Nothing can stop the client from not entering a shop, especially if the shop is closed.
In the last 8 months, the world has suffered because of the measures taken during the sanitary crisis and has come on the verge of economic crisis. And this is a tough reality, no matter how productive might be the employees who work from home and use the computer, the internet and the telephone.
E-commerce has become a solution for numerous logistics problems, and now, in the pandemic, it has become a necessity for the survival of many retail businesses. The e-commerce will not necessarily trigger a spectacular increase of the income, but it’s enough if it minimises, and even stops the bankrupt decrease of the same income, while the running costs will be always minimal. The solutions are ubiquitous, and their prices all seem great, but the road an entrepreneur has to take from the decision to start an e-commerce website and up to its implementation may be long, expensive, and, above all, complicated. So, what to do if you want to start an online shop?
Shopping list for e-commerce
- Personalised/customised Internet domain
You need a domain that reflects the name of your shop or, at least, the main category of products that you want to sell online. If your company’s name is Stone Jewellery and it is famous enough, you will choose something like stonejewell.com. Nevertheless, if your business sells handmade, fancy clothes for cats, it might be more interesting to choose catfashion.com.
- E-mail addresses with your domain name
It will always be more professional to communicate through an e-mail system that uses the above-mentioned domain. Sending e-mails to your potential clients from [email protected] is completely different from using [email protected]. The price to pay is not high, and, if you want to look highly professional, choose Microsoft 365 and you will worry less because of security issues and spam, plus you will score more in terms of reputation.
- Hosting for the website
An e-shop is necessary, but not always sufficient (usually, it is sufficient if we talk about companies like Amazon or Alibaba, which are very big). It would be useful to think about a presentation website, too, especially if your offer includes services. And you need hosting for all the above: domain, e-mail, website.
- A server for the e-commerce platform
Your shop will work on a server and therefore you will have to answer the first big question from the process: how performant do you want it to be? The more products to sell and the more clients to place simultaneous orders, the more processing power and the more memory you will need. The simplest solution is to order a powerful server, that will cover all the needs from the very beginning, but this will cost pretty much (a few thousand euros) and it is wise to take care of your money while your company does not produce any income.
The obvious solution is the cloud: a virtual server with minimal specifications, but that can be easily extended when needed, permanently or temporarily, for example when a promotion triggers an unprecedented wave of orders. Pay as you go is the motto of the cloud and you can start from reasonable amounts, like a few tens of euros per month, and when you reach expenses ten times bigger, you can be sure they will be smaller than your profit.
- E-commerce platform
A market research will reveal thousands of e-commerce platforms and, among them, one that will appear again and again: Magento. If you want something serious, Magento is the standard solution in the industry, even though its development may be elaborate and expensive. But it’s worth thinking about the fact that the same platform allows a bigger extension, on a longer-term, and, last but not least, a platform that has rich expertise in worldwide. Like for a popular car: you have more options when it’s time for the overhaul.
- Developing the shop
All you have to do now is to start working. And here starts the real adventure: the marketing strategy, the commercial strategy, all your business plan for the online will be enhanced if you choose the right partner, that will put into practice your ideas on the e-commerce website.
In BinBox, we have these two technologies and therefore we decided to create a service that will provide an online shop: we also provide all the pieces needed for this puzzle and we will develop the website together with our partner, a top company from Romania specialised in this field – Oak3.
BinBox can provide the following:
- an Internet domain for the e-commerce website
- hosting for that domain and also for the presentation website
- e-mail addresses with your domain, protected from IT risks because they use what has become the standard business technology: Microsoft Exchange
- a virtual server with Magento platform pre-installed in an Azure Stack cloud, where the physical servers are the most modern and most performant Cisco UCS blades. But, most of all, by means of the Azure Stack technology, this virtual server can be extended as much as you need, when you need, including here the moment when you think of an (un)expected increase in the orders, for Black Friday.
Then, you just have to contact Oak 3 and they will define how the shop will look like and what it will contain.
And to make everything even more beautiful: until the end of the year, we have a special offer – free reservation and hosting for your Internet domain in a bundle of services that starts from only 59,49 EUR/month (taxes included).
Today, this shop may keep your business afloat, but tomorrow, when the sanitary crises ends, the same online shop may bring the additional profit you have never had.