Set up an online shop:
Due to internet reach & changing consumer buying trends from offline to online many small retail businesses are building online shop. Most of physical stores are extending their arms with building online shop. Physical store is always having many constraints to attract customers. Location can be major issue. Your store is positioned at one street, one town and in one country. Whereas online shop is global using internet & you can extend product delivery as per your wish to any corner of the world using right shipping partner.
Set up online shop is less complex if done in right way. Following are some important points, which needs to be considered while creating your online shop.
Product data & sizing of online shop:
Prepare the list of products you are selling in your present physical store. Making product count will help you to estimate size of store. Size of store is important while making selection of ecommerce platform & getting estimated cost of building online shop.
Selection of E-Commerce platform:
Select E-Commerce platform from many available open source E-commerce frameworks like Magento, volusion, osCommerce, woocommerce for wordpress etc. Even there are SaaS products like shopify, volusion, eBay, etsy etc available for quick configuration & on monthly subscriptions. Selecting E-commerce platform is purely based on your business model & scalability of online shop.
More than 150,000 online retailers have adapted Magento E-commerce. Many small online shopping websites to large multinational enterprises such as Harvey Nichols and Samsung has been established their online store using Magento. Magento has all required E-commerce features.
Design & integrate online shopping experience:
Design your online store for branding & layouts. Design different web layouts beginning from home page to checkout page. Integrate marketing & shopping tools like latest items, items on sale, discounts, wishlist, newsletters etc.
Only the product description or only the image is not enough to convince your customers. Combination of product name, product image and detail description together works effectively. You can arrange your products with different catalogs, galleries, sliders, and slideshows with relevant images and descriptions. Make your product catalogs with appealing product images & product descriptions.
Payment & Shipping partner:
Payment & shipping partners are important elements of any online shop. Select carefully payment & shipping partner to integrate payment & shipping functionality. Configure shipping rates & taxes as applicable to sell products online.
Inventory and Account Management for physical & online shop:
The accounting and inventory management should be part of E-commerce platform. Most selling product items in week, month report can give better visibility to manage product stocks. Inventory management is key part for running successful retail business by keeping inventory at optimized level. You need solution for managing the physical inventory and accounting parallel with online store. This can be configurable in E-commerce platform.
Domain name & hosting for online shop:
Once development is done you will need domain name (URL to access online shop) & hosting to run online shop. Many hosting options are available & you can select one as per store data size & e-commerce platform requirements. Please consult with development partner who will guide you which one will be good hosting plan for your online shop.
This list can be exhaustive but I focused on important factors to be considered while starting online shop in development point of view. Please share your comments or provide feedback on creating an online shop.
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