Anyone who deals a little with the current economy will quickly see that the e-commerce business is currently growing rapidly. In addition, with the current situation of Covid-19, most trade is carried out via online shops, as most retail stores have had to close due to the current situation. So it’s not far-fetched that more and more people in the start-up scene are asking themselves: Wouldn’t it make sense to open an online shop?
But how do you build up an audience, for example, in order to develop a solid customer base? How is the individual online presence measured? What does the market look like in which I would like to place my online shop and its products? What are the requirements for setting up an online shop? We asked ourselves all of these questions. We have researched for you exactly how this works and what you should pay attention to as the founder of an online shop and summarized it here, because there are a few points you should pay attention to.
Before you start setting up your online shop and register your business, you should first draw up a business plan. As a rule, you need start-up capital and in order to get this approved by the bank, for example in the form of a loan, you need a clear, well-organized business plan. This should document exactly how the shop will be structured, what products will be offered and what costs and profit figures are likely to be incurred.
How many operating expenses does it take to build the business? So what are the costs in relation to hardware, software, goods, remuneration and marketing? A good business plan shows that you don’t just have an idea, but that you have sufficiently dealt with all the necessary questions. For example, what is the supply and demand of the respective market? What is the company’s unique selling proposition? What makes the online shop stand out from the crowd?
How does the company differ from the wide range that currently exists in the e-commerce sector? The better the business plan is written and organized, the more attentive the banks will be and the better the chances of getting a loan.
Also Read: 7 Marketing Tips For Small Shops
What is so special in the e-commerce business and what should you pay attention to?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is particularly important when setting up an online shop, because this ensures that the products can also be found in the infinite depths of the Internet. Findability must therefore be increased so that potential customers become aware of the products. In addition, good, meaningful descriptions of the goods are essential. There is also the question of which supply chain fits the business model. For example, is just-in-time production, an in-house warehouse or order picking more suitable for the online shop? All three options have advantages and disadvantages, so you should think about which supply chain best suits your plan in relation to your business model.
Once these questions have been clarified, it is time to create the online shop. Here, too, numerous decisions have to be made. Because first it has to be clarified whether the online shop should be set up by a professional programmer, or whether the shop should be put together independently using a modular function on existing websites. Both options have advantages and disadvantages.
If you take a look on the Internet, you will quickly and easily find providers who make it easy to create your own online shop. This is how you can build your own online shop yourself. These providers provide numerous options and templates for the website and offer different sections, functional modules and payment options, which makes building them easy and inexpensive. In general, a distinction is made in this area between back-end and front-end. The back-end corresponds to the creation of the online store, while the front-end represents the company’s “storefront”, which is the actual website that customers see on their screen.
Advantages and disadvantages
One of the advantages of online shop construction kits is the simple, individual use. In addition, there are relatively low costs, which usually range between 10 and 70 euros per month. However, this depends on the different providers and their range of functions. However, as mentioned before, the settings are easy to use. You can choose payment methods, upload your products, observe legal requirements, choose shipping methods and choose between different design templates. This makes it easy to create the actual online shop and can be individually adapted to the individual model.
However, there are also disadvantages compared to professional online shop software. For example, the range of functions is much smaller and there may only be a certain selection of payment methods. It also depends on how large the scope of the goods should be, because usability is the be-all and end-all of a good online shop. Ultimately, it should be made as easy as possible for the customer to find what he is looking for. The interface of the shop should therefore be well structured and easy to use. If you offer a wide range of products, professional software offers many more options for customizing the shop. However, professional software is always expensive and takes a lot of time and work. So you should be clear about how much of both you want to invest.
What are the costs involved in creating an online shop?
We differentiate here between one-off costs and regular fixed costs. First, a business must be registered once. Depending on the location, the costs here range between 10 and 50 euros. If you decide to hire a professional programmer to set up the website, the costs will be between 1,000 and 10,000 euros. It is also worth asking about a professional web host, because it is worth having your own server at the latest when the online shop is gaining in reach. Good web hosts, which can easily process 1,000 users per day without problems occurring on the website, cost between 20 and 30 euros per month.
Not to be forgotten are the costs incurred for images and (text) presentation of the goods. Do you photograph yourself, hire someone or use stock footage. Depending on what you choose, license fees may apply.
Marketing costs should also not be underestimated, because the online shop must also be found in order to make a profit. A helpful tool in this area is Google AdWords. It helps to win Internet customers and does not require a large advertising budget, because visitor flows can already be increased with 50 euros per month. Google Analytics can also help to see which products are particularly popular and at what times the online shop is visited the most.
The area of social shopping should also not be underestimated. It can definitely be worth getting social media tools and influencers on board to increase your reach.