As soon as you make the decision to launch an online shop, a set of key questions follows: What do I have to do to sell legally? What products or services can I sell? How much does it cost to develop an online shop or are there free templates? What total costs will I have? How do I sell online?
This article will show you how to open an online shop with the lowest costs, assuming that you have just made the decision to sell online, have a quasi-non-existent investment budget and want a functional business in 3-5 days. The cheapest option is of course - 'Do it yourself', but it involves first of all a specific ‘entrepreneurial‘ determination (stubbornness to succeed) and a few dedicated hours a day to do this. You can always use companies that help you with any of the steps below.
Because opening a store is not as complicated as one might think at the beginning of the road, we decided to explain each step step by step, so as not to postpone the decision due to lack of important information. Here are the main steps:
The preparation stage
Before opening any store, the preparation stage is very important and is often the stage where most people give up going either because it seems too difficult or because they don't know everything. information, or known information indicates too high a cost to continue.
Creating a brand, domain
First of all, it is important to define the vision and the differentiators that the new brand will have for your potential customers, compared to other existing brands, with which you will compete. We encourage you to get to know your future competitors well, to analyze their history, visual identity, maybe even the online sales experience they already offer.
Ideally, your brand will represent you in 5 years or 10 years, if you do not opt for a rebranding that can be more expensive than changing the name and logo. For this reason we believe that choosing (building) a suitable name is the most important and perhaps the most difficult step of the whole journey of opening an online shop.
We advise that the brand name coincides with the future domain, so that you can be found online faster. Domain extensions can be chosen depending on the sales strategy you are building: if you want to sell only to Romanians in the medium and long term, you can search for a domain available ".ro" on our domain page and enjoy the cheapest costs both for the domain and as a future "rent" of the domain on a server - ie choosing a suitable hosting plan. You can use other domain extensions: .com, .eu, .net, .shop, .store, .me, etc.
We assume that you have found a brand and a domain available. Don't rush to buy it! We invite you to do some more important checks:
check the meaning of the word in some of the languages of international circulation so as not to be surprised after launch,
test its memorability and attractiveness with a few people who could become future customers (corresponds to the profile you thought of)
the "cordless phone" test - dictate the name of the new brand on the phone to a less technical person and then check what he actually wrote
In parallel with the next steps you will have to prioritize is creating a logo, choosing the right fonts and colors for your new brand. After analyzing your competitors, it is good to differentiate yourself visually from them by creating a memorable brand identity and easily recognizable by your audience.
After you have bought the domain and created a logo, we advise you to hurry to register your trademark @ OSIM, in order to legally protect your new brand. Don't rely on luck, or the fact that you first launched a domain with a newly found / created name. The property right is bought at OSIM. Only after you have the trademark registered and if someone uses any brand element without your consent, you will be able to have legal claims.
Opening a legal form ready to sell online
Choosing a company name may not be similar to the future domain (web address) where you will sell online - even though it is becoming more and more common to use the same name. The name of the company will appear on the invoices and in the terms and conditions of operation of your store.
If you already have a certificate for electronic signatures, you can open a home business! However, there are enough steps you can take online before you go to the trade register.
The trade register ensures you the possibility to check online the availability of the desired company name in the platform https://portal.onrc.ro, where you will have to create an account.
Next is an important decision related to the legal form of organization you will want: authorized natural person (PFA), company (SRL or SRL-D), individual enterprise or family enterprise.
In order to stay at a minimum budget for opening the company, we recommend the SRL-D variant (limited liability company, beginner) where the application conditions are explained in the official page dedicated to opening an SRL-D. In addition to the benefits mentioned in this link, you will also be able to register for non-reimbursable funds.
You will have to choose the CANE codes necessary for an online trade, specific to the products / services that will appear on your invoices - 4791 - Retail through order houses or online, 4511 (trade in cars and light motor vehicles), 4519 (trade in other motor vehicles), 4531 (wholesale trade in motor vehicle parts and accessories) or 4540 (trade in motorcycles, related parts and accessories, maintenance and repair of motorcycles ).
If the name of your company is available, you can either register and authorize it online, from the newly created account, or you will go to the trade register for this or you can choose a company specialized in creating files for setting up a company.
Detailing the portfolio of products / services that you will sell online: description, images / videos, prices as attractive as possible to your potential customers.
Creation and launch
stage Enter this stage immediately after you have purchased the desired domain and have chosen a minimum hosting plan that we recommend for an online shop: the NSHOST Shared-Business plan which ensures you a dedicated IP - thus protecting the reputation of the email addresses sent - and enough space to launch an online shop without worrying that you will not have all the photos of your products or services, at only 29RON / month + VAT.
Launching an online shop is extraordinarily simple now:
open the WordPress manager
install WordPress on the new hosted domain and save the access data
open new site created by entering in the browser address your new domain
in a different web page you login with previously saved access data in step b)
create your WooCommerce account
download the WooCommerce plugin, install it and activate it from the plugins page
set up your new online shop following the recommended standard steps: location of the store, the industry in which you will operate, the type of products listed, business details, etc .;
manages product categories, product catalog, labels, in-store filters to help potential customers find the product they want;
edit the terms and conditions;
installs a plugin for cookies, re-captcha, SEO, google analytics etc;
It is not enough to open an online shop to sell. Social media integrations are critical to ensure a minimum online presence where your potential customers already spend time: Facebook, LinkedIn, AdWords for google searches, etc.
To enjoy the optimization of future promotion campaigns, install the following plugins in your online shop:
You have an online shop, but you still have to make some decisions, such as be the delivery of products (contracts with courier companies), the provider of online payment processing (such as euplatesc.ro, payu.ro etc), the preparation of the store with visuals representative of your business, contracts with all suppliers necessary for the operation of the business - from accounting , internet services headquarters, rents, etc.
We are at your disposal for any questions related to the hosting plan and how NSHOST can help you to launch an online shop in terms of security and business continuity, backup days and any other security needs you decide to implement.