eCommerce Website Checklist For New Businesses
Creating a new eCommerce website from scratch can be a daunting task however recent developments in the eCommerce development space mean it’s a lot easier than it used to be.
Before we explain what is available and how we can fast-track your website set up we will cover the eCommerce Website Checklist essentials that have to be covered before you launch your new website. If you are requiring help with your site, our eCommerce Web Designers in Hampshire are on hand for a free consultation – simply use the form below.
The fundamental principles with any eCommerce site are that it must be ‘competitively priced’, ‘load quickly’ and be ‘intuitive to use’ – as long as these three elements are comprehensively covered you will have a solid foundation from which to build your new eCommerce business.
eCommerce Website Checklist
As mentioned there are three fundamental principles that form the foundation of your business. As you follow this checklist you will be checking off the building blocks of those principles building a very competitive eCommerce website from day one.
- Customer Profile
- Competitor research
- Pricing Strategy
- Long-Term Brand Vision
- Website Navigation & Search
- Website category architecture
- SEO strategy
- Email Strategy
- PPC Strategy
- Order Processing & Logistics
- Refunds and Returns
Creating a Customer Profile For An eCommerce Business
Being customer-centric is essential to the long-term survival of any business – eCommerce is no different. Establishing who your customer is and how they behave will give you a major advantage over your competitors who are not doing this. To see our guide on how to create a customer profile and how to integrate that into a more effective Marketing Strategy.
Researching Competitors as a New eCommerce Business
Understanding your marketplace goes hand in hand with developing a customer profile. Understanding what your customer wants and what options they have will give you insight that will enable you to price your products and create promotional campaigns in a significantly more effective manner, resulting in more sales long term.
There is a second advantage of competitor research that is not generally discussed but can give you a major boost to the early development of your eCommerce website. By studying what promotions and offers long-standing competitors are running you will get a sense of what works and what doesn’t. Are they running bundle deals? How does their email capture work? Do they cross-sell?
Understanding what works and incorporating that into your marketing strategy will save you lots of time testing new marketing ideas.
Making a Pricing Strategy for eCommerce
After you have completed your competitor research you should have a good idea of where you want to sit in the marketplace. Are you intending to be a premium brand or are you intending to be a high-value brand customers can rely on for the best price? Understanding your pricing strategy then makes way for the development of your long-term brand vision.
Long-term eCommerce Brand Vision
Now you understand what section of the market to target you can now design your brand around this. Building a brand takes a long time so you should be thinking in the 3-5 year range as a minimum.
When developing a brand it is a worthwhile exercise to think of brands you prefer to buy and think what about the product makes you continue to choose that brand over the competitors.
For example, if you think of arguably the biggest brand in the world ‘Apple’ – what comes to mind when you think of Apple? For most people, it will be premium performance and premium design. The products are so ‘consistently’ premium in both of those areas that now people automatically choose the next Apple product as they trust the brand enough for them to no longer seek out their competitors.
With your brand, you need to think about what you want your customers to think when they buy your products and whether you can commit to delivering a consistent experience long term.
Developing Great Navigation & Search On An eCommerce Website
Now you have your market strategy mapped out you are ready to start building your eCommerce website. Ensuring an intuitive interface for customers is extremely important. Typically this will include an obvious menu structure and the ability to search for individual products.
Developing an SEO strategy for eCommerce
Central to any long-term marketing plan you need to ensure you are working on your website’s SEO from the moment your website goes live. SEO or ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ is the process of optimising your website to rank higher on search engines like Google and Bing. By working on your SEO over time your website will begin to rank for key search terms that will result in lots of free traffic coming to your eCommerce store.
SEO is quite complicated and takes a lot of know-how and effort to get right – see how our team of SEO experts with over 20 years of experience can help you today – [contact us]
Developing an Email Strategy for a new eCommerce store
Once you have customers coming to your site and buying your products you want to be able to keep hold of them and sell to them again – simply. The best way to do this is through email marketing. A simple email campaign every few days with offers on related products can be a reliable source of revenue for your business.
Email marketing starts with the creation of an email capture form and the integration of an email management system such as Klaviyo or Mailchimp. Once visitors come to your eCommerce site they should be given the option to sign up for your email list. Usually, you would offer an incentive to sign up to your mailing lists such as a discount code or a one-time coupon offer. Then you would develop an email marketing calendar so that you would send regular emails to generate more sales.
