Over the years, I have dozens of online stores behind me. In this article, you will get a squeeze of the experience of a real project executor.
Setting up an online store is a highly commercialized and complex topic. There are tons of water-filled materials on the Internet on this subject. There is very little really useful information. There will be something different here.
Over the years, I have dozens of online stores behind me. Some I did from start to finish, others I corrected and refined, on many I work constantly. Among other things, sometimes I manage to reduce words into normal sentences =).
In this article, you will not receive amorphous advice from a copywriter, but a squeeze of the experience of a real project executor. I hope that for many it will be useful and provide information for thought.
The tips described below will be relevant both for those who are just going to open an online store and for those who have already done so.
The article will be divided into three large blocks:
The strategic part is everything that you must know and understand before deciding to open an online store.
The technical part is everything that needs to be implemented during the development process in order to get the most out of the online store.
The organizational part is all that you will definitely have to do constantly after the creation and launch of the store
Each point will have a block " Personal experience "- it will contain stories from my real practice. I hope this helps you learn from other people's mistakes without making your own.
In this block, I have collected answers to questions that are likely to come to your mind at the stage of the idea of opening an online store. Knowing the answers to them in advance, you will not make big mistakes at the start.
1. Make sure you actually do it
It sounds, at first glance, trite, but it is VERY important. " Will I have enough time and patience to deal with an online store ? " - this is the most important question that you must honestly answer to yourself before starting any further actions.
There will be many more points below. Read them carefully, try to digest at least partially. If you feel that all this is too long and difficult for you, then maybe you shouldn't even start.
Do not expect to be able to completely delegate the work with the online store to hired employees. Yes, this can and should be done, but only partially. In any case, you have to figure out how the store works and what actually happens in it yourself. Otherwise, with a high degree of probability, you will be wasting money.
I have worked with a large number of online store owners. Basically, it was a small business, so I will not talk about medium and large here.
All people are unique, but in general, customers can be divided into two groups:
- Group 1 - people who need a store to be. Motivation: "Others have it and we also need it, let it be." You feel relaxed, unwillingness to understand something new for yourself (and you will have to understand - this is 100%). They delay the interaction, transfer information reluctantly, sometimes they ask me to prepare information for them.
- Group 2 - extremely interested people. They say about such people: "the eyes are burning." They are trying to figure out all the subtleties in as much detail as possible. Always make contact. They understand that they need it first of all themselves. They always listen carefully to the explanations why it is necessary this way and not otherwise. Ask questions. They work hard and hard.
In my experience, only people from the second group end up with a successful online store that really makes a profit. This is achieved by their constant hard work and striving for development.
If you feel "Not mine", drop it. There will be a lot of performers who will tell you about the mountains of gold that the online store will bring to your business. In reality, you will end up with a site that may be beautiful, well executed, but useless. It's like buying an expensive bike, which you ride 2 times and now it is gathering dust on the balcony.
2. Make sure your business really works or will definitely work
The second most important tip is that before you open an online store, try to take a sober view of the business that it will serve.
Online shopping is quite expensive. Investing such an amount at a stage when you are not sure that you will be able to receive profit from the business at all is a very big gamble.
If you are just starting your own business, funds are extremely limited and there is no confidence in the success of the project, try simpler and more inexpensive implementation channels for a start:
- Direct sales
- Social networks
- Landing site and contextual advertising
Opening your own online store is worth it if:
- Your offline sales are good
- You see good demand from buyers
- You have an established business, you are looking for additional sales channels
- Do you know that there are competitors in your topic that have successfully there are sales through online stores (it is assumed that you reliably know that competitors' stores bring them profit, not losses. This is extremely important, because there are often cases when offline sales cover the losses of an online store)
The most successful were online stores, which were created to support an already existing offline business. At the same time, depending on the type of customer from clause 1, the store becomes either just a part of the business and rare orders went through it, or it was constantly being worked on and it gave more than 50% of the total number of orders.
3. You can't build a good online store yourself
At this point, one can argue, but all my experience says that this is an axiom. If you trust me, then just accept it as inevitable.
You can try to create an online store yourself. The easiest way to do this is to use one of the ready-made assemblies. They will be discussed below. But if you are not a programmer, or at least do not understand HTML and CSS, then any independent improvements will result in endless problems and difficulties.
If you have a business, then it is better to do it, and entrust the development of an online store to specialists.
Yes, it's expensive. Yes, you can run into hack. But this happens in any business. Find your person or company and work with them on an ongoing basis. In the matter of creating an online store, this will give a much greater effect than self-activity.
If all my customers are divided into those who started to build the store themselves and those who came for turnkey development, we get about 50-50.
On homemade stores it was almost always painful to watch. Sometimes working with them is even more difficult than creating a store from scratch. In such stores, there are many initially incorrect decisions that are difficult to correct when the store is already operational. For example, it may be the wrong structure of product categories. Because of it, it becomes impossible to expand the functionality by adding filtering by parameters to it, since some of these parameters are already categories.
When the online store turnkey developed , then you can immediately find out all the wishes of the customer, give him advice "how to do it right", discuss. In addition, customers usually order a unique design. The result is almost always a cut higher than a homemade product. Supporting and expanding the functionality of such a site does not cause a headache.
There is a third option, which stands alone. Some poor customer customers come with sites made by using assemblies negligent performers, and sold by them as a unique development.
It works like this. The contractor calls the customer an amount of 100-200t.r. After that, he himself buys a ready-made store assembly for 5-10 tons, changes the logo and contact information in it, fills it with test goods, and hands it over as a finished product. Good business…
Unfortunately, this happens all the time. A lot of people come to me with the same build, slightly embellished. I have already learned to recognize it almost at first sight. If you ask how much they paid for this job, sometimes the hair stands on end.
If you decide to order the creation of a turnkey online store, there is an easy way protect yourself from such deception. Order a unique design ... If it is truly unique, you will see prototypes first, then the design and its sources. And already for this unique design, order a website. You will be surprised how many brave performers will immediately sink into oblivion.
4. A good online store cannot be cheap or free.
Another thing that many customers do not understand or do not want to understand. A good online store cannot be cheap or free.
If you are offered an online store for an amount, less than 60t.r. (in cases of wide functionality less than 100 tons), there is a reason to be seriously wary. Let me explain why.
Let's turn to simple math. If you go to a job search site and look at the average salaries of programmers and designers, you are unlikely to see a figure less than 60t.r./month. When contacting the web studio, the following will work on your order:
- Manager (consultations, project management)
- Designer (unique design)
- Front-end developer (implementation of the design in the layout of the site)
- Backend developer (not always, but often in the case of complex non-standard functionality)
Those. at least 3 people. Suppose their average salary in the studio - 60t.r./month ... The timing of the development of an online store with a unique design will probably tell you 1-2 months ... Suppose there is only one person working on a project at a time.
Even with a time frame of 1 month, it will turn out 60t.r. + taxes, payments + rent of premises, office equipment, etc. + studio profit + studio taxes on this profit ... There will be many more "pluses", but so far we will consider only such. If you have your own business, then you can roughly estimate what the minimum cost of developing an online store should be for a given wage and time frame.
And what then is offered for 40t.r. and less? All the same assemblies or template solutions. There are no miracles. If you are over 40t.r. offer a turnkey online store with a unique design, then 99% chance that you are being deceived in some way.
During his work, he has repeatedly confirmed for himself the rule that the quality of an online store directly depends on the cost of its creation.
Unfortunately, this only works one way. To paraphrase:
You can get a quality store with a unique design only for a lot of money. But at the same time, you can also spend a lot of money and get a cheap template analogue or a ready-made assembly.
How to insure against deception? No way. You need to very scrupulously choose the artist. I would advise you to do the same as one of my customers (with whom, by the way, we are still working). When he first contacted me, he offered a relatively small job on an existing site. When he was convinced that my qualifications were sufficient for his tasks, and the collaboration was going well, he proposed a large order to redesign the entire site, which was 10-20 times larger than the original work. I believe that this man acted very wisely. I advise you to do the same.
5. Writing an online store from scratch is a very bad idea for a small business.
Another important question for an entrepreneur planning to open an online store is choice of technologies and ways to create it.
Of course, I would like not to get involved in this issue at all and entrust the choice to the performer. But this, again, is fraught with large overpayments for the result, which can be obtained much cheaper.
Today there are such options for creating an online store:
Option 1. The store is written completely from scratch in one of the popular languages (usually using a framework) .
This is the most expensive option. Usually very expensive or of poor quality. It is most often suitable for medium and large businesses, but not for small ones. Creating a web application from scratch will automatically mean the need for a very high qualification of the performer (with the same high salary), as well as the need to pay for testing the final result out of pocket.
You may disagree, but I am convinced that in this option the cost of a professional online store, made from scratch and tested well enough, cannot be less than 1 million rubles. When I see how many developers are working on online store engines (we will talk about them later) and how much time is spent on this work, there is no doubt.
But with all the shortcomings, the first option has one significant advantage - with sufficient qualifications of the performers, you will get the best possible results. I have seen examples of such stores - they are very fast, the most convenient, have the cleanest code, are ready for a heavy load, and do not contain anything superfluous. In one word "Sweetie".
But quality comes at a price. Pay a lot. And not just once. Not only may you be unpleasantly surprised by the figures from the initial contract for the development of an online store from scratch, you will also be constantly "pleased" by new and new large accounts for its support and expansion of functionality. That is why I say that this option is not for a small business, but rather for those who can pay a couple of extra million, no more difficult than a couple of extra thousand.
Option 2. The store is written using a content management system ( CMS ) and the finished component of the store for it.
This option is, in my opinion, optimal from the point of view of cost / quality + development opportunities. It will suit most small businesses, some medium businesses, and even some large ones.
The developer takes a ready-made website engine, installs a well-known and developed component of an online store, and then modifies it to fit your needs.
This approach significantly saves labor costs and reduces costs. Why is this happening? All typical functionality like managing articles, categories, products, etc. has already been implemented and tested by the community that supports this engine / component.
All the contractor needs to do is to customize the existing functionality for the customer's tasks, create and configure a unique template (if there is a unique design), modify the missing functionality for the customer's tasks.
These may seem like simple tasks, but even they are time consuming and highly skilled. What can we say about option 1.
Below we will discuss the most well-known options for engines for sites and components of online stores.
Option 3. The store is created using a service using a constructor.
This option is the fastest and cheapest. At first sight. There are services that provide a constructor for little money, and take on the main complex part. Most famous: WIX , Shopify.
Having paid, conditionally, 1-2 tr / month, you get the most simple interface of the "Questionnaire" format, through which, step by step, you are guided to create your store.
Initially, this seems like a great idea. And it would be so, if not for a huge minus, which covers all the pluses. You are limited in creating non-standard additional functionality.
Today, online commerce is often highly competitive. More and more online stores are fighting for a place in the sun. And the main competitive advantage today is the services that you can offer to your customers, but your competitors cannot. This is a large and extensive topic, and when using online services, it is hacked at the root. Nobody will give you full access to the source codes of the store there.
Summarizing. If you have a poor understanding of the difference between options 1, 2 and 3, then I will try to explain it with an example from real life. Suppose you are building a house (creating an online store). Bricks are needed for construction. In this case:
- Option 1 - you have created a factory for the production of bricks of the highest quality and unusual shape. We spent a lot of money on it. Since only the best bricklayers know how to work with bricks of an unusual shape, you have hired the best. We spent a lot of money on it. A masterpiece has been created for you. Or ... Bricklayers only pretended to be the best and made bullshit out of your expensive brick. Or ... At the factory, during the production of bricks, they also cheated, and in terms of quality it turned out to be very poor.
- Option 2 - you ordered the most common brick in the nearest construction market. They hired average workers. We got a good house. Certainly not a brick palace of an unusual shape, but almost everyone around them lives in such houses.
- Option 3 - you have leased land for a house. Then they rented bricks of high quality and exceptional beauty. They wanted to build a house with their own twist, but it turned out that only houses can be built from this brick according to the strictly specified rules of the brick manufacturer. It also turned out that the house is not yours, but you can simply use it as long as you pay the rent.
These are the options. Hope you now understand why almost everyone chooses second .
I always use and work only with option 2.With the first, it is better to turn to a large IT -company, with the third - to do everything yourself.
Using option 2 is absolutely normal practice today. I think about 90% of online stores use it.
6. How to choose an engine for an online store
If you stop on option 2 from the last paragraph - the store is written using a content management system (CMS) and a ready-made store component for it - the next question that you will have is: “ Which engine is better to choose for creating an online store ".
Do not try to find the answer to this question on the Internet. This is an absolutely useless exercise. There are a lot of CMS and components of online stores today. Each advisor will advise those with whom he worked, which he himself knows best. Everyone will criticize those with whom they could not figure it out or did not work at all.
Below are the most popular CMS and ecommerce components that you could use:
There are many other options as well.
Which option should you choose? This is a question from the series "What brand of car is better to buy?" - there is no single correct option. But I will tell you some of the features that I hope will help you decide.
In all the variety of choice of engines for an online store, three groups can be distinguished :
- Group 1 – free CMS open source ... The engine will be completely free for you. Both the first installation and all subsequent updates. The license guarantees that this will not change in the future. You will have to pay only for setting up, designing, and finalizing the functionality (if you suddenly need it). Representatives from the list above: Joomla , WordPress , Drupal .
- Group 2 – commercial CMS partially closed source ... You will have to buy the engine and also buy updates annually. For this money, you usually get wider functionality out of the box, as well as technical support from the manufacturer (which is usually of little use). Representatives from the list above: CMS Bitrix
- Group 3 – Online store engines that are not installed in CMS , but they work by themselves ... If the first group requires a CMS and a component of an online store to work, then here CMS is a component of an online store. Representatives from the list above: OpenCart
All engines can be roughly divided into such groups. Let's talk about each group separately.
Group 3 I do not recommend. The fact is that using this option, you will limit the inexpensive opportunities for the development of your online store in the future. Such engines are tailored specifically for e-commerce, but not for other related things, such as a blog, forum, etc. If you take a CMS from group 1, then, if necessary, you can very easily and inexpensively expand the functionality of the site with another component, for example, add a section of useful articles. In the case of group 3, it will be much more difficult for you to do this. Hiring a programmer is often required.
Group 2 , I would advise to consider it as a single CMS (at least while you are doing your business in Russia) - Bitrix ... An extremely popular option in the vastness of the Russian Federation. There are many ready-made integrations. The prices for everything are quite substantial. The main disadvantage is the cost of the license and annual renewal. Today, the license of the online store edition costs at least 35 900 rub ... It has limited functionality. For the extended one, you will have to pay 2 or more times more. So that you understand - this is not the cost of a ready-made online store, but the cost of what you get in group 1 for free!
Group 1 I would advise considering any small or starting business. I understand that when you hear "free", you immediately feel the catch. There is no catch here. The result will not be free for you, because you still have to pay a developer who will make a full-fledged online store out of this blank for your needs. But here you, at least, will not buy a very expensive license to use. There are also practically no restrictions on CMS from group 3. No one will come to you to sue for using one of these engines without payment.
The main limitation in group 1 is that you cannot present these products as your own. Those. you cannot replace the copyrights in the CMS source code and say that this is your CMS. To develop a site on it and call it your own - please. Develop a website on it and sell it as your own - please. You can say that you made the site, but you cannot say that the CMS Joomla, with which you made the site, is also your development.
In plain language: you were given a hammer for free with unlimited use. You built a house for them. The house is your creation, which no one claims to be. The hammer is not your creation - do not tell everyone that you invented and made it. This is the limitation. Although it is relevant for each group .
So which engine should you choose? Don't bother too much about it. Take any of the second or third group, depending on your financial capabilities. Each of them (at least from the list above) will allow you to create an online store. Personally, I usually use the Joomla + Virtuemart variant, but work fine with others when needed.
I will write here a little more detail about the differences between 2 and 3 options, namely the difference Bitrix ’A from Joomla , Wordpress , Drupal and other free CMS allowing you to create an online store.
Bitrix has very good marketing in Russia. They are good at selling their product. About code quality Bitrix do not respond too flatteringly, although this is true for others CMS .
Do not read reviews about the quality of the code of one or another CMS ... It will do you little good. An online store is a tool that should generate sales. None of the buyers do not care what he has under the hood. If it works fast enough and is optimized for search engines, then there will be no problems with 10 thousand visitors per day.
If your traffic is higher and your store can no longer cope with the load, the quality of the code will have a higher value. But in this case, your revenue should already be such that you can afford to write a store from scratch. This one will be completely optimized for your tasks and will withstand the load much higher.
In 95% of cases, standard solutions will be more than enough.
Back to Bitrix ... "If it's so expensive, why is it so popular?" - you ask. Indeed, about half of online stores in Runet operate on Bitrix ... The answer is simple: M is marketing. The development company pays partner web studios up to half of the license cost in the form of partner royalties. If the web studio says that for the store you need to use exactly Bitrix and the rest CMS substandard / vulnerable / poor - remember that the studio has a specific commercial interest in getting you to buy a license for Bitrix ... In fact, you will pay for this marketing out of your pocket.
But there is also another side of the coin. If you are an organization for which:
- 70-100 tr. buying a license is not money
- В IT -the department no one wants to take the risks of using the free CMS (you have no idea how common this is)
- You need someone to whom you can "turn the arrows" in front of the authorities, if suddenly "everything suddenly breaks down"
- You need security and compliance certificates for the site from some regulatory organizations of the Russian Federation
- The site will be operated by people for whom an unfamiliar interface is a real nightmare (humanities, people of pre-retirement age, accountants)
then you should definitely look away Bitrix .
If 50 tr. money for you. You are ready to understand something a little more and do not want to feed marketers - free CMS from the list will be a good choice for you.
7. Template or unique design. What is the difference? What's better?
An online store, like any other type of site, consists of both a technical and a visual component. At the same time, the visual component is often just as important as the technical one.
I think every business owner wants his site to stand out from the general mass - be recognizable by people, sink into memory. How can this be achieved? With a unique design.
Unique design an online store is made by a designer specifically for your business. At the same time, all its features are taken into account, and as a result, you will see in the pictures how the site will look like even before they start building it.
The other side of the coin is template design ... This means that your store will use, albeit a beautiful, but template that has already been developed earlier and which will not only be on your site. Template design assumes that you pay less, but you agree that the design will be standard.
The difference between a unique design and a template design is like buying a dress from a chain store or tailoring to order from someone else's sketches. When you buy a dress in a store, you pay less, but you can meet a person in the same dress at any time (although you may not). When ordering a unique tailoring, you can rest assured that only you will have such a dress. No, you can't. But still, the chances of meeting a copy are much less. And for this copy it will be possible to present something to someone.
Of course, a unique design will always be better, but the cost of creating an online store will also be higher. Choose based on your financial capabilities.
In all my practice, I have not had a single case when a template design would be better than a unique one. The stereotyped one, in the end, always turns out worse. Just believe it.
On this score, I have such a thought. When you look at the template upon purchase, you see the final product drawn by the designer. But this is just a template. You will have a different logo, a different category structure - a lot will be different. When all these changes are made to the template without the participation of the designer, it gets worse and worse. A programmer is not a designer. When asked: "put my logo on" - he can accomplish this task technically, but not creatively. He will not think about color combinations, about shadows, about effects. And because of this, all that design magic that bribed you in the process of choosing a template is lost.
In general, if you want a really high-quality result, do not skimp on a unique design.
8. Is it worth using ready-made assemblies to launch an online store?
The next important question to consider concerns online store builds.
Assembling an online store - ready-to-launch online store with presets.
How does an assembly differ from an online store component?
Component you need to install it in the CMS, make all the settings, add categories, payment methods, different pages. It all takes time and effort. In assembly all this has already been done. In other words, by deploying the assembly, you will get exactly what you saw in the demo version of the assembly, i.e. working online store.
Usually assembly costs 5-10 times cheaper than developing an online store from scratch ... This is perhaps the most budget-friendly way to launch a full-fledged online store.
So here: is it worth using ready-made assemblies to launch an online store? My answer is: “ It is possible, but shortsighted ". Let's figure out the pitfalls of this solution.
The main pitfall lies in the marketing component of the assemblies. A complete online store always consists of many interconnected and customizable elements. It:
- Filter by parameters
- Payment and shipping plugins
- Export Import
- and etc.
