Entering the e-Commerce market and opening your own online store is not difficult and does not require a large budget in most cases. It will certainly require you to make some important decisions and gain some knowledge on the topic of e-Commerce, which we will try to introduce you to. If you have decided what you want to sell, you should get to know the surrounding market and analyze the competition. And if you have a unique product, it is worth analyzing the most important features that are relevant to your audience. Remember success in e-Commerce is more than on the skills of the entrepreneur, often depends on his passion, enthusiasm and interesting idea. And it really only takes a few simple steps to create an online store itself.
For this reason, among others, your own online store is a good business idea. With the proliferation of e-commerce platforms such as WooCommerce, selling on the Internet has become trivial. Literally anyone can start selling their chosen products or services online without any IT knowledge. Now you also have at your fingertips ready-made tools that allow you to practically immediately start selling on the Internet.
Why is it worth opening an online shop?
An online store makes money 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That’s why the eCommerce marketplace is becoming so popular for a reason. E-commerce brings a number of benefits for both sellers and customers. For sellers, the most important advantage is primarily cost reduction. Unlike traditional commerce, it is not necessary to run points of sale, employ a lot of people, and in some cases maintain large warehouses. In an online shop, it is possible to keep the offer and prices up to date, react faster to changes and trends and respond to customer needs almost immediately.
Wondering how to start selling online and how to make money with e-commerce? We have prepared for you a short guide to the issues – how to get started with e-Commerce. Our guide to e-Commerce will help you organize your knowledge on how to start selling with e-Commerce, consolidate basic concepts, and introduce you to examples of popular e-Commerce trends.
Whether you already have an idea for your own online store or you’re just looking for a way to start your business, read what steps are important when setting up an online store and which ones will increase your chance of success. Read how to set up your own online shop step by step.
Is e-commerce store worth it – step by step guide
Who is the online shop for?
Ease of entry into the e-Commerce market makes it very attractive and increases the interest of entrepreneurs in this sales channel. It should be remembered that from the very beginning of running an e-business you can successfully compete with the big players. Every year thousands of new e-shops are created, however most of the newly established stores do not stay on the market for more than 2 years. Such dynamic growth does not depend only on global trends and technology dictates. The biggest driving force of this industry is the effectiveness of this type of sales. Even high competition and low margins of e-stores allow most of entrepreneurs to achieve positive financial results.
Clothing, accessories and accessories, books, records, films, multimedia and electronics are the best-selling products in online shops. Sales of products related to healthy lifestyle, as well as pet accessories, furniture and home furnishings are growing very fast. Entering into online sales in such industries is a chance to make a lot of money, but also to increase competitiveness in the market. Therefore, more and more sellers are looking for a niche for themselves. The advantage of any niche eCommerce business is that they usually don’t need a lot of capital to get started, and they can generate more profit than products sold to a mass audience.
Is it worth opening an online shop?
Taking into account the dynamic growth of the level of Poles’ expenditure on the Internet, as well as the growing fashion and trust in this form of shopping, it can be assumed that owning an Internet shop is a good idea for a business. However, it should be borne in mind that without financial outlays, profits from the shop will not appear the following month. Your own online shop is certainly a long-term venture. The transition period with smaller sales, in which you will be learning the specifics of e-Commerce and reaching out to your customers can take a year or even two years. Also keep in mind that as a result of increasing competition, a significant number of eCommerce stores are simply closing down, and those that can’t reach customers may not be profitable.
There are many reasons to open your own online store. E-commerce really gives you a lot of benefits and opportunities. Below are just a few arguments that are definitely in favor of such business:
The potential of e-Commerce
The Internet and new technologies make it possible to enter the market cheaply and to start your own online shop at a low cost thanks to e-Commerce platforms. The marginal cost of an online store depends of course on the size of the store and many factors like the cost of additional integrations and features of the store.
Easier market entry
An online shop means lower costs and fewer restrictions on entry, so it is easier to start an online business than to open a traditional stationary shop. Paradoxically, the high competition on the market makes it possible to start your own online store at a low cost. Of course, much depends on the size of the store, its software and many other factors, but just entering the market does not involve a huge expense.
