Why you need your own ecommerce website

Dec 24 2021 | PayPal editorial staff

Having your own website means you can easily build your own brand and customer base. It gives you control over how you grow your business. Here’s what you need to consider when selling online.
Online shopping has enjoyed a big boost recently. It has grown by 70% in Asia-Pacific, more than doubled in the US and increased 50% in Europe1, according to the OECD.

This trend towards ecommerce is likely to play an increasingly prominent role in consumers’ lives, even after stay-at-home restrictions end, due to new online-first habits formed during this time.2

With fewer feet on the streets and more people surfing and scrolling online, there are compelling reasons to sell online. There are different ways to do this (such as ecommerce marketplaces, selling on social etc.), but having your own ecommerce website can offer some big advantages.


5 reasons why an ecommerce website is important.

1.  Build your own brand – Having your own site makes it easier to control and build your brand, which can be lost when you sell on marketplaces. Customers will begin to recognise your site (and your URL on social links) and seek you out for the products and service you provide. Selling from your own site makes it easier to include inserts, offers and other material in the packages you dispatch.

2.  Own and nurture your customers – Customers can see that they’re buying directly from you when you have your own site. That gives you the opportunity to build loyalty and repeat business. It’s easier to connect with customers and encourage them to follow you on social channels or to share reviews, pictures and videos on your site or social. Selling on your own site also provides you with better reporting on who is buying from you, to help improve your marketing.

3.  Differentiate your business – It’s easier to stand out with your own site. You can give customers a fantastic, and personalised, experience from browsing to payment and shipping … and not forgetting great, personalised customer support. You can tailor the customer experience to the unique needs of your customers and present your products in the best way to show their qualities, without being alongside hundreds of similar-looking products from competitors.

4.  Diversify your channels – Relying on a single channel for sales is risky, especially if it’s a channel you don’t control. Having your own site means you can mitigate the risks. For example, if your marketplace store is interrupted, you can continue to drive traffic to, and sell from, your own site.

5.  Expand into new international markets – Cross-border ecommerce is growing at twice the rate of domestic online sales.3 With your own site, you can easily target and expand into additional markets by tailoring your content, marketing and customer experience. The PayPal Borderless Commerce Report4 explores key shopping trends in 12 countries around the world.


Creating your online store.

Setting up and launching your ecommerce website can be easier than you imagine. You should think about 3 key steps: choosing how to set up your site, choosing a payment provider and marketing your newly launched business.

1.  Decide how you want to set up your online store.

Luckily, there are some powerful tools that make it easy to either create your online store from scratch or to add ecommerce capabilities to your existing website. There are four types to choose from:
  • Traditional website builders are good if you’re an absolute beginner. They allow you to design and build any website from scratch and many include ecommerce features. Typically, you can create the site you want by using and customising existing modules, so you don’t need to write any code.
  • Ecommerce platforms are specifically designed to help you create an online store rather than a general website, so the design is optimised for online shopping norms. They include shopping carts, product catalogues and other ecommerce features as standard and their templates are often designed to help with your SEO.
  • WordPress plugins. If you already have a WordPress site, then a plugin can be a great choice. It’s an easy way to add ecommerce capabilities and turn your WordPress site into a store. Even if you want to build your site from scratch, WordPress can be a good choice. It’s popular around the world and is so customisable it gives you complete control over your site design.
  • Shopping cart extensions are another simple way to quickly add online shopping to an existing website. However, they are usually best for selling a few products, perhaps as an add-on to your main purpose. If you want a full-scale ecommerce store with a large catalogue of products, you may prefer a different option.
Check out the different types to see which best fits your needs.

2.  Help customers pay the way they prefer.

1 in 5 consumers say they have abandoned a purchase because their preferred payment method wasn’t available.5 Clearly, you need to choose a payment provider who can meet your customers’ expectations.

Nearly three quarters (73%) of shoppers now use mobile devices,6 so make sure your site and payment process are optimised for mobile customers. No-one likes typing card numbers and personal details on a tiny touchscreen, so use an option like PayPal Checkout that minimises the input required from your customers.