Manufacturing and selling finished assemblies is a business. There is always competition in business. The one who offers the best opportunities will sell. Expansion is achieved by increasing the number of customizable items.
In simple terms, the authors of the assemblies stuff their creations with the maximum number of extensions, including paid ones, many of which you will never use.
Why is that bad? The fact is that opening an online store is just the tip of the iceberg. You then work with him, improve, update. When you use an assembly that includes dozens of extensions, half of which are also paid, store support becomes a nightmare. Don't think that you can delete everything unnecessary. Hardly. Something might unexpectedly break when removed. Yes, and you will not do this - 100%.
The second problem with assemblies is updates. The site engine can be updated. He is ready for this. The store component and other related extensions can also be updated. But the update of the assembly is an update, including the site template. You will correct the template at least a little for yourself. Almost everyone does it. Updating the assembly will update the template as well. All your corrections will be lost. This is called a hack. Learn more about what hacks are and why they are bad.
Summarizing the above. If you have every penny on your account, and an online store is desperately needed, then assembly is your only way out. Still, it's better to think ten times before using assemblies.
A lot of people come to me for improvements with online stores built on assemblies. Working with projects like this is always, to some extent, a pain.
From the outside, such online stores look decent. Still, the owners are trying to neatly tweak the look for themselves. But all these stores look the same. My eye is already trained and from the first seconds it determines the assembly on the site. Of course, it happens that I am wrong, but rarely.
So, outwardly, sites usually look decent. It can be seen that the owners put time and effort into them. But as soon as you go to the admin panel, the nightmare begins. Usually, you immediately see 10+ not updated extensions, a lot of all sorts of third-party components, modules и plugins .
And if with updates it is possible to fix everything without any shocks, then the initially incorrectly constructed directory structure is corrected for a very long time and painfully. The site has been around for a while. Categories and products are indexed by search engines, are present in the search and bring visitors. But further development of the online store requires changes in the structure. This means that the URLs of category and product pages will also change, old pages will drop out of the index, and new ones will take time to index (even taking into account correctly configured redirects).
Owners do not always agree to such sacrifices - they are afraid of a decline in sales.
9. Is it worth buying a ready-made online store?
There are also some non-standard solutions. For example, like buying a ready-made online store. How is this different from using an assembly? The fact that you buy a ready-made business that has already launched an online store or an online store close to the subject of your business.
If you got the store along with the business - then, as they say, they don't look a gift horse in the mouth - take what you have and think about what to do next. You have no choice.
If you have a choice (you want to buy a ready-made and operating online store separately), then this can be done, but there will be 10 times more pitfalls than this article.
The likelihood that you will be deceived in something is extremely high. If you do not understand all the intricacies of an online store, and you will have to pay the same amount of money for it as for a new one or more, then you should think very carefully and evaluate everything before making such a deal. You yourself, most likely, will not be able to make a reliable estimate. It is better to pay a small amount and turn to professionals who can evaluate both the technical and marketing components before purchasing. This is very important because otherwise a lot of money could be wasted. Do not forget about the proverb: "No one will sell the goose that lays the golden egg."
In general, I rarely come across reselling online stores. There were several cases when people came with purchased online stores. It was also a couple of times that the online stores that I worked on were reselling.
Nothing good has ever come out of this, although I can't remember especially bad. Buying a ready-made online store is akin to buying a house. You can either buy a house, which, however, can be fraught with hidden problems, or you can build a house from scratch, which will be longer and more difficult, but you will know all its features. Choose what is closer to you.
In this part I will talk about many non-obvious technical features that you should understand before doing it yourself or ordering the development of an online store.
Please do not ignore this section under the pretext: "the technical part is the task of the programmers." Everything described here is important specifically for the business owner.
10. What you definitely need to think about BEFORE you start developing an online store
The entire technical section has been compiled in order to help you answer the only question: “What must you think about BEFORE you start developing an online store?”.
In this area, as in any other, it is very important to follow the rule: "Measure seven times, cut once." If you neglect it, you may end up with costly fixes in the future.
You need to understand that every business is unique to some extent. You cannot create a one-stop online store that suits absolutely everyone. There will always be specific features of your business that are irrelevant for others. Below we will discuss the main ones.
10.1. Category structure
Before creating an online store, you definitely need to think over product catalog structure .
You must understand that:
- It is very important
- If you do it yourself, you will most likely do it wrong.
I understand that the second point seems controversial - who knows the catalog of goods that he sells better than the business owner? I'll try to explain.
Let's take an example.
Let's say you are selling a watch. Anyone. Wrist, floor, table, wall. Watches can be: men's, women's, from different materials, with different types of glass, with different mechanisms, different colors, different manufacturers, with different straps, different degrees of water resistance, in different designs and with a huge number of different functions. How would you structure the categories of such a directory? Think before reading further.
I think most of you have doubts, at least between 2-3 structure options:
- Someone divided all hours at the top level into wrist , floor , wall
- Someone split them at the top level into male , female , baby и for home
- Someone split them at the top level by manufacturer
Doesn't it seem so easy anymore? =)
Now let's add a few more features to our example that can occur in real life:
- The same watch model can be made in 10 different colors
- Each color has its own value
- You need to control the stock balance by hours of each color of each model
Of course, for watches, this example will already be invented, but, for example, for cars it is quite real. How do you build the directory now?
Well, the cherry on the cake: complex goods.
Let's say you sell kitchen units. Each set consists of a set of lockers, which also:
- May be sold separately
- Can be made of different materials that affect the cost
- Must have residue control
When it comes to kitchens, it’s no longer a laughing matter. I think you get the idea.
As a result, we have the following:
- The business owner knows his product well, but does not understand the technical aspects of the implementation of the product catalog in the online store
- The developer of an online store is well versed in the technical aspects of the implementation of catalogs, but not versed in the products that the business offers
Hence the important conclusion: the most correct structure of the catalog of goods can be drawn up only through joint discussion between the developer and the customer .
There is also option B. You can simply look and copy the structure of the catalog of goods from the most successful competitors. True, there are also a couple of pitfalls here:
- You should know for sure that a competitor has good sales through an online store, and does not keep it afloat only through offline sales.
- The competitor is also human. He could make mistakes and miscalculations in the design of the catalog of goods, which in the future it was too late to correct. As a result, instead of gaining a significant competitive advantage due to the correct directory structure already at the start, you will step on the same rake as your competitor.
In about 80% of cases, customers come to me with the wrong structure of the product catalog. In each case, the decision is discussed individually. Sometimes we don't change anything and work with what's next. Sometimes we essentially rework the directory.
It is impossible to give any unequivocal advice on actions with the catalog for those who have already created an online store. But if you are just planning to open it, then pay special attention to this issue. The best solution would be additional consultation on the directory structure with the developer and SEO -optimizer.
10.2. Structure of goods
The structure of products is just as important for an online store as the structure of a catalog. Depending on the type of business, the products in your online store may have a different structure. It can be:
- Simple goods - article, image, description, price. Most likely, this is how you imagine a product in an online store. Example: vase .
- Simple child products - goods in which only a separate property that affects the cost differs. In this case, it is important to control the residues for this property. Example: a flash drive, which has one manufacturer, one appearance, but a different amount of memory, which affects the final price .
- Composite child goods - goods that differ in several different properties, the combination of which affects the cost. At the same time, it is important to control the residues for each property. Example: a phone of the same model, which may have a different amount of RAM and built-in memory ... In fact, these are at least 4 different products, for example: 3/16, 3/32, 4/16, 4/32. For them there will be a general description, an image, but these parameters, balances and price will differ.
Of course, in the case of phones from a complex product, you can create 4 simple separate products, but in this case you will end up with pages on which almost all content is duplicated. In addition, it will be more difficult for users because you will have to view many more similar products.
Thus, it is important to determine what types of products you will sell before creating an online store .
To be honest, I don't really like working with child products. This is always an order of magnitude more difficult. But in some business cases, this is the only correct option.
Based on my personal experience, I can advise you to strive to simplify the catalog and use only simple products. If you understand that you need exactly complex (child products), then get ready for more complex tasks and increased server loads.
And the main thing: subsidiary goods are relevant only if control of stocks is important to you ... If this is not essential to your business, then it will be easier. In this case, the child products can be replaced with custom fields.
10.3. Custom fields
Custom fields - these are additional characteristics of goods, which serve to conveniently search for a product in the catalog or change its base value .
It is very important to think over custom fields for some types of business, especially those in which the characteristics of the product are multifaceted (cars, watches, appliances, houses, toys, etc.)
Custom fields can be divided into 3 groups according to the type of application:
- Information - are used only to display additional information about the product and its selection when filtering by parameters. Example: phone case material.
- Cart attribute that does not affect the cost - are used to give the buyer the opportunity to choose product options that do not affect its final cost. The values of such fields are required are determined by the buyer in the product card and transmitted to the cart along with the product. Example: phone color .
- Cart attribute affecting cost - are used to give the buyer a choice of product options that affect its final cost. The values of such fields are required are determined by the buyer in the product card, change the final cost of the goods and transmitted to the cart along with the product. Example: phone memory .
!!! The main difference between the field - the basket attribute, which affects the cost of the child product, is the lack of control over the balances.
Be sure to include at least a basic set of custom fields and product filtering by them in the terms of reference for creating an online store. In the future, you can expand the list of fields quite easily, by analogy with the already created ones.
If you do not include this functionality at the initial stage, it will be more difficult to implement it in the future. In addition, your store will lose the ability to filter products by characteristics, which is almost standard today.
Many customers come with stores in which there are no additional fields for products or filters at all. Each time you have to explain how important and convenient it is for users. Besides, the presence of custom fields is a prerequisite for creating landing pages for an online store ... They will be discussed below.
10.4. Residue control
Everything has already been indirectly said above, but this is so important that I once again highlighted it in a separate paragraph.
Be sure to decide in advance whether you will control the balances of goods in the online store. This can affect all further development. In particular, it will allow you to choose between more complex child products and simpler custom fields. It will also affect some other functionality, such as limiting the amount of ordered goods and displaying balances.
I also want to note that working with leftovers will most likely require you to configure their automatic update from a centralized storage, for example 1C.
Controlling the leftovers will give a decent addition to the complexity of managing an online store. Be sure to consider whether you need this functionality.
A real-life case that demonstrates some aspects of working with leftovers:
Remaining conditional goods: 3 units. Try to answer the following questions:
- There were 3 orders of goods, 1 unit each. Orders have not yet been submitted for delivery and are awaiting confirmation from the store manager. What should be the remainder of the product in the store's database?
- One order was canceled without waiting for confirmation. What is the remainder now?
- Two orders confirmed and sent in delivery. What is the remainder now?
- One customer accepted the order and the other refused and returned. What is the remainder now?
- The customer has added the last item to the cart, but has not yet checked out. At this time, another customer is trying to add the same item to the cart. What is going to happen?
These are far from all the interesting questions related to residuals that one has to deal with. They demonstrate well the complexity of this seemingly simple functionality. If you decide to control the balances in your online store, then be mentally prepared for such questions and situations.
10.5. Data exchange (export / import)
Another important point that you need to decide "on the shore" is how you will create and update the database of products of the online store.
It's one thing when your assortment consists of only a couple of dozen products and quite another when there are thousands of them.
In the first case, all manipulations with goods, whether it is updating prices, descriptions, stocks, can be done manually. It won't take long.
It is quite another matter when there are a lot of goods. In this case, you will definitely need to have the functionality of automatic data export and import.
Here, again, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It all depends on the specifics of the business - where the main database of goods is stored, how and how often it is updated, where it is unloaded, etc. - all these questions need to be answered.
Think in advance what data and with what services your online store should exchange. It is especially important to understand how the database of goods, stocks and prices will be loaded and updated ... The rest can be finalized after the launch of the online store.
Some clients manage to maintain a base of 1000+ products manually in some incredible way. Of course, they have their own clever tools and some scripts to make things easier. I never cease to be amazed at their persistence in this monotonous work.
In general, I would recommend everyone, without exception, to sort out export / import to and from the online store. It can be long and difficult at the initial stage, but believe me, over time it will save you much more effort and money than you will spend initially.
11. Filters by parameters
From this point onwards, important subtleties of working with an online store are described, which can already be implemented AFTER his discovery. But it's better to think them over in advance.
If you've created custom fields for products in your store and fill them in when you add products, it's a great idea to let users filter on those fields.
Returning to the examples from clause 10.3., If you sell phones and fill in the "Case material" field for each phone, why not show a filter by case materials in the catalog?
For example, a customer wants to buy a phone in an aluminum case. To show him all phones with exactly this characteristic, he needs a filter in which he can tick the desired parameter and see suitable models.
Filter by parameters, you will probably see any successful competitor on the site. This is the standard for today.
Filter by parameters IS ALWAYS associated with custom fields. You need to understand that it is impossible to create a filter by product parameter in an online store if EACH product does not have this parameter set.
Therefore, if you want to have a filter for users, you cannot avoid creating and filling in custom fields. It's really a lot of work. If there are a lot of fields, it is better to use the component for importing data to the site. It will save a lot of time, BUT, you will still spend a lot of time filling out the fields for each product ... Get ready for this!
I have clients that have more than 20 additional fields to filter on. Some of them still fill in these fields manually for each new product. When the assortment of goods is in the thousands, the number of fields to be filled in is already tens of thousands. This is a titanic job.
If you are not ready to fill in the fields yourself, the best solution would be to hire a dedicated content manager. In the case of a large number of products and fields for them (= parameters for filtering), this would be a really good idea. Believe me, by hand yourself you will be tortured to do it even in a table. Excel .
Second tip: don't overuse the number of custom fields, especially when you have a lot of items to sell (thousands or more). Filtering by parameters is a rather resource-intensive task.
If you have 10 thousand products in 20 parameters in each, then in the database parameter table will already have 200 thousand records. Imagine: one user went to the site, clicked one box in the filter - to the database, several requests will be completed in which will be conventionally, runs on this table. And now we will imagine that you come to the day dozens of thousands of filter queries from thousands of users ...
In general, if a filter for some parameter is not particularly popular, it is better not to add it to the site.
12. Landing Pages
Very interesting thing. I think that many she is completely unfamiliar.
Shipping Pages (also called: Tag Pages, Filter Pages ) - Special feature of the online store, which is closely related to custom fields and filters on them. The meaning of the landing page is to turn the filtering result by a specific set of parameters to well optimized for search engines page which will collect traffic (visitors) from the search. It's easier to explain on the example.
Let's return to our phones and their buildings. Suppose we have 2 parameters:
- Case material (plastic, aluminum)
- Case color (green, red)
And there is also a filter by manufacturer (Nokia, Xiaomi).
Users can put ticks for each parameter and get a set of related goods. BUT. This can only make users who have already come to the site. Search engines will not put ticks, and try to choose something there on your site.
Suppose that we want to create optimized search engines page on request: " Green aluminum phone Nokia. " On this page should be unique:
- Meta Tags
- Set of products
A unique set of goods can be obtained by laying the corresponding ticks in the filter. And what about everyone else? It is for this that there are landing pages.
If your online store functionality allows you to create a new landing page for which you can set all items from the list above, as well as set a set of filtering parameters for which suitable goods will automatically be selected.
You can get on this page three ways:
- Rancing the specified parameters in the filter
- For a direct link specified somewhere on the site
- Through the site map
Search engines will fall on the landing pages or through links or through the site map. For them, it will be a full-fledged unique page on the site, which will be indexed and collect traffic from the search. Such pages can and need to be promoted in search engines.
Today's realities are such that without using the landing pages you have very little chance of getting traffic from search engines in any competitive topics. Yes, you can not attract organic traffic at all, but receive visitors only at the expense of contextual advertising and other advertising channels, but the best results are those stores that work with all the sources of visitors.
Under the needs of several customers, I created the functionality of the boarding pages for the filter Custom Filters Pro. which runs on the basis of the online store Virtuemart. .
This solution implements the entire functionality described above, allowing you to create an unlimited number of landing pages according to the parameters of the online store.
The solution was tested in practice. These landing pages are excellently indexed by search engines and ranked in search results. With this functionality and some tenacity, you can collect good traffic for low-frequency search queries, for which there is little competition.
13. Methods of payment and delivery
It is important to choose the best payment and delivery methods for your online store.
When selecting payment methods , you need to give buyers the widest possible choice. At a minimum, you should have payment by card, electronic money, invoicing for legal entities and some kind of cash (payment to the courier upon receipt, cash on delivery).
Each payment method will incur some cost per use from you. For example, banks for accepting payment by card and electronic money take a fixed percentage of the commission from the order value. The same applies to any other method.
You need to choose a payment aggregator with the most suitable conditions for your business, and also take into account the commission for payment in the cost of goods.
With delivery everything is about the same, but here the cost usually depends not on the amount of the order, but on its dimensions and weight.
You can talk a lot about delivery. There are a huge number of subtleties and features. But the main thing that you must understand: in online stores, goods have the ability to set dimensions and weight, and in the basket, when calculating the cost of delivery, take these data into account and automatically receive the correct rate.
Usually, payment and delivery methods in an online store are implemented using plug-ins. By default, you probably won't find the necessary payment and logistics plugins and store out of the box. They need to be found, installed and configured after the operators have been selected.
Probably I could, talk about the various "chips" of delivery and payment in different online stores for a couple of hours. It would seem that the functionality is standard, but no, each customer has its own characteristics, and it is difficult to find even two identical ones.
Here are just a few examples:
- Payment is inextricably linked with the statuses of orders. The statuses can be different, depending on the characteristics of the business and the logistics built in the company. Example: after placing an order, the status is set to "Pending", after which there can be either a confirmation from the manager or online payment. Online payment automatically changes its status to "Paid". And if it has not passed? What if there is no confirmation from the store yet? What if an invoice is issued? Well, you get the idea. You will not get bored here.
- Delivery can be carried out in the hometown. This is the easiest option. And if in Russia? Ok, CDEK. And if in the CIS? Hmm ... What if all over the world? Delivery dimensions are specified for each individual item. And if there are a lot of goods in the order? How to calculate the final dimensions? What if the shipping company has minimum and maximum weight restrictions? And if you do not carry to certain locations? In general, a wide field for creativity =).
14. Integration with CRM
If you have big plans for an online store, and you are going to launch an advertising campaign to attract visitors, then you definitely need to think over all the processes of working with clients in advance. Let me explain why.
If we are talking about contextual advertising in Yandex.Direct or Google.Adwords, then the cost per click for the same request is floating there. It depends on many factors. One of the most important is bounce rate ... Simply put, if a person went to your site for advertising and then returned to the search, then you could not satisfy his request.
Another important factor is reviews from real buyers about the quality of services and service.
I understand that you may now think that you can handle the flow of orders by simply putting a couple of managers behind the site. This assumption is wrong.
If even ten applications come through the online store a day, working with customers becomes very difficult. You need to keep everything in mind - who and what asked, ordered, who needs to call, who needs to be clarified and called back, what statuses and which orders to change or confirm. Yes, there is a chance that you have very advanced managers who will be able to "sort out" all this in real time, but it is better to start from the opposite.
The best solution, in this case, would be site integration with CRM .
CRM systems are created just in order to streamline the work processes in the company, including interaction with customers. A little more detail on how it works.
Imagine everything - orders, callback requests, calls, quick orders, mail-order requests - everything is automatically loaded into a single database. In this database, all contacts are stored in a couple of tables:
- Contacts - those who were only interested, but have not ordered anything yet
- Clients - those who have already made an order, which is being processed at one stage or another, or completed.
For each person in these tables, it can automatically to appoint a manager , for everyone there can be made notes (what he wanted, what was required). Anyone can be assigned status .
As a result, instead of chaotic processing of all incoming requests, the manager opens the CRM system and sees an ordered list, on which he works quietly.
This approach dramatically reduces the amount of chaos in the sales workflow.
An additional advantage of using CRM is the ability to automatically collect a database of customers and contacts , according to which in the future it will be possible to do mailings ... These mailing lists work well and sell well.
Usually stores are not automatically integrated with CRM, or partially integrated. This is due to the presence of the specific features of each business. Integration implementation and refinement is becoming one of the standard tasks for a programmer today.
