Anyone who is or intends to enter the market possibly plans to develop a virtual store at some point in their professional activities. This growing demand for e-commerce is a natural consequence of our consumption habits, which are increasingly online rather than offline.
However, this new market wave brings an essential demand for planning and strategy, as well as in the structuring of online companies. Below is a checklist for you to start developing your online store right now!
Develop online store: Choose your niche
Before starting to think about the format of your website, you have to keep in mind some more strategic starting points to achieve, in the end, the expected success. The Internet provides a huge audience reach, however many times that reach does not get the return we expect, because the content dissipates or reaches people who are not interested in it. This occurs both in social networks, as well as in the online market.
You need to be aware that digital commerce is already quite competitive and saturated in some segments. However, having so many options for the same product causes a need to do differently, in addition to looking for a segmented niche. To start your business project and develop an online store, consider the pains and demands of your future industry and define your potential customers. Analyse who they are and how their competitors already offer their products, read reviews, see what consumers are asking for, make a diagnosis of what is working and what is not yet done and you can do it.
For example, you have decided that you will start selling personalized gift items, such as glasses, mugs, t-shirts, picture frames. However, you probably know that a lot of people already do this. Whether large, medium or small companies. Ask yourself: what will you do differently? Is it possible to reach a specific audience? Who buys this type of product? Is there a consumer that has not been embraced by this market? How will you be able to stand out from the competition?
Develop online store: Define a Financial Planning
After making the decision on which niche your online store will operate in, it is time to put together a trade and investment plan. This plan will have to contain a sales forecast, expenses forecast and how much of that initial budget will be used to set up the virtual store. You need to make a well thought out and structured decision on how you will go about developing your online store.
Will you be able to do everything yourself? How are you going to keep it? It is necessary to make someone responsible to organize and coordinate e-commerce or to hire a specialized company for this. One of the biggest mistakes in virtual stores is not having this organization and a good structure of the website, as well as the calculations to have an exact notion of how much investment will be needed to develop a virtual store. For this, there are companies such as Spyfoxx, which appear to facilitate and assist in the planning and execution of the creation of e-commerce.
Develop online store: Choose the platform
After all the mental effort involved in developing an online store, it is time to start visualizing and envisioning in practice what you expect from the structure of your future e-commerce. The platform is one of the first decisions to be made. It is very important to research and be aware of which platform to choose, as it is the basis of your store. That is, it is necessary to opt for a quality platform that is flexible – it can be changed to your needs and preferences.
There are three types of platforms on the market: free, open-source and paid. Each commercial profile has an essential and specific demand, which will be able to classify which will be the ideal platform. However, in general, the most usual and broad for the most varied e-commerce are open source platforms, such as WordPress. Through the WooCommerce plugin, the entrepreneur will be able to transform his WordPress site into a virtual store. The plugin is the most popular in the world, as it is flexible, intuitive and robust. Easy to use, with WooCommerce the owner of the virtual store is able to have an overview or segmented of the registered products, allowing the organization in categories and subcategories. The plugin provides greater customization of your online store.
Develop online store: Payments and security
An essential aspect of having an online store is, of course, the way you will receive payments from customers. Extremely important, you need to pay close attention to that choice. There are different ways for you to receive payments online. The most common is through payment intermediaries. They are simpler to use and help the shopkeeper both by assuming the risk of fraud, as well as by advancing the amounts to be received. Intermediaries usually charge a fixed fee per transaction plus a variable on the sale price.
Another option for receiving payment is through gateways. However, they are more complex solutions; they guarantee more stable connections with the acquiring networks. Although they are cheaper, because they charge only a fixed fee per transaction, the shopkeeper will need to hire other services, such as anti-fraud.
As you have noticed, the security of these payments is essential. In addition, those who own e-commerce need to beware of fraud, both from the consumer and the entrepreneur side. You need to prove that your store is serious and you need to be prepared to avoid hackers or scams by hiring armour and anti-fraud tools. A good way to prove that your website is reliable for your consumer audience is by purchasing some stamps that guarantee the security of e-commerce. Like SSL, which is a lock that appears when entering purchase data, which shows the customer that their information is encrypted?
We hope we have helped you to understand a little more about how to start developing an online store. As you have noticed, developing a virtual store requires planning and a piece of certain technical knowledge to avoid major security problems, or even create a malaise with your customers.
In addition, e-commerce that does not have a good structure and impact study, possibly will not present the expected results. Want help? Then get in touch with us!