You want to start a webshop, but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we will help you! In this blog, we will take you through 5 steps that can help your dreams come true. Consumers are shopping online more and more, which increases the chances to make your webshop a success. But the choices you make now, while building your webshop, will determine the success of your webshop. That is why it is important to get the preparation and first steps right.
Step 1 | Determine your target audience
Before you start building your webshop, it is important to know who will potentially buy things from you – your target audience.
Start by a small brainstorm to think about who they might be (think about demographics, what keywords they might look for to find your products, in what social media channels they can be found etc?). Once that is done, you can conduct a small research to find more information and details about your target audience (via market research, desk research, …). Now you know who they are, where potential buyers are active online, and how you can reach them.
You can also use our free persona template for this exercise and create 2-4 personas that will reflect your target audience?
Why is it important to thoroughly fix and determine your target audience? In shot, it will help you make the right decisions when it comes to:
a) The look and feel. Thinking about what your target group would like in terms of design, it will help you decide on the layout and design of your webshop.
b) The product(s) and offers. Again, with your target group in mind, it will make it easier to choose what products and offers you should choose for your webshop and where (ie promote).
c) Webshop name. If you already have a business, the webshop name and domain will be quite easy – your business name. But if the webshop will be the start of your business, you should find a name that is not too long or too difficult to remember, and that of course also resonates with your target audience. Always check if the name is still available online (domain name and social media company pages). If your domain name is the same everywhere (so also on the channels where you promote your webshop), this prevents possible confusion among your customers.
Step 2 | Webshop software
Now you are ready to think about what webshop platform you want. You will need to think of what functionalities you need, and also take into the account the costs related to the webshop platform. At CCV, our webshop solution is called CCV shop , and you can always create a free webshop to try-out our software. You don’t need any technical knowledge. Our CCV shop is easy to set up and manage in the maintenance tool. No code or html work needed! When the trial period is over, you can choose from a number of packages that we offer. We have an M, L and Enterprise package, each having its own advantages to fit your need. For example, there is a difference in the number of products you can offer and links you can use. Want to know more? Click here to find out more.
Step 3 | Make your webshop official
Now it’s time to make it all official. You have to register your company as a company at the Chamber of Commerce (CoC). It is also mandatory to mention this information on your webshop (registration number, your official business name, your VAT number and much more).
There are many rules and regulations to follow. The most important law you have to deal with as a merchant is the Distance Selling Act. This consumer law offers protection to the customers who buy online via webshops. In addition to the Distance Selling Act you also have to deal with warranty and return rights. Make sure you know what you need to take into account before you finally start your webshop (also consider local laws).
In addition, it is important to set up your bookkeeping properly. Like any entrepreneur, you will have to pay taxes and perhaps even wages if you have employees. It is important that you keep a good record of these matters. If you use the CCV Shop software, you can choose from various accounting apps to help you do this. Click here to see which apps CCV Shop offers in terms of accounting.
Step 4 | Setting up your webshop
The homepage of your webshop is your shop window and needless to say, the look and design of your webshop is important. Design is always a big topic and subject to taste, so do you want to know how design affects your visitors?
By adding product categories to your webshop you can easily structure it. This makes it easier for visitors to navigate through your webshop. In addition to a logical navigation structure, good product images and descriptions are very important. With good quality pictures you can give a true impression of your products. You can easily take these pictures yourself. If you have a reasonable camera on your phone, you can just use it. Make sure you have good lighting and a simple background. When the pictures are taken, you can also easily and post-process them for free with various online tools, such as Pixlr. Finally, taking your own product photos is a great way to set yourself apart from your competitors.
When you have other ideas for setting up your webshop that you can’t realize yourself, we can help you! Our CCV Premium Services offer different packages from which you can choose to make your webshop completely according to your wishes. Want to know more? Take a look at the offer.
Step 5 | Direct visitors to your webshop
When your webshop is ready to start, you need to get visitors. By using online marketing you make sure that you are better found. Search Engine Optimization and Advertising (also called SEO and SEA) are ways to help you become more findable within search engines like Google. SEO is a free way that can help you. By using the right keywords in your content (also see brainstorm target audience – what keywords would your target audience use?) and adding internal and external links you will quickly become more findable. Using social media channels is also very important. When you sell clothing for example, you can very well use Instagram to attract people to your webshop, because you can also set it up as a sales channel. LinkedIn is more a business platform where you can conveniently build a large network. Facebook is more informal and you can also use it to refer people to your shop. Pinterest is a platform on which you can also ‘pin’ products and in this way you can send people to your shop. This is all free to use, but you can also choose to advertise. When you invest money on Google ads, you can be at the top of the search results. Your position depends on your budget and how well you set up the ads. Within Google Ads you are well guided with tips and tricks. On social media, it is also possible to advertise to specific target groups which helps you to become more findable, to grow your reach and hopefully increase conversion.
When you have set up all these elements, you will get off to a flying start with your webshop. If you want to know more about the different topics that are involved in starting a webshop, we suggest some additional reading below.
Best of luck starting your webshop! And at CCV we are always happy to help you setting it up.
Communication Advisor at CCV shop