Crafting a PPC Campaign for eCommerce Stores
PPC or pay-per-click advertising will likely make up the majority of your revenue in the early days of your site. Essentially a company like Google will host your ads and every time somebody clicks one of your ads you pay a fee you have previously agreed to pay for the click. While setting up your PPC campaigns correctly requires a high level of expertise and experience once they have been set up correctly they will be a huge source of revenue for your company.
Our in-house Google certified experts can help you get your PPC campaigns set up correctly and can provide training for you or your team to ensure the campaigns will be managed correctly long term. Alternatively, you can out-source the management of your PPC campaigns to our experts – click here to arrange a free consultation for PPC.
Order Processing & Logistics for a new eCommerce Business
Processing orders should be a simple and mostly automated process. Sales should arrive on your site then you should be able to access the customer’s details and shipping address you should then be able to hand the product off to your logistics provider and fulfil the sale. Usually, your eCommerce platform will handle all of this bar the manual handover of the product to your logistics provider. Below we will explain the best platform available that makes order fulfilment and even logistics management a breeze.
Creating a Good Refunds & Returns Policy
Refunds and returns policies can be a significant driver or block to sales. Most eCommerce companies overlook this opting to have highly restrictive policies with intentionally vague and confusing language hoping to prevent refunds and returns. However, refunds and returns are an unavoidable part of the retail business and can be utilised as a tool to actually increase sales.
When customers can feel secure that they can return and get a refund simply they are more confident that their money is safe and more likely to buy. This increase in sales volume versus a site that makes customers feel uncertain more often than not increases the inevitable rise in returns. However careful consideration must be made regarding whether your products have a low return rate if they have a large return rate this could be a disastrous approach.
The most effective way to start a new eCommerce Website
Utilising the eCommerce website checklist above you should be aware of what you need to have planned out before your website goes live and you start generating traffic for your business. What you will then need is a platform that will make the continued management of your eCommerce business as simply and as cheap as possible.
We find that the best eCommerce platform overall is Shopify and have expanded as a Shopify Agency to help new eCommerce companies get set up on the platform, executing at a professional level from day one. Our team of Digital Marketing experts are confident almost every eCommerce company will benefit from switching to Shopify.
What Shopify will do for your business
Shopify provides an all-in-one eCommerce solution. Your website domain name, site hosting, payment gateway, order fulfilment and marketing campaign management can all be handled within the Shopify portal – all you need to do is simply sign up and get started.
Shopify unlike other similar services has a high degree of “polish” making any site from their platform appear highly professional with a ‘relatively’ small amount of work.
To see an example of a Shopify Store we will create for you – click here
The majority of Shopify websites are highly optimised to provide a great user experience, from clean interfaces, great menu architecture and native search functions as standard. Ensuring a great user experience is a key component of ensuring a strong conversion rate on your site.
Outside of the interface, all Shopify sites are optimised for good load speed which is central to a good user experience and a key ranking factor for SEO. While you will likely need some SEO support as your site grows the basic set up from Shopify ensures you aren’t needlessly fighting an uphill battle.
Shopify will also give you access to multiple payment processors that integrate seamlessly into the site, whether that would be PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay or Shopify’s native Credit & Debit card payment processor Stripe.
How BytesizeMe Can Get Your Shopify Store Off To A Flying Start
At BytesizeMe we focus primarily on helping smaller businesses get started, operating under the umbrella of the 20 year old digital marketing agency Intertec Data Solutions our teams have access to experts in many different fields to ensure we grow your business as quickly and as effectively as possible.
We offer an all-in-one Shopify set-up service where we will create your store, list your products, optimise all pages and listings for conversion and SEO and then if required can handle all of your digital marketing requirements – from PPC, SEO, Social Media Marketing or Email Marketing. It is a common choice for our clients to offload all of their digital marketing to our teams so that we can generate sales while you focus on running your business.
Some helpful further eCommerce reading
- eCommerce Web Design Hampshire
- The Most Common eCommerce Platforms
- How To Start A Small eCommerce Business In The UK
- What Is Better Than Shopify For Starting A New eCommerce Business?
- The Most Common eCommerce Platforms
- The Best Marketing Strategy For New eCommerce Retailers
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