How to sell or buy an online store, and what about personal data? Guide

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How to sell or buy an online store, and what about personal data? Guide

Owning an online store is not an accessible business, especially now, in times of competition. Some owners may, therefore, decide to sell. So, let’s check how to sell an online store and what to do with the personal data of existing customers.

How do you price an online store?

Let’s start with how to value an online store, which will also allow us to indicate whether it will be a good solution for us at a given stage. Factors that need to be taken into account are:

  • average monthly income of the store, after deducting business costs,
  • age of the store – it is considered that one year is the minimum, although the longer the activity lasts, the better,
  • number of unique visitors – for this purpose, it will be necessary to check the data in Google Analytics. It should be borne in mind that, on average, only 1 to 3 per cent of e-commerce customers convert,
  • activities in social media – social media is an essential channel for building a brand, so it is necessary to check how these activities are implemented,
  • salable assets that can either reduce or significantly increase the store’s value. This includes, among others, trademarks, accounts in tools and applications, contracts with suppliers, software and possible liabilities,
  • number of products in the store.

Of course, no store exists in a vacuum, so it is necessary to check the competitive environment of the store and what growth prospects a given industry has.

Where can you sell online stores?

Once we have the valuation of our store, we can look for a place to sell it. It is worth using for this purpose:

  • Internet domain exchanges,
  • groups on Facebook or other social media platforms,
  • trade contacts,
  • word of mouth,
  • investors.

It may also turn out that other online store owners you know will want to expand their e-commerce portfolio.

What must the contract include?

For the transaction to be hassle-free for both parties, it is, of course, necessary to draw up a contract. It is worth consulting this issue with a lawyer, and in addition to standard elements such as date, place, pages and confidentiality information, the rights to:

  • use of a given domain,
  • using the store’s software, as well as its accounts on other shopping platforms, if sales activities are carried out on them,
  • use of graphic designs,
  • leaving original content on the online store,
  • use of databases, regulations and privacy policies,
  • use of movable items, including e.g. store data carriers,
  • using contracts with subcontractors, logistics companies and wholesalers,
  • continuing marketing activities,
  • use of concluded license agreements.

What about customer data?

Due to the existence of GDPR, when selling e-commerce, we must pay special attention to the personal data of our customers.

During such a transaction, data is treated as an asset of a given enterprise. Therefore, in the case of e-commerce sales, customers’ data are not shared or entrusted. However, their owner, i.e. the Administrator, changes. Therefore, there is no need to obtain consent to share data again with the new owner. The new Administrator should only inform data subjects that the company has been sold and who currently manages their data, i.e. fulfil the information obligation towards customers. This is a requirement arising explicitly from Art. 14 GDPR.

How to buy an online store?

We also have to put ourselves in the position of a buyer, i.e. a person who wants to buy an online store. Its main task will be to check the elements included in the scope of the contract very reliably and meticulously. You should always follow the principle of limited trust. Carefully check the invoices, not for the month, but preferably for 12-16 months, to prevent the seasonality of the store and what its operating costs are in the long run.

For many stores, organic traffic is also the main traffic channel. It is therefore recommended to analyze tools such as Google Search Console and those used by SEO specialists, including Senuto. This will allow you to initially assess whether the domain has a good history and whether there have been any recent declines that may be difficult to reverse.

How do you sell an online store? This is a process that should start with a very accurate valuation. Thanks to this, we will be able to assess what prospects our activity has in this area.

Will you buy an online store, or do you want to develop your own? If so, be sure to check out our e-commerce solutions.

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