The 10 most important questions of online store creation

02.09.2020
by Meike Müller
Tipps & Tricks
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Starting out in the world of e-commerce is not always easy and presents you with many questions. From the domain to the design, as an online store owner you need to have a good roadmap in advance to keep up with the competition and offer your future customers the best possible buying experience. In this article we try to answer the 10 most important questions of online store creation and thus give you a guide to help you build or optimize your webshop. If you need further help and information about online store creation, we at EXWE are here for you.

What to expect
  1. Where should I start?
  2. Which store system should I use?
  3. How do I structure my store?
  4. How do I design my online store?
  5. What content is important for my store?
  6. Which payment methods should I offer?
  7. What do I need to consider in terms of delivery options?
  8. Do I really have to care so much about SEO?
  9. What else do I need to consider?
  10. Step by step to your online shop
  11. FAQ: Questions and answers about online store creation
  12. What does it cost to create an online store?
  13. Who can create an online store for me?
  14. How much capital do I need for an online store?
  15. Can I create an online store for free?
  16. Which store system is the best?
  17. What is the difference between an online store and a website?

1. WHERE SHOULD I EVEN START ?

The most important thing is the server, which offers performance and high data security according to your needs. A database with your goods and services should either already exist or be created. You also need a domain with a suitable name. A suitable store system is crucial for the later construction of the online store and should therefore be well thought out.

2. WHICH STORE SYSTEM SHOULD I USE ?

There are many providers for store systems - it is important to distinguish between rented online stores and open source stores. Companies such as Strato, Jimdo, WiX and others offer you a functional store system with which you can create and design your online store using a modular system. You don't need any programming experience and don't have to worry about hosting - the provider takes care of that. However, the disadvantages are the low flexibility due to the technical limits and design options set by the provider, as well as the dependence on the software provider.

The possibility of open source can be implemented by store systems such as Shopware, Magento, etc.. Here you create your online store yourself or have it created by a professional. This option requires good knowledge in the field of programming or sufficient start-up capital to hire a professional. However, there are some funding programs for digitization that can support you in this. The biggest advantage of this solution is the unlimited technical possibilities you have in designing and building your store.

3. HOW DO I STRUCTURE MY STORE ?

A good structure convinces at first sight and enables your customer to use your store easily. Therefore, it is important to work out main categories and break them down by subcategories. We recommend you to use a maximum of 5 main categories and 10 subcategories (per main category). The designation of the categories and hierarchy is crucial for the later user-friendliness.

You also need to plan a good structure for your articles. Arrange your articles into the previously created main and subcategories, give them precise product titles and complete the whole with a short description. Ideally, each item should have 3 item images and attributes for variant items in other sizes or colors. Make sure there are high-quality photos of your items - with this, you can achieve a higher conversion rate and satisfied customers. Also important:

  • Is your logo in the right place?
  • Does your webshop have a search function?
  • Is it obvious where the shopping cart is located?

4. HOW DO I DESIGN MY ONLINESHOP ?

A well-designed online store is the be-all and end-all and has a significant influence on your customers' buying decisions. In addition to the presentation of goods, you should design your online store representative and clear. Your corporate identity should be reflected in your store - including logo, fixed font and qualitative graphics and photos. Your layout should be as clean and clear as possible, so that your customers can quickly find their way around and do not leave the site in frustration before making a purchase. In order to design your webshop optimally, you should not disregard UX design and usability design. How you can increase your conversion rate with the right use of UX design, you can read in our blog post.

5. WHAT CONTENT IS IMPORTANT FOR MY STORE?

The first click of many new customers is often the information about the company. Is the merchant reputable? What are the provider's professional qualifications? Here, valid information about the address and contact options through telephone number and e-mail address are particularly important. The legally required information such as terms and conditions, imprint and privacy policy are indispensable for your online store. The following list includes the most important points:

  • Master / company data for contact
  • E-mail address
  • Bank data (e.g. for prepayment)
  • Imprint
  • AGB
  • Privacy policy
  • Revocation
  • About us
  • Catalogs
  • Contact form
  • Newsletter form

6. WHICH PAYMENT METHODS SHOULD I OFFER ?

Complicated payment processes and cumbersome shipping data entry are final stumbling blocks of your purchase transaction. Your customers accept what they know and what is proven and secure. Besides the standard payment methods like prepayment, invoice and cash on delivery, you should consider including PayPal (with PayPalPlus), Amazon Pay or Klarna to offer your customer the best possible buying experience online.

7. WHAT DO I HAVE TO CONSIDER WITH THE DELIVERY OPTIONS ?

Again, reliability is important - for you and your customer. Proven carriers such as DHL, Hermes, DPD and UPS should be known and selected after prior comparison. Additionally important: Is the billing location of your customer also the delivery location? How fast is the delivery? Is there a shipment tracking? How much does shipping cost for your products and what are the options (standard, express, etc.)? From when is the delivery of the product free of shipping costs? You should think about these points carefully before you have an online store created and it goes online.

