Imagine that you attacked a gold mine: you invented and calculated a win-win trade option online. “Svyaznoy” with Euroset is already drinking soothing, and you are planning to start work. From this article you will find descriptions and links to useful tools that will help you register and open an online store.
- Step 1: Choose a legal form
- Step 2: register the IP or LLC
- Step 3: Choose a tax system
- Step 4: open a checking account
- Step 5: Buy and Register a Cash Register
- How to make an online store website
- Step 7: Select CMS
- Step 8: Provide the audience with the ability to conveniently search for products.
- Step 9: Create Comfortable Item Cards
- Step 10: Create a Functional Dashboard
- Step 11: Ensure Secure User Connection
- Step 12: Provide convenient payment options for users.
- Step 13: Offer Users Useful Information
- Step 14: Ensure that the site meets the requirements of search engines
- Step 15: Use the power of social evidence
- Step 16: Remind customers of abandoned baskets and non-issued orders.
- Step 17: Organize Your Newsletter
- How to keep an online store
- Step 18: Organize Work With Suppliers
- Step 19: Organize Storage
- Step 20: Prepare the office
- Step 21: Hire Professionals
- Step 22: Arrange Shipping & Returns
- Instead of step 23: start already
How to register an online store yourself
From this section, you will learn which legal form to choose, how to register, open a checking account, buy and register a cash register.
Step 1: Choose a legal form
You can register IP, LLC or joint stock company. Each registration form has advantages and disadvantages:
- Register IP - The best solution if you are opening an online store for the first time. You can register and liquidate a business, as well as report to regulatory authorities through a simplified procedure, and work without printing. The individual entrepreneur can choose between a general and simplified taxation system or a UTII. The main disadvantage of the legal form, which some businessmen fear, is the responsibility of personal property. In most cases, online store owners can ignore this flaw. An important argument in favor of IP can be considered a small state duty and the absence of the need to form the authorized capital of a legal entity.
- Registration Ltd. limits the liability of the founders. They are liable for obligations within the statutory fund of a legal entity. This legal form allows for activities that are not available for individual entrepreneurs. For example, if you plan to trade strong alcohol, you will have to register an LLC. Another advantage of LLC is the ability to delegate store management to a hired director. A limited liability company can operate on a common, simplified taxation system or UTII. The disadvantages of LLC include the distribution of profits in the form of dividends, the need for accounting, the need to form the authorized capital, a complex procedure for making organizational and operational decisions. An important disadvantage of the legal form of LLC is a complicated liquidation procedure.
- Registration of a joint stock company it makes sense if you plan to attract investors in the early stages of project development. If you do not have such plans, stop at the IP or LLC.
In most cases, the best choice to start an online store will be the registration of IP.
Step 2: register the IP or LLC
To register an IP or LLC, contact a law firm. If you want to save a few thousand rubles and are ready to spend personal time, register yourself. For example, you can register on the FTS website. Here you can fill out an application for state registration of an individual entrepreneur or a legal entity, pay a fee and schedule a visit to the tax service. On the selected day you will be able to pick up the registration certificate, as well as choose the form of taxation.
Step 3: Choose a tax system
You can choose from the following options:
- Simplified tax system. This is the best option to start the online store. You need to pay one tax on a quarterly basis, and submit reports to the FTS twice a year. You can choose the tax base: income or income minus expenses. In the first case, the tax rate is 6%, in the second, it ranges from 5 to 15%, depending on the region. Online shopping is better to choose the tax base "income minus expenses."
- A single tax on imputed income. This system is also in some cases suitable for an online store. To apply UTII, you must sell products through a stationary point offline, and also provide the opportunity to make a purchase on the site. You need to pay a fixed amount of tax every quarter, which is calculated based on the size of your business. You can work without a cash register. However, the use of UTII is not possible in every region.
