What Is an Online Store?

Why do you need it? And how to make it?

An online store is a website with a catalog of goods that can be sold and bought online. It has a branched structure and contains many sections and transitions.

An online platform like this:

  • Works 24/7 without weekends
  • Allows you to save on rent of retail premises and warehouses
  • Brings the number of staff to the minimum
  • Expands the sales territory to the whole country and even the world
  • Does not limit the range of offered products

Users can shop from any place if there is an Internet connection. They choose the goods they need, their size, and color themselves.

Types of Online Stores

There are many classifications of online trading platforms based on different parameters. We will look at the most common types.

Type of Work


Combination of sales channels

You have an offline store, and in addition, you sell goods using the site, and you offer either home delivery or collection by customer from a shop.


Online business

This is your choice if you sell your products online only and don't have an offline store.


Separation of functions (outsourcing)

In this case, you delegate some of your responsibilities to another company. You can compile a catalog of goods on the site and purchase products, and assembly and shipment are carried out by an intermediary with their own warehouses.



You provide information about the goods and collect orders using your online store, and their assembly and shipment are carried out by the manufacturer with their own warehouses.

Type of Sales


Wholesale distribution

Such online stores sell large quantities of goods to a single customer. The cost can vary depending on the shipment volume. As a rule, such sales are attributed to the B2B sector.



Goods are sold by the piece at a fixed price. Companies make small purchases too, but such websites are mainly aimed at B2C sales. The target audience here is people who buy goods for their personal purposes.


Wholesale and retail store

Combination of the first two types. When the customer orders a large volume of goods, they are offered a discount.

Product Range


Specialized goods

The website offers certain categories of goods: clothes for children, medical equipment, holiday decorations, or woodwork.


A variety of mass-demand goods

This is like a virtual superstore. For example, there, you can buy food as well as slippers and a hand cream.


Digital goods

Such websites offer you e-books, games, software, and music. Photo banks and stock video services fall into this category, too. Pay, download the content, and get the desired product in just a couple of clicks.



The online platform collects offers from specialists in a particular field: therapists, photographers, designers, etc. Choose the expert or performer you like and order a consultation or project.

Structure of an Online Store

The content of online stores can vary depending on their type. But there are key attributes necessary for effective functioning.

Home page

This is the first page a potential customer sees when they visit your site. Its goal is to attract the attention of the target audience. When the user looks at the home page, they should immediately realize that here, they will be able to purchase what they need. On this page, there is usually a header with a logo, contact information, main menu with links to main sections, catalog, search bar, shopping cart, Log In button (optional).


The most important part of any online store. Depending on the range of goods, it may consist of categories and subcategories. The more convenient and understandable navigation through the catalog, the more likely that the user will find the product they need and make a purchase. There might be sorting by price and name, filters, and tags that help the user to find the necessary product faster.

Product card

It contains a description of the product, its image, price, and Buy button. In the description, there usually are the characteristics of the product, information about the manufacturer, manual, etc. To increase the consumer trust, reviews and similar goods can also be added.

Shopping cart

This page displays a list of goods that the consumer added to the virtual cart and wants to purchase. It contains information about quantity, characteristics (color, size, etc.), price, and total amount. Goods can be added to the cart, removed from it, or saved to favorites. The Check Out button takes the customer to the delivery options, payment method, etc.

Personal account

Available after signing in. Information about customers is stored here: personal and credit card data, purchases, wish list. Using this data, you can make personalized offers to customers, send notifications and letters. And the customer can make an order in a couple of clicks using their personal account.


The design of an online store should be based on the theme of the website and the target audience that purchases the offered products. Online platforms used to sell tools and children's goods will be similar in structure but with different designs. The most often used design for online stores is simple and minimalist.

Study the sites of your competitors. We do not urge you to copy someone else's design, but you will be able to see and note the elements that stand out or make the navigation on the site easier. Below, we will tell you what you should pay attention to when designing an online store.

Home page

This is the main and most festive showcase of your online store. It should attract attention, be informative, and encourage the visitor to study the goods more thoroughly. Easy navigation is of great importance. To ensure that the customer quickly finds the product or necessary information, you need to visualize the sections and subsections of the site as much as possible. To do this, you can use infographics — icons. For example, when the user sees an image of a bag or supermarket cart, they realize that this button will take them to the shopping cart.

