ECommerce: time to get your own online shop

The topic of ecommerce is one that businesses can no longer avoid. According to forecasts, the turnover generated by ecommerce will reach 38.7 billion in 2014 – that’s 17% more than 2013. Nine out of ten internet users place orders online – that translates as 70% of all those over the age of 14 in Germany. Of this 70%, 39% place online orders regularly. According to BITCOM, ecommerce counts for around 14% of the total turnover of all companies in Germany – and this is increasing. Read more in the article by SEOshop, one of our partners.

 

With these statistics in mind it is not really surprising that more and more traders are opening their own online shops. Yet it should still not be undertaken lightly. The competition is huge and aside from traders, many goods and services are being sold privately on the internet.  Thanks to market places such as ebay or other trading platforms, three out of four internet users have already sold or auctioned something online. Furthermore, your shop needs to be updated and expanded regularly with new content, such as a blog. This involves a lot of work. Here are some tips which you might want to bear in mind before opening your online shop.

Market Research

Traders should be aware of what the competition is doing before investing time and money into their own online shop. The umpteenth fashion-, shoe- or home accessories shop will probably not succeed unless it has a unique selling point (USP). But if the shop stands out from the mass of similar shops, customers appreciate this and would rather buy something special or different than something off the rack. It is also essential that you compile unique product descriptions and suitable images that customers can zoom in on.

Content

Individualised content is particularly important for search engine optimisation. This includes blog articles or videos as well as simple product descriptions. Traders can use the blog to introduce the product manufacturers and the manufacturing process. A good example of this would be eingenuss.de. This shop sells delicacies and gifts. All manufacturers are introduced individually and the stories behind the companies are told. The product descriptions are short and punchy, and show the product in its best light.

Marketing

To draw attention to your shop, you will need to invest time and money in marketing. Aside from adverts such as paid search engine ads, it is beneficial to have a company presence and profile on suitable social network sites and to use email marketing. It is important to think about the aspects that are relevant to the target groups and where you can find them. It is not advisable to have a presence on every network just for the sake of it. The content must be tailored, the target group must be active and there must be enough time for you to edit and maintain your social media profile and stay in contact with the users. The same is true for email marketing: make sure that you don’t send too many newsletters and that the content is relevant for every recipient. Suitable images make the newsletter more appealing and readers will click on elements of the email sooner, taking them to your website.

The right shop system

Online shops are not all the same. First and foremost, it is important to be in the clear about what is expected from the software and what you can provide yourself. The most widely used systems are SaaS (software as a service) and Open Source. The differences are extensive and those interested in trading online should do their research about both. The following table provides some of the benefits of both systems.

SaaS vs. Open source

Two differing models explained:

SaaS Open Source
SaaS, or “Software as a Service” is a rental-shop solution. This means that the product is available online so does not need to be downloaded to your PC. Some advantages are as follows: This refers to software whose source code is available for free online, hence the term ‘open’. Web design and -development agencies use this code to build tailored solutions for individual customers. Some advantages are as follows:
– No costs for the design, i.e. low start-up costs
– you only pay for what you use
– web-based (no installation necessary)
– hosting is included in package price
– works on numerous device types and is accessible anywhere
– automatic updates
– many functions already included as standard
– Because the source code is already available, there are no limitations
– huge potential for design and functions
– you can have control over your own software
– no limitation to number of users
– individual solutions are achievable

The greatest advantages of SaaS

 

Short lead time

The time required for you to be able to open your online shop (lead time) is 7x less than with an open source project.

Low long-term costs

With an initial investment of €6,000 for an open source online shop you can run an SaaS online shop for 10 years.

Required technical capabilities 

Open source requires you to have advanced technical capabilities. But an SaaS solution such as SEOshop does not require such knowledge and is even suitable for beginners because neither technical installation nor code are necessary.

SEOshop and Newsletter2go

SEOshop is one of the fastest growing SaaS platforms in Europe. SEOshop has found a strong partner in Newsletter2Go, who make email marketing better and simpler for online businesses.

Partner Offer: Are you interested in having your own online shop? You can test SEOshop’s software free of charge for 14 days at www.seoshop.de.

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