Closed fashion stores, DIY stores and toy stores – the lockdown has given online retail a major boost. According to the BEVH, gross sales from e-commerce have risen by 14.6 percent – that means an increase from 72.6 billion euros to sales of 83.3 billion euros. Goods for everyday use have also been significantly affected by this development. The restrictions imposed by the pandemic have contributed to many local store owners having to reorient themselves in order to stabilize sales again.

Do you intend to start your own business with an online store? We have compiled some information on this topic in this article.

Which software can you use to create an online store?

For an online store, you need a website or a ready-made store system. Whether you want to build your own store with WordPress and the plug-in WooCommerce or use a ready-made store system like Shopify, depends a lot on your previous knowledge.

If you use Shopify you have to pay a monthly fee to the operators, but you can access a fully functional store. A store via store system is created much faster due to the modular system. Apps and various payment methods can be integrated easily.

The creation of a store with WordPress is associated with a higher effort. You have to calculate much more time and deal with the basics of WordPress. If you bring knowledge in programming on top of that, you can design the site according to your preferences.

Classic online trade or dropshipping

You have an ingenious product and an ideal business idea? To offer your products, you basically have two options: you can create a classic online store or rely on dropshipping.

If you decide on classic online trading, the orders will be carried out by you. This means that you are responsible for handling the orders and returns. However, it is not possible to run a classic online store without start-up capital. You need to acquire a wide range of products in advance and also store them in a warehouse. All tasks from logistics to marketing to accounting are your responsibility. On the other hand, by purchasing the goods, you have greater control over the quality of the products and the delivery conditions. This also allows you to respond appropriately to customer complaints.

Dropshipping is a model in which goods are shipped directly from the manufacturer to the end customer. You offer products in your store, but never come into contact with these goods yourself. All logistics are handled by a fulfillment center or by individual manufacturers. If you have decided to use Shopify, you can integrate the products directly via certain apps. WordPress also offers corresponding plug-ins. When an order arrives, it is transmitted directly to the manufacturer, who takes over the entire processing. By eliminating logistical tasks, you can focus on marketing activities, accounting and customer care. On the other hand, you must first put the manufacturers through their paces to ensure customer satisfaction.

What are the advantages of having your own online store?

Imagine never again being bound by the directives of a superior, being able to structure your daily routine yourself and flexibly arrange your working hours? All these advantages could be realized with your own online store. With your own online store you can reach many more customers, because you can offer your products to the whole world. If you manage to position yourself successfully, you can boost your sales significantly as a result.

However, in order to prevail against giants like Amazon, Zalando or Otto, you need to offer your customers more. Strengthen customer loyalty by integrating a corporate blog into the store. Create emotions and associations that your customers will associate with you. And integrate detailed and meaningful product descriptions with appealing images and videos. By taking these measures, you’ll ensure that the shopping experience online is also a true experience.

Conclusion

Online retail sales are growing rapidly. It can be assumed that this upswing will not decline even after the pandemic. For former store owners, but also for people who are entering absolutely new territory with their own online store, e-commerce offers the ideal starting conditions. However, the competition should not be underestimated. By specializing in a niche and positioning themselves as experts, smaller stores can be found by interested customers.

Image: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/laptop-wordpress-wordpress-design-593673/

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