1. What should I consider before creating my eShop?
Your target audience
First of all, you need to define your target audience. This step is essential because your eShop will have to be adapted to this target. To do this, create personas. These typical profiles represent your target and will give you an overview of the identity, behaviour and motivations of your audience. Based on these elements, you can then create the design of your e-shop. You can define an editorial line and a visual identity that correspond to your brand, and that perfectly matches the expectations of your target audience.
Before you start creating your eShop, you need to know your market. As part of your market research, you will need to determine its size, potential, competitors and market trends. Then position yourself in relation to your competitors and find your unique selling point (USP). By providing real added value, you will be able to attract new customers to your eCommerce and highlight your competitive advantages. Note that the strengths of your competitors can provide ideas for your own shop.
Selling online involves managing stock and deliveries. As far as stock management is concerned, we won’t go into detail, but you should know that there are different methods:
- just in time
- first in first out
- last in first out
- demand forecasting
Choose the method that best suits your company in order to limit the various problems linked to stock management: under-stocking, over-stocking, inventory errors, lack of a centralised stock management system, etc. Depending on your objectives, you can choose to manage your stock yourself or outsource it.
Delivery plays a key role in the customer’s shopping experience. Indeed, your customers will be more satisfied if they can choose their preferred delivery method and if the delivery costs and time are minimised. If not, they will probably not use you again and may share their dissatisfaction. There are many options for delivery. To keep your prospects happy, allow them to choose from a wide range of delivery methods. Among the most popular are home delivery, delivery to a relay point, pick-up at your premises, etc. Detail them and highlight the advantages if there are any (delivery in a few days, free delivery, etc.).
Just as with delivery methods, we encourage you to diversify your payment methods as much as possible. Here are the 5 main payment methods: Paypal, credit card, bank transfer, payment on delivery, payment on the spot (when picking up your order in a shop) and gift card.
In relation to the rules linked to your sector, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the general terms and conditions of delivery, sale and your legal notices?
- What is the legislation in your territory?
- What is the legislation concerning personal information, cookies, and privacy?
- What are the cancellation terms for your customers?
- Do you apply any Ecotax?
- What tax rules do you have to follow?
- Are you subject to sales tax?
- If you have customers outside the European Union, what other taxes must you take into account?
In relation to eCommerce regulations in Belgium, you must comply with the following requirements:
Identification of the company:
- the e-tailer must clearly display its identity (name or company name),
- its geographical address
- its company identification number
- its intra-community sales tax number
- the company’s share capital
- its email address and telephone number
The terms of sale:
- display the product details
- the 14-day cancellation period displayed on the site
- guarantee of a maximum delay of 1 month
- general terms and conditions of use displayed on all pages
- display of promotions as a percentage of the reference price
- no boxes to be ticked by the customer
- a confirmation button on your site including the words “order with payment obligation”
- acknowledgement of receipt sent at the latest on delivery each time a customer places an order on an eCommerce platform
The resources needed
Obviously, creating a quality online store requires resources. It must offer the best possible user experience and every detail counts. You can choose to create your site yourself or hire experts to guarantee your results.
If you choose the second option, work out a price together according to your needs (the simple creation of a small eShop does not require the same budget as the creation of a customised and optimised eShop with support).
For your online sales site to be viable, we advise you to plan a budget for:
- the creation of the site
- purchase of the domain name
- shipping costs
- return shipping costs