codeaware GmbH Logo

15 Things You Absolutely Must Pay Attention to For Your Own Webshop

Online shops can also be an important source of revenue for SMEs. But what needs to be considered? We have summarized 15 points that should be thought about!

15 Things You Absolutely Must Pay Attention to For Your Own Webshop
Ing. Philipp Doblhofer Ing. Philipp Doblhofer

Ing. Philipp Doblhofer

Online shops are playing an increasingly important role nowadays. To get a rough idea of what things should be considered from the start, we have compiled the following points as suggestions for planning and implementation:

1. Usability, Clarity, Intuitive Operation

As with any website, the user must be able to navigate the webshop easily. This may sound logical, but it is not always the case with all webshops. A potential buyer must be able to find their desired products effortlessly and complete the purchase without complex processes.

2. Mobile Use

In 2020, this may sound obvious, but unfortunately, it is not always the case: Ignoring mobile users will result in losing valuable customers. A large part of internet users are on their smartphones. Even if they do not order on the phone (yet), the likelihood is high that the first visit occurs via a mobile device. If products that spark interest are found, the ordering process may be carried out later on a desktop PC. However, if the first impression through the mobile browser is not satisfactory, the shop will not be visited again.

3. Loading Speed

As with other websites, the loading time of the online shop should be as short as possible. If a page takes several seconds to load, a visitor will decide to order from another shop. Amazon conducted experiments with A/B tests in 2006, for example. The result: If a page takes 100ms longer to load, the conversion rate decreases by 1%.1

4. Sensibly Structuring and Categorizing Products

If many different products are offered in the online shop, it is necessary to categorize them sensibly. The categories should be chosen so that they make sense long-term. If further products are added, they should be able to be seamlessly integrated into the existing structure.

5. Product Images, Product Description, and Structured Data

A shop is only appealing if good product images are used. A potential customer wants to see what they are buying. Therefore, blurry and too small images are a no-go. To fully exploit the potential of search engines, it is also necessary to provide individual product descriptions. If the standard descriptions from the product manufacturer are simply adopted, one competes with all other sellers of this product who have also adopted the text from the manufacturer 1:1. Google evaluates the content – because it is a copy – as Duplicate Content and may rank the pages further back in the search results.

Also, it can be useful to issue so-called structured data for the products. This makes it possible for search engines to actually perceive the product pages as products and rank and display them accordingly in the search results.

Increasingly, attempts are being made to engage in Cross-Selling. Here, the attempt is made to sell additional suitable products to the customer when purchasing a product. Typical examples include features like “Others also bought…” or “Related Products”. Customers are presented with what other products are available and could be relevant to them.

7. Payment Providers

When planning your own online shop, thought should also be given to the payment options. Payments via Invoice, Prepayment, Cash on Delivery, Direct Debit and possibly PayPal can be implemented relatively easily. For payments via Credit Card or Immediate Transfer, a so-called payment provider will be necessary. This provider takes care of processing the payments. Since some preliminary checks are carried out by the payment provider, a few weeks should be planned before these payment options can be used at all.

8. Shop System

Once a shop system is selected and implemented, it is difficult to switch later. Therefore, it should be carefully considered from the beginning which one should be used. Possible decision criteria besides the price can be what interfaces it offers – whether to a payment provider, accounting, an inventory management or CRM system, as well as a newsletter service. Also relevant can be whether – and how easily – own additional functionalities can be implemented.

9. Language

When planning your own shop, you should consider from the start who the target group is. Where are they located? What language do they speak? Does the shop need to be in German, or is English necessary? Are multiple different languages necessary at all? Can all products be sold or delivered to all countries? If this is only considered during ongoing operations, it may be that the shop system used does not optimally support these possibilities.

10. References / Rating

Trust plays a big role for a shop. After all, personal data such as the full address – as well as payment data are provided. One way to build trust is to offer the possibility of product rating. Here, buyers can rate the products or the company and thus share experiences for potential new customers. This can provide a bit of security, especially for shops that are still unknown to the interested parties.

11. Design and Corporate Identity

Often, ready-made shop systems are used. To create recognition value for the customer and strengthen the own brand, it is necessary to adapt the shop design according to the rest of the company’s appearance – the Corporate Identity. This creates trust, as the shop is clearly perceived as part of the company’s online presence.

12. Shipping Costs

The competition among online shops is gradually becoming greater – even services like Amazon Prime, where orders can be placed without shipping costs, are very popular. An increasingly common sales offer is to ship the goods free of shipping costs. Here, it can be considered whether this is also an option for one’s own shop. One way to cover costs here is to already include the shipping costs in the sales price. It is also possible, for example, to handle shipping free of charge from a certain minimum order quantity.

13. Marketing

What would a shop be without visitors and thus without customers? To find new prospects, there are several possibilities. Usually, a mix of Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimization and Advertising, and Social Media is optimal. In content marketing, (interesting) content such as videos or articles are offered that bring visitors to one’s own website. This way, a regular readership can be built up, who are (hopefully) also customers or will become customers. Through search engine optimization, or tailor-made search engine advertising, visibility in the search engines can be drastically increased. In today’s times, social media, both through organic and paid posts, are an important source of visitors. Here, strong customer loyalty can also be created. Here, a strong customer relationship can also be built.

14. Testing

For a customer, nothing is more disappointing than encountering an error in the shop system that prevents the completion of an order after entering all their data. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to play through and test the ordering process in every conceivable variant and on all devices before going live. Likewise, these tests should be conducted regularly – especially after updates.

Compared to a simple online presence, a webshop has additional requirements besides the usual obligation to provide an imprint and a complete privacy policy. Here, it is especially relevant that, unlike an in-store purchase, it is a distance selling transaction. This entails various informational obligations, such as information regarding the right of withdrawal, payment and delivery conditions. General terms and conditions can also play a role here. To operate a legally secure shop, legal advice is recommended beforehand.