I have had customers who started working with an online store, manually processing all incoming requests and orders. In this case, something was inevitably lost - here I forgot to answer, there I missed the letter. As a result, some of them ordered integration with CRM , once confused, spent and done.
I asked them what the results and general impression of working through CRM ... They were very pleased. The answers were in the format: "And why didn't I do it before!".
But, again, the economic feasibility of integrating an online store c CRM -system depends, first of all, on the number of daily requests and contacts. If your store is still small and you manually manage to process all incoming applications, then you can continue working this way without bothering, at this stage with CR M. If you have good budgets and advertising companies, and there are so many applications that you feel that you can no longer cope and chaos appears, then be sure to look away CRM -systems. This will greatly facilitate the work with clients.
15. Business chat
What you need to do before or immediately after starting the online store - connect and configure on it online chat . Yes, this is the same thing that is usually shown in the lower right corner of the site, and sometimes annoying the population asking a question.
At first glance, online chat may seem an annoying factor that annoying users of the site. But it works.
Business chat performs the role of a store consultant. Visitors really enjoy them when they want to know or clarify something.
To date, I would advise you to pay attention to the following chat options:
- Jivosite is one of the most popular business chat services on the Russian market. Includes support for many different "chips", which, allegedly, increase conversion. Supports integration with various systems, including online telephony and CRM. There are applications for a computer and a phone. Works on the side of the provider. The site integrates easily (insert code per page). Has a subscription fee . It has a free limited version.
- Livezilla - chat engine. Unlike Jivosite is completely installed on your server. Requires much more complex settings, less integrations are available (some will have to be made to order). There are applications for a computer and a phone. Main advantages: has a free version for 1 operator without limiting the functional, a license for a larger number of operators is acquired by one-time (no subscription fee is required), Because Chat code is completely on the side of your server, You can Castomize it under its tasks by the programmer forces.
Which option to choose you must decide for yourself. The first is a quick start and subscription fee, the second - flexibility and more complex setting, but without a subscription fee.
Another important detail that must be considered before installing a business chat is your ability to be connected and promptly respond to requests.
If you are constantly connected and do it yourself or you have a manager who is always online in workers (and, desirable, non-working hours), then everything is fine. A completely different option if the chat hangs without an operator. This its condition can lead to the exact opposite effect when potential customers, contacting the chat, do not receive an answer and leave the site. Take this moment!
I used to relate to business chats skeptically. It seemed to me that they only annoy visitors. Personally, I always annoyed such chat rooms, especially when they jumped at the most inopportune moment.
Once I still decided to try, and installed on Wedal.ru. Chat OT Jivosite. . And you know, he really works! Through this chat comes quite a few requests and appeals.
In general, do not neglect the chat. At least try.
16. Online telephony
The next integration step with external services is to connect online telephony (virtual PBX). What is it and why is it necessary?
In fact, it is redirecting calls. Briefly describe the main advantages:
- The phone is always free. It will not work that the potential client called, and the number is busy. Although it works only with a sufficient number of operators on your part, according to which the virtual PBX will distribute calls. In other words, if you have 2 people on your numbers and both of them are already talking to customers, the third will still have to wait.
- Ability to not show your main number and show the desired or beautiful number (for example, you can connect number 8-800, free for all visitors)
- The ability to quickly automatically connect when requesting a callback. There are customers who do not like to call themselves. For different reasons. For them on the site shows Return call order widget . It works very simply: the client enters its phone number and sends the application. Virtual PBX immediately calls through this number and at the operator number on your part and connects them among themselves. As a result, the client does not need to call and wait, and the operator receives a call in the same format as if the client rang himself.
- All incoming calls and call requests can be automatically saved in CRM for further call.
These advantages are already enough to connect a virtual PBX to the online store. Moreover, today it is not such a expensive service.
I will not advise a specific operator. There are quite a lot of them now. Of those for hearing: Rostelecom, MTS, Yandex.Tephonia, Telephony Jivosite. Just increase, compare tariffs and decide.
I always advise you to connect online telephony to customers. This is especially true for those who have CRM And there is a large flow of incoming calls.
Someone agrees, someone - no. But there was not a single case when the client, by connecting such a service, after some time would turn off from it. Still, the advantages there are much more than the minuses.
17. Yandex.Market and Yandex.Direct
These are "favorite", favorite and hot "favorite" advertising services in Runet. And I'm not mistaken quotes.
When you just opened an online store, you should not wait for the people to fall to you crowds. It is worth to wait that in the first pair will not be anyone at all, as if you opened a shopping stall in a clean field.
One way to attract customers to your site is advertising on the Internet. The most popular advertising channels are Yandex.Direct and Yandex.Market.
Let's first About Market . It's easier with him. The principle of operation here is: you unload the base of the goods of your store in Yandex.Market. They place it in their directory. When the visitor is looking for goods, it is shown from the deals from various stores, including yours. If the visitor switched to the link to the site of your store (or made an order directly on the markete), you pay Yandex a sum.
Main features I.Market:
- For unloading used script on the side of the online store That at a given address generates the base of all goods in the format installed by Ya.Market (YML). Usually for any more or less popular engine of the online store such a script already exists. But usually not out of the box.
- On I. Mark, your product offer will be shown next to the proposals of competitors. . It is logical that the user will most likely choose a sentence with the lowest price. There are all kinds of interesting games and attempts to bypass minimal retail prices.
- You pay Yandex for each transition or each agreed action by the user of the market . The human transition to your site does not mean that he will buy something. And the money will spike anyway. Therefore, it's easy enough to go here in minus, especially if you have an uncomfortable online store.
Now About Direct . You select requests by which users are looking for the products you offer. Direct will prompt suitable queries and their number per month. Next, on such requests, create an advertising campaign and replenish its balance. After that, for users who introduce requests from your campaign in the search for Yandex or on partner sites (which shown Yandex advertising), your site marked "Advertising". If the user switched to your site, the payment for the transition is charged from your account.
Main features of Ya.Direct:
- The transition price is not fixed ! It depends on many factors and may change even after the launch of the advertising campaign. The main factors are: the level of competition for a given query, CTR (the ratio of the number of clicks to your site to the number of its impressions in the ad), position in the search results (usually Yandex shows several ad units, the better the block, the higher the cost per click).
- You will have competitors. Now the competition in Yandex.Direct is high. If your sales niche is competitive, then be prepared for unrealistically high rates for each transition. There are numbers in 50 and 100 and 500 rubles FOR ONE transition!
- It is very easy to go into a big minus. The correct setting of an advertising campaign in Yandex.Direct today is the lot of professionals who purposefully do this. They are paid tens of thousands of rubles for such work. But with large advertising budgets, these costs pay off very quickly.
Yes, Yandex.Market and Yandex.Direct are excellent advertising tools for getting visitors and buyers for your online store. But you need to understand that on these sites it is much easier to go into a huge minus than a modest plus. This is especially true for businesses and high competition.
I cannot disclose the details of my customers' financial matters. I can only say that while watching six-digit campaigns in Yandex.Direct, I noted for myself that you need to configure settings not just once, but constantly. This is a dynamic market. You can compare it to the stock exchange. If you have set up an advertising campaign in such a way that it is profitable, then you should not rest on your laurels. In one month, everything can change dramatically, and you will go into a deep minus.
In general, before you start working with Yandex.Direct and Yandex.Market, study their features well. And, of course, if you produce some unique product, it will be incomparably easier for you than for those who sell from suppliers. Just because of much less competition.
18. End-to-end analytics
If you are seriously engaged in the development of an online store, then at a certain moment you go to connect more and more new directions of attracting visitors. Each of these areas can be both profitable and unprofitable.
While there are few directions, you can estimate them manually by knocking out the numbers. But when sales are in the tens and hundreds per month, and the number of channels for attracting visitors is already large, it becomes very difficult to manually assess the effectiveness of each channel. Here the so-called end-to-end multichannel analytics .
One of the most famous end-to-end analytics tools is the Roistat service ( 14-day free trial period + 2000 rub to the account when registering using this link ).
What does Roistat do? It integrates with your website, CRM, and all sales channels (mailings, contextual advertising, social networks, etc.). And then it counts and optimizes, optimizes and counts. As a result, you will see a report for each channel and can easily assess their current performance. It looks like this:
In addition to analytics itself, Roistat can do a lot more. You can read more about the possibilities on their website.
This service is expensive. I would even say very expensive. Use it only when your RPM is high enough. In this case, the savings on ineffective advertising channels can be much higher than the subscription fee for its use.
Just look at the analytics screenshot above. Then match it to your business. You will immediately understand how really cool it is to have such an up-to-date screenshot of your project at any given time. Is this picture worth a lot? For a business that has a turnover - yes.
The use of this service by customers gives a quick and sufficient accurate understanding of the effectiveness of the channels to attract visitors. I really like the report that provides Roistat ... It's incredibly convenient.
In this block, we will talk about what will need to be considered in the process of working with an online store. It is very important to clearly understand all the points of this section even BEFORE opening, since not everyone can pull them.
19. The online store will need constant investment
Perhaps you will call it something else, but the word "investment" is closer to me. In plain language: attachments .
It will not happen that you launched an online store and it immediately began to bring profit and pay for itself. It definitely won't.
If you want to get a really profitable store, then after the launch you will first have to invest your own funds in it, and then a part of the profit. Actually, the development and improvement of the online store should not stop for a minute. Just take it for granted. You won't be able to rest on your laurels here. Absolutely. The competition in this area is too high today.
I have not had a single customer who had a successful online store, and did not work on it in the course of his life. Although no, there is one, but it is rather an exception, an extremely successful business. All others achieve success only by constant work and investment.
I have been working with many customers for years. We are constantly improving and optimizing something. As a result, I see successful sales and profits.
20. Logistics takes a lot of time and effort
A key feature of any online store is nationwide sales (or beyond). Here, customers do not come to your office / outlet on their own. You only get orders and money, money and orders. These orders need to be delivered somehow.
You need to think in advance about delivery methods to the regions and to other countries (if you are planning such sales). Buyers are extremely unhappy when a product is shipped or takes a very long time. The packaging and shipping process should be perfectly streamlined and automated as much as possible. This will provide quality service and get good reviews from customers.
Don't forget to insure your order during the shipping process. Consider calculating shipping rates. Consider whether to include the shipping cost in the price of the item or show it separately. Think about how the refunds will be made (they will be, 100%).
The main thing is to think about who will be in charge of taking orders, packing them and sending them (or handing them over to the courier).
It's also wise not to launch a large ad campaign right away if you're not sure you can handle a large flow of orders. It's best to build up your budget gradually, making sure you can handle the ordering load.
A lot of stories related to logistics come from customers. There was so much ...
I will tell you one extremely interesting story. It happened quite a long time ago - about 6 years ago. I had a new customer with a homemade online store. Everything about him was very sad, as with the money of this customer - they could hardly make ends meet. But I really liked their idea, their products - I worked with them with great pleasure.
And then one day the following situation occurs:
An order has been placed on the site. In a day, it is formed and handed over to the courier for delivery. Delivery in the city of departure. The courier delivers the order. A woman opens him and looks at him with extremely surprised eyes. It turns out that the order had already been delivered to her a few hours ago by another courier. Everyone in the office is shocked. The order is unique in composition, received through the site. There were no other dispatches. Fantasy.
Until now, I do not fully imagine who did it and why. This story clearly shows what poorly organized logistics and unreliable people in a company can lead to.
I also observe with interest the situation that occurs with some customers in the pre-holiday periods. Usually at such times the flow of orders increases dramatically. It comes to the point that there is no time to go to the toilet. Of course, this is not normal. You need to try to take into account the possibility of peak loads and be prepared for this.
21. You will have to do marketing and testimonials
Have to. You will have to register in Yandex.Directory and in "My Business" with Google. We'll have to receive feedback from Y.Market, feedback on the organization and on the website. You will not be able to control them, but you must definitely respond and respond to them. This is extremely important today.
The population is becoming more and more literate in terms of searching for information on the Internet. A lot of people read reviews about an online store before placing an order in it. Many people leave reviews.
Reviews are more likely to count towards a site's search engine rankings.
Some of these channels from your side will have to be constantly monitored by someone. Consider this.
Marketing is also important. You will have to arrange promotions and sales on the site. Simply because your competitors will do it. It is important here who will come up with a more interesting action.
Also, you will be trying to get around the minimum retail prices set by the manufacturer. This should be done so as not to violate the rules established by the manufacturer, but at the same time to attract buyers. In general, there is a huge scope for experimentation and creativity.
Periodic promotions bring good sales, even if at first glance it seems like sheer nonsense. I personally observed it many times.
Bad reviews about a store can quickly take down sales. There will be bad reviews anyway. This cannot be avoided, but it is much more important that there are many more good reviews.
Competitors will do dirty tricks and arrange all sorts of dastardly numbers (write bad reviews on your store, click your ads, complain to manufacturers that you are violating minimum retail prices, etc.). But all this will only begin when your online store really runs out of steam or overtakes them.
22. The online store needs to be filled with content
If you want to stay afloat, then you need to constantly work on the content of the online store. This applies to unique product descriptions, blog section, landing page texts.
Working with content is pretty routine and time-consuming. You probably need a full-time copywriter to fully fill it with content. Or you can order texts on exchanges, but their quality will be low. A good on-staff copywriter will be able to prepare much better content. But this is an employee who requires constant expenses for himself. Be prepared for this type of expense.
I work quite closely with copywriting exchanges. Hundreds of completed orders have already passed through me. I can say unequivocally that the quality of texts prepared by copywriters from exchanges with average prices is very low. This is usually water diluted with water with water. These texts are suitable for placement of advertising links and indexing by search engines, but not for human reading.
In order for a person to write a good text on a topic, he must be immersed in this topic for at least some time. For a copywriter from the exchange, your order is another part-time job for a couple of hours. They simply won't delve deeply into your topic for the sake of a few hundred rubles earned. They just write the first thing that comes to mind.
Thus, a full-time copywriter can become a fairly significant advantage of your online store, especially if you immerse it in your subject matter. True, a good copywriter still needs to be found.
23. Technical support of the online store is required
Another unpleasant fact, which, nevertheless, must be taken for granted. You will have to bear the costs of technical support for the online store ... Periodically or continuously.
If you let this question float freely even for a while, the chances of significant problems are high.
An online store is primarily software. It needs to be updated periodically. Also, over and over again you will have tasks to improve your store - add one here, fix another there.
It is better if all technical work is performed by one trusted person. He will know all the features of your store well, and you can be sure of a high-quality work result.
Separate note: please do not use the services of freelancers with small stakes from well-known exchanges!
I understand the low price tag looks tempting, and you can also see a lot of positive reviews. But today there is one unshakable fact in web development. A good specialist will not work for little money ... Just because he can work for a lot of money in the office.
Estimate the terms that the contractor calls and the cost of the work. Reduce by 22 business days for 8 hours. For a salary of less than 60t.r. today you are unlikely to be able to hire a sensible average specialist since he will be paid so much in the office. From here it is possible, by simple calculations, to determine the minimum cost of an hour ~ 340 rubles. To this cost you need to add all the expenses of the contractor: time for discussion of the assignment and negotiations, commission of exchanges, taxes. As a result, the real minimum figure will be about 500 rubles per hour or 4t.r. per working day .
Anything that is cheaper will be of extremely low quality with a very high probability.
Hire a full-time web -programmer is very expensive. This is required only for companies with a large budget that are ready to invest substantial money in the technical development of an online store. For a small business, one good outsourcing specialist will be enough. The main thing is to find it.
For any technical problems of online stores and other sites, as well as for advice, you can contact me. There is not always free time, but if the tasks are not very urgent, then you can always agree.
The worst thing is when a customer arrives, whose store has gone through several freelancers from an inexpensive exchange. More often than not, it's just a nightmare. Many of them have an amazing ability to do their job in such a way that outwardly it looks quite normal. Hence, it seems to me, and the positive feedback from customers - I evaluate them visually, not technically.
I open the code, and so horror: a mixture Html , CSS , Js , PHP in one file. Complete ignorance of the framework CMS ... A bunch of security holes (most often there is no data filtering in the code added by the freelancer).
The last time my eye twitched when in the main template file (the code of this file is executed with each request to the site), one after another, approximately 3 thousand conditions in which the current Url pages were compared with some other. In this way, the would-be freelancer made redirects to other pages on the site.
There have even been times when you realize that doing it again normally will be faster than unraveling this tangle. But how to explain this to the customer? He thinks that everything is fine there ...
In general, approach the selection of a technical contractor as scrupulously as possible.
24. Online shopping is an endless marathon
The last point, philosophical. The main thing that you must understand is - a successful online store is an endless marathon that cannot be won , you can only get out of the race.
While you work hard on your online store - adding new positions, improving the quality of interaction with customers, introducing new functionality for the convenience of users, doing marketing and promotion - it will definitely be successful. Simply due to the fact that not all competitors do these things. But it is worth stopping for at least six months, as you can fall from Olympus into a deep swamp.
Internet commerce is developing at a rapid pace, every year something new appears, some peculiarities and changes appear. For this market, 3 years is already a whole epoch, let alone 5-10 years. Therefore, in order not only to achieve success here, but also not to lose it, you must understand exactly that you will constantly work and will not stop there.
It is both interesting and a bit sad at the same time - to watch how some of the projects that I once worked on, put my strength and soul into, fall into decay. I understand that over time it is inevitable for someone, but I always sincerely wish the customers success and try to help them with everything I can.
I am glad that customers who really work hard and hard on their online stores, not only stay afloat in a very tough competition, but also reach new heights.
about the author
Wedal (Vitaly). Full Stack web developer. Creator and author of Wedal.ru website.
The main profile is the creation of sites and extensions on the CMS Joomla.
Today, most people make purchases of non-food products via the Internet: on the Internet they buy household appliances, mobile phones and gadgets, clothes, cosmetics, jewelry and other necessary things. The share of such sales is growing by about 5-7% per year, so if you are thinking about a business, then you need to know how to open an online store from scratch and make it profitable. In this article, we will analyze the basic terms and concepts associated with online commerce, consider how to create a store correctly, what nuances you need to take into account and what to look for in order not to make critical mistakes.
An online store is an online catalog with products, their descriptions and current prices, through which any user can make a purchase. Goods are sold remotely, that is, they are delivered to the customer using a courier, postal or courier service, although some stores have their own pick-up points in different cities.
The advantage of such stores is that they work 24 hours a day and give customers the opportunity to purchase goods from the comfort of their home or office.
The disadvantage of the store is that the buyer cannot “touch” the product before its delivery, which is a problem for some people: they prefer to visit regular stores and choose things that they see with their own eyes. But such people are becoming less and less due to the massive distribution and availability of online commerce.
Open an online store from scratch for free: what to trade
Thinking about how to start an online store from scratch, but don't know where to start? The first step is choosing a niche. It depends on the correct choice how successful your business will be, what profitability you can lay down, how many sales will be carried out every day and whether you will have development prospects.
What niche to occupy? It is impossible to answer this question unequivocally. Choose the directions in which you understand. For example, if you go in for sports, then you can open a store selling sports shoes and clothing, some kind of equipment or food. If you love animals, then open a pet food and accessories store for dogs and cats.
Watch the video and get a bonus (all links in the description of the video on youtube)
Register for a free online shopping course
Advice! But try not to fit into highly competitive niches. For example, it is quite difficult to sell mobile phones or televisions, since they are offered by large networks that buy products in bulk and set a minimum margin. It is better to choose something less competitive in order to increase profitability and have money for development, and not just to maintain your pants.
If you do not have experience in trading, and you cannot invest serious money in the purchase of goods, then it is better to open an online store from scratch for free in the following areas:
1. Men's and women's footwear.
2. Men's and women's clothing, including children's clothing.
3. Bags, backpacks, wallets and other accessories.
4. Children's toys.
5. Home clothes and underwear.
6. Computer games, consoles and accessories for them.
7. Goods for vapers.
8. Tactical accessories and clothing.
9. Hobby goods (a huge number of goods fall into this category, from beads to hunting).
10. Sporting goods.
As you can see, the choice of niches is wide enough. We have listed only the key areas, but in fact there are much more of them. You can sell handmade, cases and chargers for phones, flashlights and batteries, knives and cutlery, cosmetics and perfumes.
Note! When choosing a niche, be sure to consider your competitors. Explore their offerings and services, price levels and range. Think about whether you can compete with large chains and existing stores.