Access to an unrestricted market
Unlike a stationary store, you are not limited by a specific area related to the location of your business. Of course, there are also some difficulties and limitations as you have to earn the trust of your customers and face a lot of logistical issues when trying to set up an international store.
As the number of people using the internet continues to grow rapidly, the market for online sales is growing, Online shopping is becoming more and more popular and is part of our daily lives and even access to a small percentage of internet users is a huge potential customer base for your store.
Easy access to customers
The Internet provides easy access to millions of customers. In UK alone, nearly 30 million people use the Internet and more than half of them shop online. In the following years, it can be expected that the value of online sales will grow significantly, as well as the percentage of people who will make purchases in online stores.
Access to the online store is not limited by business hours or time difference, and customers can conveniently buy or use other services without restrictions at any time.
Lower operating costs
An online store is based on lower operating costs. You do not have to bear the costs of offices, shops, a fixed number of employees. Thanks to lower operating costs and efficient logistics, you have an advantage over your competitors and can attract customers with lower prices and promotions.
Unlimited number of products
An online store can have unlimited resources, even if a particular product is out of stock. The customer can buy the product, and you have time to process the order and fill the missing products. You can also sell products on a dropshipping basis.
Low storage costs
Online store allows you to avoid high costs of renting and maintaining warehouse space. The shop can work in the model of keeping the products in stock, i.e. having a minimum number of the most popular products from the offer and ordering the products only after the customer places an order, or in the popular dropshipping or fulfilment model.
Internet and e-Commerce gives the opportunity for effective promotion, facilitates the adaptation of marketing to current needs, expectations and trends in the market.
Additional sales channel
If you already have a stationary shop, an online store can be an excellent additional channel for selling your products. Setting up an online store does not require large financial outlays like a stationary store. Online store will also not require hiring additional employees, at least in the initial stage of business.
Promoting a stationary shop
It is a good idea to create an online store as a counterpart to a stationary store. This is a good complement to the stationary store business and an opportunity to open up to the unlimited online market, as well as increase brand recognition and awareness.
Constant contact with the customer
Internet and online store shortens the distance and contact with the customer. Without leaving home, the customer has full information about your products and services. He can ask a question and count on a quick answer at any time.
Ability to track the competition
On the Internet, your competitors are not anonymous. You can observe what your competitors are doing on the internet by tracking changes in your offer on your website or by using special analytical applications. This allows you to create more advantageous offers, offer lower prices or compete in price comparison sites.
Advantages and disadvantages of an online shop
E-Commerce is an automated, universal sales platform that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Online store and online presence is today a necessary factor for companies wishing to grow. Creating an online store is not only a cheaper solution than a stationary store, and often complements it.
Modern e-Commerce is a whole range of benefits for both sellers and customers. The most important advantage for the e-entrepreneur is undoubtedly cost reduction. In contrast to traditional trade, it is not necessary to run retail outlets, hire a large number of employees or maintain large warehouses. In an online store you can keep your offer up to date and respond almost immediately to changing customer needs. Moreover, e-Commerce stores have access to an unlimited market and are not limited by the location of the company.
Of course, running an online store, you will face some difficulties and risks. As an e-entrepreneur, you have to ensure the security of your store’s data and payments, face a lot of logistical problems, and earn the trust of your customers.
Before the launch of the online shop
Before setting up an online store, you need to carefully determine the assortment you sell and the potential group of consumers at which your product, brand or service is targeted. The more interesting and unique your product is, or the richer the range of products you offer, the easier it will be to reach customers and the faster you will position your store.
Think about what is important to you, what you know and what you want to sell. Your knowledge and interests will definitely help a lot when it comes to choosing your product assortment, and will make it easier for you to serve your customers and market your store in the future.
