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Selling online: how it works!


Sell online: 10 steps to your first online sale

Up until now, has your company operated primarily or exclusively in brick-and-mortar retail, and are you considering switching to online retail?

In this blog post, you will be introduced to the topic of “selling online” and receive step-by-step instructions for getting started with online trading and the associated challenges. Here we go!

Should I sell online? Why you should sell online

The fact that online trading is growing rapidly is no longer a secret. If you compare the years 2012 and 2018, sales in Germany almost doubled. In 2012, the turnover was still around 28 billion euros; in 2018, it was already around 53.6 billion.

Yes, during this period, retail sales have also increased by about 18%, from €445.4 billion to €525 billion, and retail is still clearly ahead, but it cannot keep up with the growth of online retail.

These developments justify the “concern” that it is only a matter of time before online retail catches up or even overtakes stationary retail.

It is therefore highly recommended that you think about offering your products or services in an online shop.

Especially since you can increase your reach exorbitantly with the right marketing.

But how do you set up your online shop? And which points do you have to consider?

In order not to leave you out in the rain, we offer you the following checklist:

“Selling Online: 10 Steps to Your First Sale”

Sell online: Step 1: Create the technical basis

The first point on your to-do list should be the technical basis of your online shop.

This includes the choice of the domain, the choice of a shop system or hoster, the shop structure, and the choice of payment and shipping methods for your online shop.

Sell online: Step 2: Choosing the Domain

If you have not already done so, you should find out whether your desired domain is still available, and you should then have it protected as soon as possible. You can check and register domains with Checkdomain, for example.

Sell online: Step 3: Choosing the Shop System

There are now a large number of shop systems, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, you should first consider the following points:

  • Which functions should your shop system contain?
  • How many products should be offered?
  • How much time can you invest?
  • What budget do you have available?

After you have thought about these points, you can get an overview of the shop systems currently on offer. In order to then make the right choice, you should compare the range of services offered by the shop systems and their prices with the points mentioned above. Depending on the shop system, you must also choose a web host.

Here is a small overview of popular shop systems:

If you have difficulty doing this, you can also get advice from a professional e-commerce agency.

Sell online: Step 4: Structure of the Shop (UX)

The architecture of a website is a crucial factor in its success. The reason for this is the influence that the structure of a website has on the user experience (UX)) and thus also on the conversion rate.

This includes the choice of colours, the structure of the navigation bar, the clarity of a website, and general usability. When designing the shop, the “joy of use” should always be the focus. Here, it is definitely advisable to orient yourself to the competition.

In addition to the structure of the online shop:

The start page of your online shop is a kind of business card. In most cases, it is the first page a customer sees and decides whether they stay on your site or switch to the competition.

Here is a list of the most important tasks on the start page:

  • Get an overview of the brand and the product.
  • Transport image
  • arouse curiosity
  • Provide access to the most important functions (search, contact, login, etc.).
  • to point out news

Sell online: Step 5: Shipping and payment methods

Once the structure of your shop is in place, the next step is to think about shipping and payment methods. Which payment methods should be offered? Which shipping service providers should be integrated?

Here are the five largest shipping service providers in Germany:Common payment methods in online shops:
DHL Hermes DPD GLS UPSPayment via PayPal Payment by invoice payment with a credit card Payment by direct debit Payment via immediate transfer

Legal requirements for an online shop

In order to protect yourself legally, you should thoroughly deal with the legal situation in the field of e-commerce or get an expert in this field to help you. Trusted Shops offers warning protection here, which promises legally compliant texts with regular updates.

Here is a brief overview of the points you need to consider:

  • Subpages or documents that you must legally integrate without errors:
    General terms and conditions, imprint, data protection declaration, and right of withdrawal
  • You must provide the following information truthfully and in a legally correct manner:
    prices and delivery times, advertisements, product photos, and product texts

Online marketing for online shops

Sell Online: Step 5: Online Marketing

If you want to sell your products or services online, structured marketing is indispensable. You have to draw attention to your shop in order to be successful. After all, what is a business without customers? You can find out how to proceed and what you need to consider in our blog post “What is online marketing?“.

Sell Online: Step 6: SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

Search engine marketing can be divided into two sub-areas: One is search engine optimisation (SEO), and the other is search engine advertising (SEA).

Sell Online: Step 7: SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

SEO is all about the positioning of your shop in the search engine results, the so-called ranking. If your ranking improves, the traffic (number of visitors) to your site will also increase since your website will be displayed higher up in the search results of Google, for example.

In order to improve the ranking of your shop, there are a number of factors (ranking factors) that you must take into account.

These include, among other things:

  • metadata
  • SEO URLs
  • SEO Headings
  • Optimising the content of your website
  • Avoidance of duplicate content
  • Keyword optimisation of your landing pages
  • links

Furthermore, SEO can be divided into on-page and off-page SEO. Onpage SEO deals with the measures that are taken on the page to optimise itself, while offpage SEO, on the other hand, describes all measures that are taken off the page.

Sell Online: Step 8: SEA (Search Engine Ads)

SEA, or search engine advertising, describes, as the name suggests, advertising on search engines such as Google or Bing. It is advisable to first carry out keyword research in order to use the budget sensibly and optimise the ROI.

Sell Online: Step 9: Content Marketing

Content marketing is a marketing method that aims to inform, animate, and entertain target groups with valuable content. You should give your company a face and a character so that the customer can identify with you.

Examples of content marketing that you should integrate into your shop:

  • FAQ section
  • “About Us” sub-page, on which the history and philosophy of the
    company and, if applicable, the employees are presented
  • Your own blog

Incorporating these elements will help you improve or strengthen the relationship between your company and your customers.

Sell Online: Step 10: Social Media Ads

Social networks are a great way to build a fan base. You should regularly provide your followers with new postings. Here it makes sense to present the company “behind the scenes,” or processes in the background, or company events.

In addition, you can advertise on social media channels, which also expands your reach.

Selling online: our conclusion

An online shop cannot be set up overnight. And one or the other may have started to sweat a little now. However, if you use this checklist as a guide and work through it step-by-step, then you are on the right track.

If you still find yourself overwhelmed with the tasks and decisions, you have the option of contacting an experienced agency.

We would be happy to support you in setting up your online shop! Contact us!

Are you facing any problems?

As a full-service online marketing agency, we are happy to support you.

Do you need further help?