Researching product demand can be a good option. To do this, you need to use the WordStat tool from Yandex or another similar one. It will show you the popularity of queries on the web, and you can study the popularity for specific regions or cities.
You can also focus on exploring your own city. For example, if there are sports clubs near you, then you can sell goods to them. Or if you have found a good supplier of cosmetics that is not yet in your locality, then you can focus on this.
How to open an online store from scratch Step-by-step instructions: To sell
After you have decided that you will sell, you need to think about who will become your main buyer. Classical How to open an online store from scratch The instruction calls this procedure "Search for a target audience".
Analyze who will be your customer whether it will be wondering if they will be able to acquire your goods on an ongoing basis. For example, if you trade Korean cosmetics, then your target buyer will be a woman aged 30-45 years old, with an income of up to 30 thousand rubles. If you sell tourist knives, then the buyer will be a man of 25-40 years old, with an average income level.
Why do you need to know the portrait of your buyer? In order to build marketing policies and advertising companies on this information. Modern tools allow you to accurately set up the issuance of advertisements, so you can save time and resources on the preliminary selection of the audience.
It is clear that pensioners are unlikely to buy a modern mobile phone, and young people do not think about hearing aids or pressure measurement devices.
The concept of "target buyer" is very important for proper business planning. By drawing up his portrait, you will understand who will be your target audience, how exactly he will learn information about you, which purchases to make how much it can spend in one purchase or a month.
Think out this question and analyze your goods, answer questions - to whom it needs, who will buy it, whether a person will return to you, etc.
How to open an online store from scratch instruction: what to call
READ ALSO: Ideas for business 2021: 21 cool idea
What to do after you have decided on the assortment and the portrait of the buyer? How to open an online store from scratch The step-by-step instruction will be given at the end of the article, and now we will talk about the art of nemining. Naming is the process of inventing the name. This process is not as simple as it may seem at first glance.
Your name must be capacious, bright and short to users who visited your site, remember his name and returned the next time. No need to invent complex names, consisting of more than 16 letters and three words, no need to include in the name of the numbers or specialime: the simpler, the better.
By the way! Bright examples of titles can be found at every corner: Yandex, Google, Avito, socket, prom and others.
Most of the short harmonious words are already busy, but if you look for and think, then you will probably think of something interesting. If you cannot come up, you can make the name of the store from two thematic words.
For example, if you sell computer accessories and spare parts, you can choose the name "Megacomp", "Bestcomp", etc. If you sell shoes, you will suit you "Liteshoes", "Goodsneakers", etc. They can be written together or through DEFIS, The main thing is that words combined with each other.
The choice of titles should be devoted quite a long time. Select a dozen options that seem acceptable to you, consult relatively better with friends, relatives or colleagues. Please note that you will be inserted into the name of your store, spinning your own brand, so unsuccessful neiming can lead to what money will be spent in vain.
Reading step-by-step instructions on how to open an online store from scratch, you will surely come across a lot of tips.
1. Match the name to the portrait of your potential buyer. If these are men of age, then focus on solidity, if these are women - on emotions and beauty.
2. Be sure to link to age. Young people are "led" to names with the prefix "mega", "vip", "super", etc., and for older age such insertions can be annoying.
3. Describe your product in the title. If you sell items and clothes for children, then enter the word "Baby", if cosmetics and perfume - "beauty", etc.
Study the names of your competitors both on the Internet and offline, think about which names attract you and why, and which ones repel you. If the name you have chosen is already taken, then you can add some letter or word to it to make it original.
Domain for the site
Please note that you need to not only choose a name, but also check if it is already occupied by competitors, and also check if such a domain is available. Domain is the name of the site, what you enter in the address bar of your browser. The domain consists of two parts - the name itself and the domain zone. For example, google.com consists of the name of the Google company and the domain zone com. Domain zones can be completely different: ru, ua, be, com, biz, tv, etc. If your chosen domain is occupied in one zone, you can search in others.
To buy a domain, you need to go to the website of domain registrars: you can easily find them on the Internet. Enter the name that you like, and the portal will give you the information you need - are there free domains with this name, which zones are not yet occupied, how much does the service cost, etc.
(Watch the video for just 10 minutes and you will learn how to choose a domain that will accelerate the development of the site 10 times)
Domain prices are not very high, for example, a com domain can be bought for $ 3-5 per year, and online for $ 1. But it is better not to choose long or unusual domain zones, since users do not like to walk on them.
How to open an online store from scratch step by step instructions: choosing a hosting
Hosting is a service of providing server capacities to host your site on it. To make it clear to you, let's explain it this way: a server is a business center. You rent a room in it and open your store. This room is hosting for your site, in the same way you rent a part of the server and host your business on it. There are several types of hosting, let's consider all of them.
(watch the video for only 24 minutes and you will learn everything about hosting)
The cheapest version, which is suitable for small projects with an attendance of up to 400 people per day. Shared hosting can be compared to an office building - it houses hundreds of small offices, with a common system of heating, lighting, communications, etc., but their sizes may be different. All offices use the resources of their building evenly, exerting the same load on engineering networks. It is the same in shared hosting - dozens and hundreds of sites are located on one server, which share processor time, memory, hard disk capacity, etc.
This hosting is more expensive than the classic one and provides users with more options. With the help of special software, the physical server is divided into several independent parts, which are transferred to end users.
At the same time, each part of the server works independently of each other, without consuming the resources of other users, so if someone starts a difficult task or a huge stream of clients comes to him, then this will not be reflected on other users of the virtual server.
A virtual server is an ideal choice for an online store of medium and large size, with a large number of pages and traffic from 400 people per day. In addition, the user gets full access to the server resources and can install any software, which is impossible in the case of purchasing a shared hosting.
This is a solution for large projects, so if you are thinking of how to open an online store from scratch, then you are unlikely to need such a solution. A dedicated server is powerful, efficient and reliable, it will belong exclusively to you, so you do not have to share its resources with anyone.
This is a good option for beginners and medium-sized projects with inconsistent traffic. If your store is visited by 200 people on one day, and 1000 on the second, then cloud hosting is perfect for you.
The provider distributes your "store" among several servers that have space and resources. This does not in any way affect the operation and integrity of the store itself, this is just a resource allocation technology, so a cloud server can also be considered at the initial stages, especially since it is cheaper than a dedicated or virtual one.
It is not difficult to choose a hosting: there are thousands of offers from large and small companies on the network that will offer you their services and help you with site deployment. The cost of hosting rent depends on which type of cooperation you choose.
For example, shared hosting can cost you $ 15-20 per year, virtual server $ 5 per month, and dedicated server $ 20-30 per month.
For a start, the cheapest option is enough for you, but be sure to study the reviews of the chosen hosting, since the fate of your project depends on the quality of the service. If your site is constantly unavailable, then customers will simply leave for another location.
How to open an online store from scratch step by step instructions: choose a way of implementation
You can open an online store from scratch in two different ways: create it using a constructor or using a CMS. For beginners, the first option is easier, but it imposes some restrictions that can cost you dearly in the future. The CMS option is more flexible, but in order to crank it yourself, you will have to understand a little about Internet technologies.
More details about the CMS are below, but for now we will consider the option of creating a store using the constructor.
Review of 5 constructors
There are many types of online builders on the web, using which you can "build" your site using a simple visual editor.
Basically, you just need to select the types and arrangement of blocks, change their color and size, add a header with a picture and other information, and your project will be ready. The most famous constructors include:
It is ideal for online stores. You will be offered about 500 unique templates, a convenient control system, integrated applications and scripts.
With it, you can build a professional website in just a few minutes. A feature of Jimdo is a powerful SEO system with which you can promote your store in search engines.
It is considered one of the oldest and most popular in the CIS. Suitable for creating portals of any size, has a powerful community and many instructions for creating sites. Ukoz allows users to attach their own domains to it, supports modern technologies and can be quite fine-tuned if you understand HTML.
It was opened in 2015. It is a powerful visual tool that can be used to create both a regular website and a full-fledged online store. The constructor will offer you about 400 templates, two dozen add-ons and scripts to automate the trading process.
Suitable for both business card websites and online stores. This is a convenient and intuitive tool with which you can create a full-fledged portal in just 30 minutes.
There are many other constructors on the net: we will not describe each of them. Remember the basic principle: designers offer you the opportunity to create your site as quickly as possible, and without paying specialists for it, but then you will pay for its placement.
Moreover, the designer will have to pay more than if you made the site yourself. For example, you can buy shared hosting for 15 dollars a year, and for a year of using the constructor you will have to pay an average of 100 dollars. But for this money, you will receive round-the-clock support, which will answer your questions and help fix errors, a large number of templates, the ability to fine-tune, ready-made modules for the store and many other useful things.
Popular CMS for online stores
If you don't want to use the constructor, then there is an option to make the site yourself. This is not as difficult as it might seem at first glance. Consider how to open an online store from scratch, the instructions will be quite short.
1. First, you need to buy a domain and hosting. This can be done quickly and inexpensively - the total cost per year of using the two services will be about $ 25. Next, you will need to "bind" the domain to the hosting, specifying the necessary registration data. There is nothing difficult in this, as a last resort, hosting technical support will help you.
2. Secondly, you will need to install the site engine on the hosting. The engine is a CMS, a content management system. You can install the CMS in just a couple of minutes by answering 2-3 questions, the procedure is practically no different from installing a classic program.
3. Thirdly, the chosen template (site design) is “put on” on the CMS, after which it remains to simply fill in the pages and start selling.
The path with a CMS is more complicated than with a builder, but in the end it will give you more options and will be cheaper. In addition, you will be independent and will be able to move to a new hosting at any time, install the necessary scripts, extract information or change something in the code.
Hosting technical support will help you with most of your questions, but if you don’t know what to do at all, then you can simply hire a freelance specialist who will set everything up for $ 20-50.
Note! Or take specialized training. By clicking on the link, you can register for participation in the training "How to create an online store from scratch", how to make an online store with your own hands. The training is based on practical video lessons. It's completely free. Just looking at the lessons and repeating all the steps, you can make your own store that fully meets the expectations. If suddenly something does not work out, a round-the-clock support service will come to the rescue. Its employees will also solve any problem with creating a store absolutely free of charge.
CMS stands for content management system. It is a set of scripts required for comfortable work with content.
With the help of CMS, you can create new pages, edit or delete them, create new sections, add images, connect them to accounting systems, cash registers, etc. It gives you ample opportunities to open an online store from scratch, step-by-step instructions do not cause any particular difficulties ...
Consider which CMS are suitable for creating a full-fledged online store
The most widespread and well-known engine, which is suitable both for creating IM and ordinary sites, blogs or news portals. Has a huge number of free templates, integrates perfectly with scripts, is easy to install and configure, has powerful support.
The closest competitor is WordPress, which differs from it in the logic of work, a more modern appearance and wide functionality. This engine is frequently updated to keep up with current trends and provide an adequate level of protection for the store from hackers. Its disadvantages include a rather confusing control panel and the complexity of integration with other programs such as Exel and 1C.
This engine was specially developed for creating online stores. It is great for a beginner, its functionality contains everything you need to get started. By default, this engine is free, and for a little money you can open additional options for fine-tuning.
It is a solid and complex engine on which you can create a full-fledged online store. Suitable for both small MI and large projects. Of the pluses, one can note the availability of free templates and scripts necessary for work, of the minuses - the relative complexity for beginners.
This is a full-fledged content management system that allows you not only to create an online store, but also to connect it to the warehouse or accounting programs of this company. The program is shareware: you can install and configure it, but you will have to pay for full use.
There are other CMS, both paid and free, on which you can build your own store. We recommend choosing something common so that you do not have any difficulties with setting up and subsequent operation of the store.
Moreover, most companies that provide hosting services have popular CMS preinstalled: you just have to click a couple of times and enter the required data, and your site will be available to all network users.
Is it worth contacting specialists
If you do not understand well what we talked about above, or you do not want to delve into the technical details, then you can always go the other way and contact freelancers or a web studio. A professional team will develop an online store for you, taking into account all the necessary nuances, create a unique design, fill it with goods, add the necessary content and conduct the initial promotion of the portal. You just have to pay for the work done and start trading.
The cost of developing an online store depends on many factors, but in general it varies from 100 to 10 thousand dollars. For $ 100, you will receive a standard free CMS with a modified template and several created pages, and for $ 3,000 you can order your own engine that will work the way you need it. In general, for a normal, completely finished site, you will have to pay about 300-500 dollars if it is not a large project, and 2-3 thousand dollars for a large online store.
Is it worth spending money and turning to professionals? It all depends on your budget, technical skills, and free time. If you have the time and desire to deal with the nuances, then you can do everything yourself, spending 2-3 weeks on it. Yes, your online store will be simple, but for a budding entrepreneur, this is enough.
How to open an online store from scratch step by step instructions: filling the pages
Above, we described how to open an online store from scratch and what is needed for this. After your portal is configured and launched, you will need to fill it, that is, add products.
There are two ways to do this: add them manually (this option is suitable for a small number of products) or import them from a database or file with a description. Each product is laid out on its own page and in a certain category. To it you need to add a short description (preferably unique) and photographs so that the client understands what he is dealing with. Photos can be taken from competing websites or you can take your own photos if you have a high-quality camera and a location for shooting.
Filling a website with a product is a rather tedious and lengthy process, especially if you have a lot of positions. An experienced content manager lays out 15-20 product units in an hour, so if you have several thousand positions, you will have to hire assistants: it is better to fill the site quickly than to stretch the process for several months.
Uniqueness of descriptions
Search engines are very fond of unique texts and descriptions, thanks to them you can promote your site and get to good places in the SERP. Therefore, for each product, ideally, you need to create a unique description of at least 400-500 characters. To do this, you should hire a copywriter.
If there is no money for it, then you can first compose descriptions for product categories (usually they consist of 1000-1500 characters), and only then gradually add the necessary information. The same situation is with pictures: it is better to put unique ones, and not taken from other sites.
If you don't have time or opportunity to photograph the goods yourself, but slightly change the pictures: crop them, tilt, turn, etc. Be sure to write descriptions for the pictures, write Title and Description so that search engines understand what direction your page is.
Configuring additional modules
A modern online store sells goods around the clock, that is, the client does not need to wait until the manager contacts him and confirms the order. Therefore, payment and delivery modules should be installed on your site so that a person can simply choose the product he likes, pay for it through a bank card or in another convenient way, enter the data for delivery and go about his business.
Note! Delivery and payment modules usually do not come with free CMS, they must be installed separately. To do this, you need to find a suitable module, download it and inject it into the code, making the necessary changes.
In addition, you will need a communication module. There are several options for such modules, for example, JivoSite, etc. When a user enters your store, he will appear minimized in the corner.
If he needs a consultation, he will click on the form and write you a question or order a call back. You need to answer questions quickly enough, otherwise a person will simply go to others without receiving the information he needs. Therefore, you will need to either hire a manager, or track all calls and messages from customers yourself.
How to open an online store from scratch step by step instructions: store advertising
Now you know how to open an online store from scratch - there is nothing particularly complicated about it. It's harder to get customers to a new site and get them to buy. To do this, you need to build a competent marketing strategy, "promote" your online store in search engines, promote it in social networks, etc. At this stage you will need a portrait of the target customer (how to draw it up - we described above).
Website promotion in search engines is called SEO. This is a whole science that allows you to display portals in the first places in the search when the user enters a certain key request. Practice shows that the majority of users who entered a query into the search bar choose sites on the first or second page, no one looks further. Therefore, you need to ensure that you are as high as possible in the search.
The basic principles of SEO are:
- quality content;
- optimization of internal pages;
- definition of the semantic core and entry points;
- as well as the acquisition of a link mass to the site to increase the level of trust in it.
It will also be useful to relink similar pages so that they link to each other. Constantly improve your site, engage in its development, and it will gradually rise in the search results.
SEO optimization is a rather lengthy process that takes from 3 to 6 months or more. To attract customers immediately after opening, they use a powerful and flexible tool: contextual advertising.
Contextual advertising is displayed on the search engine page when the user enters certain queries.
For example, let's say you sell shoes. The user writes how to choose a running shoe. The search engine shows him your ad for sports shoes and a few feature articles. If you design the page correctly, then the user will follow the ad to you and make a purchase. If the user is looking for clothes or cars, then your ad will not be shown to him, which allows you to filter out unnecessary visitors.
The contextual advertising control panel allows you to fine-tune the ad delivery. In it, you can indicate the city or region of issue, age and gender of clients, their social status and other features. Read about the rules and subtleties of setting up advertisements - with their help, you can attract many target customers.
The cost of contextual advertising is low, a thousand clicks will cost 10-50 dollars, depending on the topic and the competitiveness of the direction, and you can recoup your investment from just one sale.
Also, don't forget about social media. Create groups of your store in them, design them beautifully and fill them with useful information, and then invite users.
Then regularly post information about discounts, sales, new arrivals, answer users' questions - they will start to trust you, advise you to friends and move to the category of regular customers.
How to open an online store from scratch step by step instructions: personal advice
Any modern person who knows how to work with a computer and office programs can launch his own small store - narrow technical knowledge is not needed for this, it is enough to just superficially understand the principles of functioning. So, how to open an online store from scratch, step-by-step instructions are as follows:
1. We decide on the goods, make up an assortment taking into account the existing competition, pricing policy and the availability of goods.
2. We find suppliers, study their conditions, conclude contracts and supply agreements.
3. We draw a portrait of the buyer in order to understand who will become your client and who to target in sales.
4. We buy a domain and hosting, set them up, choose a CMS or a constructor and launch the site.
5. We fill it with goods, set prices, finalize the design and other nuances.
6. Install payment and delivery modules, feedback form.
7. We launch an advertising campaign and get the first customers.
After that, you will need to constantly develop the store, select products, change the assortment and think about development. Your success directly depends on your perseverance, ability to overcome difficulties and get out of difficult situations.
Think over effective work schemes: for example, if the customer is from your city, then it is more logical not to send him the order through the mail, but to deliver it by courier or arrange self-pickup. Be sure to fulfill all your obligations, do not deceive your customers, check the quality of the goods before shipping, and your business will become successful!
If you want to start a business, but there is no money to develop an online store, do it yourself. This is quite possible even if you don't have the skills. To achieve this goal, register for an online training on creating online stores, which explains in detail how to make an online store yourself. These are absolutely free classes, allowing you to gain initial skills and practical experience.
The training is based on practical video tutorials. It is enough just to repeat all the steps for the presenter, and you can create a store with your own hands. Even if suddenly something does not work out, the technical support service will help you.
To take part in the training, just follow the link and register by entering the current data.
How to open an online store from scratch: where to start and what to look for
Do you want to start your own business? Or maybe you already have your own store and want to move to the online level? We will tell you about creating an online store. Let's take a look at the most important issues that need to be addressed when creating an online store.
What is required to open an online store? Let's highlight 3 major stages of creating an Internet resource:
Let's start creating a website step by step.
Stage 1. Preparatory
At this stage, the product itself, its niche, target audience, uniqueness of the proposal and the name of the site are selected.
Choose a product and niche
Even if you already have an offline store, you still have to do market analysis. These are the basics of building an online store. The online trading industry has become saturated with offers in a couple of decades, and it is full of other competitors.
To find your niche, ask yourself questions:
How unique is my product? The less uniqueness a product has, the more competitors it has. Of course, if the product is new, then the competition will be minimal. In this case, only a product with a similar function will be able to press you. In the modern world, there are practically no products that have no competitors at all. Even Roskosmos rockets have a competitor in the form of SpaceX.
Why is my product better than the competition? In marketing, there is a concept of a unique selling proposition (USP). Even if your product is similar to a competitor's product, you must create a distinctive feature. For example, the Domino's Pizza company says about a high speed of delivery (no more than 30 minutes).
At what price am I willing to sell the product? Of course, every manufacturer wants to have a low cost of goods and at the same time sell them at a huge mark-up. But the buyer is not a fool either. If a product is of poor quality for a lot of money, then the client at best will not make a second purchase, and at worst he will tell his acquaintances or on social networks about it, and no one else will buy the product. Even when setting up production, you need to understand in what price category the goods will be. Traditionally, there are 4 price segments:
The higher the price category, the better the quality of the product should be. For example, you can buy a cardigan from Zara, or you can buy a cardigan from Vetements. Both cardigans can be similar in style and color, but the difference in quality will be noticeable.