Knowledge and intuition do not guarantee success, so it is worthwhile to get to know the competition of your future online store well. The Internet offers a lot of interesting knowledge and tools to monitor the competition and e-Commerce market. Tools such as Brand24 (a tool for monitoring brands on the Internet), Live Price (monitoring prices in comparison sites and online stores) or SimilarWeb (a tool for analysis of traffic on competitive websites and online stores) will help you.
Analyzing the market and the competition will help you better tailor your offering to the current market and customer requirements. It can also help you clarify your online store idea to make it more competitive. Remember that your store, like most online stores, starts out as a completely anonymous brand that has yet to convince customers.
Idea for an online shop
The basis for success in e-commerce is a good idea for an online store. On the Internet you can sell anything, but without an interesting idea for a shop offer it will be difficult to attract customers. A good idea for an online store is the basis of its success. On the Internet you can sell almost everything, but without an interesting idea for an offer, appearance of the store it will be difficult to attract customers and convince them to buy.
There are many factors that influence shopping needs and changing trends in the e-Commerce industry. In order to achieve sales success, you need to study these needs in advance, analyze them and create a plan according to which you will further develop our online store. Of course, you too can to a large extent as an online store owner shape the needs of your customers through various marketing activities, social media communication, Google search engine positioning of your website and other forms of multi-channel sales.
How to look for online store ideas
To get a wider presence on the e-Commerce market, you need to do some deep research and specialize your shop’s offer. Remember, there are still undeveloped niches on the Internet market. Maybe one of them is waiting for you and will help you achieve success in e-Commerce.
- Transferring a stationary shop to the Internet
- Observing the local market
- Looking for inspiration on Google
- Combining business with your passion
- Watching trends in online sales
- Advertising campaigns with influencer participation
Any business idea can turn out to be a great one, as long as your e-store stands out, for example, with a narrow, more specialized product offering, lead idea and layout compared to the competition. From our side, we suggest you consider setting up an e-store on WordPress + WooCommerce platform. Dedicated e-store gives you a lot of opportunities to grow your online business! Besides, WooCommerce has a lot of available features, customizations and an easy-to-use management system.
What to sell in an online store?
Before setting up a store, we must have our own product or product idea that you will sell. In a store you can sell products, virtual products and services. Your product must be unique or priced attractively enough to make it an interesting proposition for a potential customer. You can approach the range of your online store in two ways, selling what you know about or following trends and selling what is popular at the time.
The natural choice of products for an online store is products that you manufacture in your business. You can also sell products from the industry you know best and specialize in. The product that you have the most experience with, you will be able to advertise and offer to customers in an attractive way.
First and foremost, your own online store should be a good business idea, so the least risky thing to do will be to engage in selling products from an industry or segment that is popular or customers are eager to buy. The natural consequence of such a choice will be high competition among similar stores on the Internet.
What to sell in an online shop
- clothing store
- beauty supply store
- bookstore, e-books
- children’s shop (with children’s items, toys)
- garden furniture and equipment shop
- craft store
Remember that an online store should be affordable first and foremost, so that it is an interesting offer for a potential buyer. Most new online stores start out as completely anonymous brands that have yet to convince customers. Such an argument to purchase is the uniqueness of the product or an attractive price.
Your own online shop – how to start?
You already have an idea for a store and know what to sell. Think about where to start your e-commerce adventure. The first step, although it may seem obvious, is to develop a strategy. You need to know what and to whom you want to sell, what initial capital you have and what solutions you want to use.
At the very beginning of creating an e-Commerce business, you will have a lot of decisions to make. Wanting to create an online store you need to choose the right e-Commerce platform with ready-made solutions or design your own store from scratch. Depending on the decision will involve a cost ranging from several tens of zlotys per month for standard solutions in the cloud, to several thousand for ready-made open-sourcce solutions, or even tens of thousands for the so-called. dedicated tailor-made store.
An eCommerce platform alone is not enough to run an online store effectively. The store needs payment gateway mechanisms and an appropriate online payment operator to operate. An important element facilitating daily work is the choice and automation of the forms of delivery of goods to customers. It is not without significance to conduct activities in various places in the network, the so-called multi-channel sales, marketing activities and social media, SEO work.
