can keep track of your finances. 

However, Stripe has the ability to freeze or cancel your account with little notice. If it decides your account looks risky, they can hold your funds or shut your account down completely, although this isn’t common. It also has a suite of complex tools and functionalities that you are unlikely to use.

WorldPay Online

WorldPay is the largest processing company in the United Kingdom, handling over 40% of all card transactions. It accepts 116 currencies, PayPal and all major credit and debit cards, is optimised for mobile and tablet use, and has strong security features. Unlike PayPal and Stripe, however, it does have an online setup fee of £25.

If you haven’t set up your website yet, WorldPay online does offer a pay by link option, where your customers can pay you securely just by clicking a link. They don’t have their pricing and transactional costs published online as they vary depending on your volume and business type, but you can request a quote.

There are a multitude of online payment gateways available, but if you’re just starting out with your online store, we recommend going with the simplest option, and ideally one that is already integrated with your website builder. At Go Sitebuilder, with just a few clicks you can decide whether you want PayPal, WorldPay Online, Stripe and 2Checkout, but we can add others if you need them. At £9.99 per month our package includes an integrated ecommerce platform with no restrictions on selling, meaning we are one of the cheapest website builders in the UK for ecommerce. Don’t take our word for it – try our 14-day free trial today! 

What is the best website builder for ecommerce?

Closeup side portrait of woman using cellphone with laptop to choose website builder Go Sitebuilder for their online ecommerce store

Building a website for an ecommerce store from scratch can take a lot of money and time, and is very difficult to do unless you have all the necessary coding knowledge. Luckily, there are numerous different website builders out there, which make building a website an easy, hassle-free process. 

But how do you know what the best website builder is? In order for your online store to be successful, there are certain must-haves that your ecommerce site should include. But these can be expensive, as some website builders don’t include these features in their package. When looking for the best website builder for ecommerce, look at what each individual package offers: if it is easy to use, and includes all the necessary features of an ecommerce store, then it might just be right for you!

Easy to use ecommerce store 

When visiting your online store, a site user is going to expect to be able to navigate themselves around your ecommerce site. Not only does this mean that they can easily find the products that you’re advertising, but it also means that they will stay on your website for longer. 

As studies show that 76% of customers saying the most important component of a website is ease of use, you don’t want to overcomplicate things. This could cause users to give up and click off your site, meaning they won’t even see the goods you have to offer.

This can also have a negative impact on your search engine ranking: If Google’s algorithms detect that your site has a high bounce rate, then this suggests to Google that your site is of low quality or not relevant to users and thus shouldn’t be ranked highly on its search engine results page. Picking a website builder that lets you set up your ecommerce store in a way that isn’t overly complicated for the site visitor means people are more likely to stay on your site for longer. 

Find a website builder that includes an SSL certificate 

An SSL certificate is paramount when building a website with an ecommerce store: just as you wouldn’t deposit money into a dodgy-looking bank, you wouldn’t put your card details into a website that isn’t protected. If the site user can see your site has an SSL certificate, they know that their details are protected from potential hackers who could steal their personal information. 

Having an SSL certificate also tells Google that your site can be trusted: if it thinks its users are at risk of having their details stolen, it can block visitors from accessing your site. This dramatically reduces your visibility online – the longer users are prevented from accessing your ecommerce store, the longer Google stops indexing your site, pushing you further down its search engine. 

Purchasing an SSL certificate if you’re starting a website from scratch can be pricey, and most website builders will charge extra for this feature. However, Go Sitebuilder believes that it is essential for all ecommerce sites to have an SSL certificate, which is why we include it in our package. 

Is the website builder mobile-friendly?

Nowadays, people can access the internet anywhere, at any time, straight from their mobile phones. In fact, mobile shopping accounts for 50% of online transactions on ecommerce sites. Using a website builder which allows users to access your online store on any device is key: if people can only access your website on a computer, you are essentially limiting your number of potential sales, as many people will now use their phones to make a purchase. 

Not only do you need a website builder that allows users to access your site from any device; you also need to be able to update and edit your site from multiple different devices, whether it be mobile, tablet or laptop. With Go Sitebuilder this is incredibly easy, making us one of the best website builders for those who need the flexibility to access their website builder on the go. 

Special offers

One of the best ways to encourage people to return to your website is by advertising any special offers or discounts via social media. Linking your social media to your website means that people can find a way to stay connected to your website in a way that is slightly more personal than just subscribing to an email list. With sites such as Instagram, you can get creative with your offers: thinking of new ways to advertise any special deals is more likely to generate interest around your website. Find a website builder that lets you link social media to your website, so that you can stay connected to your customers. 