You can read more about choosing a niche in our blog.
Select target audience
Target audience (TA) is a group of people who are most likely to be interested in and order a specific product or service. The parameters of the selected target audience will help you come up with the appearance of the site, packaging, name and choose the right promotion tools.
The basic characteristics of the audience are socio-demographic. This includes gender, age, education, income, place of work, marital status, place of residence. These metrics will help you segment your audience significantly. For example, it makes no sense to offer clothes for young children to a person who has no children. And it is advisable to offer expensive watches to owners of large businesses.
In addition to socio-demographic indicators, there are psychographic ones. In this case, it is necessary to find out how a person lives, his values and goals, religious and political views, hobbies and much more.
Where to start studying target audience? What psychographic indicators to choose? Start with socio-demographic parameters. They will help to significantly limit the range of audience search. For example, let's take baby food in the middle price category, which differs from competitors in its eco-friendly packaging. It will be interesting for women 18-45 years old who have recently given birth to a child and have an average family income. Now let's try to segment this large group of women according to psychographic characteristics. Since the product is environmentally friendly, we need women who are engaged in sorting waste to protect nature. This is their psychographic indicator. Based on this, it can be understood that it is advisable to make the site in green and blue colors.
In the process of finding your customers, you can conduct focus groups, surveys and interviews that will reveal even more characteristics of the audience.
Choose a domain name
So, the price niche and target audience have been found. You can go to the site name.
The site name is the domain. It is displayed in the URL bar of the browser. With its help, users can find a site on the Internet.
First, let's see what the domain consists of. A domain is made up of levels. Usually there are two or three. Let's look at the levels using the example.mysite.ru domain as an example.
.ru - the first level, or domain zone. The types of domain zones are approved by the ICANN organization, so you just need to select the appropriate zone from the list provided.
mysite is the second level. This is the main site name you need to come up with.
example is the third level. This is an optional level. When creating a domain name, it is advisable not to use the third level. It makes the domain long. The fourth, fifth, sixth and other levels can be created according to the same principle.
Select a domain zone
Domain zones can be international (.COM, .NET, .ORG), national (.RU, .PL, .CH) and thematic (.GALLERY, .SHOP, .CAFE).
The choice of domain zone depends on the area in which you plan to distribute the product. There are few good names left in the international zone, especially at a nice price. Therefore, if you do not plan to enter the international market, you should pay attention to national domain zones. They are cheaper and have more free domains.
Thematic domain zones help to emphasize the focus of the site. They focus on the field of activity or topic of the web resource. Thematic zones allow you to create more interesting domains, give scope for creating unusual options and combinations. There is a .SHOP zone for online stores.
You can read more about domain zones on the website 2domains.ru.
Come up with the main body of the domain
The name itself is here, so this part should be given special attention. Here are some guidelines to help you create a good title.
Brevity is the soul of wit
The site address is used in advertising and social networks, users enter it in the address bar, so it should be easy to remember and reproduce. These two rules can be ensured if the title is short. It is preferable that the site has no more than two levels. The third can be used for additional pages on the site.
No controversial sounds
Avoid sounds that have multiple recording options. For example, the letter "g" can be represented by both "zh" and "j".
Try not to include letters that are difficult to transliterate in the name, for example, СН - Ч, SCH - Щ, YA - Я. Not everyone knows the rules for translating from Cyrillic to Latin, so people can make a mistake when typing in the address bar.
Fewer hyphens means fewer tears. Users will often forget the hyphens in your name. Because of this, they can go to a competitor's site.
Stage 2. Technical
After you have completed all the preparatory work, you can proceed to the technical part of creating a website. What do you need to run an online store? The choice of the tool depends on the functionality that will be located on the site. The more complex the site, the more complex the tool will be needed and the more expensive it will be.
An overview of tools for creating an online store
There are 3 main ways to create a website:
on the Constructor,
Designer is often offered by hosting providers on their websites. For example, the Designer is available on the site 2domains.ru. There are also constructors from Tilda and Wix. Simple online programs will help you make a simple online store yourself. This is the cheapest way to build a website. Even a beginner can use this service. The main disadvantage of this service is that it has few functions. Usually on the Designer you can create a product catalog, buttons for contacting a seller, and set up basic SEO promotion. An outstanding design will not work here, since there are also few tools for this.
Who needs it then? In fact, this is enough for small regional stores with a couple of dozen products. Availability and fast delivery are sometimes the most important thing. Also, this option is suitable for seasonal products, when you need to create a website cheaply and quickly. For example, an online store for the sale of Christmas trees and garlands for the New Year. Constructors also often use Instagram stores.
CMS (Content Management System) is a website creation and management system. This is a convenient interface with which you can create a website without knowing the code. Popular CMS are WordPress, Joomla, OpenCart, 1C-Bitrix, Drupal, MODX and others.
Compared to Constructor, CMS has many more features. They are used by both beginners and professionals. You don't need to know the code to use these platforms, but they should take a lot more time to learn the instructions. Or you can hire a developer to help you. A specialist will make a website on a CMS much faster and cheaper than on a programming language, and you will not need to fool yourself with a new technology.
Each CMS differs in the number of additional plugins in the system, SEO settings, interface convenience and price. Before choosing a CMS, carefully familiarize yourself with the programs.
2DOMAINS offers special free templates for WordPress and 1C-Bitrix, which will make the process of website creation even easier.
A website written in a programming language
This is the most expensive way to build a website. If you are offered to make a website in this way for 50 thousand, do not believe it. The quality will be low. This method is suitable for medium and large businesses. This job requires a highly qualified specialist. It is also worth noting that you will have to pay separately for testing, design and layout of the site.
This option has one significant advantage - you can get the best result: maximum flexibility for your tasks, very fast page loading for the user, the most user-friendly interface, clean code, site readiness for heavy load.
Cash investments will be required not only for the initial development, but also for maintaining the site's performance and its further development. Most often, companies hire a department of programmers who constantly maintain the site. That is why this option is more suitable for large projects. However, the result is worth it.
Important elements of an online store
The site structure is a complex scheme that should be thought over in advance. The appearance can even be drawn on a piece of paper. If the full picture is visible, then the connection with the developer will improve faster.
During the entire existence of web resources, important elements of the site have been established: header, footer, main part and sidebar. Below we will give tips on how to open an online store.
The header is at the top of the page. It is her that the visitor sees first. Here it is: Logo
organization or online store. It is usually placed in the upper left corner. According to the laws of attention, the user first of all looks there. Main menu.
It allows the user to find what he needs on the site. There are no general guidelines for creating a menu. It all depends on the number of positions. The menu can be horizontal and vertical (drop-down). The entire structure needs to be carefully thought out so that the visitor does not wander through endless scattered pages. Basket
on the site. In order not to wander through the categories of the menu, the user can use the search. Especially relevant for online stores with hundreds of positions. .
Contact details Login Registration
to your personal account.
The footer of the site is also called footer. It is located at the very end of the page. It may contain:
Duplicated main menu. Site Map.
These are XML documents that help search robots navigate sites and index them efficiently.
to the office or store. Links
on social networks.
Awards and certificates.
For example, the main menu is duplicated in the footer of 2domains.ru:
This is where you find detailed information about the products - product cards. Try to describe the product in as much detail as possible so that the client does not have any questions. Upload product photos from all sides. The fewer questions the buyer has, the faster he will make a purchase decision and the less work will be required from the call-center employee.
For an online store, it is also important to place reviews, a question-answer section and information on the availability of goods in the main part.
The sidebar is the side of the site. It can be on the right, left, or on both sides.
Advertising. This can be both advertising of third-party companies in order to get additional income for the site, and advertising of promotions and interesting products of the online store itself.
Filters. If there are hundreds of products on the site, then filters make it easier to find the desired product.
Additional elements Favicon
... This is an icon or logo that appears in search results. It makes it easier for the user to identify your site among others. Also, if there is a logo in the favicon, then this affects the memorability of the site. Bread crumbs.
The breadcrumb, which is located at the top of the site page.
These are the main elements of the site. For an online store, you also need to consider payment and delivery options, CRM integration, business chat and online telephony (if needed).
Stage 3. Promotion
The site has been created. Now we need to draw attention to him. Website promotion is a vast topic. We'll just go over the highlights a bit.
Get started with SEO. Some CMS have plugins that allow you to customize basic (and not only) SEO settings. For example, WordPress has plugins Yoast SEO, Rank Math, The SEO Framework. They allow you to generate meta tags, title and description and work with keywords.
Yandex and Google services will help in the promotion. With their help, you can receive notifications about problems, for example, lack of access to the site, malicious code, problems with the sitemap. They can also be used to monitor the indexing of the site and the search queries used by your site visitors.
Good old advertising will help to promote. You can run traditional banner ads on other portals and social networks, and you can also order direct and native (hidden) ads from bloggers. To create banners, you need to contact the designers who will create an ad for you. You can also use contextual and targeted advertising. They will also need a specialist, since it requires knowledge of additional programs.
Website development is a long, expensive and painstaking process. You can't launch a good website in a couple of days for free. If you are not confident in your abilities, find a specialist. He has not only technical knowledge, but also experience with other projects. Perhaps he will tell you how not to step on the rake of other businessmen. Think carefully if the site developer has set a noticeably low price. This can be a scammer or a completely inexperienced person. As the saying goes, the miser pays twice.
In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, global self-isolation and quarantine, online commerce has reached unprecedented heights. This already popular area of Internet business, today conquers new heights due to the fact that more and more people buy goods without leaving their homes, so as not to violate quarantine and not put their health at risk. In addition, many offline businessmen urgently began looking for an opportunity to sell their goods online and thought about creating their own online stores.
If you want to sell products online, but are not ready to pay for the creation of a turnkey online store, read this article and you can make your own store.
In order to learn how to create an online store yourself and at the same time spend the minimum amount of money and effort, you should first study the basic steps for creating an online store before starting to create it. If you are looking for the best online store builder, you can use .
by this link If you are looking for the best online store builder, you can use .
If you are looking for the best hosting for your online store, then use
- How to create an online store yourself. Step-by-step instruction
- Choosing the theme of the online store. Pros and cons of themes, seasonality, competition.
- Analysis of the main competitors from search engine results and in Yandex.Market.
- Search and analysis of suppliers. Assortment, prices, conditions, integration.
- Dropshipping suppliers.
- Choosing a platform for creating an online store.
- Domain and hosting for an online store
- Creation and initial setup of an online store.
- Logistics for an online store. Post, transport companies and courier services.
- Warehouse and fulfillment for an online store.
- Acquiring. Setting up payment acceptance in the online store.
- Cloud PBX. IP telephony connection. Number 8-800.
- Means of increasing the conversion of an online store. Online consultant, call back, etc.
- Advertising of an online store in Yandex.Direct and Yandex.Market.
- Statistics and analytics for an online store
- Analysis of niche profitability and advertising payback.
Development of an online store.
Bonus: A list of possible topics for those who do not yet know which online store to create.
1. Choosing the theme of the online store. Pros and cons of themes, seasonality, competition.
One of the most important factors affecting the potential income of an online store is the correctly selected product category. Even if in the future you plan to create an Internet hypermarket with a variety of products, you should still start with some 1 topic.
If you have experience of offline trading in a certain niche, then I recommend starting with it, since, most likely, you already have an idea of the profitability of the topic, the permissible markup, competition, seasonality, and most importantly, there are contacts of the necessary suppliers.
- If you do not have such experience or you want to try yourself in a new subject of goods, then let's start searching: Try to find products in the middle price range
- , i.e. not too expensive (many buyers are not ready to order expensive products in new online stores), but also not too cheap (the product should be more expensive than its delivery). You can sell cheap goods, only with the prerequisite that the order will be no less than a certain amount, or if you plan to create a wholesale online store. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of time and effort for penny orders. If you still can't find a suitable topic, then try searching in the list of topics for an online store at the end of this article. Weigh the pros and cons of themes : the cost of goods, the probability of returns, the required assortment in the warehouse, demand (can be roughly estimated using the service https://wordstat.yandex.ru
) and offer, difficulty in delivery and return, difficulty in advising potential buyers, marginality, seasonality and shelf life of goods.
The ideal subject matter of goods in an online store looks like this:
Cost of goods - medium Probability of returns (low quality, inappropriate size, scrap, etc.) - low Required assortment in stock - small Demand - high Supply - small Difficulty in delivery - no Difficulty in consulting - no Marginality (the difference between the cost and the price that you are willing to pay for the goods buyer) - large Seasonality - no Shelf life of goods - long
As a rule, it is almost impossible to find such an ideal subject matter of goods, therefore, most likely, you will have to choose "the lesser of evil".
2. Analysis of the main competitors from the results of search engines and in Yandex.Market.
- After you have decided on the niche of your future online store, before opening it, you need to study the main competitors from the search results for queries related to your topic: Rate number of advertisements
- according to your target requests Make a list of online stores that occupy
- first positions Take a look assortment of goods and prices
- on these trading platforms Look at them attendance using third-party services, for example,
- https://www.similarweb.com/website/citilink.ru Estimate the approximate advertising cost in Yandex.Direct by creating test ads or using third-party services, for example,
- After you have decided on the niche of your future online store, before opening it, you need to study the main competitors from the search results for queries related to your topic: https://mutagen.ru/?key=buy+fridge number of offers
for key products in your topic on Yandex.Market.
If, after examining all of this data, you see that you can take a bite of the pie from your competitors due to low advertising costs, competitive pricing, or other factors, then you can move on to the next step.
If you see that there are many large online stores in the subject and the cost of advertising is too high, most likely you should go back to the previous step and try to find a subject with less fierce competition.
3. Search and analysis of suppliers. Assortment, prices, conditions, integration.
This is one of the most difficult, but at the same time, very important steps. You will need to find suppliers of goods of the selected subject.
- Here are several ways to find a supplier for your online store: Search the Internet for a request "... buy wholesale"
- ... Where "..." is the product you want to sell.
- Search on "supplier directories" sites.
- Look at the product label for information about the supplier or importer.
- Spy on competitors. For example, try to find any information on the site or ask them for quality certificates (they usually have information about the supplier).
- If the product is manufactured in your region, then you can contact the manufacturer of the product directly.
You can find a supplier of goods from China on such sites as Aliexpress, Alibaba, TaoBao.
The choice of a supplier directly depends on the topic you have chosen. Check with the suppliers you found all the terms of cooperation: wholesale prices, assortment and availability of goods, the ability to integrate with their inventory control systems, document flow, order processing speed, delivery cost, availability of certificates of conformity, warranty service, additional terms of cooperation.
Keep in mind that when working with foreign suppliers, additional difficulties may arise, such as certification, customs clearance, logistics, etc.
- Wholesale supplier catalogs for online store
4. Dropshipping suppliers.
Dropshipping is a format of cooperation with a supplier in which goods are shipped directly from the supplier's warehouse. At the same time, your online store participates in this transaction only as an intermediary.
- Cooperation schemes with different dropshipping suppliers can be quite different from each other. But, in general terms, working with a dropshipping supplier looks like this:
- You place products from the supplier's catalog in your online store.
- In manual or automatic mode, keep track of the relevance of prices and assortment.
- When you receive an order from a buyer, send this order to the supplier.
The supplier ships the product directly to the buyer. pros
Such cooperation means that you do not have to purchase large consignments of goods to maintain the assortment, rent a warehouse, deal with logistics and warranty service, and worry about certificates for goods. In addition, dropshipping suppliers usually provide tools to automatically update stocks and prices in your online store. Minuses
dropshipping are as follows: a rather high cost of goods, compared to regular suppliers, the difficulty of working with several suppliers at the same time (for example, if a customer of your store orders several goods from different suppliers at once, you will have to pay for several deliveries at once).
You can find dropshipping suppliers by the corresponding search query or on specialized sites - supplier catalogs. There are also dropshipping platform , which combine various suppliers in one interface, tools for unloading goods and prices, as well as financial settlements. With the help of such platforms, you can run online store for dropshipping without investment
and fill it with goods in 1 day. All that remains is to engage in attracting buyers and processing their orders.
Dropshipping suppliers and platforms
5. Choosing a platform for creating an online store
There are quite a few specialized CMS (content management system) for creating an online store, in addition, there are plugins that turn non-specialized CMS into a full-fledged online store, for example, WordPress. These plugins and CMS come in both paid and free versions. In addition, there are a huge number of online constructors on the market for creating a store, as well as hybrid solutions that allow you to create an online store in the cloud using a constructor, and when you buy a license, you can download a full-fledged CMS.
So which instrument should you choose? There is no definite answer to this question. It all depends on how much money, time and effort you are willing to spend to launch a store, as well as on what exactly you want to get in the end. If you want to create an online store for free, then most likely you will have to opt for a free CMS, since almost all normal store designers are not ready to provide their services free of charge and are limited to a free trial period.
Online store builders
If you want to quickly enter the Internet business with a minimum investment of time and money, create a full-fledged online store on your own, then I recommend choosing one of the popular construction sets. On such a service, you will have to fork out for a monthly fee, but the designers, as a rule, have all the necessary modules (integration with 1C and delivery services, accepting payments on the site, uploading for Yandex.Market, and much more). Thanks to this, you can launch your own online store in literally 1-2 days without the skills of layout and programming.
- DIY store builders
- storeland.ru cloud.diafan.ru
Online store scripts (CMS)
If you have experience in installing and configuring CMS, basic knowledge of layout and programming, then you can create an online store using CMS. Theoretically, a simple store with minimal functionality can be created without any programming knowledge, but in order to make a fully functional platform for online trading, you will most likely need a programmer and layout designer. But you will have full access to the site engine and the ability to very finely customize the design and functionality of the store, as well as, if necessary, transfer the script of the online store to another hosting, if the current one does not suit you with something.
- CMS for creating an online store
6. Domain and hosting for an online store After you decide on the platform for creating your store, it's time to start selecting and registering a domain (a unique address for your website on the Internet, for example, vashmagazin.ru), as well as choosing and buying hosting
(if you are planning to create a store using the constructor, then you will not need hosting).
Domain selection and registration
I recommend registering domains only with accredited registrars, this will allow you to be sure that the domain is registered for you, and also to be able to sell the domain separately or together with your online store in the future without any problems.
Accredited domain registrars
These registrars have all the necessary tools to select and register domains.
I recommend to approach the choice of a domain name with all responsibility, because "as you name the ship, so it will float."
Try not to use the names of regions and cities in the domain name, this will firmly tie your store to the specified location and it will be difficult for you to further expand your Internet business in other regions.
Avoid mentioning a specific category of goods in the name of the site, this will make it difficult to expand the range in the future.
Try to come up with a concise, catchy, and easy-to-pronounce domain name. Imagine that you tell someone the name of your site over the phone and you will immediately understand whether such a domain is right for you or not. Read more about what a domain is, how to choose and register it correctly in our article.
Choosing and buying hosting
If you decide to create an online store using a CMS, then you will need hosting (space for the script and other files of your website on the Internet).
It is extremely important to choose a high-quality and fast hosting. If the hosting is slow, your store pages will take a very long time to load and this will scare off potential buyers. If there are other problems with the hosting, your store website may not be available at all, which will lead to a loss of profit. In order not to be mistaken in choosing a hosting, use this rating of hosting providers https://siterost.net/services/hosting
or choose one of the hosts below.
Hosting for an online store
For most CMS, at the initial stage, the cheapest plan with PHP and MySQL support is suitable. If you have opted for the Bitrix CMS, then it is better to take a slightly more powerful or specialized hosting. If you have any additional questions about choosing a tariff, then create a corresponding request to the hosting support service.
7. Creation and initial configuration of an online store
There are a lot of platforms and scripts for launching an online store, and each has its own nuances and subtleties. Therefore, it is possible that the installation process for your chosen system will be slightly different from the one described below.
Creating a website for an online store using the constructor
- Usually, the algorithm for launching a store using a constructor is as follows: Register
- ... After registration, a free test period will be available, which will allow you to evaluate all the pros and cons of a particular constructor, its functionality, as well as an assortment of additional modules for integration with various programs and services. Set up your store
- (initially it will be available at a technical address like vashmagazin.konstruktor.ru) using the intuitive control panel of the constructor. Usually, the interface of online store designers and the accompanying step-by-step instructions are designed specifically for beginners and it is quite difficult to get confused in them. If the control is not intuitive, and the instructions are too complicated, then most likely such a service does not suit you and you will have to look for a constructor with a more user-friendly interface. Attach a previously registered domain
to the created online store according to the instructions on the designer's website.
