8 valuable tips for the successful start of an online shop
- Shop software
Finding the perfect shop that suits you and your company is not an easy task. How do I find the right shop? Which system do I use to supply it? How complex does the shop have to be? These are usually the first questions raised. We and many others have had positive experiences with the following two providers.
– Shopware – A “made in Germany” shop solution that has been actively supporting the German market for years.
– Magento – The customizing powerhouse from the United States, with endless customization possibilities and a large community.
Of course, both systems have advantages and disadvantages, but this is a completely individual decision, which is based on your requirements. Are you looking for more profit? So, let’s talk about a suitable shop solution for you.
- Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP)
A merchandise management system, or ERP for short, serves as a digital representation of the business and its processes. For many small companies, an ERP is usually seen as an unnecessary cost factor, but this thought is usually not correct.
In the beginning, an online shop is still quite manageable. There are only sporadic orders, the bookkeeping is done on the side and the client list is very manageable. Think about the future, lets say 6-12 months ahead and the traffic is increasing. The turnover increases and so do the product orders. The cash registers are ringing and everyone is happy, but… the administrative effort, which was no problem in the beginning, is slowly but surely becoming the number one time expenditure.
At this point it makes sense to introduce an ERP to give you the freedom to automate what can be automated and to give an overview of the most important processes. With your head free again, you are now able to take the next steps.
ERP is not just ERP – we will show you JDEdwards and why it might make sense for your company.
- Product Information Management
Data structure, product data and data maintenance are essential for an online shop. Every online shop’s purchase stands and falls with its usability and appearance. You do not have enough product data or your product data is not unique? This can quickly become a problem!
Akeneo offers you an intuitive and user-friendly OpenSource solution.
- Product data
The product data will play the main role in your online shop. Distinguish yourself from other competitors with your product data. Incorrect or incomplete product data can lead to your assortment not being convincing. Uniform and customer group-specific product data convey confidence and a certain standard.
With a PIM system and a good data model, nothing stands in your way in e-commerce. Your PIM tells you how to maintain your product data uniformly.
The product data model and its product data determine how quickly your customers find their way around your online shop. If you have many “hidden” categories and the customer has to click through a lot, your product data model will not fit 100% to an online shop.
Offer your customers several ways to reach the desired result. Search function, product filter, different categories can support you here actively.
In addition, your shop system should provide you with further possibilities.
- Payment methods
Payment methods in an online store are also an important point. Your online shop will also have target groups and you should analyze them to find out which payment methods are right and the best for your particular customer group. Standard payment methods like prepayment or PayPal are very popular with customers. Shop operators often waste valuable sales potential due to missing or unsupported payment methods.
Therefore, analyze your target groups carefully. If, for example, you sell your products mainly to high-income customers, you should be reluctant to forego credit card payments. If the assortment of your online shop is aimed at low-income earners, you may be more likely to do without credit card payments. You should also keep an eye on the age of the target groups, as this also plays an important role. A customer group-specific payment type analysis is key for success.
- Shipping methods
Quality instead of mass is decisive! Your internal process for sending parcels should take place as quickly as possible. Customers are accustomed to one to two days shipping due to the big shipping companies like Amazon or others. They expect a fast and smooth process. Long waiting times without informing the customer beforehand are definitely problematic.
The main focus should also be on plug-ins or interfaces to the online shop. The communication between onlineshop and shipping provider should work automatically, smoothly and without incidents.
One of the most important points, which unfortunately is often neglected, is SEO. You don’t have to be an SEO professional to create an online shop and maintain your product data. But you should create a good basis. SEO is extremely important in e-commerce, especially in the initial phase of your online shop, most customers will reach your shop via search engines and make up the most of your traffic. In order for the online shop to be found via the major search engines, you need to have SEO standards in your online shop.
Therefore, you should master the fundamentals for creating an SEO foundation for your online shop yourself. SEO principles play a large and important role in the structure of the online shop and the product data model. Through these you can also optimize your product descriptions, meta description and much more SEO.
Shopware and Magento already offer SEO standards in the standard version, which are already built in. SEO is the most important tool to get customers into your shop. Do not waste any potential and become active! Contact us today and let us advise you.
- Online shop structure and process long-term planning
You should think about it very early in the planning and founding process. Because the long-term structure also plays an important role here!
– Who will take over which roles in the online shop in the future?
– Who maintains the PIM?
– Who is in charge and responsible for creating new products/categories etc.?
– Where does the information come from?
– Can processes be optimized and automated?
- Customer Service – The Customer is king
Customer service is an issue that online shop operators unfortunately often neglect. Never forget: the customer is king. Also, in the online trade customers expect an excellent customer service. Don’t forget that customers can shop elsewhere at any time. You should therefore try to keep your customers loyal to your company and to acquire returning customers. Always remember: What do you do differently from your competitors? Which are the things in your company and in your online shop that do not exist in the competition? Products, prices, free returns, exceptional customer service: find your niche and communicate it to your customers, because open communication creates trust. Treat your customers as you would like to be treated in the same situation.
You are at the beginning of your e-commerce journey and are still unsure whether the leap into the e-commerce world is the right for you? Our experienced e-commerce consultants and specialists would like to accompany you on your journey and support you in the best possible way.
Because the way to a successful online shop is usually not a walk in the park. Let’s start the journey together.
Are you unsure which shop system is right for you and your company? You don’t have a PIM, maintain the data very complicated and without quality control in your shop backend and do not maintain your product data uniformly?
You want to know more about SEO in your shop system? Would you like to know which SEO optimizations are still possible in your online shop or are you generally not satisfied with your current shop solution? Talk to us, we are happy to advise you.