If you target international customers, then make sure your payment provider supports the payment methods preferred by your target countries. Online shoppers are also significantly more likely to buy abroad if they can do so in their own currency.7

3.  Marketing your new online business.

Attracting traffic can be a challenge when starting up a new website, so consider the time or money you might want to invest in your marketing.

If you already promote your business on social or sell on marketplaces, make sure you use every opportunity to tell customers on those channels about your new site.

Search-engine optimisation (SEO) – Take time to improve your SEO. Include relevant keywords in your website copy, especially on product pages, create useful, relevant copy and ensure your site is mobile-optimised.

Search-engine marketing (SEM) – Using paid advertising on search engine result pages will be an important tactic to drive traffic to your site, if you have marketing money available.

Our free ebook, Marketing Your Online Business, is a good place to start. It’s full of information and tips on topics like SEM, SEO, social media, email marketing and more.


How PayPal can help you sell online.

PayPal can help you give customers a simple, fast and secure checkout experience, whichever device they are using.

Being a familiar and trusted brand, PayPal can also help build customers’ confidence in buying from your site. In fact, 3 in 5 shoppers say they are more willing to buy from an unfamiliar site if PayPal is present.8

With PayPal, you can easily accept payments on your different channels – social, many marketplaces and, of course, on your website – and manage your money in one place.

PayPal works with many well-known partners such as Wix, WooCommerce, BigCommerce and Shopify. PayPal is included in many ecommerce platforms so adding it to your store can be as easy as switching it on. If you build and manage your own site, you can add PayPal by copy-and-pasting a simple line of code.

With over 400 million customers in 200 markets around the world, PayPal can also help you expand into new markets. It enables you to list prices in different currencies and to accept payments in over 100 currencies.

To learn more about accepting payments with PayPal, visit here.

Not on PayPal yet? Sign up now and get PayPal Checkout for your site.

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1 OECD (2020), Connecting Businesses and Consumers During COVID-19: Trade in Parcels, https://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/connecting-businesses-and-consumers-during-covid-19-trade-in-parcels-d18de131/
2 PayPal (2020), PayPal Borderless Commerce Report, https://www.paypal.com/ae/brc/article/borderless-commerce-1
3 OECD (2020), Connecting Businesses and Consumers During COVID-19: Trade in Parcels, https://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/connecting-businesses-and-consumers-during-covid-19-trade-in-parcels-d18de131/
4 PayPal (2020), PayPal Borderless Commerce Report, https://www.paypal.com/ae/brc/article/borderless-commerce-1
5 PayPal (2019), PayPal mCommerce Study. On behalf of PayPal, Ipsos interviewed a quota sample of c.2,000 (22,000 total) consumers (aged 18-74) who owned or used a smartphone and c. 300-500 (4,602 in total) business influencers or decision makers who sell or take payments online to Consumers (and businesses) in 11 countries (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, India, Japan, US, Mexico and Brazil). Interviews were conducted online between July 23 and August 25, 2019. Data was weighted in Australia on age and income to replicate study conducted previously. No other weighting was applied. https://www.paypal.com/stories/us/paypal-mcommerce-study-mobile-trust-social-buying-top-of-mind
6 PayPal (Q3 2019), Ipsos commissioned by PayPal, Mobile Commerce Research, an 11 market survey (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, India, Japan, US, Mexico, Brazil) with approximately 22,000 consumers and 4,602 business respondents to examine how people shop online.
7 PayPal commissioned Ipsos MORI PayPal Insights 2018. n=34,000, 31 markets. Online survey of adults (aged 18+) between March — May 2018.
8 Online study commissioned by PayPal and conducted by Logica Research in November 2018 involving 2,000 consumers, half were PayPal financing users and half were non-PayPal financing users. 

Frequently asked questions.

PayPal can help your nonprofit organization easily accept donations from supporters. Most nonprofits choose PayPal Payments Standard or PayPal Checkout as their payment solution. These options let your donors complete their transactions on the PayPal website.

You must have a PayPal Business account to accept donations for your organization and you’ll need to confirm your nonprofit status to be eligible for the lower nonprofit transaction rate.

