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I already have a website – can I add eCommerce?

Yes. If you already have a website, you can probably add eCommerce functionality though there are a number of options available to you. You will need to ask a web expert to advise you on the best option, though this guide will give you a good idea of what you need.

Ways to add an eCommerce to your existing website

I already have a website - can I add eCommerce?

We will evaluate whether to build a new stand-alone eCommerce, or integrate an eCommerce software or shopping cart into your existing website.

1. Integrate an eCommerce into your website

If your website is build with a CMS such as Joomla or WordPress, there are number of eCommerce platforms that can be “plugged in” to your website and configured so that you can sell directly through your website.

Is this right for my website? To do this your website software will need to be up-to-date and have an eCommerce extension. If you only have a few products, option 3 is quicker.

2. Tag on a separate “standalone” eCommerce to the existing site

If your website software does not offer a viable eCommerce extension, a separate eCommerce website can be built, preferably to match the graphics of your main website for a more seamless integration. To visitors it will look just like the same website, even if it is technically on a separate platform.

Is this right for my website? If you your website does not have a good eCommerce extension and cannot be updated. If you only have a few products to sell, option 3 may be quicker.

3. Add a shopping cart or payment gateway to your website

Regardless of the type of website you have, you can always add on a Shopping Cart or payment gateway such as Google Checkout, PayPal or Sage. This is a very basic form of eCommerce that allows customers to select what they want, and make a payment to an external website.

Is this right for my website? A shopping cart is a good option if you only have a few simple products and just need a basic way to collect payment.

» The business owner’s guide to eCommerce

Alternative ways to sell online

eCommerce is not cheap, and requires lots of resources. Simpler options for beginners include selling your products first on large eCommerce Marketplace websites such eBay, Amazon or Etsy. This is also a good way to test the water before making the commitment of running full-time eCommerce store.