- General taxation system. You will have to pay personal income tax or income tax, depending on the chosen legal form. You will also pay VAT. If you have registered an LLC, you will also have to pay property tax on organizations. Choose this tax treatment if your suppliers are large companies that pay VAT. You will have to take in a staff of a qualified accountant who will calculate VAT and quarterly report to the tax authority. Please note that you will have to use a general taxation system when the online store’s income exceeds the statutory limit for special tax regimes. In 2015, it amounts to 68,820,000 rubles.
To use the simplified taxation system, submit an application to the FTS within 30 days from the date of registration.
Step 4: open a checking account
You will need a bank account for cashless payments. Just contact your reliable bank. If you are registered as an individual entrepreneur, bring your passport, TIN and certificate of state registration.
If you choose the legal form of LLC, to open an account you will have to provide bankers with a certificate of registration and charter. The bank will offer you to fill out a document with samples of signatures of persons entitled to sign financial documents.
Step 5: Buy and Register a Cash Register
You must use a cash register if you have chosen a simplified taxation system and indicated during registration OKVED 52.61.2. Any model will suit you, so use the "search engines" to select a specific device.
After purchase, register the cash register in the FSN. If you chose the legal form of the individual entrepreneur, you must contact the district FSN at the place of registration of the entrepreneur. If you have registered an LLC, contact the FAT at the actual place of work of the store. You will need the following documents: registration certificate, TIN, stitched and numbered cashier-operator’s log, a lease agreement or a document confirming the ownership of the premises in which the store operates. On the spot you will be asked to fill out an application for registration of the cash register.
Can an online store work without a cash register? Yes maybe. This problem is solved in two ways. You can conclude an agency agreement with a courier service that provides cash services. For this you will have to pay a few percent of the amount of the check.
Also, you can choose at the registration stage UTII and not specify OKVED 52.61.2. In this case, you need to convince the regulatory authorities that you are trading offline and are not an online store, and are using the site as an advertising platform. If you work at the UTII, then you have the right, at the request of the client, to issue him receipts without a cash register.
After registering an online store, you can begin to create a website.
How to make an online store website
From this section, you will learn what the site of an online store should be. You will select a CMS, let the audience quickly find the right product and receive basic information about it, take care of the users' safety, determine the necessary functionality of your personal account, enable online payment. You will also organize a newsletter to users, will acquaint them with useful information and remind you of unformed orders.
Step 7: Select CMS
When choosing the "engine", evaluate the basic functionality, the convenience of working with the administrative panel, the ability to customize and extend functions. Be sure to consider personal experience and preferences. For example, if you know “Joomla” well and consider its functionality sufficient, use this content management system.
Read the section on choosing a CMS in the article about sites. Remember, it is not necessary to use commercial "engines". You can make an excellent online store on an open source CMS. Never use "samopisny engines" unless you create them yourself.
By the way, you can use the SaaS platform of an online store, for example, Shopify or Amiro. Paying for the "store in the cloud" service, you get a resource ready for order processing with template functionality and design. The disadvantages of SaaS platforms include stereotyped, deadly for large and specific projects, the need to pay for the service, as well as bias against the audience.
Among the popular "engines" for online stores, note the following:
- 1C-Bitrix. The most popular among domestic commercial CMS allows customizing functionality using applications, integrating a store with CRM, conveniently managing site content. Euroset and Svyaznoy online stores operate on 1C-Bitrix.
- Magento. The most popular e-commerce platform in the world has enough functionality for instantly launching an online store. You can expand the capabilities of this system using ready-made applications or order the development of unique web programs. Beginners in e-commerce can use the Magento cloud store.
- Joomla! This is the second most popular open source CMS in the world. You can turn the site on "Joomla" into a functional online store using free or paid software modules, for example, VirtueMart, JoomShopping or MijoShop.
- Opencart. This open source CMS allows you to quickly create an online store, even for users who do not have the knowledge and experience in the field of website development. The "engine" has basic functionality, sufficient for an instant start to work.
- AmiroCMS. This is one of the most popular commercial engines in runet for online stores. CMS functionality allows you to quickly launch an online store. As noted above, you can use the cloud service for online stores Amiro.
