An online store can complement an existing physical store or become an independent business. In both cases, however, it is worth thinking about opening it ONLY after careful preparation, the realization of prospects, and future work. Shared web hosting also is a part of website building.
It is often assumed that by creating an attractive and functional online store, sales will shoot up on their own without any effort on the part of the owner. However, things are not so simple – consistent work is needed both before and after the opening. Therefore, we want to offer you some tips that, in our opinion, will help you both start and run an online business smoothly through shared web hosting.
Is your product popular with online shoppers?
Without an answer to this question, you risk wasting a lot of money and precious time – ignorance of the online market may necessitate a change in the profile of the store or even close it later.
Not all people like to buy goods online. The reasons for this are various, such as the lack of demand in the search engine. Of course, demand can be created, but it will cost you more than starting in a well-known and promising market.
How to check if your goods are in demand online?
You can use the Google Trends service to check the number of inquiries for your product (s).
Is there strong competition in contextual advertising?
If the market is formed, it is safe to say that its participants are actively using all the opportunities to advertise their products. One of the easiest ways to start selling quickly is contextual advertising (in Lithuania it is Google Adwords). These are paid search engine ads that appear at the top or bottom of the window (in other search engines, they may also appear on the sides). In other words, the first four and the last three results after entering the query ‘creating online stores’ are precisely contextual advertising through shared web hosting.
Advertisers pay for clicks on their ads (CPC – cost per click), which puts them at a higher cost. If you use professional services, it may take several hours to several days for your contextual advertising to be configured. Immediately after that, you get the flow of potential customers who need your product.
The cost per click for contextual advertising varies. Some of our customers pay 5-10 cents per click, others 2 euros. In exceptional cases, the cost per click can reach more than $ 935 (US – best mesothelioma lawyer)! If the contextual advertising market is extremely “hot” (expensive clicks, intense competition), other customer search channels are likely to be highly competitive. In this case, you need to seriously consider your advertising budget before opening an online store.
How to check for high competition for contextual advertising?
Google Keyword Planner is required to check for high competition for contextual advertising. You need a Google Adwords account to use it. Google has recently limited the quality of the data provided to low-budget accounts, so it’s a good idea to contact an advertising agency for quality data. A few dozen keywords here you should check for free.
Are there large online stores among your competitors?
If you are going to compete with leaders in your field, prepare for a serious fight from the start.
Price dumping, difficulties with contextual advertising, the high cost of attracting customers, the wide range offered by competitors are just a few of the obstacles you will face. Ask yourself if you can negotiate a more attractive price with your suppliers than your larger competitors in the market for long. Will it be possible to organize the delivery of goods professionally? Maintain at least the same quality of goods? Professionally organize other online marketing processes? If the answers to the above questions are no, we must disappoint you: you may be able to survive, but you will not succeed in earning money without serious investment.
How to check who your competitors are?
On Google search, collect keywords that can be used to find your products and view the results. The level of competitors should be clear from the first page.
Shared web hosting
We want to warn you right away: you can’t break the law, you have to pay taxes! You will not be able to open online stores without a legal personality. Today’s shoppers are educated and cautious: they know a lot about online safety and are increasingly interested in the legal details of online stores. If they do not find one, we can guarantee that no one will cancel their order.
To better explain who needs all of these questions, we’ll provide an example of an online store selling children’s clothing.
In order to have enough choice positions in the online store, the store had to spend about 5,000 euros for each year of the baby. The average price of one garment was 3-4 euros – imagine how many you need to order. A supplier who does not care about buyers will simply send them a document with the items of the goods. Not all of them will be in stock at that time, the buyer may not be notified, and similar clothes may be sent instead of the ordered clothes.
After spending 1000 euros, you will receive a box the size of which is approximately 1x1x1 m. It is full of clothes that need to be put together neatly somewhere, otherwise, there will be a lot of problems in fulfilling orders. When placing the goods on the shelves, it is necessary to check according to the list whether all the goods have been sent or whether they are not unnecessary. If you see that there are unsolicited items, look for where they were delivered.
You have ordered, received, placed, and inspected the goods. Now their profiles need to be uploaded to the online store. If you have a photo, description of the item and you have decided on the price, it will take about 2 minutes to upload manually, maybe a little more. Calculate for yourself how long this part of the job will take. If you think this will take too long, be sure to order an import module from website developers that will allow you to upload a CSV / XML document quickly through shared web hosting.
Don’t forget about the courier service. It can give you access to an online service that will allow you to import an order list document with details of the buyer, his address, call a courier and quickly find out the status of the shipment. Be sure to study all courier service offers carefully, otherwise, you risk wasting a lot of time preparing orders for shipment.
I would like to emphasize that an online store requires no less effort than a physical one, and the wider the range, the more difficult it is to manage. Analyze your competitors, estimate your advertising budget, think about every step you take – from assortment selection to parcel packaging – and put your thoughts on paper. This will make it easier for you to create a plan for successful online business development.
We also suggest you review our next article, “How to Save Money When Ordering a Website. A practical ordering guide ”. Here you will find tips for successfully choosing website or store developers.