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When is an online store worthwhile?

The economic decision to set up your own online store: a thorough cost analysis

In today’s digital world, the move into online retail is unavoidable for many companies. However, the decision to open your own online store raises many questions, especially in terms of costs. In this article, we compare different models of online stores, discuss the advantages and disadvantages as well as the long-term prospects.

Setting up an online store is an exciting undertaking, but it is also associated with various challenges and costs. There are numerous models and platforms for e-commerce that appeal to different needs and budgets. But when is it really worth investing in your own online store? In this article, we carry out a detailed cost analysis and compare different online store models. We look at the necessary requirements for operation, the advantages and disadvantages of having your own online store and also discuss which marketing strategies can support the success of your e-commerce project.

Comparison table of online store models

Choosing the right e-commerce platform can be crucial to the success of your business. WooCommerce, an open source platform, offers a cost-effective solution with a high degree of customizability and broad community support. Contrast this with Shopify, which is known for its ease of use and quick setup, but has higher long-term running costs and fewer customization options than a self-hosted store system. Magento or Shopware offer a robust solution for very large stores, but require considerable initial investment and technical expertise. Modular systems such as Wix or Jimdo, on the other hand, are ideal for beginners with lower technical requirements, but quickly reach their limits for more complex e-commerce needs.

In our table we show you a comparison to make it easier for you to decide on the right model.

ShopsoftwareInitial costsCurrent costsAdvantagesDisadvantages
WooCommerceLow to mediumLowHigh flexibility, large community, many extensionsTechnical knowledge required
ShopifyMediumMedium to highSimple setup, extensive support optionsLess flexibility, higher costs
Magento /Shopware HighHighVery scalable, robustHigh technical requirements, expensive to maintain
Wix / JimdoLowMediumUser-friendly, quick start possibleLimited functions for complex needs

Requirements for operating an online store

Operating an online store requires more than just an attractive website. First of all, a solid technical basis is necessary, including reliable hosting and a domain. Security aspects such as SSL certificates are essential to create trust among customers. The integration of payment gateways must be carefully selected to ensure the smooth processing of transactions. Logistics is just as important: a clear shipping policy and reliable logistics partners are crucial for customer satisfaction. Not forgetting customer service, which should respond efficiently to inquiries and problems.

  • Technical infrastructure: Reliable hosting, domain registration and SSL certificates for security.
  • Payment processing: Integration of payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe or credit card processors.
  • Shipping logistics: Agreements with logistics partners and clear shipping guidelines.
  • Customer support: An efficient system for processing inquiries and complaints.

Advantages of having your own online store

Having your own online store gives you ultimate control over every detail of your business. From the design of the website to the choice of functions, customizability is a major advantage. Another important aspect is scalability. With your own platform, you can easily expand and integrate additional features without being restricted by the limitations of a hosted solution. In the long term, this can also mean significant cost savings, as many hosted solutions become more expensive as the business grows.

  • Control and customization: Complete control over the design and functionality of the store.
  • Scalability: The possibilities for expansion are practically unlimited.
  • Cost savings in the long term: After the initial investment, operating costs are often lower than with hosted solutions.

Disadvantages of having your own online store

Despite the many advantages, there are also challenges. The technical requirements can be overwhelming, especially for non-professionals. Setting up and maintaining the platform requires either appropriate knowledge or the employment of specialist personnel. This can be a financial and logistical burden, especially for smaller companies. In addition, the time required to maintain your own online store should not be underestimated. Regular updates and security checks are required to keep the store up-to-date and secure.

  • Technical requirements: Setting up and maintaining requires technical know-how or the employment of specialists.
  • Time required: Maintaining and updating the store takes time.
  • Technical jargon
  • Rapidly changing techniques etc.

Effort and work required for an online store and operation

The day-to-day management of an online store involves a variety of tasks. This includes product management, regularly updating the range and removing obsolete products. Marketing is another critical area that requires constant attention. This includes online advertising campaigns, the management of social media channels and the maintenance of customer relationships through regular newsletters. Technical maintenance should also not be neglected, as it forms the basis for the smooth operation of the store.

