We are more than convinced that if you want to set up an online store, your main question now is: which free software platform for store development should I choose: Prestashop or Magento? And it shouldn’t be like that. Do you understand free software? “If not, what are you fighting a development platform with for a year? When you are done struggling, you are in the initial stages of starting the business on the internet. As an entrepreneur, you have a burdened business project. You have to go to one of the thousands of vendors out there and say: let’s see, you’re selling me a solution for 20-30 euros a month, come on, first of all; and you make me a draft for 500 euros, come on, and in 20 days you start and start doing. Then you make it more and more sophisticated,” suggests José Valle, founder of El Super, proposing a solution to the dilemma.

market survey
“It is interesting to do a preliminary market study not only about the competition, who is selling or how they are selling it, but also from which platform. Depending on what you’re selling, you need to investigate where and how it’s getting more sales. Perhaps you want to sell on SegundaMano.es or eBay rather than open a shop, suggests Jordi Ferrer, co-founder of Spanish platform Xopie.

Maybe you are more interested in a tool for creating shops on Facebook like payment, a free application with two paid versions; the spanish one social buy, which develops online trading platforms within this social network. Or maybe you are interested in a direct sale because of the nature of the product and after calculating all commissions – from opening to increasing sales volume Amazon.

Online shop
To start, you need an e-commerce platform, a website with the necessary tools to carry out the complete management of a sale over the Internet.

First, doubts arise: what is the best tool for my business? There is a first premise: how much money do you have for your online business? I like to add to the budget the maximum money you have to leave to promote the business. I can have a budget of 6,000 euros, I spend 6,000 in the shop, I have a powerful shop, and then I have no difficulties with SEO, AdWords … You will have the best shop that no one knows. You have to start with the money and the importance of promoting it so that people know about it and buy it,” explains Jordi Ferrer.

“First of all, there are tailor-made solutions, particularly suitable for strong budgets and for companies with previous experience or those with very specific needs (our products have seven different types of references…), a product does not adapt to them standard. In it is open source, magento and prestashop, very complete but with the peculiarity that you cannot install it yourself if you do not have technical knowledge, you need a programmer to install and configure it for you: the “Budget is not as high as custom. Updates have to be paid to the provider. You also have to search and pay for hosting, which you also have to search for,” he continues.

“There would be a third group of SaaS solutions (solution rental): they are packaged solutions (where we are). They also fit. They are inexpensive solutions. For 19 euros per month plus VAT you already have your online shop including hosting, server and updates. On the other hand, you don’t have everything exactly as you would like it to be: what if a flower next to the logo, what if seven references per product, these are concrete things. These solutions will not offer it to you,” he clarifies.

What do entrepreneurs use?
If you understand free code, you have the Prestashop and Magento platforms – both have a Spanish version – which are free. The problem is that unless you have some level of computer skills, you (seriously) have to install it. A reputable custom installation will cost you from 5,000 euros, integration into a simple ERP and including hosting, i.e. free, they are not free.

A tailor-made solution like the one mentioned by Ferrer will cost you around 6,000-7,000 euros from an independent supplier.

Even without technical knowledge, hosting or your own domain like Xopie (includes your own domain, design, legal advice, digital marketing, payment methods and trust mark) you have tools to create online shops, from 19.99 euros per month without VAT. And you have two other Spanish providers: Tiendalista (from 27 euros a month excluding VAT) and Mabisy (from 29 euros a month excluding VAT). Foreigners have Shopify ($79/month), but the back-end, which is nothing more than shop management, is in English, and hosting providers also offer simple online selling platforms like 1&1 ($24.99 per month excluding VAT .), Strato (34.99 euros per month excl. VAT) and Arsys (59 euros per month excl. VAT).

“It’s a formula to risk a little money and see if internet sales and e-commerce fit together,” says Ferrer. When choosing a provider, you are interested in evaluating whether they have registration fees, whether they will help you with customization (think of standard solutions as templates) and how much it costs, opportunities for growth, customization to mobile phones and support: what if a server goes down on a Saturday afternoon?

All in one
All of these tools include the “rest” of software you need for your business, from payment systems, shipping systems, simple ERPs, marketing tools – they help you with your Google AdWords investments – and social media. With one exception: track the prices of your competitors…

Monitor my competition’s prices?

“There are hundreds of online stores selling the same products. It is no longer so important that you have to control many items as that the market is constantly changing. Even if you work with 50 products, you have to control the price. Price is the key buying criterion,” says Antonio Tomás, co-founder of Minderest, a tool that helps monitor competitor prices.

watch the price
“An SME has to pay attention to the price. If they have few products, they work with Excel and a browser. It’s kind of boring. If you only have a few products, you can keep them, but it ends up being small because prices change daily because new products are added to your catalog every time,” he says. What are these types of tools for? Imagine that your competition is sold out. So you get a notification and run a campaign to sell that product. Next to the Spanish minority there is the American profitero.

start your company, start, company