How to get started selling online quickly.

May 14 2020 | Julie Warshaw, PayPal Editorial Staff

Selling online has become a necessity for many businesses that may not have sold that way before or even had a website. Whichever boat you’re inthis guide will help you find a fast and easy solution, so you can start selling online today. 
If you have a website…  
 
You most likely just need to set up your paymentsThis can be done in as little as 15 minutes if you’re already on platform with e-commerce capabilities – you'll simply need to tick off a few boxes. You can usually find these options under sections called ‘Payment Types,’ ‘Payment Options,’ or ‘Payment Methods. 
 
If your website isn’t hosted by an ecommerce platform, Ecwid offers a simple plugin that adds a shopping cart feature to your site without affecting the layout or functionality. This means that you can keep your website on its current platform, so you don’t need to spend time learning a new one. Ecwid has also made gift cards available on their Free plan and will waive commission fees from gift card sales through 2020.1 
 
Another easy way to start accepting payments through your existing website is by adding a PayPal payment button to product pages. You can do this by copying and pasting a few lines of HTML code into your website editor. Adding a payment button only takes a few minutes when you follow this step-by-step guide with accompanying screenshots.   
 
If you need a website 
 
1. Choose an e-commerce platform. 
The first step is choosing an e-commerce platform provider – that’s the fastest way to get a website up quickly versus coding and creating one from scratch. Look for one like BigCommerce or GoDaddy that allows customization to the degree you want it, is compatible with other areas of your business (marketing, inventory management, etc.), and has a shopping cart that works for the type of payments you collect. The way your shopping cart functions becomes particularly important if you need to process things like subscription payments or tips. A few e-commerce platforms offering discounted (and some even free) plans right now are: 
  • BigCommerce. Get the first 3 months  of BigCommerce free on all plans when you sign up as a new merchant here.  Offer valid until December 31, 2020. Terms apply.2 
  • GoDaddy. They’re providing access to some of their best tools, resources, and inspiration to help keep business open. Learn more at  Create a Free Website with GoDaddy.3   
You can also browse our partner directory to find more discounts with popular ecommerce platforms. Many are PayPal partners and offer you a discount when you enroll from your PayPal Business account.  
 
 2. Register your domain name. 
For most, the best choice is probably going to be the name of your business. If that domain isn’t available, look for one that will make sense to your customers and includes keywords a customer would search to find your business. You want your domain name to be memorable, easy to find, and optimized for search engines. Sites like  GoDaddy can help you choose and register your domain in just a few steps. 
 
3. Select a template 
Since the goal is to get you up and running quickly, picking a template and adding your product information is probably your best bet. But don’t worry, templates aren’t set in stone, you can still customize them later on.  
 
4. Add products to your website. 
Depending on what you sell and how many SKUs you have, uploading all of your products into your new website may seem like an overwhelming task. If that’s the case for your business, consider uploading products in batches, starting with the items your customers are buying most right now. If you’ve added new products to help meet the demand for COVID-19 supplies, make sure to upload those first.  
 
Many e-commerce solutions have built-in apps that walk you through the process of uploading your product descriptions and photos. Pay special attention to the photos you’re uploading. Remember customers will be using the photo you provide to make a decision about purchasing the product. Follow best practices for e-commerce photography. 
 
5. Make sure it works on mobile. 
Even though people are spending less time on-the-go, they’re still on their phones. Once you’ve set up your website, make sure your design works across all devices, including desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. Most e-commerce platforms make optimizing your site for mobile as easy as checking box.  
 
6. Select your payment processor. 
In your e-commerce platform, you should see a section called ‘Payment Types’, ‘Payment Options’, ‘Payment Methods’, or something similar. That’s where you can go to pick the payment types to accept.  
 
Since customers are more likely to complete their purchase when they’re able to use the payment type they’re most comfortable withoffer a wide variety of payment options. Thatll make it more likely you’re including the payment options your customers prefer most 
  
7. Publish. 
You’re officially an e-commerce business. But, don’t forget to let your customers know you have a website and are selling online. Post it on Facebook, Instagram, and all your other social feeds. 
 
Whether you're just starting your business or growing it, setting up shop online is a wise move. Try not to aim for site perfection at the get-go, there’s time to make improvements. In fact,  check here for tips on how to optimize your website.
 

The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision. 

 

1 Valid through 2020 

 

Terms: With this offer, you will not be charged the monthly fee for the BigCommerce plan that you select for a period of three months from the date of activation (“Offer”). You must select either Standard, Plus or Pro plan to be eligible. Merchants who select a Plus or Pro plan are also eligible to receive a free theme template* from the BigCommerce Theme Marketplace.  Qualifying merchants will be credited to their BigCommerce account 1-2 weeks after purchasing the promotional theme. Offer expires December 31, 2020 at 11:59:59 p.m. Central Standard Time. Open only to those who have a PayPal business account in good standing. Within fifteen (15) days from the date of activation, you must complete the registration process, including providing valid credit card information (“Card On File”). IMPORTANT: After the end of the three months Offer period, you must cancel your account or the Card on File will be charged the standard monthly fee for the plan that you selected at the time of activation. If you cancel your account or do not complete registration, the online store you built will be deactivated and you will no longer be able to access the control panel. 
By opening an account, (1) you acknowledge and agree to BigCommerce's Terms of Use and these Terms and Conditions; (2) you consent to receiving communications from BigCommerce regarding your online store while your account remains open. Communications can be in the form of email sent to the address you provide as your preferred email, in-product notifications, and/or phone calls to the number you provided as part of the signup process. If you purchase a BigCommerce store, your store will continue to remain live for the duration of time you remain a paid customer in good standing on BigCommerce. BigCommerce reserves the right, in its absolute discretion to withdraw or to modify this Offer at any time without prior notice and with no liability. This Offer is presented by BigCommerce and PayPal is not a sponsor of and has not liability associated with this Offer. 

 

*Valid on all themes in the BigCommerce Theme Marketplace. Merchants will be credited up to $170. 

 

3 Services begin upon sign up and limitations may apply. Subject to the GoDaddy Universal Terms of Service, Websites + Marketing Services Agreement and Privacy Policy. ** Additional terms may apply. See website for details. 

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