You want a webshop up and running as soon as possible. For example, because your offline business is temporarily at a standstill, or because there are online opportunities. How do you go about that? We asked our partners Your Personal Agency and 9YARDS, both professional webshop builders. According to them, you can be up and running within a week. Together we made a step-by-step plan to help you on your way.
Step 1. Do you even need a webshop?
Before you start a webshop, you have to ask yourself whether you really need one. Do you want to temporarily absorb loss of income in the offline world with online sales, but you have no further digital plans? Then it may be smarter to join an existing platform, such as Bol.com or a well-known marketplace within your field. You can then sell your products through their channels for as long as necessary. Social media is also a good channel to promote your products online.
Are you planning to continue doing business – partly – online? Then setting up your own webshop is a strategic step. Discuss your ideas with others before you implement them. Maybe there are e-commerce experts in your network who can advise you. You can also approach an agency that specializes in webshops.
Step 2. Pick your software
So you made your choice, and are you going for your own webshop? Then you need to choose a software platform on which you can set up your store. Which one suits you best depends on your budget, type of company, target group and ambitions. In short, there are three options:
A SaaS webshop
'SaaS' stands for 'Software-as-a-Service'. Simply put, this means that you take out a subscription to use the software. This has many advantages. For example, if there is a malfunction in your webshop, the platform is responsible for the solution. For technical matters, you do not have to engage a developer yourself.
Moreover, with a SaaS webshop you can quickly go live. The software is user-friendly and offers all kinds of standard themes and applications that allow you to build your store in no time. Is your webshop growing, or do you need more flexibility? Then your subscription costs often go up. In the long run, SaaS may become less attractive as a result. A well-known SaaS platform is Shopify, you can also easily link to your shipping tool with the Shopify plugin from DHL.
You can also go a step further and opt for a plugin platform like WordPress WooCommerce. With this, too, you can quickly build up a working webshop with standard elements. In addition, you have all kinds of plugins at your disposal with which you can easily adapt your store to your needs. It may be that you do need support from a WordPress specialist.
If you have serious plans, you can consider extensive e-commerce software. Worldwide, many webshops are running Magento 2: a relatively 'heavy' platform that you can use in all kinds of directions. Building a Magento shop requires a bit more technical knowledge than Shopify and WooCommerce, so don't get started on your own. For example, find a specialized agency to help you. Are you starting with a simple, basic version of Magento 2? Then you can usually go live quickly.
Step 3. Choose a payment provider
Another choice you have to make: which party arranges your online check-out? Your customers must of course be able to pay for their orders. For this you need a 'Payment Service Provider'. This is a party that links your webshop to payment services such as iDEAL, credit card and PayPal. Here you will find a overview of PSP’s. Many banks also offer payment plug-ins for webshops. A PSP usually only needs a few hours to arrange your cash register.
Step 4. Add shipping options
Lo and behold, almost done. Now for the shipping options. Important, because customers are more inclined to (continue to) shop with you if it is clear when and where they receive their orders. Just like the payment plugin, you can also easily link it to your webshop. For WooCommerce, Magento and PrestaShop, DHL has developed free plug-ins, which makes sending a lot easier in a few clicks. Do you opt for a different software platform? DHL also has useful connectors for Shopify, OpenCart and CCV Shop.
Step 5. Ensure a clean process behind the scenes
Congratulations, all the essential elements of your webshop have been arranged. Throw open the digital doors! But remember: this is where it starts. A tight internal process is crucial for the success of your webshop. Make sure you send your orders as agreed. For example, use the all-in-one shipping service of My DHL Parcel for this. Communicate clearly with customers about what to expect, keep your webshop up-to-date and respond quickly to online questions and comments. This way you increase the chance that new customers will become regular customers. DHL Parcel wrote this blog with two partners:
About Your Personal Agency
Your Personal Agency is a digital agency in Haarlem. With a complete team of designers, developers and marketers, they help companies solve their e-commerce challenge.
9YARDS is a web agency from Amsterdam. The team uses their extensive experience in the industry to realize e-commerce success for companies and is strong in linking different systems.