How to Create an Online Store Without a Website

How to Create an Online Store Without a Website

9 min read

Anna makes stuffed animals in her spare time. When friends and colleagues clamor to buy them as gifts for their children, Anna decides to try selling them online.

Anna goes to a friend of hers who is a programmer, and begins to learn a lot of new terms: web hosting, domain, server, SEO, and more. A little online research reveals how long it will take and how expensive it will be to develop an effective online store. Her initial enthusiasm begins to dwindle. After a while, Anna decides that developing an online store is out of her reach, and gives up on the idea.

This scenario is sad, and all too common. It’s familiar to many who dream of creating an online store but have neither the time nor the budget to get it done.

The good news is that you do not need to create a website from scratch to sell on the Internet. Instead, you can make a store on the huge, existing websites that you’re already connected to. Once, the accepted steps for digital business started with the branded website. Then you connected to social and other websites from there.

Times have changed. The website is not necessarily central any more. Instead, businesses must go where the customers are: social media and businesses ahead of them in growth. Today, starting on social or larger websites and adding website later in your business evolution makes sense.

In this article, we’ll show you three ways Ecwid E-commerce helps you sell online without the need for a fully developed website. You can use one of these platforms or several altogether. A single Ecwid account acts as the “hub” or center store, beaming itself to as many “spokes” or platforms you choose.

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An essential eBook on setting up your Ecwid store quickly and easily.

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Sell on Social Networks

According to Sprout Social survey, 89 percent of consumers buy products from brands they follow on social networks. Shop owners are using social networks to talk about products, communicate with existing customers, and attract new customers. If you do not have a website yet, you can open a store on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media.

Facebook for E-commerce

With 2.60 billion monthly active users (MAU) and almost 1.82 billion daily active users (DAU) Facebook is the most popular social network on Earth. Even if you run a brick-and-mortar store, having a Facebook business page is essential. Facebook is a great way to connect with customers, showcase your products, build relationships, and grow overall sales.

With new Facebook Shops, you can sell online without a website!

Facebook Shop (aka Facebook store) is a special tab on a business page that allows businesses to upload their products to Facebook and sell directly to their customers through Facebook. When potential customers come to your page, they browse through your products. If they see something they like, they can make a purchase. Facebook Shop supports collections and “compare at price” feature to organize your inventory and help customers to explore your best offers.

Instagram for E-commerce

Instagram also provides a solution where shoppers can buy products without ever leaving Instagram — Shoppable Posts. Visitors click on the price tag placed on a product which leads them to a description page. From there they click to buy, using whatever payment gateway merchants have established. Instagram stores side-step the need for websites all together.

After you publish 9 shoppable posts, your business page populates with a Shop tab, to help organize and promote posts with a tagged buyable item. This means more potential exposure for you!

Sell on social media

Selling on social media has many benefits:

  • Tapping into a large and engaged audience of social media users
  • An opportunity to reach more people organically (=for free)
  • Building lasting relationships with customers through content.

With Ecwid, getting started with selling on social media fast takes just a few clicks. Log into your Control Panel → Sales Channels and choose where to sell your products (Facebook or Instagram accordingly; however, you’ll be surprised to discover many more ways to sell there!) and connect these sales channels.

If you would like to explore selling on social using a step-by-step guide, please go to our Knowledge Base:

How to sell online
Tips from e-commerce experts for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
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Use a Free Ecwid E-commerce Website

Ecwid users are not limited to selling only on social networks. If you are not yet ready to build your own website, use Ecwid E-commerce to take orders without a website.

Free ecommerce website

This is a one-page website with an integrated Ecwid E-commerce store. Create your products, connect your payment and shipping methods and brand your Ecwid website. Upload a cover image, logo, add business info, contact details, and links to social media. Set up your own domain name (available in paid Ecwid plans) or use a free domain type “mysuperstore.ecwid.com.” That’s it, we take care of the rest.

The e-commerce website is minimalistic, yet it does the job perfectly, representing your business on the web and enabling sales. But that’s not all!

Launching your business on the Ecwid website, you’ll get these benefits:

  • Fast implementation: launch your website and be ready to sell in under an hour.
  • No developer needed: use our comfortable editor to change and preview your site’s content
  • The Ecwid website is free.

Connect and edit your Ecwid E-commerce website in your Control Panel → Sales Channels → Instant Site.

Sell on Amazon

Amazon now accounts for about 47% of retail e-commerce in the US in 2020, and many people receive orders from there every day. You probably already know how big this behemoth is. What you may not know is that many small businesses sell through Amazon. In fact, this past Prime Day 2020 (special pricing for Prime members), $900 billion of revenues went to small businesses, skipping Amazon. All third-party sellers saw sales surpass $3.5 billion — nearly a 60% increase over 2019.

Selling on this marketplace has some other advantages besides its size:

  • If you’re reading this article, most likely you’re just starting out with your business. In that case, an affiliation with Amazon works because customers are more likely to trust a new business on Amazon than some unknown online store.
  • When you sell on a marketplace, you only have to worry about selling. The audience is there, the promotional tools are there, and with services like FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), you can even avoid messing around with your parcels and, instead, let Amazon do the fulfillment for you.
  • Besides the inventory itself, the cost to sell on Amazon is comparatively low: remember, you don’t have to build a website.

One of Amazon’s massive fulfillment centers


One of Amazon’s massive fulfillment centers

Though Amazon has its own downsides such as high competition, commission fees, limitations, and lack of control, optimizing your Amazon listing is easier than optimizing your website for search engines. We broke that process down in one of the episodes of the Ecwid E-commerce Show.

If you sign up for Ecwid, it’s easy to import your products to Amazon (and other marketplaces, too!) Just go to the Control Panel → Sales Channels → Amazon and follow the instructions.

***

Creating an online shop without a website is much easier than it seems. There’s no need to wait for a lucky day when you get enough money, time, or skills to build an e-commerce website.

Implement your ideas fast (before competitors jump on it), and grow your web presence as your business grows. And please, share this article with those who are still saving up to create their own website to start selling online.

Table of contents

Sell online

With Ecwid Ecommerce, you can easily sell anywhere, to anyone — across the internet and around the world.

About the author

Lina is a content creator at Ecwid. She writes to inspire and educate readers on all things commerce. She loves to travel and runs marathons.

Ecommerce that has your back

So simple to use – even my most technophobic clients can manage. Easy to install, quick to set up. Light years ahead of other shop plugins.
I’m so impressed I’ve recommended it to my website clients and am now using it for my own store along with four others for which I webmaster. Beautiful coding, excellent top-notch support, great documentation, fantastic how-to videos. Thank you so much Ecwid, you rock!
I’ve used Ecwid and I love the platform itself. Everything is so simplified it’s insane. I love how you have different options to choose shipping carriers, to be able to put in so many different variants. It’s a pretty open e-commerce gateway.
Easy to use, affordable (and a free option if starting off). Looks professional, many templates to select from. The App is my favorite feature as I can manage my store right from my phone. Highly recommended 👌👍
I like that Ecwid was easy to start and to use. Even for a person like me, without any technical background. Very well written help articles. And the support team is the best for my opinion.
For everything it has to offer, ECWID is incredibly easy to set up. Highly recommend! I did a lot of research and tried about 3 other competitors. Just try ECWID and you'll be online in no time.

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