Creation of a website for an online store on CMS
If you have never created sites on your own, then, most likely, the instructions below will not be enough for you, and you will have to read at least a couple of specialized articles on how to install site scripts on hosting.
- The process of installing a CMS for hosting is as follows:
- You pay or take hosting for a test period
- In the domain registrar interface, add the hosting DNS to the domain (connect the domain to the hosting).
- Download the CMS (if it is paid, you will need to pay to download it).
- Create a MySQL database on the hosting (relevant for most scripts for creating an online store).
- Upload CMS files to hosting.
- Connect the CMS script to the database, according to the instructions for the CMS.
- Run the installation (if required).
Set up the site in the admin panel of the script.
After the done manipulations, the store will already be available on your domain. If any of the points causes you questions, do not hesitate to contact the hosting support service.
8. Logistics for the online store. Post, transport companies and courier services.
If you are going to sell physical goods, not digital (software, license keys, etc.), then you need to think about how to deliver the goods to the buyer.
- Delivery can be done in different ways:
- on my own
- by mail
- transport companies
If you are going to sell goods only in your locality, you can deliver the goods in person or send them using a courier service. Algorithm of cooperation with courier service
looks like this: on the website of the courier service, you arrange delivery, the nearest courier picks up the goods from you and delivers it to the address.
If your online store is focused on selling goods with delivery in Russia, Ukraine, the CIS or the world, then you will have to send them by mail or a transport company. Algorithm of cooperation with a transport company
- bring the goods to the point of acceptance, to the transit warehouse of the company or call a courier, arrange the delivery, the goods are delivered to the desired locality to the buyer's door or to the point of issue.
A huge number of companies are represented on the logistics market. Before deciding on one or more of them, I recommend looking at what delivery services your competitors work with.
In addition, it will be preferable to work with those delivery services that have ready-made modules for integration with a CMS or a designer on which you plan to launch an online store. Such modules will allow you to implement in your online store such useful functions as: online calculation of delivery costs, selection of a pick-up point and a convenient time for delivery, etc.
- Delivery services for online stores
9. Warehouse and fulfillment for an online store.
At the initial stage of the online store, you most likely will not have to rent a warehouse. Unless you're planning to trade bulky items.
But when you need a warehouse, you can rent it directly from the transport company with which you will work (if such a service is available). In this case, you can save time and money on delivery from your warehouse to the processing point.
- In addition, some logistics companies provide a service called "fulfillment", the essence of which is that you can:
- send goods from the supplier's warehouse directly to the warehouse of the transport company
- send goods to the buyer through your personal account
- accept returns
control the process remotely, that is, you will not need to call couriers, visit warehouses or collection points Wherein receiving, unloading, packaging and dispatching will be handled by employees of the company providing fulfillment services
... That is, in fact, you can focus only on the online side of your business, and the company will take over all the other functions. In addition, it does not matter in which region or country you will be at the same time.
- Order fulfillment for online stores
10. Acquiring. Setting up payment acceptance in the online store.
When creating a new store, you will need to decide on the payment options that will be available to your potential customers.
- At the moment, there are 2 most common methods of payment for purchases in online stores: C.O.D
- ... The buyer pays for the goods upon receipt at the post office or at the point of issue by card or cash. Online payment on the site
... The buyer pays for the goods at the time of registration of the purchase in the online store with a bank card or electronic money.
Cash on delivery is much less profitable for an online store, since the cost of delivery increases and such an expense item appears as the return of an unredeemed item (the buyer changed his mind and did not pay for the item at the post office). In addition, delivery to some regions can take quite a long time, that is, you will have to wait a very long time for payment of the goods.
- However, there are certain categories of people who are not ready to pay for the goods before it is delivered to them:
- those who do not have a bank card and electronic money
- those who do not have the required amount for payment at the time of purchase
those who have no confidence that the goods will be delivered to them
Therefore, in order not to miss out on profits, many online stores are ready to send goods by cash on delivery. If you want to work according to this scheme, then you will need to clarify the conditions with the transport company or postal service with which you plan to cooperate.
Online payment on the site will allow you to receive money for the goods even before they are sent, thereby eliminating the above costs. There are many services for Internet acquiring (accepting payments on the website). Before choosing one of the services, I recommend that you clarify with them the current conditions of cooperation: payment methods, commissions, reporting for the tax, the availability of ready-made modules for your CMS or designer.
- Acceptance of payments for an online store
11. Cloud PBX. IP telephony connection. Number 8-800. In order to communicate with your potential customers, you will need an IP telephony connection. At the initial stage, of course, you can do without it by indicating on the website the number of your landline or mobile phone, but in the future .
it is quite difficult to carry out efficient operation of an online store without a cloud PBX
- A virtual PBX will allow you to:
- rent a multichannel city number of almost any locality
- rent a free number for callers 8-800
- set up an answering machine
- store call records
- distribute calls between your operators
control the communication style and quality of the operators' work
- Cloud (virtual) PBX. IP telephony
12. Means of increasing the conversion of an online store. Online consultant, call back, etc.
- In order to increase the conversion of visitors to your online store into buyers, there are many paid and free services that provide such functions as: Online consultant
- ... Multichannel chat for a site with operators and / or bots. Push notifications
- ... The ability to send notifications about the availability of a product or the launch of a new promotion directly to the visitor's smartphone or browser. Back call
- . The visitor leaves his phone number and the service automatically dials and connects the client and the operator. A / B Testing
- . The ability to show parts of visitors to other descriptions of goods and images for conversion analysis. Kuisa
. Interactive surveys for visitors, at the end of which they will be invited to leave their contact details or purchase a specific product.
This list is not complete, because such services are constantly monitoring the changing needs of the Internet trading market. I recommend starting testing from services that have ready-made modules for the designer you choose or CMS.
- Services to increase the conversion of the online store
13. Advertising online store in Yandex.Direct and Yandex.Market.
Every online store needs visitors, and you should not count on the fact that they themselves will find a new online store. Therefore, for an efficient start of sales, I recommend buying visitors in the Yandex.Direct advertising system. Then your online store immediately after payment and the passage of moderation will be displayed on the Inex issuance pages by target search queries that you choose, for example, "Gift Shop" or "Buy Spinning in Yekaterinburg". At the same time, you will pay the cost of the transition to your ad, which depends on the demand of the keyword, the geography of visitors, as well as on the announcement of the announcement on the issue page.
In addition, you can buy advertising on Yandex.Market, you need to configure the unloading of the list of goods of your online store. Such unloading "know how to" make most CMS and online store designers.
You can set up advertising in the Direct and / or in the market, you can order an appropriate service from certified specialists at the Yandex. Service or independent service.
14. Statistics and analytics for the online store.
After your new store starts to fully function, you need to collect all possible statistical data using analytics services. I recommend to take advantage of the free and very convenient service - Yandex.Metrica.
- With the help of the metric you can collect and analyze the following information:
- Sources of visitors and detailed statistics for each of them
- Conversion (add to the basket and ordering)
- Statistics of clicks and conversions with advertising networks, Direct and Market
- Transitions from search engines, as well as search queries.
- Geo visitors
Many other useful data
In addition, you can monitor the actions of the users (moving the mouse, clicks and filling the forms) on your site using the "Web Dial" function, as well as form an audience for fine tuning Yandex.Direct.
15. Analysis of profitability and return on advertising.
After several weeks of the work of your online store, you can proceed to the analysis and calculation of all income and expenses, as well as difficulties that have arisen with the store's engine, purchase and shipment of goods, acceptance of payments, etc. It is necessary in order to determine whether suppliers are suitable for you, selected niche and delivery service, whether modules have enough modules for a CMS or store designer.
Thus, you define all the weaknesses of your business and you can take appropriate measures. For example, such a detail, as the cost of clicking on advertising, can make you change or expand the subject of goods. The absence or poor quality of the required modules is to change the store's engine. Complaints of customers to the delivery service - pick up another logistics company.
The main thing is not to give up, even if in the first weeks of work you went into a minus. If you correctly carry out “work on mistakes” and eliminate all weaknesses, then you will definitely be able to create a profitable online store.
16. Development of an online store
- It is important not to stop at the achieved result and continue to increase the profitability of the store and its convenience for customers. Analyze your competitors
- ... Constantly monitor the prices of the assortment of your competitors, try to provide no less favorable conditions. Look for new suppliers
- ... Constant monitoring of prices and conditions from various suppliers will allow you to reduce the cost of purchasing goods. Expand your assortment
- and add new product categories. This will help increase the turnover, and therefore the profit of your online store. Search and customize new advertising channels
- ... Try advertising on different ad networks like Google Ads and Facebook. Lead social media groups. Analyze revenue from each ad channel. Optimize
Development of an online store.
- your online store to increase free search engine traffic (SEO). Constant work with textual content on your store's website (compiling a unique description for products and categories, writing review and comparative articles) will help improve your site's position in Yandex and Google search results and, accordingly, will attract new customers. Electronics and gadgets
- ... It is not necessary to immediately offer a wide range of products, you can start with one or two popular devices, for example: walkie-talkies, bluetooth speakers, power banks. Clothes and footwear
- ... It is better to sell products that do not require fitting, for example: caps, T-shirts, handbags, accessories, workwear. Goods for creativity, celebration, gifts.
- You can sell anything for decoration, handicraft, party decoration. Goods for repair and construction
- ... You can sell paints, decoration materials, tools and consumables. Auto accessories and spare parts.
- For example, you can sell car alarms, auto chemicals, tires and wheels. Goods for kids.
- For example, strollers, constructors, dolls, childcare products. Household products.
- For example, furniture items, products for the kitchen or bathroom. Home textiles.
- For example, bed linen, capes, pillows, towels. Cosmetics and perfumery.
- For example, anti-aging creams, masks, manicure products, perfumes. Office supplies.
- For example, stationery (preferably in bulk), office furniture. Goods for sports, recreation and tourism.
- For example, bicycles, hoverboards, scooters, balls, mats, rackets, hammocks, tents, survival kits. Goods for pets.
For example, carriers, leashes, terrariums, formicaria, food, pet care products.
There are already too many online stores. The competition is huge. Buyers are tired of being overwhelmed. Newbies are doomed.
And if you look from the other side? 55% of the Russian population makes online purchases at least once a month. Half of the residents of large cities are bought only in this way.
A good online store pays off in 2-3 months and starts making a net profit. But how to open your online store from scratch and make it good? Get step-by-step instructions from FireSEO! Let's go ☺
We will consult for free and prepare a commercial offer within 1 day for the development or revision of online stores, as well as a media plan for promotion. Contact by contacts.
1. Decide what we will sell
- The main thing is to choose not what you like, but what customers need. How? Keep 3 ways.
Walk the beaten path
We go to Yandex. Wordstat (Google Trends) and analyze user queries. Or we enter a basic query (for example, "dresses") and see what people need ("polka-dot dresses", "wrap-around dresses", etc.). The more often they search for a product, the higher the demand. And competition.
- Tip: Choose proven niches that are relevant to most online stores. These are clothes, shoes, electronics, household appliances, baby products, accessories.
Work in a narrow niche
We select a product with high demand and low supply. We think: if everyone wants it, why are there few sellers? Maybe it's hard to get it? Or does it have a low margin (the difference between the buy and sell price)?
- Tip: try to narrow down even popular niches. Not dresses at all, but handmade dresses. Not cosmetics, but Korean skin care products.
Create a narrow niche
Advanced level - we sell a product that no one else has. Perhaps the buyers do not yet know about such a product. We do it so that they know and want to buy. This method is not suitable for beginners, but it helps experienced entrepreneurs to separate themselves from competitors.
Advice: use foreign trends (they get to Russia with a delay of 3-6 months). If you hit the bull's-eye, become a pioneer and skim the cream off before others enter the niche. Track eBay, Alibaba, Amazon bestsellers.
Decide on a niche, make a list of relevant queries and check them through Yandex. Wordstat. Do customers really need a product? What else do you know about them?Are you interested in internet marketing and online business promotion? Subscribe to our
2. Studying the audience
Target audience (CA) are people interested in a specific product. You need to thoroughly study them and motivate them to make a purchase from you.
- Make a portrait of the target audience:
- what gender and age is she?
- what are her interests?
- where does he prefer to shop?
- what communication channels does it use?
- what advertising triggers does it respond to?
- what expectations does the product have?
how will it benefit her?
A competent portrait will show where to look for buyers, how to communicate with them, interest them and push them to buy. And what kind of work to choose.
- 3. Choosing the format of the online store Complete online store
The supplier ships the product directly to the buyer. - build a business with a constant assortment, logistics, feedback service and other features.
: maximum profit, opportunities for development and scaling. Minuses
- : large investments, long and expensive process of promotion, the need to register a legal entity, additional items of expenditure (rent of premises, payments to staff, taxes). Niche store
The supplier ships the product directly to the buyer. - you place a bet on one or several trade offers that are in the highest demand.
: maximum profit, opportunities for development and scaling. : simple organization, minimum costs.
- : limited development opportunities, dependence on short-term (seasonal) demand. Dropshipping -
The supplier ships the product directly to the buyer. sell the supplier's products, earning on the difference in price (buy dresses for $ 10, sell for $ 20).
: maximum profit, opportunities for development and scaling. : no organizational costs and no responsibility for delivery.
- : limited earnings, high competition, difficulties when working with well-known suppliers (they only cooperate with large stores or require a deposit). affiliate program
The supplier ships the product directly to the buyer. - advertise and sell products of another seller, receiving interest.
: maximum profit, opportunities for development and scaling. : The scope of responsibility is limited to the promotion of the product.
: small earnings (7-12% of the transaction amount), advertising costs (may not pay off).
- The format you choose depends on your budget, niche specifics, and your experience. For beginners, 2 options are suitable:
- trade in one or more high-demand products that are in high demand;
purchase a small batch of goods and launch a test store.
4. Looking for suppliers
Of course, you can enter the desired query ("buy lace dresses in bulk") and go through the first results of the Google search. But be prepared to overpay or run into scammers.
- How do I choose a good supplier?
- study the site (if it is made on the knee or exists without a year for a week, look for other options);
- read reviews (if not, pass by);
- monitor prices (choose the market average: too low indicates deception or marriage, too high - about the impudence of the seller);
evaluate the conditions (whether you can pull the minimum order, whether the supplier is responsible for the quality and packaging of the goods, whether it makes a return). Note:
large suppliers refuse to cooperate with newcomers. You can cheat - indicate another, more famous store.
But it is more ethical to find a seller who agrees to send a batch of no name to the entrepreneur. Try your luck on proven sites: Optlist, Miiix, Comerando, Supl. Looking for a dropshipper? Take a look here: Chinavasion, Osell, DHgate, DX.
Found a product? It's time to open the store.
5. We create and fill the site
Come up with a name for the store, and at the same time the site on which you will trade. And do not hesitate to buy a domain, so that later no one will take it.
- Ideal online store name:
- easy to remember;
- well transliterated;
associated with a product and / or field of activity.
- Pick a few good ones and check if the domain names are busy. Now think about the structure of the site:
- you run a large store - you need a multi-page website;
you are making an affiliate platform or a store of one product - a one-page site (landing page) will do.
At the start, you don't have to bother too much with the design and design. It is difficult to immediately understand which site will attract buyers more effectively. The optimal strategy is to prepare and compare multiple options (A / B testing).
Make 2 simple sites on a free constructor, show them to your friends, post them on a thematic forum or conduct a survey on social networks. Choose the one that gets the most positive feedback. Popular constructors with free or affordable prices:
Bitrix24, Tilda, Wix.
Now we fill the site with assortment and content. Nobody is going to buy a pig in a poke. The product must be shown with the face, back, side and other parts.
Moreover, so that search engines pay attention to it. Good content just won't work. Go to Yandex. Wordstat or KeyWordTool and collect the semantic core - the main queries for which users are looking for similar products. Use them to create content.
- Checklist for filling an online store
- Competent descriptions of sections ("About us", "How to place an order", "Payment and delivery") and categories of goods.
- Detailed product cards (with high-quality photos and unique descriptions containing key queries).
- FAQ (few people give it enough attention, but whoever does it automatically wins a few points).
- Checkout and payment widgets.
The finishing touch is analytics. You need to track traffic sources, user activity and site attractiveness. At a minimum, connect Google Analytics tools.
- 6. Moving forward
- Where? Only forward.
- Where? In search engines, social networks - wherever the target audience lives.
- How? Let's consider 4 options.
- Yandex Market is one of the largest services for the search and selection of goods. According to Yandex, the service is visited by 28 million people every month throughout Russia. In our experience, this is one of the most effective tools for promoting online stores, which can bring orders from 30 rubles. We wrote more about it in the article How to set up Yandex Market for online stores
Contextual advertising in search engines
- The easiest way is to work through Google Ads and Yandex. Direct. The task is to set search queries, when you enter them, the system will give the visitor your site. Sometimes clients come within 10-20 minutes after the start of an advertising campaign. The only caveat is that you will have to pay for each click or transition.
Social media targeting
- Many companies have relied on VKontakte and Facebook. They concentrate a solvent audience, which can really be reached. The scheme is simple - to create a catchy advertisement and indicate to whom to "slip" it. The more impressions, the more expensive each one is.
Advertising on third-party resources
Large forums, message boards like Avito, and themed media are good sources of additional traffic. Let's not forget about entrepreneurs from related fields. You sell dresses, another businessman sells handbags. Why not promote each other?
- If your budget allows, order ads from influencers - popular users who are trusted by the audience. For a small store, a local insta blogger is suitable, for a large platform - a top LJ author.
Word of mouth
The client brings not only money, but also advertising. Even if they just leave a good review or show off their purchases. Don't ignore local SEO and register your site on Google My Business or Yandex. Directory. Buyers will leave reviews, and the search engine will trust the site and place it in search results more often. Encourage customers to talk about you: give bonuses for reviews, do contests with reposts, and hold sweepstakes.
You can open an online store from scratch yourself. You will save a lot of money, but waste time and nerves figuring out what you don't know. In the meantime, you will go on a rake, competitors will have time to occupy profitable niches. Specific tasks like creating, filling and promoting a site are best left to professionals. Yes, you will pay more. But you will get a reliable base for development.
- What's next? Use the main rule of a successful business:
- cut off what doesn't work;
scale what works.
If you have any questions about launching an online store, you can ask a question in the comments or contact us by contacts.
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Today, online stores are very popular, they are considered both as a platform for increasing sales and for starting a business from scratch. At the same time, it is almost impossible to find really useful information about what an online store is, why it is needed, what it consists of, how to organize its work and about many other important nuances.
Here is such a paradox: on the one hand, a huge number of articles have been written about online stores, on the other hand, they contain very, very little really useful information. Now I'm not talking about technical texts designed for professionals, there is quite a lot of information here. And the questions asked by the future owners of online stores mostly remain unanswered.
Due to the nature of my work, I also very often come across online stores. A lot of questions are asked to me by clients, managers of medium and small businesses, who are trying to understand whether they should open an online store, and if so, how best to do it. Also, my acquaintances quite often turn to me for advice on how to open an online store, what is needed for this, etc.
In this article, I decided to explain in the most simple and understandable language what an online store is, why it is needed and even why it may not be needed, as well as how to create it and how to organize work.
The article is intended for a wide range of readers, there will be no complex terms and some technical nuances that are interesting to experienced specialists. Here I will talk about the basic concepts related to the operation of an online store, as well as consider the basic principles of its operation. This text will be of interest to those who are thinking about creating an online store or simply seeking to understand what it is and how it works.
Online store: do you need it?
When they ask me what needs to be done to open a store, I first try to find out if these people really need an online store?
The fact is that today an online store is a fashionable concept, just like, for example, a startup. Everyone has heard that it is very necessary and very profitable, but what it is, who needs it and why, most do not even think about it.
As a result, it often turns out that this person does not really need an online store, in his case a regular business card site that has been functioning for a long time will perfectly cope with sales.
