So you finally decided to start your online business. It’s exciting, but the start can feel overwhelming. You’ve created your business “blueprint”, picked the right products and started growing your brand presence. The only thing needed now to properly start is creating your own E-shop.
But where should you start? What platform should you choose for your e-shop? How much effort is needed for it to successfully operate?
And if you’ve decided to go with PrestaShop, what are the minimum steps needed to have a green light and start running your online business? At the end of the day, creating and maintaining an e-shop shouldn’t take the majority of your attention & time, since there’s a lot more to cover when running a business!
In this article we want to give you a better understanding about PrestaShop benefits and what is needed for your PrestaShop store to actually operate & sustain itself.
Why should you choose PrestaShop?
1. It’s an European-based international company with strong understanding of what users need. Since its first version, which was built in 2007, the platform keeps going strong for more than ten years and there are no signs of stopping.
2. PrestaShop is open-source based platform. There are over 1,000,000 contributors making it better everyday. Our team is amongst those who contribute regularly (you’ve guessed it right, it’s the top 3 developers ;))
Open-source also means that the platform is free to use for everyone!
3. There are thousands of ways to customize and adjust PrestaShop to your unique needs. There are literally thousands of official themes and plugins that you can boost your shop with, and there’s new additions every day. PrestaShop also has many integrations with most of well-known payment, shipping providers, marketplaces and marketing tools and you can tailor your e-shop depending on your planned business model easily.
4. It’s 100% fully translated to more than 30 languages with another 10 close to completion, which means your online business multilingual needs will be met. You can easily operate in many different countries, without having to think of different websites or approaches needed for different countries.
5. It’s built on Symfony framework, which means this platform is scalable. It’s easy to find technical support & development help mainly because the Symfony framework community is huge.
Having these points mentioned, we would also like to emphasize that PrestaShop offers constantly updated security standards, multilingual interface for visitors, 600+ functionalities and most importantly its cost-effective.
The platform itself is open-source and completely free. And if you might need additional functionalities that don’t come out of the box, you can add them with one-time payments, which is great for any business in the long term. That’s why we think this platform is great choice to start your business.
What is needed to start?
The biggest advantage of PrestaShop Ready that you don’t need to care about hosting.
The biggest disadvantage that you don’t have the same control of your shop, because some decisions are already made for you. However not everyone needs and/or wants very special customization and make their own tweeks to the shop. There’s more to each solution that you choose to go with, but for now, let’s say you’ve chosen PrestaShop.
Apart from its installation, there’s not much else needed to start your e-shop. For this article, we’ll assume that you’ve already decided on your business model, ideal customers, products and other details not related to the technical aspects of your e-shop.
The next most important thing after installation is choosing the right modules, which will provide additional functionalities to your shop. While your needs really depend on your specific business model, there’s few questions that everyone has to answer when starting:
1. How are you going to accept payments?
Paypal is the best known brand, however it’s not a most payment solution if you look on country-to-country basis.
2. How you are going to deliver goods?
Pick-up at store is not the way most E-shops want to operate. If your orders volume is low or you have non-standardized products, sending manually from post office is always an option. However if you want to sell a lot you’ll need to sign contract with carrier company. DPD is one of the strongest brand in Europe, but in your region there might be better alternatives, or maybe you want to give options to your customers and have a few different carriers.
3. Are you going to operate in Europe?
If so, GDPR and privacy related module is a must have.
Having the “essential” part covered, it’s important to not forget a theme for your shop’s look to fit your business model.
Standard theme looks is nice, but you might want to consider unique themes from Addons Marketplace if you’re thinking of fashion, cosmetics and similar niches. A good theme, as much as additional modules like email marketing, abandoned cart reminder, related product display modules, can improve visitors customer experience and conversions. But that’s another topic that will we write about in the future.
All that’s needed now is to start
Now that you have a better understanding of what’s needed for a shop to work & sustain its operations, it’s time to make your plans a reality and start your business!