How to open your online store from scratch

Categories
Table of contents
  1. Choosing a niche is the most important step
  2. Niches for beginners
  3. Study of the target audience for your product
  4. Naming of the future store
  5. Website development for an online store
  6. Filling the store with goods
  7. Configuring delivery and payment modules
  8. Drawing up a business plan and working on it
  9. Organization of an advertising campaign for an online store
  10. Conclusion

Many people want to have their own business. Have you already thought about opening an online store from scratch? Yes? Then you are already aware of how many nuances you will have to work out, how many pitfalls you can meet in the development process, and Be one of the few who, having read this article, was able to avoid the most common mistakes, saved your money, time and effort.

Below, it is described in detail what a novice owner of an online store needs to know, what information should be found and studied, who should be consulted and what questions should be answered before starting work, you can see the script for the store .

It is money that will become the main resource with which the store will be built, and this article will help you save a lot. Starting with a budget of $ 100-1000, you will know where you need to invest and what to spend to get the maximum benefit and improve the efficiency of your business start-up. This instruction for opening an online store from scratch is useful for any region of the CIS.

It's great if you've already thought about the whole project in detail, but it's worth going over the points below again and making sure you don't miss anything.

Choosing a niche is the most important step

The very first step, which will allow launching a new online store, will be a decision on its focus and direction. In other words, you must decide exactly what goods and services will be sold there.

There are many options, among which are quite popular:

  • electronics and technology stores;
  • clothes and shoes or bags;
  • children's goods;
  • lingerie and homewear (here are tips for opening a lingerie store );
  • store of computer games, game consoles and accessories.

You can choose any of the proposed options or bring your idea to life.

Important! The choice should be based on your preference, knowledge, or hobby.

If you are well versed in technology, then it is worth getting into it. You will be able not only to choose the right product for sale, but also learn how to quickly navigate the market, track trends, popular news. And all this will directly affect your income.

You can choose not from the classic, traditional options, but also from the new trends of this year. These market innovations include:

  1. Vape shops (they are gaining more and more popularity, according to the site https://www.bbc.com/russian/features-44314394);
  2. Popular catalogs of sports nutrition and related products.
  3. Websites for the repair, maintenance and customization of phones, iPhones, in particular.

Any of the proposed options can bring benefits, but only with the correct organization of work, preparation and implementation of the store project. According to statistics, over the past year, more than 15% of all sales went through the World Wide Web and specialized sites.

If you are poorly versed in modern trends, you should give preference to proven niches. These include clothing, both adults and children, toys, appliances and electronics (you can familiarize yourself with this type of Internet business in all details here ).

The demand for these products is guaranteed, therefore, provided that the organization is correct, you will ensure yourself a constant influx of visitors and buyers.

The success of your enterprise will become real only if advertising and site promotion are at a high level, and the range of products will allow the visitor to become interested in positions and buy!

Niches for beginners

If you have never encountered e-commerce before, then it is better to choose a product that will definitely sell. You should also consider a number of points that will allow you to choose a niche.

  • Conduct an analysis of scarce goods in the region in which you plan to sell the goods;
  • Study the market forecasts for goods that are in demand. It is better to do market analysis not only in your region, but also in neighboring ones, for example, in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. This will provide more detailed and detailed information about the demand;
  • Evaluate the goods in demand in your region and neighboring areas, offered by competitors in poor quality or poor assortment.

Let's look at some examples. Recently, sports gadgets - fitness trackers and smart watches - have become relevant for the younger generation. Check if there are stores with such a product in your city and region, and if not, then you will easily occupy this niche, and you will have regular customers.

According to the table below, you can easily see how this product is gaining popularity.

Also, an example of the sale of goods that are gaining popularity can be called stores selling various accessories for the new iPhone model or popular smartphones. You can also consider shops of designer and individual jewelry for the latest devices that have appeared on the market, etc. Whoever will be the first to offer the buyer a product will take all the cream off.

If there is only one home appliance store in your region, and it has high prices, a small assortment and unpopular models, then you should compete with it by opening your online portal with popular models of goods with a high-quality catalog, discounts, promotional offers, etc. Take care of the advertising and you will be the winner.

Having made a profitable purchase once, in the future, the buyer, first of all, will check your website and assortment for goods of interest to him. A satisfied customer is a regular customer.

Thus, your online store from scratch can be in any region, adapting to the needs of the local population and market characteristics.

Do not be afraid that you cannot find a profitable direction in 2019. Even in Moscow or another large metropolis, you can find a free or poorly developed niche or offer the best service in an already mastered niche.

