Many companies, both manufacturing and trading companies, are now intensively dealing with the topic of “building a webshop”. BMD, a specialist for business software based in Steyr, has tips to help companies get started with digitization. […]
Many companies started or modernized their online business last year, on the one hand because web shops are a way to keep the business open around the clock and to be available to interested parties and customers 24/7. On the other hand, web shops also offer the opportunity to be able to deliver something when shops have to be closed due to regulations and customers are not allowed to enter the shops at all or only occasionally – as during the corona crisis. Wolfgang Foißner, head of sales at the Online specialists BMD, has summarized the key points for a professional Webshop for the computer world. According to Foißner, in order to successfully run a webshop, many points need to be considered. The main points are:
A webshop alone does not make any sales
Except your customers (and those who want to be) know your homepage. In order for you to bring customers into your webshop you have to advertise (in digital form) as well as if you try to attract the customers into your shop. That means you should know
- who your customers are (know your target audience). Then you can also place targeted advertising campaigns on the Internet, e.g. using Google Adwords or on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, in order to draw customers ‘ attention to your webshop – who has so far diligently provided the addresses, if necessary. has also collected e-mail addresses of its customers e.g. by means of customer card, advantage card or simply reservation information is now clearly in the advantage – and
- make sure that your company (company name) and your products (product names, brand) are found on the Internet. Keyword: Search engine optimization.
A webshop is not a merchandise management system
As soon as customers make purchases on your webshop, the work begins. An order in the webshop must be able to be adopted as an order into a merchandise management system (of course, as automatically as possible). Then the customer can receive an order confirmation, prepare the goods for shipment, create a delivery note, possibly printed, shipped, shipping documents are created (they may also deliver abroad to the EU or to third countries), an invoice is created and ultimately transferred to the accounting department and the payment (again automatically) be posted.
The interaction of all these components is handled by EDI interfaces (these are defined messages between webshop and WWS but also between different WWS systems) for orders, INVOICES and all the other previously listed documents.
A merchandise management is not a webshop
In your inventory management, you know the stock levels of all your items. Or you know which item is sold off, which item only has more remaining stock, which items are reordered and which are not. Your customers on the Internet should also benefit from this information. Therefore, it is important that your merchandise management can also communicate with the webshop. Articles must be prepared for the Webshop with order numbers, names, long texts, photos, technical data sheets, etc. All of this is usually managed in the article root of a billing or ERP and is continuously maintained.
Here, too, the EDI interfaces help. In this way, the article master information (PRICAT) maintained in inventory management, as well as information on the stock levels (INVRPT – Inventory Report) are updated. passed to the webshop. Or data exchange via import / export.
It is of no use if the webshop accepts orders well and the warehouse can then deliver nothing (because the suppliers have not reordered). Because all this leads to frustrated customers who are looking forward to their goods and get nothing. This in turn translates into bad reviews and angry customers.
The sales process must be conclusive and easy to follow for your customers
The AIDA formula (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action) also applies on the Internet. Your homepage must attract attention (or you must first become aware of your homepage by means of search engine optimization or advertising – your products must then arouse interest on your homepage or inform the interested party sufficiently (here often neat, professional photos and technical descriptions play a decisive role) – so that the visitor wants to have what you offer or your customer simply knows that he has found what he was looking for. If customers then want to buy immediately, the webshop should not make the purchase process unnecessarily difficult but of course safe.
Integrate your homepage into classic advertising
There may be no advertisement, no direct mail, no e-mail, no signature, no letter, no brochure (so still which are printed), no exhibition wall (so again which take place), no advertising board, no poster, no radio and no television advertising, without the reference to your homepage and the possibility to buy your product there.
Optimize your process from order to reminder
Imagine your webshop strikes like a bomb. Orders increase tenfold. With this in mind, you should thoroughly analyze every step you take so far and ask yourself whether it is necessary, how it can be simplified, especially how it can be automated and whether no one is busy typing in already existing data (item master, orders, customer master, price maintenance…) a second time.
Of course, this also includes whether the goods are easily found in the warehouse, are already packed ready for shipment or can be made ready for shipment as easily as possible and the shipping documents safely reach the right package, so that everything arrives on time, quickly and safely at the customer.
Use the experience of specialists
Programming and maintaining a webshop is not the same as developing an ERP system. A webshop has many connections to payment transactions and also sales platforms.
In this case, what counts is that everyone should be a specialist in their field.
The webshop and merchandise management
Accounting is also important: just think of the different VAT rates in the EU (D 19%, A 20%), not to mention third countries. Customers can also order from there.
Therefore, the know-how of specialists is in demand. The FNA also plays a part here: Orders with prepayment: only when the open mail has been settled in the FNA is the order released for picking and delivery. And: The connection of shipping partners such as DHL, GLS or DPD to track the shipment increases the anticipation for the customer.