How to get started in eCommerce

Over the next six issues, DIY Industrial & Trade News will be taking a deep dive into the world of eCommerce, to assist those retailers who are not yet online to take the plunge.

Steps to set up your eCommerce store
Steps to set up your eCommerce store

There is no doubt that eCommerce is booming after the pandemic, presenting a significant opportunity for hardware stores to set up shop and start selling online. You don’t have to spend as much money on overheads with an eCommerce business compared to a brick-and-mortar store, giving you access to a broader base of customers.

However, if you are not totally internet savvy, the information available online can be confusing, as most of it isn’t localised to South Africa. With our articles, we intend to introduce you to the local eCommerce market in a straightforward way that’s easy to follow, so you could be up and running in no time.

How does ecommerce work?

eCommerce works on the same principles as a physical store. Customers reach your online site, browse products, and make a purchase.

Here’s an example of how an eCommerce website operates:

1. Website is set up. This is quite simple when using the tools available to you.

2. A customer visits your online shop. They browse your catalogue of products, settle on what is needed and add it to their shopping cart.

3. An order manager or order management software confirms the product is in stock.

4. If the product is available and the customer is ready to check out, they enter the payment card details and shipping information on your payment form or page.

5. The payment processor, typically a bank, confirms the customer has enough cash in the bank or enough credit on the card to complete the transaction.

6. The customer gets a message on the website that the transaction went through. This all happens in a matter of seconds.

7. The order is dispatched from the warehouse and then shipped to the customer. The customer will receive an email that the product is out for delivery.

8. The order is delivered, and the transaction is complete.

Getting started

You can set up your own eCommerce site, it’s easier than you think, even if you have no experience. This online site offers a free five-step course to guide you through the process. It will only take about two hours of your time.



  1. Implement the best practices for starting your online store to achieve long term success.
  2. Create a catalogue of the SKUs you want to sell online.
  3. Set up a payment gateway so you can take various types of online payments.
  4. Design your website’s home page and then…
  5. Turn it on so it’s live and ready to make sales!

// REMEMBER: There are some inherent challenges to running an online store, such as payment gateways and the increased risk of fraud and high rates of cart abandonment //

So now you have a website. Look out for our next article, that will give you tips and tricks on how to start selling and create a financially viable eCommerce business.

what is e-commerce next level?

Take a closer look at what’s happening in the local market by joining these communities, where you’ll find lots of free information to help you on your journey, as well as keep you up to date with trends and news. and
Get access to a community store solution here or email: [email protected]


Tagged under:

Digital issue View Archive

DIY & Industrial Trade News January 2023

The hardware industry is lucky to be providing many items consumers cannot do without. Now is the time to capitalise on this – identify those things people need most during these cost-cutting times and push them hardest.

Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: