If you are visiting this page, you are wondering what to do to create an online store. To sell your products or services, you have three main streets of the Internet directly you can follow …
- Create an e-commerce or a website your own, where users can visit the featured products and buy them with different payment methods.
- Create a sales landing page mono-product, which is a simple and direct web page where you offer a single product or service, to be supported with advertising campaigns (AdWords or Facebook).
- Use a marketplace service, or a website e-commerce hosting for your products or services, which can be found and purchased by your potential customers. Examples are Amazon and eBay.
Now let’s see in detail the three different paths you can follow to create an online store, with its costs and benefits.
Create an own online shop (e-commerce)
The first way to sell products and services on the internet is to create an e-commerce site, or a website that you own that you can use to show in a virtual window on your catalog and allow people to purchase on the internet.
The e-commerce website can be developed basically of two types of platforms …
- A proprietary platform, which is developed ad hoc and brush on your reality, from a professional developer.
- An open source platform, using already developed and free software in their basic versions, which need modules (or plugins) even paid to enrich the different features. The most famous and used are Magento, PrestaShop and WooCommerce.
From a graphical point of view, the website can then from an HTML template, which already developed a predefined template, or again by a customized solution, designed and built by a web graphic designer.
Advantages and disadvantages of a proprietary platform
Clearly, the advantage of a proprietary platform is the complete customization of each of the online store management process.
Instead, the disadvantage is represented mainly by two factors: the high cost that can reach and the need to seek an ad hoc solution for each function you want to add.
Advantages and disadvantages of an open source platform
The main advantage of a platform like Magento, Prestashop WooCommerce and is represented by the security of a service already used by thousands of companies worldwide, as well as the cost of development, potentially less than that of a proprietary platform.
On the other side, an e-commerce with special needs may find very strong limitations in the use of an open source platform.
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What steps to follow for the opening of an online store?
- If you have a company, you can start almost immediately to design your online sales website. If, however, this is not the case, the first step is surely to set up a company, joining the Chamber of Commerce and submitting the related formalities.
- At this point, it must report to the Revenue of the references of online sale (for example, the address of the website and contacts).
- For the development of e-commerce web site, it should be expected to pay for professionals who intend to employ. Whether it is a web agency that freelancers must be provided at least one IT developer and a web designer (graphic).
- At this point, we anticipate an expense for the hosting service (where the website is hosted), on a physical or virtual server.
- Consult an accountant for the mode of e-commerce payments, which traditionally for a B2C (direct sale to the consumer) are the bank transfer, payment by credit card (opening a virtual POS), PayPal and direct spending courier, on delivery.
- At this point, the busy shipping a contract with a professional courier company, which will offer custom rates depending on the assumed and actual sales volumes.
- The logistics is another important aspect, you have basically two roads, which are a proprietary stock or a drop shipping system. In the first case, you purchase the goods from suppliers, and mail it once sold. In the second case, you do not need to have a physical warehouse: the goods are shipped directly from the supplier once purchased online, without the intermediate step.
- Finally, occupied content the website e-commerce may not be an “empty space”, but must have the products well cataloged in the window, with its photographs, descriptions and specifications. You have the option to manually load the products or to develop an ERP-management integration of your business, to ensure that the process is automated and constantly updated.
The most advanced e-commerce sites may provide more advanced services, such as allowances in payment platforms, e-mail, automatic completion of the transaction, the realization and label printing to be applied to the parcel, generating invoices and services automatic communication with carriers for shipment.
What tools to use to sell, once you create an online store?
To sell on the internet, not just create an online shop e-commerce. You can use a number of web marketing tools to stimulate and boost sales and turnover, which are summarized below …
- Positioning on search engines (SEO), to appear in the results of Google and the other search engines when users type keywords particularly important for your business.
- Advertising on search engines (SEM), such as Google AdWords, which allow you to “step over” the search engine results, paying for each click received by users.
- Price comparison tools.
- Advertising on social networks like Facebook Ads and Twitter Ads.
- E-mail marketing and SMS marketing, with a database of email addresses or mobile phone.
- Of behavioral marketing tools and conversion rate optimization (CRO), which lead users who land on the site to sell more likely, through the use of tangible and intangible incentives, promotion of personalized messages and to the study of user behavior.
In summary, open an online store with a website e-commerce is a long process, which requires a high initial investment. However, the instrument has enormous potential for growth and return on investment, conditioned by the resources that can be invested in web marketing support tools.
Create a single-product shop (landing page)
If you just want to sell a product or service on the Internet, everything becomes easier. You do not need a website e-commerce with a catalog, or a particularly complex logistics. What this does for you is a website dedicated specifically to the sale of that product or service, also called landing page.
This page, supported by a massive advertising on search engines or social networks, is designed, developed and communicated only to sell that product or service online. It is a tool widely used by writers who sell their latest artistic product, from IT companies that want to deploy new software or related situations.
How is it structured a landing page to sell online
The landing page single-product is primarily a web page and not a comprehensive website. Anything that does not serve to support the sale online, and must be discarded or neglected: the full focus to be directed to the main communication sales.
In this sense, it should be identified a main organic communication, which supports the sale of the product or service, convincing end users of its usefulness. The elements that usually make up a landing page single-product are the following:
- Introductory block with a communication impact (text and images).