Example:

As a new product in a provincial town, you can offer cosmetics or clothing brands that are not yet known here. It's also worth checking out which businesses have recently opened. If you see a new modern gym, then visitors will definitely need quality sportswear, sports nutrition and various accessories for training - this is your niche. For Moscow, these are the latest trends that are gaining popularity. In big cities, large online stores are leading, however, they are rather slow in responding to market changes, therefore, by studying current trends, you can stay ahead of them.

If you still have a lot of questions after reading, then study the principles of choosing a niche for online trading in more detail .

Study of the target audience for your product

In an effort to sell quickly and a lot, you need to accurately determine the categories of people to whom you will offer your products. In other words, in order to sell your product, you need to offer it exclusively to interested customers.

How do you identify serious buyers and target advertising of your products in a targeted manner?

It all depends on the type of product that you put up for sale. If this is the latest entertainment, then such a product will be of interest mainly to young people, and not to the older generation. Therefore, you can safely exclude elderly people from promotions. If the assortment of your store includes women's care and hygiene products, then you should remove the male audience from the advertising campaign. This example is given in order to understand the basic principle of studying the target audience, but in each specific case, you need to study the target audience in more detail and segment buyers.

The search for the target audience is especially relevant if you plan to promote your website or products through social networks and contextual advertising. By correctly defining the target audience for your portal, you will increase the chances of attracting new visitors and potential buyers.

Imagine you are the owner of a toy store. The ideal solution would be to place ads on children's YouTube channels. Here, you don't even need to cut off the categories of people on your own - they are all subscribed to the channel, which will show your ad to the viewer, and to the very viewer who is your potential buyer - the child and his parents. If you sell computer games, your products will be well advertised on popular game reviewers, on broadcasts of matches and cyber competitions.

Having dealt with the issue of the target audience and potential visitors, we smoothly moved on to the issue of the domain name and the name of the site itself.

Naming of the future store

Anyone can open an online store for free from scratch, but not many will be able to make it, if not popular, then at least visited. Customer attraction is based on a lot of factors, including the name of the store itself, its domain name.

Let's see why the domain name and title are so important? There are several reasons for this:

  1. A memorable name will allow the buyer to visit the site without having to look for his link in the browser history;
  2. The site can be advised to friends and relatives - an easy name does not even need to be written down (you can lose a cheat sheet, forget it, etc.);
  3. The name can concisely tell about the store itself, the goods in it, their quality, etc.

How to choose the right name? In detail, you can find out by reading a separate article , in general, you can give a number of names that consist of several parts: the beginning, the central word in the title and the ending, if necessary.

Here's an example of how you can quickly name a computer hardware site, alternating words in the title:

Start

Central word

Super

PC

Mega

Komp

Best

Computer

Hard

Comp

Lite

Proc

Wow

Processor

In this case, you can alternate as you like, changing the words.

Other features should be taken into account when choosing a name:

  • Depending on the prevailing category of visitors, you should give a strict, restrained, business name (for men, for example, a site name containing the terms Hard PC will sound more solid) or press on feelings and emotions (for women, the following options are appropriate: La Style, Beauty etc.);
  • We choose a name and by age. For young people these are the same “super” or “mega”, for the older generation they are more restrained and neutral, like “best”, “optima”, etc .;
  • Depending on the pricing policy, it is worth attracting the name of the site to people with different levels of earnings, using words such as "natural, high-quality, original, premium", or, conversely, "copy, economy", etc .;

A few more examples of the exact description of the products sold: for children's stores - "Baby", for cosmetics, personal care the words "beauty, health" and the like are suitable, for sports goods it is better to use "strength, power".

It is very important to launch a new online store with the correct name, as this will immediately increase traffic, and a mistake in the name can lead to unprofitability of the project.

To solidify the topic of how to choose the right domain name for your store, consider examples of good and bad names:

Let's start with the bad ones:

  • "Shop Masha" - does not reflect the focus and does not give an understanding of the range of goods;
  • F5.ua and F5-online.ru - one portal deals with the sale of equipment, and the second: the sale of equipment and tools. An uninitiated client will not even understand what the name means, moreover, it is easy to confuse them;
  • Avelon.com.ua is another example from which it is completely unclear what the company is doing.

Now pay attention to the good names:

  • budmarket.com - store of building materials. The first part of the domain indicates a group of products, the second indicates that this is a store;
  • allo.ua is a laconic and memorable name, implying that here you can find phones, accessories associated with them and, possibly, similar equipment;
  • bit.lg.ua. From the name it is clear that it offers something related to the LG brand and (bit) sound, i.e. here the buyer expects to see electronics from a quality brand, and he will not be deceived;
  • Another good example already mentioned above is sumkas.ru. Displays the product accurately and is easy to remember.

