I guess it’s safe to assume that you own a business, and now you want to explore how to take it online so that you can reach more potential customers and thus increase the revenue. Or, you are setting up a new venture and you want it to be online from day 1 because you want to ensure a larger market. Given the pandemic situation, almost all physical stores are seeing more home delivery demand. It’s in this background that you are here to gain high-level knowledge about how to set up an online business.
Start with your customer and applicable laws
As in the case of any offline business, you start with understanding the profile of the customers you want to cater to. Next is to gain a fair understanding about the international and domestic laws applicable to your business. Cyber laws included. Once you have a clear understanding about the customer and applicable laws, it’s time to explore the options you have regarding the technology solutions to set up the online store and the backend systems.
Options for technology solutions
You have two options. One is to build a customised front-end and back-end system. This usually has a large capital cost impact and also will need months to roll out. Second and most efficient option is to use a subscription based Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution to build, host and manage the online system. Most such platforms allow you to launch the finished website in a few minutes and a couple of hours of customisation will get you an aesthetically appealing system. Also the upfront investment is minimal.
Some of the popular PaaS options to build ecommerce stores are Shopify, Wix, WooCommerce, SquareSpace, Weebly and IsGoingOnline. All of them come with a basic set of features to set up online stores which include Catalog management, Shopping cart, shipping calculation, tax calculation, digital payments and order management. All of them ensure end-to-end security of the data that your online store handles.
Choosing the platform to set up your Online store
Here are some of the key features a good eCommerce platform should have
- The platform should have a good number of templates to choose from.
- Core features like Catalog management, Shipping and tax calculations,
payment gateway integrations and order management should be available.
- Integrations with various marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart.
- Easy integration with social media, SEO support.
- Staff management.
- 24 x 7 support.
Once you are sure about these features, the only thing that matters is the pricing. Choose your platform based on your affordability.