- In-depth section, where support is provided to the introductory communication.
- Subsequent paragraphs in order to focus the visitor’s attention on several points to be explored further.
- Strengths and guarantees to be explicit, to support online sales.
- Sales module, where the user enters the billing information and complete the payment.
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What steps to follow for the opening of a landing page mono product?
Again, alas, you must do some bureaucratic steps in order to open an online sales landing page. However, you will have the considerable simplifications both in the technical construction of the web page (not a complex site!), both in logistics.
Here are the major steps to open an online shop single product …
- If you still have not formed a company, you should open a company, satisfying the legal requirements and submitting the necessary documents to institutions that deal with this activity.
- Reporting to the Revenue of the opening of the online store, through the presentation of the contact data required by law.
- To develop a landing page, you can refer to our web agency, which deals with both the physical design of the page, that communication to optimize sales; or to one or more professionals in the field of information technology and communication.
- Buy one of web hosting space that will host your web site: You have several options on physical or virtual servers.
- Expect one study on the method of payment that you accept on the landing page single product. As already observed in the case of a B2C e-commerce, payments usually are accepted by credit card (you have to open a virtual POS), PayPal (you have to open a professional account), bank transfer and cash on delivery to the courier.
- As for the delivery, they must be taken agreements with a professional delivery service (courier).
- At this point, remain the two most important things at your expense: the logistics (warehouse where the product is stored) and the drafting of the content to be included in the website, they can convince visitors to buy your product or service
What tools to use to sell, once you created a landing page single product?
The landing page single-product is usually combined with an advertising campaign that will generate qualified traffic (potential customers visitors) on the web page. There are mainly of two types:
- A campaign on Google AdWords search network: When users type a particular keyword on the Google search engine, found an advertisement. You pay only when users click on the ad, landing on your website.
- A Facebook campaign: The Facebook Ads service allows you to target your advertising message to users who demonstrate specific interests, with their behavior on social networks (likes, shares, comments).
Clearly, the sales skills of the landing page single product will be affected also and above all from the communication you will find on the web page, or not able to take to “convert”.
In short, create a landing page single product to sell online requires a decent initial investment, much lower compared to an e-commerce site. The instrument has an excellent chance of return on investment, conditioned by the effectiveness of advertising campaigns and web page.
Create an online store on a marketplace (Amazon, eBay)
The e-commerce web site or landing page single product developed specifically for the online sales project are not the only ways to create an online store.
If you want to simplify significantly all the steps listed above, you can use a marketplace, or one space made available by a third party company to sell online.
Clearly, the main disadvantage of a marketplace is the commission that must be recognized to the host website, which can vary from 10% to 20%, depending on the services offered online. The most widespread marketplace websites are Amazon and eBay, two of the most famous e-commerce in the world.
What steps to follow to create an online store on Amazon and eBay?
The figures below refer to a professional account sales on Amazon and eBay. In fact, under the sale of a given number of products, it is not necessary to have obligations of legal and fiscal nature. If you intend to open a professional online store on a marketplace, these are all the steps to follow …
- Again, as in previous cases, it should be established a professional company with a notary and regulatory compliance should be reported to the competent bodies.
- From here, it makes everything easier subscribe with a few steps to the service of selling Amazon or eBay, inputting all the company’s information and contact details.
- At this point, enter the products with the relevant information required by the marketplace (photographs, descriptions, technical specifications), with manual loading or using a dynamic feed generated by a programmer.
- Decide what you will do with the shipping you will need to make arrangements with a professional courier or Messenger service, which guarantees your clients a great service. Rates, in this sense, vary greatly depending on the volume of sales guaranteed to the carrier.
- Finally, the logistics the options here are very different. You can use your own stock or lean logistics Amazon, activating additional services for your customers.
As you know, the big advantage to open a store on Amazon or eBay is determined by the expenditure for the development of a web project (e-commerce site or landing page single-product), which is completely reset. Similarly, you have no hosting fees, and you will not have to worry about the payment of end-users (Amazon or eBay).
Conversely, unfortunately, the commission expenses that holds the marketplace are very high. For this reason, if you want to open an online shop with a business to long-term growth plan, a proprietary solution will almost always need to be taken. The initial investment is clearly much higher, but equally high are the chances of growth.
What tools to use to sell, once you create an online store on a marketplace?
You have very few tools to stimulate sales, if you decide to sell on online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay. In fact, the roads that can be followed are mainly two …
- Try to increase your visibility on the marketplace with “organic” methods, by positioning your products with detailed descriptions and perfect content, accumulating positive reviews by customers.
- And use “advertising” methods, with native service Amazon Advertising, which allows, compared to an expense “per click”, to bypass the positions of the other competitors on the Amazon research network.
In summary, sell on Amazon or eBay (marketplaces) allows you to create an online store with a very low initial investment. However, the high commissions of these tools do not allow, in most cases, to have a business plan rich and far-sighted.
If you need more information on the creation of an online store, contact us without obligation to discuss your project. With our experience in the design, development and communication of e-commerce websites and landing pages single-product, we can provide advanced services for online stores, from custom design to IT development, the integration with complex web systems to web marketing and conversion rate optimization.