The best way to set up your online store: 5 tips
E-commerce is booming, and that comes as no surprise.Online stores are not expensive to set up, you don’t need any expert knowledge to launch your own store and you can even combine it with your current job. Ready to give it a try? With these tips you’ll be up and running in no time!
1. Think carefully about your assortment
Needless to say, the products on offer take center stage in an online store. Think about what it is that you want to sell. If you can’t dedicate too much time to your online store, keep your range limited for the time being. Choose an original product or make sure that your offer beats that of your competitors. Can you offer more expertise, a more personal approach, a better service or lower prices?
2. Preparation is key
Full-time or part-time, that’s the question. Of course you want to make the most of your online store, so invest in the necessary resources, such as a good computer and printer, and set up your workspace efficiently to allow you to work more effectively. Plan the organization of your logistics process wisely and study your administrative options. Are you going to use an accounting system or keep track of your accounts using Excel? Make sure you’re aware of all the legal aspects and draw up a set of general terms and conditions. A lot of information on these topics is available online, but you can also rely on our expert partners.
3. Choose an ecommerce solution that works for you
The main aspect of your website is, of course, your online store. But which ecommerce software should you use to set it all up?
An open-source package
If you’re good at programming or if you have a lot of technical knowhow, it’s a good idea to use an open-source package, as it allows you to be flexible and it does not involve any fixed fees. A disadvantage is that it is quite time consuming and if you encounter any problems, you better bring your wallet or you're on your own.
An e-commerce system
If you’re no tech wizard, a hosted solution is a better option. Draw up a list of the features your online store builder should have in advance, and compare it with those offered by different suppliers. A few examples? Templates, stock management, SEO, payment methods, newsletter module, reporting, (free) support, user-friendliness and short loading times for the admin panel and webpages etc. MyOnlineStore meets all these criteria, allowing you to start an online store in a few easy steps.
4. Pick your market wisely
Wondering how to start an online store? Well, you need to do your research. Find out what your target audience considers important, where potential visitors shop online, how your competitors set up their online stores and how they promote their products. Invest time and effort in acquiring basic knowledge on online marketing. SEO, AdWords, link building and Google Analytics… make sure you know what they stand for and how to use them. You can outsource this in part, but it is important (not to mention fun!) for you to have some basic knowledge too. Find out more about this in our next blog posts.
5. Keep improving
Once you’re up and running, keep optimizing your store. Regularly extend your product range and in doing so, make sure you know which products are bestsellers. Ensure your content is always up to date, send out regular newsletters and get the most out of your ecommerce solution. Don't forget to keep an eye on our blog for updates and posts explaining exactly how to make the most of our very own online store.
Good luck and enjoy!