5 min read

7 things I wish I knew before I started my web shop

Published on 6 Jan 2023

blog 7 things I wish I knew
Contributors

With 15+ years of experience in strategic marketing and communications roles, for Nets I focus on presenting e-commerce market insights in a way that is easy to understand and practical.

When we asked our customers what they wish they had known before starting an online business, their answers were surprisingly similar. For those of you just getting started in e-commerce, we hope that our customer’s shared learning and insight below can benefit you— and prevent you from making “rookie mistakes”.

 

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1- The money has to come from somewhere...

However you do it, it takes some time before your online store turns a profit, and then it is important to have a financing plan. Make a budget where you estimate costs to get started, and think about how the day-to-day expenses will be covered before the store becomes profitable.

In addition, of course, you yourself need to live on something. For example, it might be a good idea to consider whether you need to have another job that provides you with guaranteed income before you’ve got the business up and running properly.

 

2. You need to know who your customers are - and what they need

One online merchant we asked told us that the idea of ​​selling hotel rooms online didn’t quite work out the way he wanted. There were potential customers, but many of the purchases never materialized because the chosen e-commerce platform did not support a payment solution where customers could pay with company cards. It is an example of how important it is to understand how your customers want to use your products and services. It is about trying to understand the customers’ needs all the way through – even details such as their preferred payment method.

Deciding on your customer audience can feel limiting when you want to sell as much as possible and reach as many people as possible, but it can help you focus. When you know who you are targeting, you can also find out what they think about your products and services. Then, it will be easier to develop your online store and make it more accessible and attractive to the customer group you think will shop the most. And of course, this will help you narrow your advertising (saving you money) so campaigns can be targeted to reach— and resonate with, your desired customers.

 

women with digital neon

3. Customers need help finding you

Yes! The online store is live! But… where are all the customers? Not many online merchants say they had too many customers in their web shop when they started. Begin with your website and review it with critical eyes and attention to detail; does it convey your offer, communicate how to get in touch with you, and tell a story about your product and services and company? Next, make sure to open Instagram and Meta (Facebook) accounts— they are cost-free! With these two channels, you can present your company’s brand, personality, and of course- the items you are selling. If you are offering a service, convey what need you are meeting and help viewers “see” the solution you are selling.

Importantly, think about how you will “get the word out” that you’re open for business. How will you market your web shop? Set aside and review a marketing budget: is there money for advertising or collaborations, for example? What about word-of-mouth? Can you leverage your contacts to help spread the word, too?

 

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4. You need several different systems - and they must be able to talk to each other

There may have been a time when you could get by with one or two different systems (and the two systems were actually a bunch of binders and a fax machine), but that’s just not the case today. Modern online merchants don’t just think and dream of business growth, they manage the day to day realities of keeping their business growing.

This includes such necessities as: setting up an inventory management system; learning accounting and bookkeeping software; keeping track of suppliers; having a user-friendly e-commerce platform; putting in place a CRM platform to keep customer data organized; and setting up a smart payment solution for online checkout. Make sure everything that can be connected is connected. Otherwise, you will experience a lot of manual work, which is time you could be using to develop your online store and business, instead.

 

rubiks cube puzzle unsolved

5. Choose a simple and scaleable web platform

Starting an online store is exciting! But it also costs a lot of money, and therefore a common approach is to start cautiously. With a simple e-commerce platform that does not require any major technical knowledge, you can get started quickly.

However, it is smart to consider not only today’s needs when choosing a platform— ask yourself what needs you may have in a few years when the orders increase, and your business grows. That is, know that you will need to be able to integrate with different operational systems such as accounting platforms and inventory tracking software.

Ask yourself if you envision growing your business outside your borders, too; if so, select systems that allow for currency exchange and accounting internationally.

 

6. Use data to make smarter decisions

We often think that we know what works and what does not in our own web shop. However, in many cases we do not have all the information and so draw faulty conclusions and make poor decisions. Looking at how visitors actually use your site (not just visit) provide interesting insight; look where the visitors come from and what pages and items they visit so you can tailor your advertising.

This way, you focus your spending on what will resonate with them and drive them to buy from you. Also, make sure you have access to data right from the start. If you feel that the conversion (from web shop visitor to customer) is too low, it is a smart idea to make one adjustment at a time so that you know what improvement gave you the desired result. That is, think about making improvements one step at a time.

 

7. Spend time finding the right partners

Often we have friends who can help with everything from coding to writing newsletters and delivering goods, but sometimes it’s good to spend money on actual experts, especially as your business and its demands grow. Of course, it’s important to use all the contacts you have, but make sure to team up with partners who can help you with things you can’t do on your own – and spend time finding the right ones.

Several of the online merchants we spoke to said they have had to learn expensive lessons because they simply didn’t know what to expect from their partners. To find the right collaboration partners, it is therefore important that you know what you want from the collaboration and what result you expect.

 

safe sky diving couple

One online merchant we interviewed expressed that “in principle, you must not be afraid of anything at all!” We agree. Running an online store means that you will have to familiarize yourself with a whole lot of things that you may not see as your area of ​​expertise. And this is an opportunity to grow your own skillset— and not just your business.

 

Contact sales

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Our turnover increased by 21.5%. Additionally, we have 28% more transactions – and 49% more orders from mobile.

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Jon-Inge Heldal

CEO Parkett.no

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Our conversion rate increased from three to four percent, a very big change that resulted in an increase in completed purchases by 30%.

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Per Erik Raune – Norsk Bildelsenter

Per Erik Kirkaune

Marketing Manager at Norsk Bildelsenter

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Previous payment solutions have given us lots of manual work. We had to log into several portals to manage transactions, and there was much fraud. With Nets Easy none of that is an issue anymore.

Cecilie Ciekals

Performance Marketing
Manager at Lampehuset

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FAQ

We get it, you have questions. We have answers. Check out our most frequently asked questions and if you can’t find the answer there, please contact support. Our local offices are open 24/7, they’ll be able to help you out right away.

Is there a live demo I can test?

Yes. There is a demo store at shop.easy.nets.eu where you can try Easy Checkout and change numerous settings to see how to customize the checkout flow. Use any of the sample credit cards to test card processing, or use a sample invoice address to test invoice processing. You can also create a free test account to access Easy Portal.

How do I update my company information?

If you want to update the address or name, you can contact our Support team. If the changes concern your company registration number, please contact our sales department so that we can help you out with a new application. Contact information can be found at the top of the support page.

Where can I find my merchant number (merchant ID)?

Your merchant number (also known as merchant ID) can be found in Easy Portal and is displayed at the top of the page. A merchant number can only contain digits.

Which payment methods does Nets Easy support?

We offer local payment methods in different countries. We continuously work to add new payment methods. Read more about the payment methods supported in your regions.

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