Entrepreneurship is in your blood and you would like to open your own webshop, but you don’t know where to start? We tell you what the 10 steps are to make your start with e-commerce easier in the best circumstances.
The first question every entrepreneur should ask for his webshop is: ‘Which products/services will I sell on my webshop?’ This first phase is probably also the most crucial. Below are some ideas and advice to find the ideal product.
Before you start selling a new product or service, it’s important to make sure there’s a demand for it. By performing a market analysis, you can gain a deeper understanding of the target market and the customer need you want to fulfill.
The aim, of course, is not to trade in what is already being sold in abundance, but to find a new product that is on the rise and is already selling well. Once you’ve found that product, you can try adding value to it to differentiate yourself from the competition and increase your sales.
Many webshops start with products that are trending. There are several tools that can help you determine which topics and interests are popular, but be careful because the success of popular products is often short-lived.
To determine which trending products have high potential, you can use the following tools:
A niche market is a small market segment where there is not much competition yet. To find a niche market you can use the methods explained in the previous point, but here too there is a risk of erratic fashion products.
Maybe you make beautiful products yourself or you are just passionate about a certain sector. If you love what you sell, you naturally transfer that enthusiasm to your customers. However, keep listening to them and don’t fall into the trap of only selling products that only match your preferences.
To conclude this first point, we would like to point out that it is important to find a product that meets the following characteristics in order to facilitate logistics and improve profitability:
Finding suppliers is not the most complicated, but it does take some time and patience. Fortunately, you can easily find a range of suppliers on the internet and you have access to all necessary contact details with a few mouse clicks.
Once you’ve decided which products to sell, you still need to find a name for your business. Be sure to read our article ‘The right name for your company or business?’ Once you’ve chosen the name, you’d better check the availability of your trademark and domain name before registering and protecting it.
To build your webshop you have two options: you have it done by a professional, or you do it yourself. It goes without saying that wekreate is the best choice when setting up a webshop. But of course we leave the choice up to you.
If you decide to get started yourself, below we give some options.
If you run into problems with the “do-it-yourself”, please feel free to contact us. We can probably give you a nudge.
What actually happens in logistics when your webshop is online and the first orders come in? It is important to know that a large part of the management of a webshop is determined by the proper organization of logistics (stock management, deliveries and returns). For an optimal organization it is absolutely necessary to visualize the path the product will take from its arrival in the stock to the end customer. How is it stored? How is it delivered? How are returns handled? … Think about all these questions beforehand and work out clear procedures .
You have to register as a self-employed person anyway to comply with the law, but there are other specific legal obligations for webshops. For example, all web shops must contain some mandatory pages such as the legal notice (identification data of the company) and the general sales conditions. In addition, you have to make sure that your customers accept your terms and conditions before they complete their purchases on your webshop. In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) , you must also let your customers know how their data will be collected and processed.
You will have to apply for a VAT number just like for a normal commercial business. Note: When online businesses that deliver internationally exceed the sales threshold of a particular country, they must apply that country’s VAT rate . That is why a VAT number must be requested, especially for the EU countries.
An important part of your logistics is the shipment of your packages. To organize this as well as possible, you will have to negotiate an agreement with a logistics service provider. In Belgium, the best-known players are Bpost, TNT, TLS, Mondial Relay and GLS.
Online competition is tough. To stand out and promote your store, you need: a marketing strategy and effective communication. Ever heard of inbound marketing ? This is perfect for an online webshop.
Customer service is one of the biggest challenges in e-business. The customer has no direct contact from behind his screen and is becoming increasingly demanding. Build a close and trusting relationship with your customers by guiding them throughout their shopping experience and even afterwards.
The government offers the self-employed and SMEs a lot of support for setting up digitization for companies. This also includes setting up an e-commerce strategy or a webshop. It is therefore important to check whether the government also offers support and subsidies in your region.