- Drupal. This is one of the most popular open source CMS. You can use a ready-made template for an online store or order the development of a unique module. You have the opportunity to extend the basic functionality with the help of free and paid themes and modules.
- Wordpress. To create an online store on this "engine", you need to use plug-ins, for example, WP eCommerce or WooCommerce. You can use a template design or order the development of a unique theme.
You can use any other CMS, the functionality of which you consider suitable for creating an online store.
Step 8: Provide the audience with the ability to conveniently search for products.
To do this you need a catalog of products with easy navigation and filter, as well as a search form. To understand what easy navigation is, pay attention to the product catalog on the website of the Svyaznoy store. Try to find some gadget, for example, an e-book.
To make your site visitors find products easily, use the following tools:
- Search form. She needs customers who know what product came to the site. Use the form to enter hints. Let users search for products in selected categories. Implementation of this feature can be seen on the Amazon site.
- Navigation menu by category. Check out the drop down menu on the Amazon site. When you hover the cursor on the menu Shop by department drop out the main categories. When choosing one of them, the corresponding subcategories fall out. On the Svyaznoy website, the main categories are displayed without pointing the cursor.
- Filter. Give users the opportunity to search for products by selected parameters: manufacturer, price, technical characteristics, color of the case, etc.
- Site menu and bread crumbs. These elements help customers navigate the site and quickly navigate through categories and products. "Bread crumbs" play a particularly important role in the user experience of visitors who "land" on the internal pages of the site: categories and product cards.
- Similar, additional, viewed products. Show these positions on product and category pages. So you help users choose the right product, as well as implement the tactics of cross and upselling.
- Sliders and carousels on the main page. The effectiveness of this tool raises questions. On the one hand, using the slider you draw the attention of users to the hottest products. On the other hand, there is evidence of the negative impact of the sliders on the conversion. Should I use this tool? Look for an answer using split tests.
- Duplicate links to subcategories. If necessary, boldly publish links to subcategories in several categories. For example, the sub-category “After shave balms” can be placed in the “Shaving products” and “Face skin care” categories, and “Children's books” can be placed in the “Children's products” and “Books” categories.
- Adapt navigation, filter and directory to the needs of mobile users. For mobile user-friendly navigation elements, see the site adaptation guide for mobile traffic.
- Intuitive graphical elements. Mark the most popular categories with icons. A person perceives images tens of thousands of times faster than written text.
Test navigation and search. Try to reduce the number of clicks when searching for products and categories, as well as reduce the search time.
Useful video on the topic:Subscribe to our YouTube channel. Tips, lifehacks, interviews. New videos coming out daily!
Step 9: Create Comfortable Item Cards
You will be helped by a comprehensive guide to creating the perfect product cards. You can add several points of useful information to it:
- Do not delete product pages that are not available.
- Do not publish on the product pages the so-called selling content. Believe me, the user wants to read about the diagonal of the laptop screen and RAM, and not about the highlights of the light, magically playing on the glossy surface of the case.
- Do not cheat ratings, do not buy fake and do not delete negative reviews. These actions hurt business.
- Find out what the buttons should be. Use the CTA list for any occasion and taste.
Do not forget to adapt the elements of the product page to the needs of mobile users. Your audience should be able to view products and add them to the cart on the screens of smartphones and tablets.
Step 10: Create a Functional Dashboard
Your task is to provide the user with the opportunities and advantages for the sake of which he will register on the site and leave personal data using a personal account. To stimulate transactions, any information will suit you: date of birth, accounts in social networks, physical and e-mail address, other demographic data, a list of interests and preferences, etc.
To encourage registration and offer the audience a convenient personal account, use the following recommendations:
- Simplify registration. Allow users to log in through social accounts. If you use a regular registration form, reduce the number of fields to two or three. Read more in the article on usability forms.
