We show how to get to your own online store in 6 steps. The steps are easy to understand for everyone, pragmatic and also quick to implement. Good luck with your first webshop!
How do I set up an online store? This question is asked by many COVID-19-stricken companies, but also SMEs. But thanks to great tools and simple integrations, it is nowadays quickly and easily possible to set up a functioning online store in just a few hours or days.
Here we show simple steps to get your own webshop up and running as quickly and smoothly as possible.
1. Define assortment – Start small but plan
If an online store is to be set up quickly, then it is recommended to define the assortment precisely. It will take a lot of effort to maintain, enter and manage the products. If it is to go quickly, then it is recommended to analyze the best-selling products (for example, from experience or from the analysis of previous sales figures) and to install them first.
Important points/questions to consider:
- Are the products easily shippable or transportable?
- Are there products that are usually bought together? (e.g. flour and yeast)
- Is it possible to create “packages” and possibly take several products together? (For example, also with recipe, with instructions, with ideas, etc.)
- Do the products have special requirements for storage and transport? (Fragile, Refrigerated/Frozen, can leak etc.).
It’s easy otherwise to just start small and then get feedback from customers with a chat on the website, for example. Another advantage of a small assortment is that you can build the warehouse smaller and more efficient and it comes to little administrative work.
Especially important is this pre-selection of items to see what kind of webshop and also what features are important. So you can quickly see what requirements are important and accordingly put together the rest.
IMPORTANT: If you plan to sell a larger range of products online, then the choice of the platform on which you set up your webshop is especially important. If you have a lot of products, then it is worth taking a look at the larger store systems such as WooCommerce, Shopify, etc. (see next section). (see next section)
2. Select e-commerce platform – The software for the online store
Of course, it’s important to have a platform for your customers to store online. Fortunately, nowadays there are simple solutions which usually already have many automated integrations and make it a breeze to set up an online store.
A selection of good systems for smaller webshops (order random)
If you are planning a larger online store then there are the following options, some of which offer significantly more features, allow more personalization but also require correspondingly more resources (costs, programming resources, etc.)
3. Buy / integrate domain
If you already have a domain for your company, then you can use it. If the store is hosted separately or is hosted directly by one of the upper providers, then it is recommended to build a sub-domain structure. To do this, a DNS record must be set at the administrator of the domain (Best you search at your domain hosting provider in the FAQs).
Examples for subdomains are as follows
If you don’t have any domains yet or if you have your own domain for the web store, there are several providers where you can buy domains:
4. Set up payment – payment gateways
If you also want to settle accounts with your webshop and not just do everything on account, you should also think about the so-called payment service providers. Many of the above mentioned webshop solutions have already integrated payment services. If you want to make it fast and uncomplicated you should fall back on them or also use PayPal. The integration of PayPal (PayPal for Sales)is for many the easiest as a first step, should no other solution be integrated.
Otherwise, there are also their own independent payment gateways. Often, these also offer house banks or specialized banks. Here is another selection of providers in addition to PayPal:
5. Design and appearance of the online store
While it may need to be fast, you shouldn’t sacrifice design of the webshop. At least have nice high resolution logos, use nice images (Here to: free images that you can use freely) and also try to make relatively good pictures of your products.
Design website – tips for quick design
If you do not have a big budget for agency and it should also go quickly, then you should pay attention to beautiful colors. Use so-called complementary colors, which improve the appearance and are beautiful to the eye.
Websites can be refreshed with beautiful pictures. You can use professional images. It is important to pay attention to the right licenses. CC0 images are best suited and can be used commercially but also privately and can also be changed.
Product images – tips for simple and beautiful images
If it has to go fast, then a cell phone is enough. Get at least a small tripod for the phone and also 2-3 lamps for proper illumination. You should also take a nice background (or a neutral one like a white sheet, wooden table etc.).
In addition, you should possibly work with small elements, should it fit your product. Some decor or matching scenery gives the whole a professional appearance.
Logo – A brand is important!
If you don’t have a nice logo yet, you should make a small investment and design one. There are free/cheap options to order new logos. If you do not have an agency and budget, then there are the following services that can make a beautiful logo for little money.
6. Marketing – Find first customers
If you have an online store, of course you have to be found. It is unrealistic to think that you can even get to the good positions on Google at the very beginning. So a good marketing mix is recommended, which can be made quickly from the following elements
Of course, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. are great for reaching potential customers. But if you create the company accounts first, then they do not have any reach yet. Here you can use your own account especially in the beginning. You can ask friends and family if they also share the content in groups or even on their feeds. This way, you can reach a relatively large number of first-time customers without spending any money.
The good old flyer has not become obsolete nowadays. It’s a bit of work, but it can pay off quickly. With tools like Canva you can quickly create simple flyers and order them for little money from online printers. The best thing to do is to take your time and deliver these flyers to your neighborhood, give it to some friends for their friends or ask some friends to help you distribute them.
With 1000 flyers for 40 euros and 1-2 days of effort, you can already get the first attention and hopefully make the first sales.
Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Instagram Ads (Via Facebook Ads Manager) are inexpensive ways to quickly find customers. It is important not to spend too much money. Start with small budgets, define clear target groups (not simply “Everyone” & “Everywhere” – that costs a lot and brings little) and try it with several campaigns. Generally Facebook, Google etc. still offer good help for setting up the ads and so you can start easily.
Some tips for better advertising with AdWords, Facebook Ads etc.
- Define your target groups precisely – It’s better to focus on smaller target groups. Analyze which customers normally come to you or who you want to address with the offer most likely. Maybe there are complementary interests and sites (e.g. a clothing store for streetwear could target people interested in skateboarding).
- Set up different audiences – Make different images or offers for each audience. With Canva.com you can easily create and customize graphics for free
- Smaller regions – Sets the target regions rather precisely. Total Switzerland/Germany etc. are usually too large and that costs a lot due to the so-called scattering losses.
- Small budgets – Set small budgets in the beginning and watch what happens. If a campaign goes really well, then you can always expand the target group and invest more.
- Measure results – It is also important to keep an eye on the results of the campaigns. For which words do you not want to be searched? (e.g. exclude “free”, “gratis”, “kostenlos” from the keywords) – Are there terms or regions that are performing particularly well? The better you understand how your campaigns are performing, the better you can control them.
Conclusion to the own webshop
As you can see, it is possible to build a professional online store with only a few days of effort and only a few resources. It is important at the beginning not to do too much at once, to focus and also to start as simple as possible. So that you come fast to a success, it means however also to show personal commitment, to make much with marketing and a successful Webshop nothing stands more in the way.
Now we hope that you have already taken the first steps towards your online store and wish you every success in setting up your webshop presence on the Internet!