Be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Evidence of nonprofit registration with any applicable regulatory body.
  • A pre-printed bank statement or voided cheque from your account. Started cheques are not acceptable. The organization needs to own each bank account linked to this PayPal account. You can’t use a personal bank account.
  • Information about how you intend to use the money (such as donations or membership fees).
  • Your mission statement (if applicable).
  • A subordination or fundraising letter (if applicable).

We use these documents for several reasons:
  • To verify that your nonprofit is registered, because we offer discounted rates to charities.
  • To ensure we’re meeting our regulatory requirements for the government.
  • To reassure donors that their money is going to a registered nonprofit organization.


Save customer contact info

We’ll save a list of all your invoicing customers in your settings. You can add more contact info about your customers in your settings or by editing your customer’s information when you’re creating an invoice.

How can I cancel an invoice?

When you cancel a sent or shared invoice, your customer won’t be able to pay it.

Here's how to cancel an invoice or money request on the desktop experience:

  1. Log in to your PayPal account.
  2. Click Activity at the top of the page and then select All transactions.
  3. Click Details next to the invoice you want to review.
  4. Click Cancel invoice and follow the instructions.

Once the invoice has been canceled, an email notification will be shared withthe recipient.

On mobile, find the invoice from your list. Tap the More icon on invoice details and cancel it. 

Can I record payments made outside PayPal?

If your customer pays by cash, check, or another offline method, you can record the payment from the invoice details page. You can also record an offline partial payment if your customer made a deposit or paid an installment. Recorded payments appear in the activity of the invoice’s details page along with any notes you’ve entered about the payments. 

Can I add notes/memos for my records?

To add a note to your invoice for your own records, click or tap the More Options link while you’re creating an invoice. Add a memo that your customer won’t see. If you’ve already sent the invoice, you can add a memo on the invoice’s details page. 

Can I give my customers a receipt?

When your customer pays a PayPal invoice, they automatically receive a payment receipt. If your customer wants another copy of the invoice, you can share a link to the paid invoice or create a PDF to send or print. 

How do I download invoices for my business records?

To download single or multiple PDFs for your invoices, hover over one or more invoices in your list and check each box. Then choose Download from the actions displayed. 

How do I integrate PayPal Invoicing into my website?

With a single integration, you can connect PayPal Invoicing directly into your order management system or website. You’ll need API credentials to connect your PayPal account to your platform so you can integrate PayPal Invoicing with your site.
Integrate PayPal Invoicing.

Your business information appears at the top of your invoices and estimates. You can display your logo,business  name, business address, website, and other contact info. To add a new address, email, or phone number to your invoices, you’ll need to update your PayPal profile settings. After you add this contact info to your PayPal account, return to PayPal Invoicing to update the business information on your invoices.
Set up your business information.

Can I add a personalized logo to my invoice?

You can add a logo to your invoices in your business information settings or when you’re creating an invoice. You can add any PNG, GIF, BMP or JPG file, up to 1MB in size. We’ll resize your logo to fit within a 250(w) x 90(h) size. 

Can I create invoice templates?

PayPal Invoicing comes with templates designed for both service- and sales-based businesses. To save time and effort, create your own templates with customized item details, terms and conditions, notes, business info, and other options. You can also save a new template from a newly created invoice. On desktop, click the downward arrow on the Send button to save an invoice as a new template. 

Can I save customized items for future use?

You can save items by adding them in the Items section of your Invoicing settings. You can use them anytime in your future invoices. 

How do I add taxes to my invoices?

To save commonly used taxes (like sales tax, VAT, or GST) for future invoices, add them in the Taxes section of your Invoicing settings. 

Can I add my Terms and Conditions to an invoice?

When creating an invoice on desktop, click Add terms and conditions under Message to customer to include specific terms your customer should know. On mobile, tap See more options to add your terms and conditions.

You can use this text box to include legally required information for your business. For example tax information for customers, payment terms, a VAT number, or any other legal requirement. Please note, PayPal doesn’t represent or warrant that PayPal Invoices meet the local legal or regulatory requirements in your market. It is your responsibility to include all required information in your invoices.

