Is there still any point in creating an online shop for your company?

Kersti Kinkar
Voog Service Manager

The short answer would be yes, there certainly is.

According to the statistics about 2019 collected by the Estonian E-Commerce Association, the number of Internet users increases by a million every day and surveys indicate that 80% of current Internet users have made at least one purchase online. The use of online shops in Estonia has increased in recent years as well and sales in e-commerce have grown every year.

An online shop suits almost all companies that are launching their operations and ready to grow, and allows them to start selling with considerably smaller costs. The barriers created by distance and time can be overcome via the Internet.

How much time does the establishment of a working online shop take and how much time do I as an entrepreneur have to contribute myself?

You can create a working online shop on the Voog platform in an hour. It would be good if you had product photos and descriptive texts for the website. Since the Voog website is a cloud service, you can start immediately after creating an account with your e‑mail address. You don’t have to download any software on your computer or have any configuration or programming skills.

Texts are entered and designed just like ordinary text files. You can use the icons you already know to change the placement, size and font of texts. All you need to do to add photos is upload them to the system and drag them to the right place with the cursor. It’s important that the results that can be displayed to the visitors of the site are immediately visible and it’s easy to make changes on the site.

However, you shouldn’t be afraid of changes when you start creating a website. Usually, it’s a good idea to make your online shop accessible to clients faster and with a smaller product selection. You can keep updating the site, get used to the order process yourself and check that the structure of your website is understandable to the clients of your online shop. This way, you can see whether the selected solution works before you add large volumes of data to the site.

Which companies contact you for the establishment of an online shop?

The Voog platform is used by companies operating in very different areas. We believe that the creation of a website and online shop should be something that everyone can do. This means that a small start‑up without a separate IT department or prior technical knowledge should be able to establish an online shop on the Voog platform.

Larger companies usually have more specific needs and ideas of what they want to do with their online shops and their sites are often created in cooperation with the partners of Voog. The platform can be modified with the help of a developer and third party solutions can also be added.

Which functionalities of online shops do merchants expect and value the most?

Merchants understand increasingly more that the establishment of a website is not enough to reach one’s clients. You must take separate action to make the shop findable on search engines and devote time to this. This gave us the idea to highlight dealing with search engine optimisation (SEO) separately on websites. This functionality is also widely used by the users of Voog.

Many activities that are traditionally related to company management have also moved to the website management environment. For example, keeping account of stock, managing order statuses and generating statements for accounting are also possible as parts of website management. All of this makes it possible to do more at one place, which makes the entire process more efficient and convenient.

The crisis created the need to adapt to changes. How did you update your services to offer the best support to companies in the new situation?

The Voog platform is constantly updated and we primarily listen to the opinions, requests and needs of our clients when doing this.

Interest in online shops increased suddenly at the start of the emergency situation and we focused our activities on updating the functions of the online shop. We quickly reassessed the priorities of the works according to the needs of our clients and in a short time, we added new payment methods (incl. the Luminor e‑commerce portal), simplified the addition of delivery methods, updated order management and more.

Our customer support was already very strong. There was a database of instructions, but it was also possible to request assistance by e‑mail and via the chat window on one’s website environment. We also increased the frequency of our webinars due to increased interest, which allowed us to give instructions with visual examples to many users at the same time.

Some new solutions were also created as a result of the unexpected crisis created by the virus, which probably would not have happened without the emergency situation. In cooperation with Fleet Complete, their delivery solution was combined with the Voog platform. This made it possible to create a tool for restaurants through which previous guests could order food online and the waiting staff could deliver it as couriers. For many places, this was a lifeline that allowed them to keep their clients and turnover.

Company managers and owners often lack time. How much time will the management and maintenance of the online shop or website take after its establishment?

It’s a big difference whether you create your website on a platform that offers it as a cloud service, like Voog, or not. In the latter case, most of the management burden will rest on the creator of the website – having prior experience in the establishment of an online shop or even IT knowledge, so that you can take care of things like the security of your sites.

On the Voog platform, you can focus on the content of your site and communication with clients. This means that you only need to change your website when you replace or add a product, make blog posts or fulfil orders placed via the website. Technical updates and modifications are made in the background by the Voog team.

E‑Commerce Gateway has already been integrated with Voog services. Read more about Luminor´s ready to use solution for collecting payments.