Large online stores furthermore may need CRM and ERP solutions that are used to build a customer base and handle buyer relations. CRM and ERP platforms help run various marketing campaigns and have implemented analytics solutions for e-Commerce.
When creating an online store, you do not have to do everything yourself, it is worth reaching for the help of specialists. A specialized e-Commerce agency will design an interesting design and functionality of the store and elements of the visual brand identity, a UX specialist will take care of the functionality of the store. It is also worth using the help of a photographer who specialises in product and commercial photography. It is also important to optimize your shop for SEO. A copywriter will create attractive product descriptions and website content, and a lawyer will help you create proper shop regulations.
Success in e-Commerce
What can you do to succeed in eCommerce and increase monthly sales for your online store? Depending on the industry, every entrepreneur will have a different answer to this question. However, there are many constant elements that affect the growth of sales and customer satisfaction with their purchases. If you want to find out what solutions are worth implementing to grow your online business, check out our article.
In UK every year more and more people decide to set up their own online store. Indeed, it is very easy to enter the e-Commerce market, but much more difficult to consolidate its position on it and achieve higher and higher sales goals. The problem usually does not lie in a poorly selected offer, because more or less competition is in every industry and in each you can find a niche or target group of customers, but in the proper design of the store. The most popular e-Commerce categories include online shops for clothing, cosmetics, sports equipment, household goods, furniture, accessories and toys for children, bookstores, groceries and fruit and vegetable delivery shops.
However, what should be done so that the online store is not lost in the background of strong competition and its visibility is better and better, and it generates more and more traffic? The key is to look at your online business from the beginning not as a stationary store, which attracts only the offer and prices, but more broadly, as a flexible, constantly evolving shop platform tailored to individual customer shopping needs. Your online store will be successful when you make changes on many levels, improving the quality of sales and service, its design and functionality. So if you’re looking to attract more customers, read our guide to the various aspects of brand communication and running an eCommerce business.
Monitoring shop performance
When you’re running an online store, you need to keep track of which products are selling best, where customers are coming from, what actions they’re taking on the site, and what they’re looking for on your site. Analyze the statistics and learn to understand them.
By regularly tracking your customers’ behaviours, you will learn about their needs and be able to respond to them effectively. The simplest example of gathering knowledge about your customers based on their purchase history as well as the items they browse is recommendation systems.
An indispensable web analytics tool for e-commerce is Google Analytics with a powerful module for e-commerce. It will give you access to sales data, both on a site-wide level and for individual products. You can go a step further and integrate your Analytics account with your email marketing system and track the behaviour of your mailing recipients, increasing the effectiveness of this channel.
Increase store traffic
Online store without generating customer traffic will not bring benefits in the form of increased sales of the offered products. Continuous increase in shop traffic is a basic condition for a profitable online business. In the past, to attract customers to your stationary store you had to invest in large-scale advertising. However, marketing activities in the e-Commerce industry are governed by different laws. You will find your target group primarily on the Internet.
In order to attract leads, i.e. people who are potentially interested in buying your products, you need to build engagement through various communication channels. Paid PPC (Pay Per Click) ads, which you can set up in Google Ads, can be a useful solution. It allows you to reach searchers through Google’s search engine and run a campaign with a prominent advertising message above the organic search results associated with your keyword.
To bring traffic to your online store, you can set up Search text ads in Google Ads, consisting of headlines, product description and the category they belong to. To build it, you can use both simple and complex keyword phrases that are more specific to the features of your product or the scope of your offer, making it more relevant to individual customer needs.
Google Ads gives you the opportunity to create a display ad, which is a combination of graphics and advertising slogan and brand logo, in a coherent aesthetic whole, with great marketing potential. The third type of paid advertising in Google Ads is remarketing, which is a reminder addressed to the customer that he or she has already been on your online store’s website, had contact with the brand, left the page and is generated to interact with it. This is because they have not taken any action so far. Remarketing is the most flexible form of advertising. In the case of traffic generation, acquiring contact information from customers through Google Ads, the budget of the campaign should be determined. The price of key phrases used in the description depends on its popularity and its sales potential. However, this system is one of the easiest and most effective ways to bring customers to your online store, provided your message fits what they need and their expectations.
