Creating an online store - what do you need to remember?

Service Business

Do you want to start your own online store? You decided that it was a good idea for your own business, but you still don't know where to start and how to stand out on the market? We will help you take your first steps. In this text, you will learn how to create an online store, what you should remember in particular, and how to professionally prepare the most important elements of a website.

Creating an online store - first steps

You are sure of the decision that you want to set up an online store and you already know in which industry you will be trading. The first step you should take now is to carefully analyze the market you are trying to enter. You absolutely must trace your competition - in many ways. Pay attention to prices, promotion of goods or services, type of assortment, what products are repeated most often in the competition and who is their manufacturer, the appearance of the store's website and the ease of navigating through it, delivery methods, payment methods, as well as how products are presented and what the store's relationships with customers look like - do these stores have loyalty programs or other customer amenities. Also check if competing stores have their blog or social media pages.

Once you have an overview of the market, you need to prepare an offer that is as competitive as possible, standing out from the rest of the operating stores. There are some important questions to help you in doing this:

  • to whom do you address your offer in particular?

  • why your offer will be attractive to recipients?

  • how will you promote your products?

  • what is your goal?

  • What will customers find in your store that they have been unsuccessfully looking for from competitors?

Name and software - key issues

Creating an online store is also a series of decisions related to the domain and software that should be chosen for its operation. First, you should take a close look at the name of the store, because it will be in your company's Internet address. First of all, the name should be easy for customers to remember and pronounce, as well as evoke specific associations in them. It is worth making sure that it is original and inventive, rather not duplicating many existing schemes (such as Rowerex or Rower-pol).

If you already have an internet domain for your store, then you still need to consider hosting, i.e. the provision of server resources by your internet service provider. Remember that you will have to add the costs of hosting (which is in some way a type of lease) to the overall costs of running the store. You can take advantage of free hosting services, but they do have a number of downsides, and that's not what you expect. Many professional hosting companies allow for periodic testing of their services, so check for yourself which one is the best.

It is very important to choose the software - the script on the basis of which the online store will be created. Specialists say that, first of all, you should choose the one that best meets our expectations and meets our needs. It does not always have to be one that is generally recommended and recognized as the best. When it comes to choosing your software, you have several options, including:

  • use of free software as part of open source,

  • lease of ready-made software on SaaS platforms,

  • selection of software created for your store.

The first option, although not related to expenses, is recommended primarily to people with certain knowledge and experience in IT. If you don't feel too strong on IT issues or don't have a webmaster who can help you adapt open source software to your needs - choose one of the other two options. They will be associated with some costs, but you can be sure that your website will be easy to use and functional. Before making your decision, think about the strengths and weaknesses of each of the possible store systems.

Creating an online store and GIODO and privacy policy

Now that you've chosen your domain and software, think about all the legal considerations. First of all, you need to report the customer's personal data base to the Inspector General for Personal Data Protection (GIODO). The current law, however, allows for the appointment of an Information Security Administrator and reporting him to GIODO. In such a case, you will be released from the obligation to register the database files with GIODO. However, if you do not have an Information Security Administrator, it will be necessary to report the files to GIODO and indicate on what legal basis you process them. Then, you must include its detailed regulations on the website of the online store, as well as a list of your customers' rights. A good solution is also to post templates of letters of withdrawal from the contract or complaint on the website.

Be sure to inform your website visitors about how their personal data is secured and processed. Inform about the privacy policy and cookies. Often, the lack of adequate information on such procedures effectively discourages customers from making online purchases. Also, remember to prepare a page with a description of your company, methods of delivery of goods and possible, acceptable forms of payment. This will increase your customers' trust in your store.

Establish cooperation with courier companies, primarily guided by the ability to quickly and efficiently deliver goods to the customer. Make sure your customer has the widest possible choice of shipping and payment options. The range of possibilities here is quite wide - from transfers, through card and SMS payments, to an electronic wallet. Check what characterizes each of the possibilities and to which target group it is targeted in particular.

How to introduce products to the online store?

If you have already completed all the formalities mentioned earlier, it is time to include the products in your online store. The key to getting your clients interested in them is, first of all, presenting them well. Do not duplicate the descriptions on the manufacturer's website, and even less on competing websites. Create an original description that in a few words will present the customer the benefits that they will gain by buying the product.

What should have a good and effective product description? First of all, brevity and emotional overtones. In a short presentation, you must present the advantages of a given product and how they can be useful for the customer. Do not water down descriptions with excessively long sentences or characteristics - concrete matters. However, try to influence the emotions of the recipient of this short text. Let him feel that he has found a unique product and wants to have it. Also remember that the description should be understandable and written in plain language - try to avoid overly poetic or professionalising the language. After all, you want to reach the widest possible audience.

Note that the presentation of the product on the website is not only a description. Make sure you choose the right photos, maybe also a movie presenting the advantages of the product. It is also important that such a presentation includes a clear call-to-action element - it is to encourage the customer to make a purchase decision.

Creating an online store - study website traffic

Once a customer hits your store's website, the first impression they make is important. Take care of the appropriate user experience of the website - the graphic page, the distribution of information relevant to the customer, highlighting the call-to-action buttons, easy and intuitive navigation, etc. Refining these elements will make your website more customer-friendly and will positively affect it for conversion. Use statistical tools (eg Google Analytics) to analyze traffic and activity on your store's website. Do not be afraid of changes if necessary.

At the beginning, it will be good to carry out a series of tests to verify the correct operation of the website, its ease of navigation, its compatibility with web browsers. Creating an online store requires making sure that everything works as planned.

That's almost all ...

You already know almost everything how to start creating an online store. When you have taken care of all the above-mentioned elements, you need to start implementing the previously prepared marketing strategy. What should you pay special attention to?

It is known that the store itself, even the best functioning one, will not be able to earn money without proper promotion. Try to ensure good search engine positioning, carefully select key phrases for each stage of the purchasing process. Advertise on websites and social media - create a profile of your store on social media, where, in addition to the offer, you will present product tests and interesting information or advice for customers. Also let yourself be found in price comparison websites.