Everything you need to know to sell online

Selling online is easier than ever, thanks to the various platforms and marketplaces, but starting an online business remains a challenge. Before creating an online store, find out what you need to know.

How to sell online?

The Internet and the development of ecommerce have quickly allowed entrepreneurs as well as individuals to sell their products and services online in order to earn money through the different solutions available on the market. It is now easy to create an online store, sell on an online platform/marketplace like Amazon or Cdiscount and sell on social networks or on sites selling between individuals.

Thanks to search engines and social networks, buying and selling on the Internet has become accessible to millions of consumers and Internet users around the world.

The laws in force concerning online sales

To fully understand the context of your online business, it is important to separate the status of individual and entrepreneur.

For entrepreneurs

Do you want to make a profit from your activity of buying and selling goods on the Internet?

In this case, you will have to choose the appropiate legal status and create a company. The solution you choose to sell online does not matter, whether it’s a sales platform for specialized sellers or not.

Legal specificities : each status has its own advantages and disadvantages concerning the costs of setting up a business, the number of partners, the VAT regime and the applicable taxation.

For individuals

Are you a private individual who does not want to be bogged down with the creation of an online business? No worries, as long as the sales made are occasional and part of the management of your private assets.

Example: selling a shirt on an online platform.

Where should you sell online?

Once the legal context has been defined, you must then choose the right solution to sell online. We will explain how each solution works and give you tips to maximize your online sales.

Create an online store

No matter what you want to sell (product or service) and in what way (dropshipping etc.), the choice of tool to create your ecommerce site is essential. PrestaShop allows you to create a turnkey ecommerce site. You are not dependent on any platform and have access to all aspects of your online sales activity in complete autonomy :

  • Branding
  • Marketing strategy
  • Advertising
  • Payment methods
  • Shipping methods

This solution is also ideal if you own a physical shop and want to establish yourself on the web.

Online sales platforms and sales sites between individuals

Online sales platforms are a great way to promote your products and increase your visibility, both for individuals and entrepreneurs who use marketplaces like Etsy or Leboncoin.

It should be noted that some marketplaces like Amazon allow only businesses to sell. On the other hand, other sales sites are reserved exclusively for sales between individuals, such as Vinted.

The advantage of marketplaces is that they are quite diverse and allow you to reach your target regardless of the field of activity.

Sell on social networks

Thanks to platforms like Facebook Marketplace or Instagram Shopping, businesses and individuals can sell their products (or services) and find new customers.
Thanks to the proximity that networks offer, you can post an ad and are likely to reach a new shopper anywhere in the world. Plus, you can easily mix your sales activity with the reach of your communications on your Facebook business page.

Our tips to optimize your online sales

To help you sell online independently, here is a (non-exhaustive) list of points to check (valid for all the solutions mentioned above):

Payment, fees, and commissions:

Registration can be free, but platforms often charge a commission on the sale. Find out how the platform is remunerated before you start. Also, find out about the payment methods allowed.


find out about shipping/forwarding liability issues, package insurance or shipping costs to be advanced. All these factors must be taken into account to avoid seeing your earnings decrease (especially among entrepreneurs)


Some markets are saturated; it may be that competition for a product is tough. Study competitor offers to provide a better online sales experience.


One of the most important elements will be your images because these are the first things that Internet users see, whether on your own online store or on a marketplace. So consider choosing images that highlight the product.

Product catalog

Product titles and descriptions must be consistent with the items and their use. Fill in the title correctly so that search engines can easily display your product when your customers search.


it is important to define a fair price in line with the market without forgetting to include all the sale costs.


some solutions offer, for example, to improve the positioning of your product in search results.

The mentioned solutions allow an individual to make sales on the Internet, as well as increase the reach of an online entrepreneur’s business.

Don’t neglect any additional acquisition channel that will allow you to reach your target.

What should you sell online? Which product to choose? With or without stock?

One of the key points to succeed in online business is knowing what to sell. You can sell items such as clothes, books, shoes, or handicrafts.

You can also market virtual goods like ebooks, courses, software, or videos. You can offer online services such as private lessons or consulting. Finally, you can also sell products on the Internet indirectly to third parties through affiliate programs or even sell without stock through dropshipping.

Note that the choice of products sold online must be legal and in accordance with the Commercial Code regardless of the business or market selected.

Do you want to start an ecommerce business but don't know what product to sell?

Choosing a product to sell is a real discipline: it must meet the needs of Internet users and allow you to make a margin on sales. Our article What to sell on the internet, will facilitate your thinking by guiding you on the trendy and seasonal products, but also on the most requested sales sectors on the web.

Here is a list of questions to help you find your next bestseller:

  • The product must meet an identified demand on the market, for this, you can choose products already available on the web.
  • The need that this product fills must be urgent and necessary
  • The product can be the object of a passion
  • Take inspiration from the bestsellers of online sales platforms like Amazon
  • Find topics that people are passionate about or that are trending on discussion groups or forums

Sell online without stock thanks to dropshipping

You can also refer to a supplier’s catalog through dropshipping. This technique makes it possible to market a product without having any stock and gives you access to thousands of items for sale. To do this, you simply need to create a dropshipping site, select the right supplier and the right product.

So you earn money by selling your supplier’s stock while regularly receiving proposals for new products to put on sale on your online store.