It is even worse if the decision to open an online store is made from scratch, just like an investment: without a product base, without market knowledge, without the ability to sell. In this case, such a project is doomed to failure from day one.
I will try to systematize the most common situations in which creating an online store turns out to be a waste of money and time.You do not need to open an online store if:
1. You are a good consumer of the product, but not a seller.
I have seen similar situations many times. For example, parents with many children decide to open a children's clothing store simply on the grounds that they are already well versed in clothing for children. Yes, they know where to buy good clothes for their children. They communicate with the same parents, and see that the demand in this area is quite high. But all of this is not enough to achieve a sales result. It is necessary, at least, to know this market from the point of view of the seller, to understand pricing, to know your competitors, to have a reliable and profitable channel for the supply of goods.
I know a lot of stories when people tried to start trading on the Internet from scratch without any experience and knowledge. And they usually end sadly. Therefore, in such cases, I always discourage unnecessary costs. I believe that free funds can be spent more profitably.
- There are several exceptions to this rule:
- You are a specialist in some field, you know how to trade, and you sell a product that you are well versed in. For example, there are quite a few successful examples of "online stores from scratch" among electronics sellers. They know where to buy quality goods, they often have good discounts from sellers as regular customers, they more or less know the market of their region.
You know the product well, you have your own supply chain, and at the same time, you have found some niche that is still unfilled or minimally filled. For example, I have a friend who has been fond of cheerleading for years. He collected recordings of performances of cheerleaders, watched programs, etc. And then I decided to start selling goods for athletes. He had a good supply chain from the USA and was very knowledgeable about the product. As a result, his business is booming.That is why: if you are not just a consumer, but a specialist, if you know the product at a professional level, you have an entrepreneurial streak, open up boldly!
2. There is no need to open an online store just as an investment of spare funds.
Online trading is just one type of regular trading. Yes, sales on the Internet have their own specifics, some peculiarities. But the online store as such has not been a competitive advantage for a long time.
- The following can act as a competitive advantage:
- Best price
- Unique item
- Convenient delivery
Any other unique selling proposition
And the online store itself is nothing more than a trading platform. Therefore, it is very important to understand in advance what you will sell, why this product will be bought from you, and not from any of the competitors, how you will attract and retain your customers, etc.
Therefore, I believe that just as an investment of funds, an online store is pointless. You need to invest where there will be real profits.
And, since we are talking about investments, I want to clarify one point. Hereinafter, I do not plan to raise the topic of startups at all. Just because I have worked a little. Therefore, I am not going to write about them.
- On the other hand, an online store will be a good solution if:
- You have your own offline trade - shops, wholesale warehouse, etc. In this case, the online store will be another channel for the sale of goods for you. Trade enterprises themselves often compare the creation of an online store with the opening of a branch, which is simply located on the Internet. Everything here is quite simple: there is a product, there is a delivery or the ability to organize it. An online store with the right approach will be successful.
You know the product you are going to work with at the level of a specialist, you know how to trade, you have a supply channel for this product, you have developed a unique selling proposition, you have the opportunity to organize delivery. In this case, the online store will be a convenient trading platform for you. The success of the business will depend only on you, just like in the case of opening any trading company from scratch.
Shop creation: where to start?
So, you've weighed the pros and cons, and came to the conclusion that an online store is what you need. What to do next?
Here I will talk about creating an online store from scratch, this is the option that I most often encounter when working with small and medium-sized businesses. In addition, this approach will allow you to consider all the necessary concepts, all stages and actions. It is possible that you already have some experience, and some steps are a passed stage for you. In this case, just skip what is no longer relevant to you.
- From the point of view of work organization, any online store can be divided into two parts: Front office.
- This is the website of the online store itself, mailing and SMS distribution, calls to customers. In general, this is all that your customer is faced with. Back office
... This is the work of the delivery service, pricing, procurement, integration of various systems. In general, this is the part of the work that remains behind the scenes for the buyer, but is also very important for smooth and reliable operation.
You can create a beautiful online store website, but it won't be enough for it to work. Any online store is a site plus people, goods, and much more.
Here I want to make one more remark. I am a business consultant, not a programmer. In addition, I promised from the very beginning to write in simple language for a wide range of readers. Therefore, many technical nuances will not be considered in my article. Specialists will find the information they need without my help. In my article there will be exactly the basic concepts, the main stages, the organization of work. And on questions of technical nuances, you can always get advice from programmers.
First steps and fundamental decisions
- So, before you start creating an online store, you need to:
- Select the product that you will sell online. This is necessary even if you have been successfully trading offline for a long time. Should I put the entire assortment in an online store? Will this or that product be sold on the Internet? It is better to find an answer to these questions in advance.
Decide on pricing. Many even experienced businessmen do not know anything about online pricing. Therefore, this issue is also worth exploring.
On pricing, I can give advice based on practical experience. If you do not know what price to indicate for a particular product, it makes sense for the first time to set exactly the same prices as in your regular store. The main thing is to present the product to the buyer, people should see that this position is in your store. And then, when the site is already up and running, the price can always be adjusted. Moreover, statistics of customer behavior in your online store will help you with this. You will be able to see what the conversion is for a particular product (conversion is an indicator that tells you how many visitors to your site or even a specific page became buyers, and how many left without a purchase). And already with real numbers in hand, it will be possible to revise the price, if necessary.
- It is also very important to collect quality content for your store. Content is:
- The goods themselves: descriptions, photographs, characteristics.
- Information about you: how you position yourself on the Internet, what advantages do you have.
- Payment and delivery information.
Articles, tips and other information to help attract visitors.
It is very convenient if you already have most of such information, for example, in the 1C program in the product cards. This is much more convenient than creating an entire product catalog from scratch based on paper prices and other similar sources of information. Even so, be sure to pay attention to the quality of the information. On the Internet, you will not be able to show the buyer a real product; he will not have a persistent sales assistant by his side, who will tell you why this particular position is good and why it is better than others. The buyer will receive all the information on the page, where there should be high-quality photos and an understandable, maximally complete description.
How to trade a commodity that is not available?
This question is very often asked businessmen who open an online store. On the one hand, I want to show the entire possible assortment, on the other - it is not very clear what to do if an order comes to the goods that are currently not in stock.
- Possible solutions:
- Do not show the buyer a product that is not on the remnants. I do not recommend this solution, since "hide" goods is to lose a potential buyer.
Show goods that are not on the remnants with the mark "Not available".
I believe that it is better to get a request for the product, which is currently no, than losing the buyer in principle. If you (your employees) know your range well, you can always offer an alternative, often even at the best price. In some cases, buyers agree to wait for the delivery of the right position. In any case, to lose the potential client is undesirable.
- Also in this case, the issue of payment arises, since it is necessary to prevent the buyer to pay a missing heading. And there are also different solutions:
- Refuse fully automatic payment. Those. Buyers will be able to pay for goods when receiving (courier or cash on delivery) or by banknola, but after the final coordination of the order with the manager.
Make software checking residues before payment. Those. After the order formation, but before opening the payment service for the buyer, the availability of the necessary goods on the balances should be checked. If they are - the payment form opens, if there is no something - information appears with apologies and explanation that this heading is no longer available, and the proposal of some options for solving the problem.
Both of these options are quite comfortable, here the choice depends mostly from the technical and organizational nuances to implement the work of the online store. The main thing is to get the contacts of the buyer and its needs, and also try to take advantage as correct as possible. It is clear that some buyers may be offended in this case, but practice shows that they are units, and the ability to offer an alternative and still get the sale of expensive.
Create a front office
So, with basic fundamental issues, we figured out a little, go to the creation of the front office.
- From what is the front office:
- I have already written about the pricing, and therefore I will not repeat. Also, I also revealed the range of assortment and content. And here I want to just recall that:
- From the quality of content on the product page depends, whether the potential buyer will be interested in this product.
The level of confidence in the potential buyer to the store in general depends on the quality of content on the information pages.
- But about feedback is worth talking more. Today, this concept includes compulsory: Telephone.
- Best of all, if for an online store you will use a separate number or separate extension number. It should be allocated to communicate with clients of an online store of a separate person. You will receive most of the requests from your customers by phone, since this communication channel is convenient to many and makes it possible to get the most lively communication with a consultant that is so claimed in any stores. Email.
- Moreover, you need to upload your address in a form convenient for the buyer. Various pictures and copy-protected text fragments are very annoying for buyers. Therefore, it is better to create a special mailbox for the store and put up with some spam than to lose potential customers who prefer this particular method of communication. Feedback form on the "Contacts" page.
- A convenient alternative to Email. At the same time, on the site page there is a form in which the user can enter his contact information (email, phone), the subject of the question, the message itself. And after clicking the "Send" button, this message will be sent to the site administrator's mail. Online chat.
This service is designed so that the buyer can promptly ask a question and receive an answer in text form. Online chat services usually look like a pop-up “ask a question” window, they are very convenient and are becoming more popular every day. They are provided most often on a monthly basis, and a programmer will help you choose and connect such a service.
Today, this list is considered a necessary minimum, which should be on the website of an online store. In addition, it is possible to place additional information: physical and legal address, some documents, certificates, if necessary, etc.
Choosing and connecting a CRM systemI recommend that you always connect your dedicated customer service phone to your CRM system. In general, for the effective operation of an online store, it is necessary to use one or another CRM system, especially if you are planning a sufficiently large number of sales. So far, such a scheme of work is not used actively enough, many companies do not keep records of sales and control the quality of work with clients, but I believe that this path is a dead end, and the real growth of my clients' indicators after the implementation of the CRM system demonstrates my correctness. I wrote in detail about what CRM systems are, how to choose and implement them, in the article
What are CRM systems and how to choose them correctly?
- And here I will just briefly list some of the benefits of using CRM for an online store:
- All contacts of your customers will be collected in one place in a convenient form.
- You will not have "lost" requests or missed and "forgotten" calls. A properly established CRM system helps to compensate for the human factor.
- You will be able to record all conversations with clients and monitor the manager's performance.
- Even in the event of an unexpected change of employee (illness, dismissal), you will not lose a single contact, and you can always figure out at what stage of cooperation the absent manager stopped.
You will be able to set and check the quality and timeliness of execution even for tasks that are not directly related to working with clients (content updates, reporting, etc.)
Email and SMS
And another very important method of interacting with customers is SMS mailing. Today it is considered a good form to notify the buyer via SMS about the dispatch of his goods, delivery to the post office or address, etc. To do this, when making a purchase, they usually offer to leave a phone number as well. In the future, you can use the database of these phone numbers to solve marketing issues: for example, notify customers about promotions and discounts, about the appearance of new products, etc.
Warning: SMS messaging should be used with extreme caution so as not to fall under the law on the prohibition of SMS spam. In fact, the likelihood that you will have some kind of trouble due to SMS-mailings is extremely low. But better study the law and create mailing lists correctly.
Also, a database of email addresses of your customers can become a very important marketing tool. It is also considered good form to notify the buyer about the receipt of payment, about sending the order by e-mail. In the letter, you can indicate the number of the parcel or the approximate time of courier delivery, and other necessary details. And in the future, you can also use these email addresses to create mailing lists.
- Email newsletters will help you:
- In a beautiful way notify buyers about the appearance of new products, promotions, discounts and other interesting news.
- Control how interesting your products are to customers. All developed mailing systems allow you to track: whether the addressee opened the letter, followed the link (if so, which one), etc.
An implicit, but also important plus: you can control the quality of the email database itself, since the mailing system will also inform you that some of the addresses contain errors. In some cases, customers accidentally put spaces or make a typo in the name of the mail service, and then you can correct this address yourself and safely send notifications there. Sometimes there are mistakes that only the buyer can fix, in this case a phone call will help. In many cases, timely notifications to customers are as important as you are.
And to close the topic of marketing tools and feedback, I'll tell you about another interesting option for interacting with customers - this is SMM (work through social networks). The method of communicating with customers on social media is not yet very common, although it is very effective. Some stores rely on social media for almost all of their customer service. They create groups on VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, less often on Facebook. They hold promotions, post entertainment and advertising content, answer questions, and even conduct part of the sales directly in the group. This technique is very effective. True, I personally do not recommend my clients to use SMM from the very beginning, but the only reason is that it is not realistic to cover everything at once, and in the future, when the store is already working reliably, you should pay attention to social networks.
Many of the experienced users and specialists now, most likely, have also remembered various options for advertising a site, including the use of contextual advertising or other promotion methods. Therefore, I decided to clarify right away: these methods are more likely to attract new customers than to work with existing ones. And I plan to talk about them separately in future articles.
After you decide for yourself all the above questions, it's time to move on to the next stage - to the choice of CMS.
It is very important to understand that CMS (engine), design and content are different components of an online store. Why am I focusing on this? Many people are confused in terms of concepts and believe that design is the online store or that CMS is the entire site inside and out. Let's not confuse the concept.
- Content is the foundation, this is what your site will be filled with. In fact, the buyer is not at all interested in what engine your site is running on, he is also not very interested in your design delights, the main thing is the availability of the desired product, an attractive price, clear information about payment and delivery.
- Design is the design of your website. Moreover, product photos, for example, are not included in the design, photos are content. And design is a "site header", colors, fonts, all kinds of menus and buttons, etc.
CMS (content management system) is a software part, the very "engine" or platform on which the entire system works.
And here the content is the most important thing, although the rest of the components should be given sufficient attention. But you shouldn't spend too much time on the technical part. Your customer won't appreciate it anyway.
In practice, I have come across projects that have been preparing for release for years. The design was refined to perfection, the software part was worked out, many additional features were added: calculators, comparison services, etc. As a result, sales either did not increase at all, or increased insignificantly.Because, I repeat, all this is not important to the buyer. Of course, it's nice to be on a beautiful site, it's nice to use additional features. But if you do not have the desired product, if the buyer is not satisfied with the price, or if the description of the product lacks important parameters for a person, then he will turn around and leave without buying from the most beautiful site.
But you still need to choose a CMS. What will your site be powered by?The choice of CMS is a rather extensive topic, today a lot of different content management systems have been invented. I plan to devote a separate article to the topic of comparing and choosing CMS over time. For now, suffice it to say that the principle of choosing a CMS is not much different from the methods of choosing a CRM system. I wrote about this in detail in the article
What are CRM systems and how to choose them correctly?
Those. almost everything is the same. There are Stand-Alone solutions, there are Saas solutions. Each of the options has its own characteristics, which are based on the principle itself: use your own copy of the software product or work in the "clouds" with a monthly payment for using the system.
But for the success of the online store, in fact, the type of CMS is not so important. I have personally seen solutions working successfully on self-written engines, as well as very poorly working systems on widely advertised CMS. Those. here almost everything depends on the specialist or the company that serves you.
- But still, I want to give you some recommendations for choosing a CMS for an online store:
- Don't think that free CMS is worse than paid ones. In fact, many free engines work just as well as expensive paid systems. In addition, you may simply not need all the features that paid CMS offer.
- Limit your desires. I often came across the fact that from the very beginning my clients began to ask for everything at once: communication with 1C, and the connection of various payment systems, and a complex CRM, and a callback, and integration with social. networks, and an automatic calculator of some kind and much more. In fact, at the beginning of work, you do not need all of this. At first, you just need to imagine what you have. Show your product on the Internet. Try to work. And then, based on the results of work for a certain period, you will be able to understand what exactly you need, what to add to the site, which features to connect, and which will be superfluous.
Russian localization. Choose only those systems that have Russian localization. Practice shows that no matter how well you know English, no matter how good the system is in itself, but if there is no Russian localization in it, then some problems will constantly arise in your work, and in the end you yourself decide to abandon such an inconvenient system. The reasons are simple: you may know English well, but your employees? How long will it take to train everyone? And how many improvements will be required on the site itself, because here and there will appear English words that are used there "by default". In general, it is better to immediately focus on the presence of Russian localization. It is much more convenient.
Integration with 1C
When creating an online store, many of my clients immediately raised the issue of integrating this resource with their 1C software product. I believe that such integration at once is a waste of money and time, as a result of which the opening of an online store is postponed for a rather long time, the integration work requires the involvement of additional specialists, including 1C programmers, and as a result, very often it turns out, that solutions that have been implemented partially or even completely do not meet the needs of e-commerce for a particular business or require significant improvement.
I believe that at the first stage of an online store, integration with 1C may not be needed at all. Especially when it comes to downloading orders from the site, which is quite difficult to implement, but many online store owners, nevertheless, strive to get it.
- How does the integration with 1C work?
- This is the uploading of information about goods, about customers, if any, to the site.
Loading information from the site, usually information about orders.
Many people try to get this data exchange right away, at the stage of creating an online store. But at the same time, in order for any integration to start working without failures, you need to solve a lot of problems, including problems in the system in which you work, it can be 1C or any other system. So, in 1C it will be necessary to finalize the product card, resolve issues with access rights, etc. etc. And at the first stage it does not always make sense to do this.
So, if you have 100-200 products in your assortment, you can lay them out manually, thus, in fact, the issue of initial filling of an online store is solved very often.On the other hand, it is somehow necessary to take orders from the site. At the first stage of the store's work, in fact, there are always very few, literally, a few orders. And you can also pick them up manually. Then, after you have been working for some time, you will understand in what form it is most convenient for you to pick up orders, and what kind of integration you really need.
An image of an online store scheme
Thus, when choosing a CMS, the ability to integrate with 1C is far from the most important thing, this issue can be resolved later.
Online store designWhen it comes to choosing a design, the first thing to do is install a pre-made template design or develop your own design from scratch. I recommend, if funds permit, immediately order a specialist to develop a unique design. But if the time frame or finances do not allow you to carry out a full-fledged work on creating a design, there is nothing wrong with choosing and downloading a suitable finished design. Pros and cons of these solutions:
- Pros of the template:
- Quick solution (can be installed immediately after purchase or download)
- Tested, as a rule, the template has already several versions, some improvements have already been made, errors have been fixed.
- Cons of the template:
- The complexity of the code and the complexity of the revision. Therefore, if you want to change something in the template that you do not like, you will need serious enough work and the obligatory participation of a specialist.
- Pluses of design from scratch:
- The absence of restrictions that imposes a template, since your design is developed for your needs, after which it is tuned under the CMS that you choose.
- Cons design from scratch:
- High price. The design of the designer will cost you at times more than template solutions.
Dates. Work on the design will last from a few days before weeks.
A very convenient solution is just to take the design of some online store you like and copy it with the modifications you need, while not disturbing copywriting.
If you simply use the idea, and when implementing you will use another color range, a little other buttons, your logo, then and externally your store will look different, and no complaints from the owner you like the store will not appear. Create a design similar to one or another online store, it is much easier and faster than inventing everything from scratch. So you will get the design that you perfect for the minimum time.
In principle, when launching an online store design, as such plays far from the most important role. The functionality and accuracy are very important, and the design may be, in principle, any.
So, I tried to tell what you need to pay attention to the decision: whether you need an online store, I said that you need to prepare before you start directly work on a software solution.I also tried to talk as much as possible about the work on the front office. Let me remind you that when working on the front office, the most important thing is functionality and neat, attractive and fairly informative content, and the design plays auxiliary role. The choice of CMS is not much different from the choice of software for other needs, and here you can use the information from my past articles, for example, from the article
Selecting a software product for the client. Collecting requirementsAlso, for the successful implementation of the online store it is very important that your contractors work efficiently so that you understand each other. In order to avoid mistakes, I recommend reading my article
Intermediaries or why in Russia is always "to blame" the performer on the example of IT project
In the next article, I will tell you in detail about the organization of the work of the back office, on how to organize the work of employees, and that you need the online store to work is really effectively.
Also in separate articles, I plan to consider in detail the promotion of online store, attracting new buyers, including using the use of contextual advertising Yandex.Direct.
Information on how to open an online store, the network is already many. This topic has not been new for a long time, but still does not lose attractions for novice entrepreneurs. Have unjustified expectations of fast success in e-commerce rather harmful than useful. We want to honestly talk about how difficulties will you come up at the beginning of the way, and for what exactly newcomers should be directed to the main efforts.