You should also place banner sliders that lead to special offers.

Signature style

You need an identity to stand out among your competitors. A logo, as well as original colors and fonts, make your brand recognizable. The creation of a brandbook can be included in the cost of the website creation, and you will be able to use these elements everywhere—from souvenirs to business letter templates and business cards. To prevent competitors from creating other online stores with your name, we recommend registering your trademark.

Quality content

If you produce goods that you sell online yourself, it is worth hiring a professional photographer. They will arrange the light, process the photos, and present your goods in the best possible way. The lack of images or their poor quality not only spoil the impression of the site as a whole but are often the cause of low conversion (the ratio of orders to the number of visitors).

If you sell goods from different brands, you can ask the supplier or manufacturer to provide high-quality images of the product. They are interested in promoting their products and they usually have prepared materials for such purposes.

Adaptive design

The main convenience of an online store is that purchases can be made anywhere and at any time. Smartphones and tablets are often used for this purpose. In the mobile version of the site, navigation should be simple, and text blocks and images should be displayed correctly. During the site development, 3 to 6 resolutions for the most common and frequently used devices are made. Depending on the complexity of the interface, the size, type, and location of blocks can be changed.

Difference Between Online Stores and Other Types of Sites

An online marketplace for selling goods is distinguished by a more branched structure than a digital business card. The corporate site also has a complex structure and a catalog, but it is impossible to buy anything without the help of a manager and online payment function.

Distinctive features of the online store:

  • A catalog with search and filtering functions
  • A personal account for storing personal data
  • A shopping cart
  • An online cash register and payment systems
  • Possibilities of integration with CRM/ERP systems
  • An automated order processing service

Ways to attract traffic

Even if you make a convenient and attractive online platform with high-quality products, you will not get your expected volume of sales if potential customers will not be able to find your store. When someone needs to buy something, as a rule, they simply search for something like "Buy a car battery". In the displayed list, the potential customer looks through the first 3–5 ads and selects the option they like more.

To get into this limited number — or at least into the first page of the output — you can use tools that attract traffic. They are a must-have for successful business development in a highly competitive environment. Below, we will look at the main ones.

Contextual advertising

This method brings results in the shortest period of time but is the most expensive. It is these ads that are displayed when you enter a query in the search bar in the browser while looking for a particular product or topic of interest. They contain a unique selling proposition (USP), images, or videos. The advantage is that such advertising brings warm customers who have specific needs.


Website optimization is a set of measures to improve its ranking in search engines. It is an effective way of promotion and work for the future. A competent approach will attract good traffic at a reasonable price. The efforts and the cost of the professional work depend on the area of focus of the online store and the competitive environment.


People spend a lot of time on social media. This opens a lot of opportunities to urge them to buy your goods and services. If you do not yet have business accounts in social networks, it is time to create them. Working on filling and creating content will require money and effort, but it will allow you to establish direct contact with your target audience.

Why you should order online store development in Weexar studio

The development of an online store requires not only technical skills but also an understanding of the behavioral psychology of customers and knowledge of legal requirements. In Weexar studio, such websites are made by a team of designers, marketing experts, programmers, and SEO specialists. This multifaceted approach helps create a web resource that will be convenient for customers and will develop your business.

The cost of making an online store is calculated individually and depends on a number of factors:

  • Site structure and functionality (number of sections, filtering and search systems, etc.)
  • The amount of information in the product card
  • The chosen CMS
  • Connection to an online cash register

Development takes from 45 working days depending on the structure of the site. The cost of this type of work in our studio starts from $3500 for the simplest version and increases depending on how complex the functionality is. Cost estimation is transparent, all details are described in a detailed technical specification.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which CMS should I choose for my online store?

Content Management System is a website management system for creating, structuring, and editing content. The choice of platform depends on the scale of the project and the required functionality. Our programmers create custom sites using MODX, Drupal, and WordPress.

Is it possible to turn a digital business card into an online store?

An existing online resource—for example, a digital business card—can be turned into an online store if you add all the necessary features and if the capabilities of the originally selected CMS allow it. We have such a service, but only for websites developed by us.

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