- Add a section in the cabinet "Purchase History". The user should be able to keep track of the chronology and status of orders, as well as re-buy once purchased product in one click.
- Suggest to fill the section "Personal data". The user must be able to specify the delivery address, contact details, billing information.
- Suggest to specify personal preferences, configure notification options.
- Add function "A wish list" or "Follow the price". Пользователи должны иметь возможность отмечать товары, которые они хотят купить, но по каким-то причинам не могут сделать это немедленно. Обратите внимание на раздел "Список желаний" на сайте Amazon.Here the user can create different lists, as well as find and view wish lists of other users. The latter function will save many people from headaches.
- For open marketplaces, working on the principle of Ebay or Avito, will be useful vendor-specific lot monitoring function.
- If you are selling electronic products, such as books, programs or music, add in the "Purchase History" section the ability to re-download the purchased item.
- In section "Personal bonuses and discounts" invite customers to save prize points, watch out for stocks, register discount cards, get coupons, etc.
- Provide for possibility to contact the administration. If you see fit, let the user choose the unit with which he will communicate. For example, let a customer write to sales, delivery, and technical support.
Stimulate users to register and leave personal data. For example, offer registered customers special benefits.
Step 11: Ensure Secure User Connection
Set up a connection to the online store over HTTPS. First, it will ensure the transfer of personal user data, for example, login and password from the personal account or billing data, in an encrypted form. Secondly, it will be a positive signal for search engines.
To ensure a secure connection, you need to purchase and install an SSL certificate on the server. Contact RU-CENTER or any other certificate trading company. After acquiring an SSL certificate, install it on the server via the hosting control panel. If you do not know how to do this, contact your hosting provider.
Please note that it is better to configure the HTTPS protocol during the project launch phase. This will save you from having to transfer your site from HTTP to HTTPS.
Step 12: Provide convenient payment options for users.
To understand what payment methods your audience prefers, you can conduct research. You will spend time and money on this. You can also see which payment methods your direct competitors offer. Here, too, you can not guess, because your colleagues can make a mistake and choose the wrong payment methods. What to do? Use multiple payment methods that meet the needs of key audience segments.
Be sure to provide the following payment transfer methods:
- In cash upon receipt of the goods. This may be a parcel with cash on delivery or courier delivery home. There will always be people among your clients who are ready to part with the money only after they feel the purchase.
- Bank transaction. For people who prefer this method, suggest filling out a receipt on the site.
Even a downloadable product in Liters can be paid by bank transfer.
- Bank card. You need to choose a reliable partner that provides the Internet acquiring service. For a percentage of transactions, it will provide settlements and security of operations.
- Electronic currency. The most popular payment systems in Russia include Yandex.Money, QIWI, Webmoney, PayPal and others. You can connect the possibility of payment for each electronic system separately or use an integrated service, for example, Robokassa.
You can also offer users payment through payment terminals, through the cash offices of partners and other payment methods.
Step 13: Offer Users Useful Information
Your potential buyers need useful information. They want to know how to choose smartphones and bicycles, which models of inflatable boats are suitable for family trips and how to properly use a puncher. Write about it in a blog. Content marketing will provide you with many benefits, including:
- Natural search traffic.
- Natural links from thematic sites.
- Sharing in social networks.
- Involving users. Clients will read publications, comment, ask questions.
- Formation of a permanent core of the audience. Thanks to the blog users will trust you.
- Overcoming advertising deafness. You know that potential buyers do not hear and do not see advertising, but willingly perceive useful content. Only content should be really useful.
You can trust the blog to professionals or keep it yourself. In the second case, the following materials will be useful to you:
- How to work with the semantic core.
- How to build a team for the implementation of content marketing.
- On the role of the editor in content marketing: part 1 and part 2.
- About working and non-working content.
- How to write texts: one, two and three.
- About video content: how to create, which video hosting to use and how to promote on YouTube.
- About images and infographics: visual content ideas, free tools, free photo sources.
Remember, to succeed you will have to regularly publish quality content on your blog.