Now let's move on to a more complex and no less important issue - creating a site, choosing an engine, a site template and the design itself, its design.

Website development for an online store

You can make an online store from scratch yourself, but for this you need to delve into a number of important issues, understand the difference between the offered platforms , find out their pros and cons in order to make the right choice.

What is this CMS \ Engine ? In fact, it is a system that allows you to manage the content of the site. In your case, it will make it possible to edit images and product descriptions, as well as add new items. Depending on the choice of engine, you will receive one or another package of tools for working with your site.

To get started, if you decide to take the first step in the field of e-commerce, the free option will suffice. But it should be borne in mind that the free version has limited functionality, and if your business will confidently flourish and increase turnover, the functionality of such an engine will not be enough, you will not be able to quickly manage content, you will not be able to organize normal sorting and filling of your site.

It makes sense to purchase modern CMS immediately with a complete set of tools. Thus, you can significantly save in the future - each additional action, new function or opportunity will require additional costs (and free versions do not spoil the user with rich tools). By purchasing immediately and once, you will save your money. Here are some examples of free options:

  • OkayCMS is the best option for starting an online store. Previously, the engine was paid and cost $ 295. The system is now completely free. The functionality fully covers all the requirements not only for getting started but also for further promotion.
  • Joomla is one of the most popular systems, it is distinguished by its brightness and frequent updates, it has good functionality. The disadvantages include the need to install a special plug-in for organizing an online store, an administrative panel that is very difficult to understand, weak opportunities for expanding the site (for example, if you need to import and export data from Excel;)
  • Drupal is a format that is suitable for those who are not afraid to waste their time, understanding all the intricacies of the process. Here you can save as much as possible - the system is free, but in fact it is a full-fledged programming language. Therefore, the only disadvantages include the difficulty of mastering;
  • 1C Bitrix is a paid system that allows you to synchronize your site with other software from 1C, which will be convenient with a large number of products or frequent price changes. The disadvantages include the regularly changing, relatively high price of the product;

If you contact a freelancer, then, most likely, he will also use CMS to create. Therefore, it is necessary to figure out their options in advance so that it does not turn out that the created site will have minimal functionality, and additional funding will be required for its improvements. But you can always try a free CMS and decide on its functionality and capabilities.

  1. The freelancer will complete the task assigned to him, but all subsequent modifications, improvements, updates will have to be paid separately;
  2. The novice owner of an online store does not know exactly what functions he will need in the future. Therefore, it will be difficult to formulate a task correctly for a freelancer. Further improvements are inevitable, of course, not free;
  3. For a number of reasons, the freelancer who wrote the basic online store may refuse to continue working with you. This means we will have to look for a new artist.

Many freelancers offer to re-create the site, and not fix someone else's project, and this promises new costs. Most often this is due to the low professionalism of the primary work performer or the low qualifications in this area of a potential spotter who is trying to simplify his work at your expense.

The second option is to order the execution of work from a web studio.

This option has many advantages.

  • most likely, professional, proven developers work in the studio;
  • there is a clearly established deadline for the execution of work and quality at a high level
  • the ability to improve the created store and modify any desired functionality.

There is only one drawback - the high cost of work. If you are a beginner entrepreneur and do not have enough money to pay for the work of a web studio, and you also have enough free time, you can choose the option of self-installation of the CMS at the first stage of business formation.

After a certain time, you yourself will understand what resources need to be purchased for the correct operation of the site and will make a reasonable and justified investment.

Here is an example from practice, a real case of cooperation with a freelancer:

The owner of an online jewelry store ordered the site to a freelancer who did the job. In the process of work, it became necessary to export data from the 1C database to the site. The freelancer refused such a revision, citing the lack of experience with 1C. Another company was found, which, after analyzing the current state of the site and all the innovations and functions desired by the owner, proposed to create a new project that would be more mobile and flexible, would provide greater functionality and the ability to quickly make updates, functionality, tools.

The owner, not paying attention to the recommendations of specialists, preferred to save money, leaving the first option. At the moment the site is functioning, new tools have been added, however, there is a large number of problems, errors, frequent failures.

So, having saved once, you can get a lot of problems in the future, and by refusing to invest in modernization, the output will be a "raw" product that is inconvenient to work with.

Note that in the above example, several specialists worked with the project: a designer, a content manager, a system administrator, 1C specialists and SEO-optimizers. Nevertheless, we managed to bring the site only to acceptable functionality, but nothing more.

