Online & Technology - Running an online store: what you need to know

Part two of our series on developing an online storen answers commonly-asked questions about the costs involved, and the rules and regulations of selling online

Research shows that surprisingly few online stores make a profit; it is all too easy to invest an enormous amount of effort into putting together an online store, and spend a huge amount of money, and yet fail to see any real online revenue return.

The online world, like the high street, is now saturated with multiple retailers who spend a fortune to stay ahead of technological advances. They drive the best results from search engine optimisation (SEO) and continually improve their user experience.

This can be daunting for a small business owner considering opening an online store. But in many ways, it is easier to take the multiples on ‘online’, because the passion and intelligence of independents, even with a small amount of resources, can level the performance playing field. But if you are not prepared to research, understand, discuss, plan and review the constant development of your online shop on a weekly basis you will struggle to make it pay.

Here are some of the most commonly-asked questions about the cost of an online store.

Q WHAT ARE THE COSTS THAT I MIGHT INCUR?

The most obvious cost of developing an online store is your own, and your team’s, time and effort. Internal staffing costs will rise as whole new systems are required to manage online orders, picking, packing, out of stocks, delivering and the financial management of this process. Now that social media is such an important part of retailing, you will also need to consider linking your store’s blogs and social media pages to your online store and someone on your team will have to do this.

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