Step 14: Ensure that the site meets the requirements of search engines
If at the early stages of development you decided to engage in search engine optimization yourself, pay attention to the following recommendations:
- Optimize your site for mobile traffic.
- Ensure acceptable page load speeds.
- Customize your sitemap and robots.txt file.
- Optimize page metadata.
- Optimize your photos.
- Optimize the text content of the site. Just don’t stuff dozens of phrases like “buy Nokian tires in Moscow cheaply” into product cards. Bet on long-tailed traffic.
- Implement a Schema.org or JSON-LD microdata.
- Get natural external links and shareings in social networks.
Make sure that the site meets the technical requirements of the "search engines". You can help checklist and additional recommendations for optimizing online stores.
Step 15: Use the power of social evidence
You will be helped by detailed instructions and our material on how to properly collect feedback from customers.
Step 16: Remind customers of abandoned baskets and non-issued orders.
You can use this tactic if you successfully encourage users to register and leave contact information. The best reminders are emails. In exceptional cases, you can use other channels of communication, for example, messages in social networks or telephone calls.
Step 17: Organize Your Newsletter
This is a great way to inform the audience and stimulate deals. Confirmation, see our case. But a selection of specific recommendations:
- How to expand the subscriber base and what should be the subscription form.
- How to increase the effectiveness of the newsletter: stimulate a response, use distemper advice, find out what newsletter your customers are waiting for, test different elements of emails.
- Sell by email.
- Return unsubscribed users.
- Adapt letters to read from mobile screens.
- Find out what messages should not be.
Offer users unique, useful content, rather than a simple list of new products and promotions. If you want to see some good examples, sign up for some internet marketing newsletters.
After launching the site, you can proceed to the organization of the online store.
How to keep an online store
In this section, you will learn which specialists you will need to support the operation of an online store. You will also decide where to store the goods and how to arrange delivery. You will learn how to work with suppliers and what to do with returns.
Step 18: Organize Work With Suppliers
The online store can use two schemes of work with suppliers. The first involves the piece purchase of goods from wholesalers after placing an order by the customer. There are a number of flaws here: the transaction dates are slowed down, wholesalers do not want to sell you one unit of production, suppliers do not have the product of the specification that the customer chose, wholesalers perceive you as an unnecessary intermediary between themselves and the buyer.
You can not escape from this scheme in the early stages of the online store. And in some niches of online trading, it will accompany you constantly. Nevertheless, try as soon as possible to abandon the piece purchases and use the second scheme of work with suppliers. It involves the purchase of bulk goods from several suppliers and their storage in the warehouse. This scheme increases the speed of making deals, and also reduces your dependence on wholesalers. It has the only drawback: you have to spend money on bulk purchases and organizing the storage of goods.
The ideal scheme for working with wholesalers is as follows:
- You study the market and predict sales. You will be helped by the material on the evaluation of the financial prospects of an online project.
- Based on the sales forecast, you are looking for suppliers of goods. By the way, when your store becomes noticeable, wholesalers will find you themselves. Some will even have to fight back.
- You buy wholesale batches of goods and store them until they are sold. Here you can use different schemes of settlements with suppliers: deliveries with full prepayment or payment upon receipt, delivery with partial payment and deferred payment.
If you have grown to the second scheme of work with suppliers, you will not avoid the next step.
Step 19: Organize Storage
You will need a warehouse. It may be a small storage room with shelves in your office or a separate building equipped with refrigerators and ventilation. It all depends on the volume of sales and the product that you sell.
If you do not want to work from the wheels all your life, rent a warehouse suitable for storage and preparation for sending your products to the customer. At the first stages of work it will be more convenient if the warehouse is located next to the office.
Step 20: Prepare the office
Office online store is definitely needed. Its format depends on the scale of trade and how to interact with customers. If you combine the activities of the owner, director, employee, customer service manager and warehouse operator, you can put a table, chair and laptop right in the garage where the goods are stored.