Filling the store with goods

Another important point for starting a store is filling it with an assortment of goods. This phrase means that for the successful functioning of an online store, it is necessary to put on the site as many product options as possible in order for the buyer to have a choice. In addition, stores with single positions are poorly ranked by search engines.

For example, consider an electronics store, for clarity, taking a separate category of goods - smartphones.

Visitors to these stores are fans of a variety of brands and manufacturers. Accordingly, your showcases should have models from most modern manufacturers, including even those that do not enjoy the best reputation, for example, Chinese devices. Why does it have to be this way? Your store should become interesting for every visitor, and it is impossible to guess what and when the next visitor to your site will want.

The following table can be given as a template for the showcase of such a store:

Brand name

7-10 types

35-70 models

Expensive segment

3-10 types

5-10 models

Cheap segment

2-10 types

10-15 models

Middle price segment

2-10 types

15-25 models

Simplified models

2-10 types

5-10 models


Accordingly, there are 3-10, 2-10 brands in each group and according to the specified number of models in them. Let's explain it this way: the catalog should contain 7-10 different manufacturers, in total 35-70 models, of course, the more the better ...

Why is this necessary? The buyer, even if he immediately found the desired phone model, in most cases, will want to compare it with the closest counterparts from other manufacturers. If they are not there, the buyer can find such models of gadgets on another site, and then, for convenience, go to the competitor's portal finally, as a result, make a purchase there, and not from you.

It is imperative, in addition to basic goods, to have auxiliary accessories in the assortment, which usually have a higher mark-up, bring more income and are an additional argument for the buyer to make a purchase from you. For our group of products, accessories include all kinds of headphones, data cables, chargers, cases, protective glasses or services for their individualization.

A similar situation takes place in the case of other goods. For clothing stores, these are brands, types and types of clothing (skirts, blouses, pants, blouses and care products as accessories or handbags, hats, gloves, etc.). Similarly, with other online stores - you can always find accessories or consumables for the basic product:

  • Vape - the main product is the cigarettes themselves, accessories - spare parts and liquids;
  • Children's store. Basic products are toys, strollers, clothes, and auxiliary products are shoes, feeding bottles, nipples, etc .;
  • The store of electrical goods and tools offers replacement parts as accessories (for example, drills, keys for unlocking grinders, etc.).

This is only the first part of a statement regarding filling the store with a product. If all this is in stock and posted on the site, it does not mean that the store is filled with goods. The product requires high-quality photographs, a detailed description, and an indication of the main characteristics. The visitor will want to know what exactly he is acquiring, what are the capabilities, features, properties of the product he likes. He will need to compare between two, three or more positions.

As for the decision about who will fill the site with information, then there are three solutions:

  • you can do this work yourself;
  • you can find a freelancer;
  • entrust this work to a specialized company.

When choosing the first option, you will not waste money, but you will waste your time. Moreover, depending on the complexity of the product and its quantity, the process of writing content can take a lot of time.

Choosing the second option will also save money. However, there is a risk that a freelancer will do this work poorly, due to a lack of knowledge in the field of your products and the lack of necessary materials from you, or will make it so that the site will not be able to advance in the search engine ratings (the most common mistake is to fill your site with product descriptions from other, more popular stores). Below is an example of how a product is offered that has practically no description and characteristics. The buyer is forced himself, according to the model, to look for his description on third-party resources.

Finally, the third option has only one drawback - you have to pay more for it than a freelancer. But there are more advantages than in the first two:

  • An experienced specialist will fill the site with quality content;
  • Competently done work will allow you to promote your site;
  • You don't have to waste your time or employ incompetent performers.

Now you know why you need to fill the store with goods, how to do it and why.

When planning to make purchases of goods, you should be aware of what suppliers are, where to look for them and how they differ from each other. More information about suppliers can be found on thispage .

Configuring delivery and payment modules

A separate headache for a novice developer and owner of an online store is the need to connect payment and delivery modules on the site. Not finding this tool, the buyer may prefer the site of a competing company. In addition, in the presence of such modules, you will significantly simplify both yourself and your clients to work with the site.

In most cases, free CMS do not have built-in modules, so prepayment for goods will have to be accepted on the card. This will not suit buyers, many of them will think that they have got to the site of scammers and will prefer another place to shop.

Payment and delivery modules, in addition to the main functions, also carry secondary ones - the convenience of the site has a positive effect on the trust of a potential buyer, persuading him to buy, the presence of a payment module confirms the reliability of the resource.

