Analyses, procurements and marketing get your online shop underway
Once you've founded your company and its home pages are ready, you also have to get sales going by sparking interest and attracting visitors to your online shop. At the same time, you have to obtain and possibly warehouse products, which can be a time-consuming process. From the start, you'll want to also look forward and create a cross-border strategy.
A rigorous market analysis to map your competitors, product options and consumer trends is extremely important for succeeding in your own field. Usually, the analysis is conducted already before the company is founded, but continuously updating information and monitoring the operational environment is important as well.
In particular, customer analyses have to be conducted regularly. Through such analyses, you can personify online shop visitors, link them to their physical locations and target marketing for better effectiveness, for example.
In addition to analyzing the domestic market, you'll want to look abroad from the start.
"It's good to have a cross-border strategy from the start along with a strategy for expanding operations to several countries. For customer experiences in different countries, however, it's important to develop each a strategy of its own," advises Carsten Dalbo, head of logistics and e-commerce at PostNord in Denmark.
Founding a Company
Before you begin business operations, you have to notify a number of authorities about founding a company. You'll find further information on this on the pages of the Business Information System.
Choosing an Online Shop Platform
Nowadays, there are a number of different platforms available, ranging from free versions to systems that are subject to a fee. Typically, there are three kinds of platform solutions available as follows:
- Standardized platforms (ready-made solutions with a variety of features),
- Open source (a system with an open source code enabling lower costs, but requiring technological competence),
- Self-built (often created by a consultant or web design office).
Think through carefully what kinds of qualities your online shop needs; these should also reflect your company's objectives. The platform should support these and other key functions, such as mobile equipment suitability.
Procurements and Deliveries
Before commencing operations, you have to ascertain the availability of the products you're going to sell and decide how they will be delivered from the manufacturer to the consumer. If you're going to deliver goods outside the EU, you'll need various documents. Get customer information or information on packing and sending.
Warehouse surface area is often one factor limiting the growth of online shops, since a larger warehouse also means significantly bigger costs. That's why you'll want to consider the plans for your online shop and your potential future needs.
Leasing agreements for external warehousing space are often long-term contracts, which is why you'll want to think through a long-term plan before obtaining any space.
In addition to a physical warehouse, you also have to plan a warehousing strategy, which should be based on various forecasts, such as sales statistics and seasonal variation as well as common thematic sale days and discount sales.
If you're considering buying warehousing and other added value services from an external logistics actor, view PostNord's warehousing and added values services.
Many e-commerce companies find marketing difficult. Although marketing always has the same purpose, it can be accomplished in many different ways. It'll be worthwhile to start with search engine marketing and home page optimization (Search Engine Optimization, SEO) in order to ensure online shop visibility to the right target groups.
Direct marketing is another good way to be seen and to reach the right target groups. This can be done either with or without addresses. You can get PostNord to help you also with customer analyses, target group selection and obtaining address details.
Choose a TA Supplier
Put simply, a TA system is a computer system that carriers use to book transports, print shipping documents and track shipments. There are several different service providers on the markets, including PostNord's own Pacsoft Online.
Read more about TA systems
Choose a Logistics Partner
The need for different ways of delivery varies, depending on the company. You'll want to estimate whether you'll be needing shipments often and whether the products you send will be very large or of high value, for example.
Read more about sending services