If you plan to hire employees and interact with some clients in person, you will have to rent a normal office. Include in the business plan the cost of equipment jobs professionals.
Step 21: Hire Professionals
Your store will not turn into Amazon or Euroset in a week or a year. Therefore, do not rush to immediately invite dozens of specialists to work. At the first stages of work you will have to become a universal performer and perform different types of work. You can do this on your own or with like-minded people.
The growth of turnover sooner or later will force you to hire hired specialists. Who and when to invite, you decide for yourself. You will be helped by a list of responsibilities that can be delegated to full-time professionals or outsourcers:
- Manage online store. In the early stages of development, you will be engaged in strategic and operational management yourself. Perhaps in the future you will hire professional managers. When this happens, you will not read step-by-step instructions, but write a book yourself.
- Accounting. At first you will be wearing quarterly tax reports yourself. Then you invite a part-time accountant or give accounting to outsourcing. In the end, you will grow to a full-time accountant. And then in your store will work accounting and financial and economic department.
- Marketing. At the beginning of the business path, you will partially or completely take over this area. In the future, you will create a marketing department that will solve the following tasks:
- Market analysis, demand forecasting.
- Formation of the range of goods.
- Promotion of the project on the Internet. This is about integrated internet marketing. If necessary, marketers should work offline.
- Technical support site. Most likely, in the early stages of your marketer, or you yourself will interact with the developers, SEOs, hosting provider.
- Customer service and sales. The specialists responsible for this area will process leads, help clients draw up transactions, answer questions from potential buyers, and cross-sell.
- Supply. Do not even dream of a hired specialist. At the beginning of work you will have to communicate with suppliers independently.
- Warehouse management. You will laugh, but in the first months you will have to go to the warehouse and pack the goods yourself. Better not to distract the marketer and sales manager, they are just looking for new customers for you. By the way, until your store has acquired its own courier service, you will have to take care of sending packages to customers.
At the beginning of work you need to avoid two extremes. You go broke if you hire too many specialists when you have no sales. You will not create a large-scale project if you follow the path of radical bootstrapping: you will do everything yourself before reaching the sales volumes of Ozone or Svyaznoy.
Step 22: Arrange Shipping & Returns
At the beginning of the project, offer customers one of three ways to deliver goods:
- Express delivery. This method provides a high speed of execution of applications, and also solves the problem of checking the goods upon receipt. As noted above, the courier service can solve the issue of cash service online store.
- Mail delivery. This is an inexpensive and reasonably prompt delivery method. Your store professionals will have to form the parcels and deliver them to postal services for shipment.
- Receipt of goods in the office of an online store. This method will be in demand if you work in a big city. In the future, you will be able to open warehouses, offices in different cities.
- Own courier delivery. You need to believe in success, so plan immediately delivery by drones like Amazon.
Buyers are entitled to return the goods to you within a week after receipt. Some customers will take advantage of this. Your reputation is expensive, so go to meet capricious customers and act according to the law: accept the goods and return money to the consumer. By the way, you do not need to pay for the return shipping of the product.
Instead of step 23: start already
Use the proposed 22 steps as a rough plan. In practice, you will have to deal with the registration of IP or LLC and the rental of a warehouse at the same time. And you will develop the site in general throughout the life of an online store.
Please note that in the beginning, the success of the enterprise will largely depend on the niche that was successfully or poorly chosen, the level of competition in the market and your ability to resist dumping. Do not spend too much time and energy on relatively minor issues: the choice of "engine", logo design and other particulars. If the planned business model turns out to be effective, you will organize the work of the online store, even if you do not understand different CMS at all and do not distinguish contextual advertising from banner advertising. You will take the first steps along this path with the help of this guide.
Below you can leave comments and comments, as well as ask questions. If you have experience launching online stores, share your opinion: what else should be considered novice online merchants at the start?
And another thing: if you want to open an online store, you can leave a request with us. We have been creating websites for many years and really know how to make your resource loved by both users and search engines.