  • Product management: Adding, updating and removing products.
  • Marketing: Implementation of online marketing campaigns via various channels such as social media, email newsletters and content marketing.
  • Maintenance: Regular software updates and security measures.

Marketing via other channels

In the digital age, it is not enough to simply operate an online store. In order to stand out from the crowd and effectively acquire customers, well thought-out marketing via various channels is essential. Marketing via other channels, such as social media, newsletters and content marketing, plays a central role in customer acquisition and retention. Social media platforms enable direct interaction with the target group and offer the opportunity to present products in a visually appealing way. Newsletter marketing helps to establish a direct connection with customers and inform them regularly about news and offers. Content marketing in turn supports your positioning as an expert in your field and provides valuable content that attracts and retains customers. By integrating these channels into your marketing strategy, you can convey a coherent brand message, increase the reach of your online store and ultimately boost your sales. It is important that these marketing activities are well planned and tailored to the needs of your target group in order to achieve maximum impact.

  • Newsletter marketing: building up a list of subscribers and regularly sending out offers and news.
  • Social Media Marketing:Social media marketing: use of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to increase visibility and customer engagement.
  • Content marketing: creating valuable content that both informs and entertains to attract customers.
  • SEO: Optimization of the site to be found in the search engines and to be ahead of the competition
  • SEA: Target group-specific display of ads in search engines

The interaction of WooCommerce and WordPress offers special advantages for marketing via various channels, especially in the area of content marketing. WordPress, as a leading content management system, enables seamless and intuitive content creation, making it ideal for content marketing strategies. This content can be used effectively to improve SEO, increase visibility in search engines and generate organic traffic. Since WooCommerce is integrated directly into WordPress, product information and promotions can be cleverly integrated into relevant content, which can boost conversions directly from the content.

Maximizing return on investment (ROI) through efficient cost control

A crucial aspect of running an online store is ensuring that the investment in setting it up and the running costs pay off financially. A carefully thought-out business model is essential to prevent running costs from swallowing up or even exceeding the profits generated. This requires a strategy that is both cost-efficient and effective in its implementation.

Using a flexible and scalable e-commerce platform such as WooCommerce can support such a strategy, as it allows you to start with a low initial investment and expand the store as needed without losing control of costs. This not only helps to minimize initial expenditure, but also enables a gradual increase in the budget in line with the growth of the business.

In addition, integrated and cost-efficient marketing plays an important role in maximizing ROI. By using tools and strategies that are specifically optimized for e-commerce – such as automated social media campaigns, targeted content marketing and effective email marketing – a high customer reach can be achieved without overburdening the budget.

A comprehensive approach that takes into account both the initial costs and the effectiveness of marketing ensures that the investment in the online store not only lays the foundation for business success, but also ensures sustainable profitability. By keeping costs low and increasing sales through targeted marketing campaigns, a strong and lasting return on investment can be achieved.


Choosing the right e-commerce platform is crucial for the success of an online store. Our analysis shows that WooCommerce is the most cost-effective solution in most cases. The flexibility and customizability that WooCommerce offers is second to none, especially when you consider the robust support from an active developer community and a variety of extensions. However, the successful operation of a WooCommerce store requires a well thought-out online shop concept that covers both the technical aspects and marketing strategies. Companies that are prepared to invest in a solid concept and in the continuous maintenance of their store can create the basis for long-term success and sustainable growth. The integration of additional marketing channels such as social media, newsletters and content marketing also plays a key role in increasing visibility and achieving strong customer loyalty. In summary, investing in your own online store, supported by WooCommerce, is a smart decision for entrepreneurs looking for a flexible and cost-effective solution to successfully market their products online.

Start your dream online store with!

Our innovative business design and marketing framework takes into account all key aspects for the successful operation of your online store – even with a small budget. From WooCommerce integration to comprehensive marketing strategies, we offer you everything from a single source. Whether it’s the technical implementation, the integration of effective marketing channels such as social media, newsletters or content marketing – makes it easy and affordable to get started. Take the first step towards your successful online business.