10 things to know before start an Online Shop Business

10 things to know before start an Online Shop Business

Time creates revolution, as online business getting more and more popular towards all kind of industries. Plus, with the deadly Covid-19 influences, speeds up the evolution of the online business. Especially localize business owner, you would be considering your business go online.

But not every business owner have enough knowledge on transferring their business from offline to online. So we are here to summarize things into 10 points. There are:

  • Decide What To Sell
  • Choosing Market Place, Platform Or Customized System
  • Competitive Price
  • Picture Picture Picture
  • Inventory Sync and Control
  • Logistic and Delivery
  • Customer Service and Support
  • Review and Rating
  • Social Media Profile
  • Online Marketing

Online Shop also known as Ecommerce

1. Decide What To Sell

The very first step is to decide what to sell online. If this is the first time you’re selling things online, we would liked to suggest try to avoid things that is fragile or easily breakable products in the process of delivery such as glass or electronic items.

Is not that we’re saying not to sell, but more consideration for this kind of products. Because you might be having more to cover on after sales services such as broken upon delivery, missing parcel, warranty, customer refund and so on. Which these are really somewhat tedious to your daily operation that make your cost higher.

2. Choosing Market Place, Platform or Customized System

“Where Should I Start Selling?”. That would be the next question that popup from your mind.

To start an online shop. We need a “place” or “store” to put our products on it. There are few way we can build your “store” via online. There are Market place, platform and customized system.

Online Shop Market Place

A market place which group of seller sell their goods, so call store. Very similar to a physical shopping mall. Customer enter the mall to walk through different store.

In Malaysia market there are different of online shop platform, there are Lazada, Shopee, Lelong and so on. Seller don’t need to have technical skills to run the store.

Popular Market Place in Malaysia: Lazada, Shopee, Lelong
Examples of some popular Online Market Place in Malaysia

Online Shop Platform

Unlike market place, online shop platform don’t group your shop with other sellers. It’s more like renting a shop lot and sell your goods in a single place. However, the exposure of your products is way lesser, compared with online market places.

There are a few of platform you may consider in Malaysia, such as EasyStore, SiteGiant, and Shopify. These platforms allow business owner to adjust the outlook of your online shop, which means you have more control on how you present your products to your customers, in terms of attractiveness and better branding image. At the same time, it required some technical skills to accomplish that.

Malaysia Ecommerce Platform: Shopify, Easystore, Sitegiant
Examples of Ecommerce Platform in Malaysia

Customized Online Shop System

Customized stores are very similar to Online Store Platform. The major different is that you’ll be having a fully 100% control to adjust your online shop interface UI and UX. But it requires very strong technical skills team to setup the store and maintaining the backend system.

There are also a few of platform choices such as Magento, Woo-commerce, and OpenCart. Even if start from scratch and to build customize online shop, it take a long development time. It could takes up to 1 months to 6 months by depending the complexity of the business logic.

Ecommerce Customize Platform: Magento, Woocommerce, Opencart
Examples of Customizable Ecommerce Backend

Summary Comparison Market Place VS Customize Store

Market PlacePlatformCustomize
Monthly Pricing$$$$$
Develop CostNoNo/$$$$
Customize IntegrationPartiallyPartiallyFully
Technical SkillsNoNoNo
Bugs & IssueLessFewMore
Campaign & VoucherYesYesYes
Branding ImageLessLessHigh
Online TrafficMoreLessLess

To summary, if you’re starting with new business online, market place will be your right choice, high traffic and low cost. If you need some branding image, awareness, go for Platform or customized Ecommerce.

3. Competitive Price

Comparing price of products on internet is extremely easy. With just a few of searching and few clicks, customer can always get the cheapest price for the same products.

Imaging Seller A selling mobile phone with RM 1,299, but Seller B sells exactly same phone with RM 999. Obviously people would choose Seller B over Seller A. This is a common scenario if you sell your goods on market places with thousand of Competitor at there to sell their own products.

Same Phone but different price.

But, we’re not encourage to price war. Instead in this scenario, Seller B can do simple promotion, by selling the phone for RM 1,019 with extra free gift, head-buds or extra Small profit but quick turn over. Online market is huge, don’t worry profit is less.

How do you standout from your competitor?

4. Picture Picture Picture

Nice product picture will always catch one’s attention compare to a blurry, inconsistency image. The online shop looks and feels was formed by your images, since image take more than 80% space.

Beside, nice image represent your professionalism on how you sell. These will build up the confidence level of your customer, and gain their trust.

Picture important in Ecommerce shop

5. Inventory Sync And Control

For those new online shop start small, inventory control will not be that critical to you. But if you are selling products with multiples online store. Stock count always confusing.

Imaging you have 3 online store in Store A, Store B, Store C. Total stock count is 5. Sales in Store A is good, it run out the product quickly, but at the same times, Store B and C still selling the products. In this case, when customer try to buy your products, you have to refund, or reorder your stocks.

Wrong qty for multiple store

By right, the 3 stores should have the exact same quantity. Since is 3 different store, different system. So it is frustrated to update stock quantity store by store if seller have more than 100 products.

sync qty for multiple store

Other than inventory syncing. Sales analysis, product image update are tricky when seller need those data. There are some software able to do all these features in Malaysia between multiple online store. such as Zepty, SiteGiant and Webspert.

Malaysia Marketplace Inventory sync software: Zepty, Sitegiant, webSpert

6. Logistic and Delivery

Logistics is a must in online shop. The delivery fee have to be included in your cost. For market place (lazada, shopee, lelong), they have provided benefits of lower shipping fee from the market. Seller just have to delivery their products to the specific warehouse locations and the distributors will do their job. This is the benefit of selling product in market place as well.

Unlike online shop platform or customized ecommerce, seller have to deal with the logistic by themselves.

7. Customer Service and Support

Different people have different perspective, therefore, customer will always have question regarding the products. When there is seller who have quick response to the customer. The chance of closing sales is getting higher.

Not only questioning on products. Things like shipping delay, broken product and warranty question would really need someone to calm your customer down. When customers have a better experience, this will cause your online shop better review, therefore more sales will flow in.

8. Review and Rating

Review and rating takes a very important part for online shopping. Nowadays for an online shop, customer will still have doubt; is it a legit shop? is this an online fraud?

But if an online shop with thousands of review and high ratings. it will turn customer’s doubt into trust. For reason, your store and product will become “popular” in the online world. More popular, more sales.

Review and rating help online shop become popular

9. Social Media Profile

Profiling itself was having similarity with review and rating. It’s an additional point to increase your customer confidence level.

Try to include your location, phone number business logo, even staff inside the store into your social media profile. Make your business as transparent as it is. Instead of telling your customer you’re trust-able, show them instead. with transparent profile, it will gain huge improvement for your customer relationship.

Social media profile to trasparent your business.
Do you know where is your customers?

10. Online Marketing

Due to convenient of the internet, online shop business extremely competitive. Sometimes seller need to create some campaign promotion to create awareness of your shop.

Before your customer trust you, let them know you. By doing online marketing, it helps to perceived by potential customers. Bring more new customer and turn them into regular customer.


To conclude, all this point is surround with main goal. How to let your customer believe in you for long term (returning customer). Thereby, purchase good from you. Try to build online shop image in a good way, online marketing create awareness, nice review and rating to build your profile.

Take this opportunity to build upon what you may already be doing. Your small business will be far better if you do.




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