What is One TouchTM?

One Touch is an optional feature that allows you to skip logging in with your email and password while still keeping your financial info secure. When you use PayPal on your mobile phone, desktop, laptop, or tablet to make purchases, we’ll automatically log you in on that device and browser, so you can breeze through checkout across all eligible merchants. 

As long as you actively use One Touch, we'll renew your "turned on" setting on that device, so you can skip login at checkout. To help you manage One Touch across your devices, we’ll turn it off automatically if you haven’t used it in a while. You can also turn off One Touch at any time in Settings.

Why should I activate the service?

Activating One Touch takes you directly to the payment page and breeze through check out. It also saves you the hassle of entering your password. For security purposes, whenever you update your PayPal personal or financial account information we’ll always ask you to log in.

How does PayPal help protect my financial account information when using One Touch?

PayPal does not share full payment information with merchants when you shop.

There are security recommendations PayPal has specifically for One Touch:
  • You have to be using the same device and browser combination to use One Touch. If you try to update your personal information, you’ll be prompted to log in again.
  • The functionality is limited. For example, you can currently make payments, but you can’t withdraw money, or access your PayPal settings from the PayPal payment screen. This helps prevent those who may get access to this device from accessing sensitive information.
Do not share your device if you’re using One Touch. If your device is stolen, contact us immediately and log out of your PayPal account.

What if my phone is lost or stolen?

If your phone is lost or stolen, log in to your PayPal account and change the security settings under  "Settings." You can also call Customer Service, so we can help protect your PayPal account from unauthorized use.

What if I am using a public computer?

Please only activate One Touch on your personal device or computer and not on a public or shared computer or device to avoid misuse of your PayPal account.

Do I still authenticate and register for all individual merchants?

You only need to authenticate and authorize the use of One Touch once per device or browser. When you activate the functionality with one merchant, you do so with every eligible merchant.

How do I activate the One Touch feature?

Select "Stay logged in for faster purchases" when checking out with PayPal upon initial log in. This activates One Touch for that specific device and browser and for all eligible merchants. You can also go to www.paypal.com/onetouch to activate the service.

How do I turn off the One Touch feature?

To turn this feature off, follow the steps below:
  1. Click the Settings icon next to "Log out."
  2. Click Edit next to "Stay logged in for faster purchases."
  3. Click Log out beside the device to turn off One Touch.

Other alternative methods to turn off One Touch are:
  • Calling PayPal customer service.
  • Clearing cookies.
  • Changing your password automatically revokes consent.
  • PayPal can force ‘Show Login’ for suspicious activity/account or if a transaction bears higher risk.

What does PayPal do to help if I have a problem with my online purchase?

When you pay with PayPal online, PayPal Buyer Protection won’t be impacted by this functionality and will continue to apply your eligible purchases.

To learn more about PayPal Buyer Protection and to see a full list of eligibility requirements and exclusions, please review our User Agreement. You’ll find the User Agreement by clicking Legal or Legal Agreements on any PayPal page.

You can report your problem in our Resolution Center.

Can I select specific merchants to use One Touch?

You can’t control the merchants you opt-in for. Opting in for One Touch activates the feature for all eligible merchants.

What happens if I am shopping on a mobile device or computer logged into One Touch that is not mine?

If you’re shopping from a mobile device that is not your own, simply click the ‘Not Me’ link to log out of PayPal and log back in using your own account. If you attempt to move forward with the purchase using an account that is not yours, you’d be making an unauthorized payment, which is prohibited.

If you do this accidentally, you will, in most cases, not be able to close the purchase. However please contact our customer service team immediately so that we can help the real PayPal account holder and the merchant sort this out.

What if I share my device or desktop with other users?

Please do not share your device if you’re using One Touch or make sure to log out before sharing.

One Touch is not available in the EU countries.
The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. The information in this article does not constitute legal, financial, IT, business or investment advice of any kind and is not a substitute for any professional advice. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, IT and legal advice before making any business decision.