Although the amount of website builders out there might seem daunting, try and pick one that suits your ecommerce site needs the most. At Go Sitebuilder, we believe simplicity is key: we deliver ready to go site designs for you to customise. We’re one of the cheapest website builders for ecommerce, as we don’t charge any extra if you want to sell products online. Try our sitebuilder today – our 14-day free trial gives you all the freedom you could possibly need to create your dream website!

What are 10 things I should know before I open an online store

Happy woman doing online shopping at home using an online shop

Your fingers hover above your mouse, ready to make that final click so that you can start your online business. However, before you rush to start up your online store, there are a few things that need to be considered first. Just like everything, having some form of plan or method behind your website building can make the process a lot smoother and easy to manage. Luckily, the level of planning you need to do isn’t rocket science: we’ve put together 10 things that you should know before you start up your online store.   

Blog, blog, and blog some more

Blogging is an incredibly useful way for you to become visible on the internet: if done correctly, it can increase your Google rankings by 434%! By using keywords in your blog, Google’s algorithms can index your site highly on its search engines, as it can see that your content is useful. 

By writing new blogs each week, Google repeatedly reindexes your site: it’s a bit like always reminding Google that your content is of high value, and that it should be ranked highly on its search engines. 

Focus on the customer 

Really consider what your audience wants. Of course, you will have built your business with a service in mind, but really think about who you want to target. For example, if you’re setting up a website for your yoga classes consider ways to appeal to your target audience. Is there an age range which is more likely to attend your classes? Is there a certain niche that your online business can fall into? Considering these factors will help you tailor both your website design and the services you offer, so that you can reach out to your target audience online. 

Less is more 

You don’t need to be a professional website designer to build your own site with a visually appealing look – keeping the simple mantra of ‘less is more’ in mind can ensure you end up with an aesthetic site which anyone would want to stay on. Considering that 38% of people will be put off your website if it is unattractive, focusing on your website design is incredibly important. 

However, this doesn’t mean you should cram your site with countless different fonts or images: having a simple, sleek design is the best way for you to appear professional, and attract the user to your online store. Luckily. Go Sitebuilder makes the design process extremely easy: our ready to go website designs allow you to create your dream website within a few clicks. 

Navigation is key

Once a user clicks on your website, they want to be able to find all the necessary information within a few minutes. By making your headers easy to read, and increasing the font size of the key bits of information, the user can navigate themselves easily around the website. When building your website, try to include an FAQ section – this provides quick answers to common questions, and stops your inbox from being inundated with unnecessary questions.

Choose your domain name wisely

Having a unique domain name is the only way that people can find you. It’s important to get creative here – using a domain name that’s individual to you means that people are much more likely to identify with your brand and your website. Our website builder makes creating a domain name incredibly simple or, if you already have an existing domain name, you can easily transfer this over to our site builder. 

Don’t ignore social media

Considering that 90% of Instagram users follow a business, not utilising social media could be damaging to your company. Linking your social media platforms to your website means that you can create a personal, direct way to reach out to your current customers, as frequent posting of deals or latest updates constantly refreshes your image within their minds. 

Sort an email list

Being able to put together an email list is another personal way to reach out to your customers. You can encourage them to sign up to your email list by offering them high value content in return, such as first updates on special deals, or a free ebook. By emailing your customers each week, you keep them conscious of your website, and capture their interest, making them more likely to return to your site. 

Be active

Constantly updating your site so that it fits in with the latest trends, or has the most recent information is key, as it tells Google that your content is still relevant, meaning it is important for SEO (search engine optimisation) purposes. 

Actively working to fix any bugs or issues within your site is also key: if your site takes too long to load, then people are more likely to click off. This can be damaging for your online store: considering that 40% of people abandon a website entirely if it takes longer than three seconds to load, you want to stay active on your website to ensure any problems are ironed out straight away.

Product descriptions are important

Just like blogs, product descriptions are another way to include keywords within your site, which is great for SEO purposes. By including the keywords within product description, your product is more likely to be highly indexed by Google, as you’re essentially telling Google that your product is relevant to whatever is being searched.

Prioritise your landing page 

Your landing page is the first page that everyone sees, which is why it must be strong. Not only does it need a striking website design, but it also needs to include most of the keywords that your business can rank on. This ensures your homepage is more likely to come up in Google’s search engine when someone searches the type of service you provide.

Although it is key that you consider these steps, you don’t have to start from complete scratch if you want to build your own website: our website builder has everything you need, and more, to create an online store perfect for you. And, with our free 14-day trial, you have all the freedom you could need to start designing your own site today!