How to start a successful online shop?
Online shops everywhere - and there are more and more. Online trading has long been dominated by giants such as Amazon or eBay. How should one be successful in eCommerce? The answer is: Find a niche that is not yet occupied.
This sounds simpler than it is. The art is to find a specific topic, which is still not very competitive on the market, but the customer circle is nevertheless large enough to generate enough revenue.
Technically solving accounting and bureaucracy
Another problem is the tedious bureaucracy and bookkeeping. For a long time it was an obstacle for me to try out eCommerce. How good that there are practical and inexpensive technical solutions for this. A good example is the free WordPress Woocommerce plugin. For the open source solution there is the Extension German Marketwhich is really cheap considering the range of functions for a price starting at 75 euros a year.
It comes with legally verified terms and conditions and other legal texts and offers an automated connection to all common accounting software, with which the accounting can be done with just one click. In this way, PDF invoices as well as return slips and cancellations can be created and exported. The program even takes care of temporary changes in VAT. Really great!
5 Tips for the appropriate niche
Finding a niche can thus quickly become a difficult tightrope walk, which is however facilitated by a few tricks.
- Become an expert: First, the product should have something to do with the shop owner himself, this should ideally be even expert in this field. The background to this is that a contact person who has a real grasp of the topic can generate more trust among potential customers and provide them with better advice.
- Your own blog: As an expert, answering customer queries is one thing, but it is even better to make this expertise public: helpful is a blog of your own, in which you always report about new products and stories. A blog is also a helpful SEO measure.
- Storytelling helps: Storytelling is the magic word. Nowadays, flat marketing is less and less effective, consumers also want to be touched emotionally and invest in social responsibility. Anyone who is passionate about a topic and makes that passion public is much easier to convince potential customers.
- Social responsibility: Not a few successful eCommerceCompany - there are also some of our example companies - do not just offer products, but also support social projects such as Fair Trade.
- The product depends on: The best marketing does not help however, if the product in the eyes of the customer is nothing good. Because customers are only willing to spend money on products if you do not get them anywhere else. The ideal products are the products that the customers always need. In addition, it can increase sales to create an assortment of additional products around the actual product.
5 successful online shops
These 5 tips seem to have heeded the following five examples. An overview of 5 successful niche ideas from designer fashion to signs to dog biscuits:
- Rebelle: The Hamburg-based Cécile Gaulke wanted to sell some designer clothes online after several moves to sell profitably. In one research, however, she found only American, but not a German platform for the sale of used designer fashion - and developed the idea of Rebelle. Meanwhile, the company has expanded into 25 countries, took over a direct competitor and plans to continue to grow.
- Signage Shipping: Individual signs of all kinds, for example for the premises, in buildings, for street or for machines are the metier of sign shipping. The social entrepreneurial approach is uncommon: the company uses eco-electricity and donates social and ecological projects from every incoming online order in 0,50 € through betterplace.org.
- Bonsum: Bonsum is a search engine for sustainable online shopping that rewards its customers with a bonus program for responsible shopping. The aim is to promote sustainable consumption in the long term by allowing customers to convert bonus points they receive for their purchase into shopping vouchers or donate them to social enterprises and afforestation programs.
- Dog's Deli: Friederike Friedel was actually an architect until she bought a dog. In the dog school she notices a gap in the market - the lack of healthy dog snacks, for which owners would spend a lot of money - and simply bakes dog biscuits without preservatives or flavors. The idea for Dog's Deli was born.
- Beamershop24: Christoph Hertz already started 2001 with the sale of beamers. 2004, he founded Beamershop24, 2005 then the Celexon umbrella company to sell accessories such as canvases, ceiling brackets or presentation furniture. Today, the company has around 600.000 customers and has twelve stationary distribution partners and eight subsidiaries in other European countries.
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German edition: ISBN 9783965962323
English version: ISBN 9783965962330 (Translation notice)
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