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Friday, 22 Sep 2017

Setting up my first online shop

Everybody wants to setup an online shop and they think that putting products on the web and start selling is a piece of cake and that by the end of the day they can start selling their products. Let me tell you, they are completely wrong.


The whole process behind setting up an online shop is more complex as it looks like, thanks God that now many tools are available to make this process as easiest as possible. The worst part, is that still many people think that they can do it by themselves without the need of tools, and they expend even months trying it out, it is a pity, but at the end almost all of them fail.


When you start an online shop you need in general five things:

  1. Shopping cart, in this case we strongly recommend PrestaShop to setup an online store and in second place Magento.
  2. Supplier or suppliers, that can provide you a catalogue with all their available products that you can sell.
  3. Content provider, to import the information of the products, like ICEcat, Etilize or Cnet. The three most important in the market.
  4. Payment gateway, you will find many options to accept online payments, you can start using PayPal or Skrill (formerly Moneybookers), with these options you can accept payment from all major credit cards and from many countries around the world.
  5. And finally to setup your margins (Your selling price).


Most people think that by importing the products into the shopping cart everything is done, that they have everything that they need to sell and that they can start selling. Just after they finish importing all the products that the supplier gave, they realize that this is just the start of a long road.


     There are many tools available to import products into a shopping cart, most shopping carts include a tool for that, but that never works as desired. When you import your products, what you are really doing is creating the skeleton of your own catalogue, a map of the products that will be available on your store, which is not more than a list of categories with products inside. 

 

    It is possible to can find many available tools that will allow you to make a mass import of products, and to create your own catalogue. The problem is that just a few of those tools are compatible with the files that the suppliers will give you, and most probably you’ll need to manually setup and normalize the information before it can be imported with any of those tools. Right now, there is just one tool available that will automatically create your whole catalogue, and completely integrates your shop with your supplier to keep your products information updated.


Let’s see, normally a supplier will only give you the core information of the products, a list of references with prices and stock. This is the information that you need if you want to sell products, but is this the information that your customer will need? When you import this data into your store, you only get a catalogue with the main information of the products, they don’t have images, they don’t have features, description or any type of extra information. A correct way to make the first import in this case, is to disable all those products on the front office until they all get the complete information before you can enable them for selling them in the front office.


To insert the products information (data sheets), many people start by searching the web for those products to fill up their stores manually, it takes on average 30 minutes per product when this process is used. Well, if you are only going to sell around 100 products this will be the best process, as each product can be manually personalized. But what happens if the store has thousands of products?


    For the products extra information (data sheets), there are many companies that provide that content. For example ICEcat has an open free catalogue, where you can download products datasheets for free . Using the services of a content provider to import the data sheets of your products, takes on average from 3-5 seconds per product, when using a tool like our WICECAT PRO module.


An important step is of course, how your customers will pay for the products that they’ll buy on your store. The best is to work directly with your bank and ask for a merchant account to accept online payments, you can use their tools or any other payment gateway that suits your needs. You always have the possibility of Paypal or Skrill.


And finally what many people just think at the end, is how to setup the selling price and set up the selling margin. The biggest problem here is not how to setup the margin, but how to keep those prices updated according to the new buying prices.


If you are interested on integrating with your provider and keep your data automatically updated, we offer you a solution starting at EUR 200.-  

 

The price of the starting configuration to integrate with one provider, will automatically do the following main functions:

For more information about all our solution please contact us here.

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