Of the options where these modules are available, it is worth mentioning the following engines:

  • Okay-CMS offers a wide range of modules for both delivery and payment, both for Ukraine and for Russia (in the first case, PrivatBank and Nova Poshta are offered, in the second - Russian Post and Sberbank). There are also other options available that can be viewed on the site itself;
  • Joomla - this system is modular, in this regard, the plugin of the online store and all the necessary payment and delivery modules must be installed separately;
  • Drupal - the functionality is available, but it is extremely difficult for the average user;

Of course, it is your right to choose any of the available options. However, focus on the versions already available, CMS modules, as well as add-ons and features that can be installed in the future.

Drawing up a business plan and working on it

A business plan for developing the concept of an online store should definitely be drawn up for the purpose of objective analysis and step-by-step study of all points.

Before the flight, the pilot is obliged to check the serviceability of the aircraft according to the checklist, noting the checks performed in it. Only after the check-list is completely filled in, the pilot takes off on the plane.

The same trend takes place when starting an online store. Until all the points laid down in the plan are fulfilled, the opening cannot be launched, otherwise the likelihood of collapse will be extremely high.

The main points in a business plan should be:

  • Primary spending that the budget allows. This includes buying an engine or toolkit, and starting a promotion;
  • Achievement of certain milestones, whether it is the number of sales per day, or the achievement of the N-sum of working capital;
  • Capturing market share in a particular segment;
  • Promotion in the city, region, country;
  • Advertising of the brand (of the store itself).

At each stage, it is assumed that a new level of profitability is achieved, and accordingly, an increase in advertising costs. Everything should be carefully calculated so that each stage is balanced - early or increased spending at the stage of low profitability will lead to losses, and minimization will stop the development of the store.

That is why a business plan is an important stage in preparing a start and a good tool for monitoring the development and promotion of a website.

Organization of an advertising campaign for an online store

Advertising is the engine of commerce , and this statement must be constantly used. Your store can only be promoted through high-quality advertising. This will attract visitors, respectively, the percentage of buyers among them will increase, and buyers will provide an increase in turnover and income. The only "but" - advertising must be correct:

  • A correct definition of the target audience is required;
  • The choice of rational advertising placement;
  • Reasonable planning of advertising budget and control of its effectiveness.

Only after completing all the points, you can count on an increase in income.

There are several approaches to implementing promotions:

  • Free promotions and marketing activities with customer attraction ;
  • Paid campaigns (google ads, Yandex Direct, social media advertising).

You can implement all activities yourself or by contacting professionals - marketers.

If you plan to create paid advertising yourself, then there may be risks of failing the campaign. A person who does not understand the issue can simply throw money away without getting the desired result. This includes advertising on social networks, YouTube, Google ADS and Yandex Direct.

Professionally run campaigns are costly. However, it is these promotions that will maximize the effectiveness of the campaign. This means promotion in search engines, placement of advertisements on popular resources, and sometimes advertising will hide under offers to pass the test, choose the best subject, etc. - it is a professional who will be able to choose the right advertisement, taking into account the nuances of your portal.

Conclusion

Let's compare two ways to develop an online store from scratch.

An independent launch of the online trading platform is possible. In this case, you have to make an online store from scratch yourself .

This option has the following advantages:

  • the ability to independently choose a platform, design, template, functionality;
  • significant cost savings, since the owner plans to do most of the work personally;
  • you will have to study separate, specific aspects in the development of the site, which later will allow you to better understand it.
  • the most relevant and complete information about your products, as you will enter and describe them yourself.

The disadvantages of this approach include:

  • you have to spend a lot of time and effort to create a store;
  • chances to create a unprofitable project, based on their own incompetence and lack of experience;
  • there is a possibility that improvements to the free platform will be required, respectively, unplanned expenses may arise;
  • slow and ineffective website promotion.

Having chosen a solution to seek help from specialists in the field of creating and promoting online trading portals, you can really get:

  • shop completely ready to work;
  • the ability to easily add or change functionality;
  • high efficiency of ongoing advertising campaigns;
  • fast website promotion, increase in its turnover and own profit.

There is only one drawback to this approach - there will be material costs for hiring highly qualified specialists. However, any, the most profitable business involves an initial investment . According to experts, the costs of website promotion by professionals are justified, since the chances of their return and multiplication are much higher than in the case of independent attempts, where there will probably be a lot of mistakes and difficulties, any of which can lead to collapse and loss of invested funds.

Comments 1
Виталий
03.08.2021, 20:40
Как-то странно что во всех обзорах пропускают Вордпресс. Только на dushkoff.com нашел статью об этом. И вроде как можно и вполне успешно делать интернет магазин на этой CMS.
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