How do I set up my own online shop as a startup?

Woman with mobile phone before parcels

Woman with mobile phone before parcels

Setting up an online shop How do I set up my own online shop as a startup?

Published on 24.05.2022 by Olivier Gachnang, CEO of Go 2 Flow AG

Would you like to benefit from the growing e-commerce market and get started with your own online shop as a startup?

This topic is growing in importance, particularly in times of economic uncertainty. But how do you set up a digital business in Switzerland right from step one? This article will show you how it can work for you too.

What do you need to set up your own online shop?

Just like starting any other business, it will be difficult to set up your own online shop without the following things: time (at least eight hours per week), hard work (for 6 to 12 months) and money (approx. CHF 5k to CHF 10k). Do you meet all the criteria above? Then let’s get started right away with the first step.

Step 1: product research / supplier selection

Your winning product is the basis for your future success. Avoid selling bog standard products that are already offered by countless other online shops. This results in price pressure, poor margins and, ultimately, an unprofitable business.

Your product should instead meet as many of the following criteria as possible. This will enable you to assert yourself with your product on the Swiss and international markets.

  • Solves a problem
  • New on the market
  • Appeals to a large target group
  • Not seasonal
  • Is on trend
  • Not available in retail

You should also think about how your product can help increase value for your customers: faster, better, prettier, healthier, more sustainable, easier, more useful. That’s how you get the WOW effect!

Step 2: create the online shop

A nice design for your online shop is not enough if you are looking to maximize sales. Build your online shop in a way that optimizes the conversion rate. This means integrating sales and marketing measures, for example by focusing on upselling instead of small details of the technical design. The highest priority is to secure shopping carts of the highest possible value. Other key components of running a professional online shop include all the legal aspects, providing the most important Swiss payment options (such as PostFinance, TWINT, etc.) and ensuring smooth logistics processes (including personal customer service). Shop systems such as Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce etc. enable you to start your online shop without any programming knowledge.

Find out how to set up your shop step-by-step here (in German).

Step 3: apply online marketing techniques

Now it’s time to attract buyers to your online shop. You can do this by having your products appear right at the top of the search results and by placing profitable advertisements on Google and social media sites. Working with influencers, sending automated marketing e-mails and implementing performance campaigns round off your online marketing plan. Of course, you should have an overview of all your online marketing figures in Data Studio so that you can implement ongoing optimizations. This is how your online business continues to grow.


Olivier Gachnang

CEO, Go 2 Flow AG. Olivier Gachnang has worked in the field of e-commerce for more than 13 years. Through his agency Go 2 Flow, he is a partner for ambitious Swiss retailers and startups and creates future-oriented e-commerce experiences for new brands.

Portrait Olivier Gachnang

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