Setting up an online store

Setting up an online store creates many strategic benefits for your business. When you sell direct to consumers, you build a stronger connection with them, compared to traditional retail channels. You have the commercial benefit of selling at retail, and not trade prices. You’ve more control over how you sell the product, and deliver it to the online shopper. 

Read our guides to learn the key skills you need to drive sales online. We cover how to build your online store strategy and how to start selling. Our guides help you define your business model, and show how to set up your website. And when you start to sell, we also take you through the order to delivery process and the day to day requirements to manage your store. 

Setting up an online store

There are two approaches to setting your online store strategy. You can go fast, start selling early and learn as you go. Or, you can go through a full external and internal review before you set your strategy. Read our guide to see which approach best meets your needs. 

  1. Understand the fast and the full approach to online store strategy, and decide which one works best for your store.
  2. The key elements to consider in an external analysis and an internal capability plan.
  3. How to pull your strategy together so that it drives the goal, the business case and your plan.

There are three ‘must have’ parts of your online store launch plan. You need something to sell, somewhere to sell it and a plan for payment and delivery. Learn how to explore different product sourcing and channel options to meet these needs. Read our guide to help get started selling online.  

  1. Learn about product sourcing options such as making, creating, trading and services, as quick ways to approach how to start selling online.
  2. The e-Commerce pros and cons of using channels like marketplaces and print on demand to make your products available for sale quickly.
  3. Read about the basics of payments and delivery, and how you can build your knowledge in these areas quickly.

Learn the key steps to build your store’s business model. Firstly, how to estimate your level of sales. Then, how to build your Profit and Loss, line by line. And finally, learn how to plan for the post-launch period. Read our guide to make sure your store business model works commercially.

  1. Ways to identify the total potential audience for your online store and to forecast what your share of that audience should be.
  2. A walk through an online store Profit and Loss, so you understand likely costs and how to keep track of your online store performance.
  3. Learn the importance of planning for the post-launch phase, and our thoughts on how to scale up online stores.

Read our guide to build the best online shopping experience for your target audience. We cover key activities required to set up your online store website. And we cover the need for a marketing plan and a customer experience approach so that your store best meets the needs of your target audience. 

  1. Learn how your online store website acts a hub for your e-Commerce marketing activity.
  2. Explore how to set up content, style and functionality to drive sales and customer experience on your online store website. 
  3. Get a basic introduction to the pros and cons of the three most common e-Commerce software platforms : WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento.

Learn how to manage your store order to delivery process yourself or outsource it to specialists. In this guide, we cover all the key activities you need in place from the time a customer places an order to when it lands on their doorstep. Plus, we cover the most common customer enquiries and issues, and how to prepare for these. 

  1. How to set up and manage payments and transaction rules through a payment gateway. 
  2. Learn about order validation, and the process of picking, packing and dispatching products from the warehouse. 
  3. Understand the importance of the last mile of the delivery, and how to prepare customer service teams for complaints and issues.  

Read our guide to learn how to  manage your online store. Firstly, we cover key marketing activities you need for your online store. Then, we cover key performance metrics and how to track KPIs. And finally, we cover how to control the online store with the right team set-up and clear processes and routines. 

  1. Focus on the key marketing activities which drive better connections with online shoppers for your store.
  2. Learn the key commercial measures and systems to set business goals and track performance.
  3. The importance of controlling your business by working with the right people and establishing processes and routines.

Three-brains and online store skills

We’ve lots of experience across many e-Commerce projects. That experience covers how to run your e-Commerce planning, how to work with online retailers and how to build online stores. We’ve built many online stores, and work with customers to either start or improve their online selling. 

We also know the importance of integrating marketing and creative skills into e-Commerce. 

Check out our coaching and consulting services to find out more about what we can do for you. Or contact us directly, if there’s a specific e-Commerce challenge you need help with. 

D2C Online Store Status dashboard - Four column headed strategy and plan, the store, order to delivery and operations
Click to download the pdf

Downloadable D2C status dashboard

There’s many jobs to cover in the set up of an online store. You need to define your strategy and plan. Work out the sales and marketing. And also set up the whole operational side of the business. It can be complex.

That’s why we’ve used this project dashboard to great success in the past to have a simple one-page summary of the key actions required. Download it here or from our resources section. 

Powerpoint and Keynote versions of this document available on request. 

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