Brick-and-mortar retail is under extreme pressure, city centers are becoming orphaned, and more and more things, even everyday necessities, are being bought online. This also means that retailers who want to continue to be successful should additionally build an online presence. They are becoming an online startup.
At one time or another, such founders will ask themselves one of the following questions, if not all of them:
- “How do I reach my customers?”
- “When will we break even?”
- “How can we grow faster?”
- which shipment tracking should I use?
- Running a startup is often a daunting journey.
However, nowadays there are a lot of software tools on the market that are either indispensable or make things much easier. We want to introduce the most important ones and give tips to help your online business grow faster!
Choosing a store system – what to consider?
An online store is, of course, based on a store system, and if you don’t have the necessary knowledge yourself, you need to get a professional to help you create it. If you search for appropriate service providers, you will find many offers, but they do not always address which system the store that is to be built is based on.
It is advisable to inquire about this and get acquainted with the system. If you have at least basic knowledge, you can later add new items yourself or make a small change or update without having to use your agency every time.
Tip: WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world. It is free and offers the possibility to set up a store called Woocommerce, which is also free. The backend is easy to understand and edit, which makes it especially interesting for small and medium-sized stores. In addition, there are countless video tutorials on WordPress and Woocommerce.
Other well-known store systems are Shipbo, Shopware, Shopify, VersaCommerce or Gambio, online you can get detailed information.
Selecting the right parcel service provider
Anyone who sells online naturally wants to ensure that the goods reach the customer as quickly as possible. This requires the right parcel service provider, the choice of which depends entirely on the individual circumstances:
Do I usually ship to Germany or also worldwide?
How large and heavy are my parcels as a rule?
Do I also send letters or unusual package sizes, or do my packages have a standard size?
How many shipments do I send per year?
With this information, you can start your search or make an inquiry with the various providers. Of course, as a business customer who sends a larger quantity of parcels, you will get better prices. In addition, you don’t have to drive to the post office or receiving point; the parcels are usually picked up on site.
An inventory management system for the organization
As long as you only run a small store, you may still easily keep track of everything. However, as soon as the number of items grows and you sell your things on different channels including one or more local stores, it becomes difficult with the organization. Of course, you want to make sure that there are always enough items available and that they can be reordered or produced in time. This can be realized with an enterprise resource planning system.
But such software can do even more, because it automates many processes and also improves them.
Prepare the bookkeeping yourself
For many self-employed people, bookkeeping is a chore that they are only too happy to outsource to a tax consultant. This also makes sense, after all, he knows many tricks of the trade on how best to deal with the issues. The majority of the costs for his advice can be deducted from taxes. Nevertheless, you also want to keep track of things yourself and keep the consultant’s workload low.
This is also relatively easy if you run a retail store, but as soon as several channels are served, it gets a bit more complicated. Today there are great software products around tax that you can operate together with your advisor and save a lot of effort. Then you can decide if you want to file the tax yourself or let the professional do the last steps and corrections. It is recommended in any case!
Marketing is the be-all and end-all
When the store is up and running, the moment comes for which many newcomers eagerly await: they open the virtual gates. But the rush of the masses is missing, at first not much happens. Of course, because hardly anyone knows the offer yet, which you first have to make known. What happens at a store