Ecommerce 101: an Essential Guide To a Thriving Online Business

Choosing from the wide variety of ecommerce options for your business can seem like an intimidating challenge. From plugins to online stores, finding the right choice for your specific needs can be a challenge.

The great thing about having many options is that you can be confident that you will ultimately find the perfect solution. To make it easier for you to get started, we have put together an “E-Commerce 101”. This article will explain everything you need to know about ecommerce, highlight the best ecommerce platforms, and let you know the ways to get started.

What is e-commerce?

Put simply, every time a payment is made over the internet, e-commerce happens. Sometimes referred to as e-business or internet commerce, e-commerce can involve many different types of payments, including the transfer of data and goods.

Why is e-commerce so important?

The importance of e-commerce is easy to explain when you look at today’s world. The internet has become the focus, or at least the setting for a large part of our lives. From entertainment and dating to grocery delivery to banking, our lives are now online. Now we don’t even need to go out and spend time to shop. Just in a blink of second you can order your favourite food, grocery items or even fashion items like Aldo shoes, Zara accessories, Bella contact lenses, Gucci bags and the list is endless. All this is happening because e-commerce has been a part of our lives. Even after the global pandemic COVID-19, the existence of ecommerce business is inevitable.

That’s why it makes sense for business owners to look into how their product or offerings can be translated online. As of 2020, around 59% of the world’s entire population were online – that’s a huge 4.45 billion people. You should aim to target and showcase your services to where potential customers are, and, as these numbers prove, they are highly likely to be online. According to Nasdaq, it’s thought that by 2040, 95% of shopping in the UK will be facilitated by e-commerce.

Take a closer look at how you can adapt your products or services to the online world.

What should be considered when choosing an e-commerce platform?

In the next section of this blog post, we’re going to analyze different ecommerce websites that you can look at and choose from. But first, let’s take a look at the characteristics of an ecommerce website and the things to think about to help guide your choice.

Website design

When choosing an ecommerce platform, the style and themes it can offer are important when deciding on a website or plugin. Different options allow you different ways of customization when it comes to things like logos, colors, product catalogs and custom designs.

If you are at the beginning of your ecommerce journey, a simpler interface would be ideal for you. It may sound negative when you have a limited choice of designs, but it allows you to focus on the important tasks that go into customizing your product or service for sale online.

On the other hand, if you’ve already started selling online, or if you have a little more web design experience, then more complex plugin integration could be a great option as it allows you to customize the interface to suit your brand and style.


Especially if you are just getting started in the ecommerce world with your first online store, it is crucial that you choose an ecommerce option that will provide good support with any questions you may have.

Whether it’s a technical support team to help you out when things go wrong, or a dedicated key account manager who keeps an eye on how your business is doing and you when needed help and advice – check the level of support you will get before choosing an ecommerce website.

Mobile suitability

Since your target audience will be viewing your products on small screens on their mobile devices and looking to shop there, it is important to consider which ecommerce website will give them the best experience.

Check how mobile-friendly the E-Comm platform can make your online shop. Does the design work? Are the pages easy to understand? Is it easy to choose, order and pay for products? All of these questions need to be considered when choosing your e-comm solution.


If you want your customers to trust your website and give out their banking information for orders and payments, you need to keep that information safe and secure.

You need to make sure that the way you take payments is fully compliant with the law and that the way you store data complies with the requirements of the GDPR.

Where to start

As mentioned earlier, there are a variety of options for business owners looking to get into the e-commerce space. First, let’s take a look at SumUp’s solution itself …

Online shop

A great starting point for e-commerce is the SumUp online shop “Starter” package. This option is especially fantastic for small business owners and people who already use social media to promote and advertise their products.

With the online shop “Starter” package you can start selling your products online with your SumUp account within a few minutes. This package makes it easy to create an online store where you can add your products, social media links, and shipping details. It can be activated in the SumUp app so that you can start making online payments quickly and securely.


Depending on the nature of your business, you might want to look for alternative options. For example, you may have already opened an online shop but would like to test other payment options, or you may want to work as a programmer so that building a website from scratch could be in your interest.

With SumUp’s integration products, partners can use our E-Comm API to accept card payments from customers via their own platform and thus create a well-rounded and networked omnichannel experience. Some of our e-comm partners that you should definitely consider are:


If you have already set up an online shop with the WordPress CRM system, then the SumUp plugin with WooCommerce is ideal for you. WooCommerce is a WordPress ecommerce plugin that is available for download. SumUp’s payment gateway for WooCommerce enables your website to accept payments in your online shop. The plugin is a simple option that allows for quick and easy integration with limited technical knowledge.

This option allows for customization and gives your customers the convenience of securely buying products from your website without being redirected to other pages. Payments are processed through the SumUp payment platform, so you can track your payment history through the SumUp dashboard.


Wix is ​​a great, out-of-the-box, all-in-one e-commerce solution. Its simplicity and easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface make it the perfect choice for beginners and anyone with no programming experience. While WooCommerce requires some developer experience in order to be able to make significant changes, Wix has permanent templates and a dedicated team to introduce new features and fixes.

While Wix has a few more limitations when it comes to customization compared to WooCommerce, it has been designed and set up to be perfect for non-developers. You can put templates, plugins (including SumUp integration), security, and technology into one system, making setting up a professional e-commerce website simple and easy.


If you have previous web development experience, another great option is the open source ecommerce solution PrestaShop. Given the nature of the open source software, PrestaShop allows users to create fully customizable e-comm stores with no restrictions or limitations. There are also teaching materials and a support team available to help with all technical questions.

PrestaShop is integrated with SumUp as the payment provider for payments on your website, which means you can be confident that your e-comm finances are 100% safe and reliable. The user interface is easy to navigate so your customers can select items and then pay for them quickly and easily.

What’s next?

Whatever stage you are at in choosing an ecommerce platform for your business, SumUp can help. From the SumUp online shop for smaller companies to the numerous E-Comm integration partners that SumUp works with at larger retailers – we have the right solution for you.

Simply fill out the form below and our dedicated team will be in touch to start a conversation.

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