How to set up an online store – e-book from ALEO.com
Own online store is an excellent business idea. The growing popularity of online trading and the huge demand for this type of service make more and more people interested in creating such a business from scratch. At the same time, however – although it seems to be a relatively simple task – it often turns out that both formal and technical issues are a big problem. It is worth betting on proven knowledge and preparing well for this step. Learning can be completely free at the same time.
Online store: an opportunity for everyone
The growing interest in setting up your own online store is due to two factors: first of all, it's a huge market that grows every day. According to the Gemius report "E-commerce in Poland 2020" 73% of more than 28 million Polish Internet users take advantage of the opportunities offered by online stores. At the same time, we are becoming more and more convinced of them, appreciating, above all, their ease of use, low prices and wide range of products. The second factor responsible for the popularity of e-commerce among entrepreneurs is the relatively easy availability of this form of business. With no need for separate premises or hiring more employees, and technology developing at a rapid pace, far more people can take advantage of this opportunity, including those who do not have the necessary start-up capital.
Own store step by step
There are quite a few pitfalls lurking on the road to launching your own profitable online store, both of a formal and technical nature. At the same time, this process requires a lot of knowledge and good preparation, and finding reliable information is not always easy. However, a great advantage of the e-commerce market is the wide base of companies and individuals who are willing to share their experience and facilitate the start of their own business. Many professional materials are provided free of charge. An excellent source of diverse knowledge on how to run your own online store is published by ALEO.com e-book "How to start your own online store?". Reading it will allow you to properly prepare for this task and avoid possible mistakes.
The most important thing is the plan, that is, the preparation for opening a store
ALEO Guide.com begins the chapter devoted to the first stage, i.e. to create a proper strategy and answer the most important questions of both business and formal nature. This step is often overlooked or downplayed, in fact, very often it is the one that determines the success of the project. The future store owner will have to determine m.in.:
– The legal form of the business to be conducted: do not forget that an online store is not only technology and sales, but also a business entity that must be registered. This also involves financial, legal and tax issues.
– Suppliers: even before setting up a store, it will become necessary to define a list of suppliers. Those need to be competitive and reliable at the same time. So it is worth spending more time to verify them.
– How to manage the store: the plan should cover a broader time horizon and include management systems that will allow efficient operation not only immediately after the start, but also later, when the list of customers and orders will be much longer.
Logistics at the heart of e-commerce
Effective implementation of tasks will not be possible, of course, if the owner does not take care of logistical issues. This is the cornerstone of the e-commerce market and also one of the most important challenges. You need to decide m.in. on whether it is more advantageous to rent warehouse space (unless you have adequate resources) or whether dropshipping, which involves transferring responsibility for delivery to the supplier, or cross-docking, in which goods are repackaged and sent to the recipient without storage, will work better in a particular situation. In doing so, everything depends on the business model and the characteristics of the specific market. The guide comprehensively discusses various scenarios and helps you make the optimal decision.
Technology in an online store
The e-commerce industry would not exist without a technology base. This one covers many issues, m.in. store software, modern delivery and order management systems, payment systems, but also ERP software, allowing comprehensive management of the company and all processes. An entrepreneur needs to think about a wide variety of factors, including selecting the right products, licensing issues and creating the right architecture that works best for a particular case. The wide cross-section of tools available on the market does not make it at all easy to make the right decision, so it is worth preparing well for this stage.
Proper promotion of the store
The online store segment is significantly different from traditional sales. An even greater role in it is played by proper marketing, using primarily online promotion. ALEO Guide.com discusses a number of tools that can be helpful and will translate into profits. The store owner should take care of SEO, that is, the visibility of the site in the search engine. Proper profiling of phrases and systematic actions will help to reach the audience. Excellent results come from the use of Google Ads. It is also worth betting on other communication channels, including social media presence. In addition to this, the guide also draws attention to the potential that blogging offers, which is not only an excellent way to gain new customers, but also to build an expert position and raise the prestige of the brand.
The last issues addressed in this chapter concern effective analysis of activities, including monitoring user behavior or tracking their path thanks to tools such as Google Analytics. Being well prepared will enable you to draw your own conclusions and make more effective moves.