The Internet and its many other digital helpers increasingly determine our everyday life - not only in the private, but also in the business environment. It is therefore high time to act and become digitally active. Because shopping behavior is also not unaffected by digitalization.
Whereas customers used to go to relevant shops to obtain information about goods or services, today they research almost exclusively online. The final purchase decisions and purchases also frequently take place online - often even directly on the go via smartphone and tablet.
These developments are increasingly transferring from B2C to B2B and are now equally relevant for both sectors. In addition, the pandemic situation caused by Covid-19 also acts as a powerful catalyst, because in the face of the lockdown and contact restrictions, the increased adoption of digital options is only the logical consequence in order to be able to continue to compete in the market.
Covid-19 has an enormous, barely quantifiable impact on the German economy.
In particular, stationary B2C stores of all kinds are suffering economically from the pandemic. If alternative sales channels are not developed, many shops will have to close temporarily in the course of the lockdown. In the long term, having your own online shop as a sales option for goods or even services is more than just a temporary solution.
But not only in B2C, but also in B2B Covid-19 has an immense impact on online buying behavior. This is because B2B customers are equally looking for online shopping opportunities. E-commerce is taking on an increasingly important role in B2B - even among businesses that previously hardly considered it relevant to them. Many B2B businesses already trade and therefore offer various self-service options for customers via their online shop in order to remain competitive in the market.
Infact, it can be assumed that in the future, business customers will expect an online shop that is tailored to their specific requirements. This is very clearly shown in a survey by Sana Commerce. Among other things, it shows that the ability to place orders via an online sales portal is already one of the top criteria when selecting new suppliers.
Whether in the B2C or B2B sector - it is extremely important to embrace today's digital possibilities of online sales and the associated customer expectations. The own online shop is usually absolutely decisive for competition.
But what's the best approach to building your online store? Read below for a breakdown of a basic sequence.
One of the most important steps is located at the very beginning of the process.
The first step is to define long-term goals and use these as the basis for a strategic foundation in which key facts about the shop's regional orientation are to be recorded.
- the selection of goods or even the use of additional sales channels
- perhaps an online marketplacesuch as Amazon should also be served
Your shop system forms the technical basis of your online shop and the entire e-commerce including content management, online marketing, online SEO etc.. It acts as an interface between technology, sales, marketing and customers.
The size of your online shop and its regional orientation as well as (corresponding) expansion plans are primarily decisive for finding the right software.
After you have identified the ideal software for your purposes in today's jungle of shop systems, there is of course still a lot to do before you make your online shop really accessible to customers.
First of all, you have to set up the system according to your previously defined requirements, which varies depending on the type.
Shop building kits, with which you can create your online shop yourself, are very quickly ready for operation.
With online shop extensions for blogs or websites and real shop software, however, a little more effort is usually required and, last but not least, a certain level of expertise.
If you align purchase processes online, this naturally has to do with the collection of customer data, specific price competition, corresponding purchase agreements and also marketing.
Unfortunately, with all these factors lurk Legal stumbling blocksThe exclusion of which is only possible with the knowledge or consideration of the respective framework conditions around data protection, general terms and conditions, right of withdrawal, unavailable products, newsletters etc..
Final certainty can only be provided by specialist legal advice.
If you do not offer the payment methods that are suitable for your target group, this can lead to a significantly increased bounce rate - even at the very end of the checkout process.
Which methods are really most relevant in your case depends primarily on the demands of your customers and the general fit to your business model.
A study by ibi research can provide important clues for the choice. It shows that PayPal is the most popular payment method on the web, followed by purchase on account and credit card. Direct debit came in fourth place.
When operating an online shop, you must ensure that the goods sold always reach their buyers correctly and as quickly as possible.
For this purpose, numerous specific prerequisites must be created, from order acceptance to shipping processing to returns management, whereby a good shop system provides active support.
In order to achieve maximum success with your own online shop, it must be found optimally on the Internet.
The mere existence of a corresponding e-commerce solution, which takes into account the necessities listed here, already offers good prerequisites - without online marketing, however, "nothing works".
Due to the huge reach of search engines, SEO and SEA have particularly high potential and are even comparatively inexpensive.
You should definitely also rely on local SEO, secure "backlinks" via relevant industry and shopping directories and play out value-added content.
Sufficient monitoring is one of the main premises for the long-term success of your online shop and marketing measures associated with your e-commerce.
Good shop systems already have analytics software available.
However, it is often advisable to implement additional tools that check, monitor, measure and (ideally) automatically evaluate corresponding processes in reports.
A continuous monitoring cycle provides you with a variety of insights that you can use to make your online shop and your online marketing better and better.
Now you have a solid foundation and a shop system that is fully adapted to your requirements and those of your customers. Under these conditions, your step into e-commerce is less of a risk and more of a highly promising opportunity.
The choice of shop system is a very important step on the way to a potentially maximally successful online shop. Therefore, you should not act too hastily here. It is important to carefully examine the possibilities of different solutions and compare them with your own requirements.
Shopify, Shopware and Magento are undoubtedly three of the best systems on the market today. In our guide to your own online shop, you will find all the important details about these options and a shop system comparison.
So much already at this point:
Shopify is a relatively simple shop building kit, the use of which requires almost no expertise. In order to be able to create a useful webshop with Shopify, you should nevertheless not be completely clueless.
Shopware is a full-fledged shop software with a focus on medium-sized online shops. Here is already significantly more know-how required, but in return, more diverse options are open.
With the open source software Magento you are ideally positioned for complex shops with individual solutions. However, only very few companies can implement an online shop with Magento completely on their own or with internal staff.
When choosing the right shop system, it is of course extremely important to take into account the e-commerce facts and goals defined in the strategy. The preliminary considerations for your online shop project should already provide certain indications as to the scope of the online shop and how complex it will ultimately have to be. This in turn has a central influence on the selection of the shop system.
Of course, your system must be able to meet all requirements, but if possible it should also only provide the functions that you really need. This is advisable in order to keep the processes efficient as a whole. Consequently, online shop modules or modular shop systems are the best solution for many companies.
When choosing the right shop system, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- What budget can be used for the implementation?
- What is the scope of the product portfolio that the online shop must hold - how many products and which product types does the targeted shop system actually support?
- What does the product description have to be able to do and what options do the individual shop systems offer?
- Are special filter functions required?
- Can the online shop be linked to the existing merchandise management program using the system in question?
- Are individual requirements to be met - for example, is it possible to map several variants?
- Is a connection to marketing portals, such as price search engines, planned?
- How high is the current turnover?
- Should it be possible to individually influence certain processes, such as usability optimization, design, online SEO, etc., even after the fact?
- Are there general expansion plans for the future or is an expansion of online sales to foreign countries being considered, which the online shop must be able to accommodate?
- What are the shop licenses of the individual providers like - which model fits best to the own e-commerce plan?
- What navigation and search options are available?
- Can the shop system comply with German data protection laws?
On over 40 pages you will learn in detail
- which shop system is the right one for your project,
- which e-commerce trends are not to be neglected,
- which features a professional online shop should have.
- Development of atargeted strategy taking into account your individual goals and target groups, the choice of the right shop system for your needs to the professional implementation of your online shop.
- Joint development of an SEO strategy,social media marketing measures or native advertising formats.
- Support with content production in order to direct qualified traffic to your site and thus draw attention to your products.
For a successful and comprehensive e-commerce strategy, we are also happy to advise you on the following topics: