What is needed for a web-store?
Or how to build an online store from scratch? For a web-store there are several aspects and components needed. To explain it in simple terms, it is here compared with a physical store.
The domain-name is the address on the internet, e.g. www.yourwebstore.com. Normally this is the same as your company name.
Skills needed: There is no specific skill needed to ‘have’ this, but owning this links to B. “Hosting” and E. SEO.
The computing power, which could be compared with the land and the road to the store. If you have many goods (products, pictures, video’s, pages), or many visitors, the hosting-contract needs to be bigger (so this concerns storage and traffic).
The computer-hosting is done at a physical location. To avoid that your prospects will experience long lead-times, make sure the hosting is close to your target market. This will also have a positive with impact on E. SEO. So when you target France, don’t host the computing power in New Zealand.
Also the domain-name is physically hosted, so to decrease lead-times, it is better to have this at the same location/vendor as the hosting.
On this layer the software is installed and accessed (if custom modifications are done), the backups are managed etc.
Skills needed: If low requirements, no specific skills are needed. If you don’t have the skills, it would be wise to go with a better hosting partner, so they can help when needed. There will be some challenges, e.g. to maintain the sitemap and robots.txt. With some searching you may manage a base version.
If there are needs (*) coming up, it is needed to outsource this layer (thus more than just taking a hosting package). The skills include c-panel-control (to manage backups, support for issue-resolutions, e.g. flushing cache) and coding PhP and CSS, in case of custom-coding.
* e.g. to take a specific backup, or restore a backup, modify some coding to customize the web-store, because of an issue flush cash, etc.
This will make the web-pages and web-store. It can be compared with the buildings (store and storage). For web-stores there are several software packages free of charge (foundation), to attract new stores. License-fees are for specific functionality (but not rarely needed, as this shall make the business case for the free-of-charge foundation).
Skills needed: On this level there are several aspects done:
- Install plugins. This is not very complex, but selecting the right plugin takes time.
- Setting up the WordPress, WooCommerce and plugins. It can be done by an inexperienced person, but it will require time (testing and maybe corrections due to adjustments after a while)
- Designing the web-sites and web-store
- Collecting the product- and relevant company-information (photos, logo, bank-account etc)
- If chosen to not load it manual, uploading the data in an automatic way.
D. A business bank-account
Web-stores need to have a business bank-account. This is not needed if you ‘only’ do free-deliveries or pay-at-delivery.
Skills needed: None, ‘just’ the authorization from the company.
E. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
These are all the online activities, not being (See F.) “paid-commercials”, aiming to market your web-store. When the web-store is only shown on page ten of the search results, there will be a low number of prospects coming from there. The optimal spend on SEO is based on your situation and how prospects find you and your competition.
Here more information on SEO.
Skills needed: The first four items require SEO-skills. The last three items are best done by the store-owner, and depending on the importance, advise and support can be brought in as well.
F. Paid commercials
Advertisements can be bought e.g. via Google, Facebook and others. Thereby visitors on other popular websites get aware of your web-store.
It might be good to measure the success of the investments, e.g. by using landing pages and coupons.
Skills needed: Marketing in general (which groups do you target, price strategy etc) and e-commerce specific (for the considerations and setup of landing-pages).
On all levels (except for the 1. domain-name) there will be business considerations, contract handling, technical considerations and updates and problem handling.
The best free online store comes with a lot you need to figure out yourself. You may enjoy setting it up by yourself, but of course we want to make you aware of the competitive offer from Aqqii.
Hope this helps you well!