8. HOW CAN I IDENTIFY AND ADDRESS MY TARGET GROUP ?

When you create your online store, you probably already have a rough idea of what your target audience looks like. Analytical data helps you to address your target group more efficiently. Targeting your customers helps you to sell more products in the long term. By linking your social media channels, you offer your customers the opportunity to communicate directly and quickly with you via live chat. The following tools have proven themselves over many years of experience and can also make your life easier:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Google Ads
  • HubSpot
  • Mailchimp
  • Tawk.to Chat

9. DO I REALLY HAVE TO CARE ABOUT SEO ?

One thing first - you don't have to be an SEO professional to create an online store. However, you should not neglect this important point and at least deal with the basics of search engine optimization. SEO is extremely important to advance your store - especially in the beginning, where the budget for advertising costs (e.g. via GoogleAds) is not available and most traffic comes from search engines. A useful SEO tool is Seobility. The free tool bundles all the most important SEO functions in one place and gives you helpful tips for optimizing your webshop.

10. WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO CONSIDER ?

There are many tips and tricks in the field of online store creation. Finally, we have three areas that you should not ignore:

  1. Returns management: Returns can quickly become expensive, so you should think in advance how you accept them, refunded and what happens to a returned product.
  2. Competition: Find out about your competition. Who are your direct competitors? What do they offer? Only through direct comparison can you improve.
  3. Accounting: The accounting of your online store should be kept meticulously and clearly from the beginning. Accounting tools such as lexoffice or Fastbill are inexpensive alternatives that allow you to do your accounting digitally and easily.

 

11. step by step to your online shop

For a better overview of how to quickly get your own online store, we have listed each step of the online store creation.

 

Technical foundation: Take care of the technical details like server, database and domain.

Store system: Continue with the store system. What are your requirements and can the store system meet them? There is now a large selection of store systems, so you are sure to find one that suits your needs.

Structure and functions: Now you should make a plan about the structure and layout of your store. In addition, you can already think about which functions will be necessary.

Design: Once you have thought about the structure and all the functions, it makes sense to plan everything design-wise. Which colors and fonts do you want to use and which visual elements fit your brand?

Content: What story do you want to tell? Now think about how you want to proceed with the textual content of your site. You also need to think about how you want your products to be represented textually.

Payment methods & shipping: These details are of course also important for a functioning online store. Select payment and shipping service providers that should be available in your store.

Performance and control: Now you have clarified all design and content issues. Now you can extensively check your store for content and function errors and should also check the loading times etc.. check.

Go-live: In the last step your store can finally go online! However, this is not the end of the work. The last step is about subsequent optimizations.

Subsequent optimizations: After the go-live, you can always take care of updates and search engine optimization. After all, you want your products to be found online. You can also reach your target group with marketing tools.

 

FAQ: Questions and answers about creating an online store

If you still have questions after our ten most important questions, we hope that we can cover a few more topics with the following FAQ. Otherwise, we are of course always available by phone and happy to answer your individual questions about online store creation.

 

What does it cost to create an online store?

This is probably the most popular question about online store creation. However, the question can not be answered without knowing the scope of the online shop project. A small and very simple online store can be created guaranteed already with 4,000 euros. The more extensive and individual the store becomes, the more expensive the project will be. There are no financial limits towards the top. For a store with individual functions, you should therefore plan on at least 20,000 to 30,000 euros. Depending on the scope, it can also be over 50,000 euros. We would be happy to make you an individual offer for your online store. You can contact us via our contact form or by phone.

 

Who can create an online store for me?

Depending on what requirements you have for an online store, you can create it yourself using modular systems or have a store created by an online store agency. For an online store from kits or modules you do not need any programming skills. Of course, you don't have as many customization options there. With an online store agency you can implement every individual function and every design wish.

 

How much capital do I need for an online store?

This is, as already mentioned above, completely dependent on your own ideas regarding the online store. A small online store with the basic functions can also be implemented with a low capital. For all extra wishes you need more capital. Depending on what you decide, a few thousand euros are enough. But the range can also go up to several tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. As soon as you have an overview of which functions and which design is important to you, you can get a non-binding offer from EXWE. Here you get transparent insight into the costs of your online store.

 

Is it possible to create an online store for free?

There is actually no option that allows you to create and maintain an online store completely free of charge. Some store systems or modular systems offer the possibility to use an open source variant or to use a free test version for a certain period of time. In this case, you will still incur costs either later or during hosting. However, these are manageable depending on the scope of your store. The more your store should be able to do and the more individual the functions should be, the higher the costs will be.

 

Which store system is the best?

There are many different store systems with which you can create your own online store. Which store system is the best always depends on what wishes you have regarding your online store. An always good option for us is the store system Shopware. With Shopware, we have already been able to create a large number of different online stores for customers from a wide variety of industries and with a wide variety of ideas.

 

What is the difference between an online store and a website?

A website is usually a platform that primarily shares information with the world. Companies have websites to tell something about their history and services. They also have contact information such as address, phone number and email address. The online store can contain all this and adds another function to it. Customers can directly buy products or services that the company offers with an online store. There is a shopping cart and the possibility to pay with different payment methods to get the desired product sent afterwards. Security and the encryption of personal data plays a very important role in an online store.

 

Since the creation of online stores is not always so simple, we are a certified Shopware agency and provider in the construction of online stores at your side and answer all open questions. Just contact us!

Meike
Meike
from 02.09.2020

Hello, my name is Meike. I take care of the EXWE back office and am responsible for our social media channels. All of our articles are meant to make your life easier and help you make decisions. Nevertheless, it can happen that something remains unclear, so: If you have questions about this article you can easily reach me at +49 231 93149827.

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