Another way to get traffic is to run social media advertising campaigns – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. By choosing a previously published post that has generated a lot of response, you can use it to promote your brand and increase awareness. The post should be of substantive value and prompt through a question, an offer, a free e-book giveaway, additional content, to take action and click through which will take them to your store’s homepage. Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Twitter Ads allow you to diversify the form of advertising and target a specific audience that may be interested in your product.
The basic prerequisite for increasing the level of sales is effective communication with users that leads to traffic generation. Communication can be improved through actions on the website itself, positioning it for related key phrases in Google, adding valuable marketing content, diversifying its format, which will certainly pay off in the long run in the form of improved visibility. Another way is to generate inorganic traffic in the form of PPC ad creation systems and tools, but you need to have a budget planned for this.
Increase store sales
If you run an online store or intend to set one up, sooner or later you will have to develop a plan to sell the products or services you offer. At the beginning of creating a strategy, you should, of course, know what you want to sell and examine whether there is a target group of customers for your offer.
Ideally, you want to attract a group of customers whose interest in your product or service doesn’t end with browsing your website or e-commerce site, but has a direct impact on sales and sales growth. Improving sales results means constantly looking for new ways to reach other types of customers who do not fit into your target group. You can only broaden the scope of the group if you incorporate individual preferences and behaviors during the buying process into your marketing strategy.
Among them we can distinguish different types of customers. Customer hunting for promotions, for which the motivation to make purchases is a promotion for a particular product or receiving a discount. He pays attention to the price of the product and compares it in different stores, of course choosing the one that offers the lowest price. A customer-guest who wants to avoid registering an account and providing his/her data, so you have to make this shopping option possible. Decisive customer who knows what he wants to buy in the store.
These are just a few examples of types taking into account the most characteristic features. For each of them you need to choose a sales method and analyze to what extent your website meets their expectations, what can be modified in the very operation of the site and improved in communication.
Increasing sales is a process that requires you to constantly keep up with the trends in the eCommerce industry. In our article, we have discussed only the main methods and solutions that, if implemented, can help you grow your online store and make it more profitable. Before using these marketing tools, try to analyze your business situation and determine which of them would benefit you the most. Keep in mind, however, that just making changes to your website without communicating about it to the outside world will not get you traffic. The most important thing is to develop a marketing strategy that outlines your goals and how you want to achieve them. Make changes and measure your sales results with useful tools for measuring statistics.
How much does an online store earn?
If you already know that setting up an online store pays off you’re probably curious about how much money you can make running and selling an online store. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to say unequivocally on such a general question, because the e-Commerce industry is not uniform. Everything depends on many different factors: what you want to sell, with what margin, what form of sale you decide on, own shop, dropshipping, etc.
The ease of entering the e-Commerce market and opening an online store makes it very attractive and increases interest in this sales channel. It should be remembered that from the very beginning of running a shop you can successfully compete with the big players. Thousands of new e-shops are created every year, however the majority of newly established e-shops do not stay on the market for more than 2 years.
Clothing, accessories and accessories, books, CDs, films, multimedia and electronics are the best-selling products in online shops. Sales of products related to healthy lifestyle, as well as pet accessories, furniture and home furnishings are growing very fast. Entering into online sales in such industries is a chance to earn a lot of money, but also to increase competitiveness in the market.
The profit for an online store, and in fact its size depends on many factors like the amount of margin and the costs of the store. At the beginning of the shop’s activity it is rather difficult to generate significant profits if you do not have a large budget for advertising campaigns.
However, you can assume that your online store should start earning money within 6 months of starting. This rule of thumb applies to most businesses. Therefore, when creating an online store, you should have a budget for at least the first six months of your store’s operation.
I hope we have convinced you that owning and running an online store pays off. Having your own online store is not only a challenge, it’s also a good idea to increase your income or even a full-time job.