What happens on the E-Commerce market
- Since 2010, e-trading shows a rapid growth - 15% -20% per year. During this time, buying on the Internet has become a serious competitor to the usual offline trade. The reasons for which the buyer votes the ruble for online stores, a lot, and the main can be called:
- The widest assortment that none of the largest supermarkets can provide;
- The ability to study and compare the characteristics of hundreds of products without leaving your home;
- The presence of a large number of reviews about products and stores;
- Loyalty programs, discounts and promotions that are not always easy to provide at a regular outlet;
- Active regulation of online commerce by the state, due to which the rights of an online buyer are protected more than an ordinary consumer;
Reliable, fast and inexpensive delivery to almost any locality in Russia.
But the picture looks so rosy only for buyers, and we are interested in this market from the point of view of the seller. How difficult is it to get on it? Difficult and very difficult, but possible. More precisely, there is nothing difficult in creating an online store, but having a platform for an online business is only the first step, beyond which many cannot move.
The supplier ships the product directly to the buyer.
: maximum profit, opportunities for development and scaling.
In this table, we have collected the pros and cons of opening a retail outlet on the Internet for beginners.
You can start with minimal costs because there are no expenses for renting premises, purchasing large quantities of goods, hiring personnel.
Huge competition, including from large network players. In addition, many buyers order goods on their own from sites such as Aliexpress and do not need Russian sellers.
Free online platforms allow you to launch an online store within a few hours.
Technical problems in the work of the site, because of which you can lose your position in the search results for a long time.
The ability to make a preliminary analysis of demand or select just one product to start with (one-page pages).
Incorrectly selected niche or product category.
You can manage your store in your free time from your main job and from almost anywhere.
Large costs for website promotion, communication with the buyer, delivery of goods.
Transfer of many necessary functions to outsourcing.
Dependence on the conditions of work with suppliers and their fulfillment of obligations for the supply of goods.
Scheme of the online store
- How to open your online store from scratch? Where to begin? Do not rush to seriously invest in website development and advertising if you have not yet done an analysis of the niche or the products that you are going to sell. The correct scheme of the online store looks like this:
- Decide on what you will sell.
- Find a supplier for this product.
- Purchase a small amount of goods or negotiate with a supplier on delivery under the order.
- Create a website and attract buyers to it.
Deliver the order and make a profit
And now more about how to make a website, how to open an online store from scratch for free, and where to start looking for a niche.
Online store in detail
How to open an online store without investment? Here is a step-by-step instruction or a step-by-step guide for those who want to start trading on the Web. Of course, nothing can replace your personal experience in business, but for beginners, many of our recommendations can be useful.
Choose what to sell
It is necessary to sell goods that are already in demand, because the promotion of a novelty that no one knows about yet will require large expenditures to convey information to the consumer. So, to the "evergreen", i.e. categories with stable demand include clothing and footwear, books and stationery, tea and coffee, jewelry and jewelry, toys, sporting goods, cosmetics, etc.
Of course, it is impossible to sell everything at once, even in one selected category. You can understand how much a particular thing will be in demand through a tool such as Yandex Wordstat. With its help, you can not only find out the number of requests for a specific name, but also see their trend (falling, seasonal, growing). Wordstat Yandex will help to understand in which regions the demand in this niche is increased, and in which it is low.
It is not always possible to find a profitable niche on the first try; sometimes you have to analyze hundreds of items for this. An example of analyzing a specific position can be found in our book (link below). The demand for a niche, as well as its competitiveness, can be judged by this scheme.
After you have found several suitable destinations, you need to find wholesale suppliers. It is not difficult to do this, because suppliers are also sellers, only wholesalers, and just like you are interested in sales.
The bulk of wholesale offers can be found online. Bulletin boards such as Avito, Openmarket, Opt-union, TIU, OptList, Wholesale everything, Optom.Ru, Suppliers.ru, allow you to study well the offered assortment and terms of delivery. Wholesale sellers, or even better - direct manufacturers, must be searched for through offline channels: wholesale markets, printed publications, fairs, exhibitions.
As for foreign suppliers, we do not recommend starting a business with them. Yes, you can buy a small batch as if for personal use (now the limit of duty-free parcels is 1000 euros per month per person), but in this case it will be difficult for you to guarantee the quality of goods or to confirm business expenses before the tax office. And the cheapness of foreign supplies due to the fall of the ruble has long been questionable.
- How to compare supplier offers? There are several such criteria:
- the cost of the product itself and its delivery;
- availability of a cumulative discount and the ability to get a trade loan;
- product quality and high consumer characteristics;
- availability of quality certificates for the goods and a good shelf life;
- the right to return or exchange the remains of the party;
compliance with the delivery time of the purchase batch.
Remember that the consumer will make claims about the quality of the goods and the delivery time to you, not the manufacturer, so do not focus only on the low purchase price.
Create a website and upload an assortment
Before starting their own business, many newbies believe that it is necessary to open an online store from scratch on a self-developed website. This is not entirely true. The site itself, even if you made it with your own hands, is only a platform, some place on the Web that no one knows anything about yet.
If you are just deciding which online store to open, and are only testing a niche, all the more you do not need to spend your time and money on an expensive design or programmer. At the first stage, you need to determine the availability of demand, and only then engage in increasing conversion, i.e. converting visitors into real buyers.
- Now there are many ready-made solutions for online commerce, offering extensive functionality:
- ready-made showcase with different design options;
- connection of different types of payment;
- export of assortment from files of different formats;
- SEO tools (the ability to edit titles, descriptions, keywords),
stable technical support and training materials.
Such reliable platforms include UMI, WIX, Jimdo, A5, AdvantShop, InSales, Setup, TIU, Nethouse, and others. Just get a trial access to one of these systems and you will see for yourself the benefits of this option.
There is another answer to the question of how to open an online store from scratch for free. Try to make a one-page based on landing page designers: 1C-UMI, landingi, Lpgenerator, Lpmotor, Platformalp. The main thing is not to start creating a store on free hosting when the domain will be of the third level, like magazin.freehosting.ru. Such a provider is not responsible for the site's performance, in addition, he will place his advertisements on it.
Pictures and characteristics of goods for placement can be requested from a wholesaler or find the same in the public domain.
There are many channels for attracting to the site, but among the effective methods, they are mostly paid. Although it costs less to promote articles (or nothing at all, if you write them yourself), it takes time.
The easiest and fastest way is to set up contextual advertising in Yandex, Google, social networks. Advertising, of course, requires certain costs, but already in the process of testing a niche, you can get the first order, which will reimburse some of the costs.
Deliver the order to the buyer
Often the first orders have to be “drained”, because you don't have the goods in reality yet. But you can buy a small amount of goods from a supplier or agree with him to purchase a batch on a deposit. You transfer a certain small amount to the supplier in advance, and when you have the first 2-3 orders, you buy out exactly these ordered items.
Some online sellers, before starting their business, started by buying one unit of the ordered product at retail and passing it on to the buyer at the same price. Although we are not talking about profit in this case, but this way you do not risk money for the purchase of a batch that will not work for you. The first deliveries also have to be done by yourself - delivered in person or sent by mail. Then all these functions can be transferred to the courier service.
Before you create your first online store from scratch, you need to study administrative issues such as state registration and taxation of your business. Of course, hundreds and thousands of online sellers are still trading without registering an individual entrepreneur and LLC, however, we advise you to legalize this activity.
- The reason is not only that generating income on a stable basis without paying taxes is a direct violation of the law. Problems also arise with suppliers, partners and buyers:
- the majority of Russian wholesale suppliers work only with business entities;
- similar requirements are put forward by outsourcing and delivery services;
the buyer, having a choice, will place an order with an officially registered seller, because this ensures his consumer rights (the presence of a receipt, invoice, warranty card, the ability to contact Rospotrebnadzor).
In this table, we have collected the main differences between individual entrepreneurs and LLCs, which will help you choose the organizational and legal form.
Limited liability company
It is registered for one individual who receives the right to legally do business.
The number of founders can be up to 50 individuals and / or legal entities. Registration of an LLC by one legal entity consisting of a single participant is not allowed.
Ease of administration: registration, documentary support of activities, IP closure. They only keep tax records.
Registration requires more documents, and the liquidation of an LLC lasts more than two months. In the course of activity, it is necessary to maintain corporate documentation, tax and accounting records.
The amount of administrative fines, in comparison with the organization, is several times lower.
High fines that are imposed not only on the firm itself, but also on the manager.
You can withdraw income from a business at least every day, there is no additional taxation.
A member of the company has the right to receive profit only in the form of dividends (distribution not more often than once a quarter) and after payment of 13% of income tax.
For the entire period of registration, the entrepreneur is obliged to make contributions to his pension and health insurance. In 2021, the minimum contribution amount is 40,874 rubles.
If the founder is not registered in the state, then there is no need to pay insurance premiums for him, but in this case the retirement experience is not charged.
All the necessary documents for both an LLC and an individual entrepreneur can be prepared free of charge in our service.
As for the taxation system, there is little choice: OSNO or STS. PSN for online trading is not allowed. An exception is if your site is just a showcase, without shopping cart and payment functions, and the sale itself takes place at a point of sale "on the ground".
On the simplified tax system, you must select one of the objects of taxation: Income or Income minus expenses. It is worth choosing the second option only if you can document the costs (for the purchase of goods, delivery, communication, etc.), and at the same time the share of expenses will exceed 65% of the proceeds. If this is not the case, then choose the STS Income, in this case the tax will be 6% of the turnover, with the possibility of reducing it by the amount of paid insurance premiums.
You must submit a notification of the transition to the simplified tax system within 30 days after the registration of an individual entrepreneur or LLC. If this is not done, then by the end of the year you will be working on the general taxation system (OSNO) with the highest workload.
And a few more words about accepting payment from buyers. If payment is made in cash or by a payment card through a POS-terminal with personal contact with the consumer, then it is necessary to punch the cashier's check through a portable cash register. The practice of knocking out a cashier's check in advance (then it is easy to do with one machine) is recognized as a violation of the law, because the discrepancy between the time of printing a receipt and the actual time of purchase is allowed for no more than five minutes.
To accept non-cash payments (electronic money, payment aggregators, online card, under an agreement with the Russian post, with a courier company that accepts payment), you need to open a current account. Cashless payments are also preferable for working with suppliers, because settlements between commercial entities in the amount of over 100 thousand rubles under one contract in cash are not allowed.
In addition, from July 1, 2017, cash registers will have to be used in cases of online payment by card or through services such as Yandex Checkout. In this case, the buyer receives only an electronic check. Previously, there was no such requirement.
For even more helpful tips on how to open an online store and other popular destinations, check out our Start Your Business book series. Books are freely available in the personal account of the 1C-Start user.
Are you thinking about starting your own business? Fine! We will walk you through the steps - how to open an online store from scratch with examples and additional materials.
Online commerce is suitable both for those who are trying themselves as an entrepreneur for the first time, and for those who already have business experience behind them. The creation of an online store can be divided into several steps:
Step 1: Choosing a niche - deciding what to sell in the online store This is the most crucial stage. The success of the entire enterprise as a whole depends on what you trade. There are two nuances here: choose a popular destination - you won't be left without profit, but you will get crowds of competitors clicking their teeth , which have long and firmly established themselves in the market. Choose a little-known or a new direction - there will be almost no competitors,
but you will have to invest in advertising to popularize your product on the market. Think about it.
However, there are several loopholes. If you choose the first method, take a narrow topic. For example, not women's clothing in general, but specifically dresses. Yes, not simple, but, say, handmade. This will attract more customers. The second loophole is if your budget does not include ad spending, use a social dimension. Connect word of mouth, give bonuses and discounts for good reviews - in short, make people talk about your store.
We chose a niche - great, now check if these products are in demand. For example, now hardly anyone will be interested in spinners, and more recently they were insanely popular. The volume of demand will help determine the service "Yandex.Wordstat"
- enter a request and see how often it was typed in search engines. You can also see statistics for a specific region (it will help you understand which city to focus on and why) and time. Let's say seasonal products sell best during peak season, the rest of the time the number of requests drops.
The most popular niches in which online stores are usually opened are:
Step 2: Studying the target audience - target audience
The portrait of the target audience will be very useful to you: if you do not know for whom you are working, there is a great chance to fly into the chimney. For example, selling home furnishings to reckless teenagers is useless. The older generation is unlikely to be interested in sophisticated gadgets, and the residents of the city do not need goods for the garden and vegetable garden.
- What characteristics of target audience you need to know: floor
- - mostly women buy in online stores. And to be honest, offline too. Men place orders only in extreme cases: when you need to make a gift or a surprise, or if there is no woman nearby who will choose and arrange everything herself; age
- - each generation has its own priorities and behavior on the site. The older generation chooses thoughtfully, is afraid to overpay, and generally does not trust your Internet. The purchase becomes an event, which means that it will take long and hard to lead the client to it. Young people, on the other hand, are very mobile and spontaneous: shopping in an online store is not an event for them, but an episode of little significance: they bought and forgotten. We wrote in more detail about the behavioral factors of target audiences of different ages in this article; financial position
- low-income people choose what is cheaper, looking for sales and promotions. People with an average income pay attention first of all to quality, and only then to price. Well, the frankly rich can only be interested in something unusual and exclusive - most likely they already have the rest. If, of course, they do their own shopping in the online store. There are other characteristics as well: presence / absence of children, own housing, education and even interests
... To compose a portrait of the target audience, conduct an analysis of competitors' sites, interview friends and acquaintances, throw a bait in social networks.
Step 3: Find suppliers Next, you need to find suppliers of goods with whom you will cooperate in the future. Finding is not a problem: you type in a search engine and study offers. But finding a good supplier is already more difficult.
- The following criteria are important: location:
- If you are in Moscow, and your supplier is in Vladivostok, it will hardly be convenient for you to wait for the delivery of goods across the whole country; quality of goods:
- Many suppliers work in bad faith: they buy defective lots. Yes, the price for them is less, but there will be more problems with clients. For a recently opened online store, even one negative review can play a bad role; working conditions:
- Many suppliers work only with wholesale: if you are just promoting yourself, you may not be able to pull large quantities; purchase price:
Don't be fooled by prices that are too low: free cheese only comes in a mousetrap. It won't go too expensive either - remember that you still need to make your own mark-up to make a profit.
The most popular niches in which online stores are usually opened are:
Look for a middle ground, read reviews about suppliers and, if possible, try to meet in person before concluding a contract.
Step 4: Choosing a name for your online store
So, you have decided what products you are going to sell in the online store. Now you need to choose a name for your store. Everyone remembers a store on the Internet by its web address (domain name). Domain - the address of your website on the network. For example, the domain name of our service is www.InSales.ru. Your store will have a unique name.
- When choosing a domain, consider the following guidelines:
- the domain should be easy to understand by ear;
- the domain should not be very long;
- the domain should be easy to read by people who do not know English;
- do not use complex transliteration in the domain;
The most popular niches in which online stores are usually opened are:
use words that are close to your industry.
Step 5: Create an online store website
After you have chosen a name and assortment, you can go directly to opening an online store on the network. To do this, in the form below, enter your email and click the "Create an online store" button.
In a few seconds, an online store will be created, which will work for 7 days for free, and after completing the online training and filling out forms, you will receive an additional 7 days of a free period, that is, a total of 2 weeks for a free trial of the platform.
CMS for an online store from InSales contains all the functionality necessary for a modern online store, so after registering an account, all that remains is to add products and start selling.
Video about the main settings of the online store
Step 6: customize the design of the online store
Initially, when creating an online store, a standard template is installed, which you can change at any time or, if necessary and have the skills, create your own. To change the template, go to the design section in the back office, then select another template in the theme gallery or order a turnkey design development.
InSales allows you to use both standard free online store templates and custom designs for your online store. Standard templates can be customized as you like: change colors, logo, swap different blocks and menu items, and basically anything you like, since HTML and CSS are available for full editing.
Video on how to customize the design of an online store
Step 7: Add products to the website of the online store
After setting up the design, proceed to adding products. This can be done both in manual and automatic mode. By adding products manually, you create a product card for each item in your store, upload an image, provide a description, price and additional information about the parameters and properties of the products.
Video on how to add and work with products in the online store
The InSales platform can greatly facilitate the filling of the catalog if you use the 1C accounting system or if you have the supplier's price list files. For this, import and synchronization tools are provided that will help keep the information on the store's website up-to-date even with a large assortment, excluding the possibility of errors.
Video on how to create a product catalog structure
Step 8: Set up payment for orders in the online store
After adding products, you can proceed to setting up payment options. As you know, most buyers are used to paying for orders in cash upon receipt. Nevertheless, if you plan to deliver orders to the regions on a prepaid basis or simply stimulate its implementation, then it makes sense to connect the acceptance of plastic cards and electronic payments.
The easiest way is to connect a payment aggregator. This is a company that provides acceptance in your favor of many payment methods at once: ROBOKASSA, Yandex.Checkout, and plastic cards, and payment terminals, and even SMS payments. The InSales platform already supports integration with major aggregators, as well as with individual payment systems, allowing you to connect to them directly, avoiding intermediaries. To connect, you need to find out the working conditions, choose the most suitable for you and conclude an agreement or create an account in the selected aggregator / payment system. Next, you simply indicate the relevant details in the InSales platform and calmly accept the selected payment options.
If you want to accept money by bank transfer, you can enable the ability to automatically generate payment orders, thereby automating invoicing for orders from legal entities.
The most popular niches in which online stores are usually opened are:
Video on how to set up payment methods in an online store
Step 9: Set up various delivery options
The InSales platform provides several options for calculating delivery. This includes a fixed cost of delivery and calculators of the Russian Post, ApiShip and Boxberry. You can also set up free shipping for orders over a certain amount, while encouraging buyers to add items to the order to receive free shipping.
You can arrange delivery both by your own courier service, and by courier companies or Russian Post. Also, in the case of selling digital content, delivery by e-mail is possible.
After successfully completing the previous steps, the online store can be considered open. But the movement to success does not end there!
The most popular niches in which online stores are usually opened are:
Video about setting shipping methods
Step 10: Deciding how to attract buyers - setting up advertising
Here is a brief summary of the main ways to promote your store, which you need to pay attention to in the first place. The most effective sources of visitors, and therefore orders, are: Search engine promotion
contextual advertising : when you use search engines such as Yandex or Google, you get a list of sites that were found for your search query. According to statistics, most users go to the sites that are closest to the first place in this list. Thus, sites that are higher than others receive more visitors.
Are text ads that you see on search engines when you look at search results. You can see the same blocks on other sites, and the mechanism of their display takes into account your previous actions on the Internet. That is, if you were looking for children's shoes, then in these blocks in the future you will be shown ads for sites with children's shoes. Also, the mechanism for displaying contextual advertising takes into account the content of the page on which it is located. If you are viewing the cat portal page, you will be shown ads related to that topic. For example, advertising sites selling cat food. Commodity platforms
Is a very good and popular channel for attracting buyers. Yandex Market is a platform that users visit every day to search for goods to buy. There is also Google Shopping - a product platform from Google, it is less popular in Russia, but it is also worth using, since the products placed there are shown in Google search for product search queries, and clicks on them are cheaper than in contextual advertising. Product upload to Google Shopping is configured through the Google Merchant Center. InSales has a convenient unloading that automates the work with commodity platforms. "Word of mouth"
or viral spread is one of the important elements of promotion. It strongly depends on your actions, on the level of your customer service. Every satisfied customer brings in three, and every dissatisfied customer takes ten away. Pay special attention to how quickly your managers respond to incoming orders. Try to reduce the response time to one hour. The same goes for delivery. Come up with and implement pleasant little things for customers. For example, include a Thank You Purchase card with every order.
Step 11: Making Your Online Store Profitable
The most popular niches in which online stores are usually opened are:
Perhaps the most exciting point. As soon as a sufficient number of orders began to be made in your store to recoup the costs of promoting and processing orders, then we can congratulate you, the most difficult stage of creating an online store has already been passed. Development awaits you ahead. Yes, you got to it and you can already say that your store is a working business. As with any business, you need to track and monitor its performance. To do this, the InSales platform provides analytics where you can find out who buys, how and when. In order to further expand the promotion channels, try new promotions, improve the work with existing channels. Just use analytics. Successful sales!
A few years ago, in order to open your own online store, it was required to have the knowledge of a programmer or be sure to hire them on the staff. But those days are over. Now, in order to open an online store, no special technical knowledge is required, you just need a business acumen and will to succeed, so go for it, you only need to take a few steps.
Watch a short video in which we explain why the InSales platform is the best choice for opening an online store.