Setting up an ecommerce store is a daunting prospect. There are so many things that need your attention and there is little guarantee of success. However, this uncertainty is no reason why you should not launch an ecommerce store. Here is a checklist to make things easier for you.
Should you start an online store? Do you have enough time set aside? Do you have the funds? Is this a hobby or a business? Watch interviews with eCommerce entrepreneurs, participate in eCommerce communities and get a feel for the problems and successes that people have. Learn about eCommerce!
Are you expecting a full-time income or do you just want to make a few thousand dollars on the side? The decisions you make in regard to marketplaces, cart software, staffing and marketing will vary depending on your monetary expectation, so set down some basic profit and loss projections. This will help you make decisions.
You can test product demand at your local flea markets, with postcards, an online survey, a quick online advertising campaign and online polls. The feedback from some basic market testing will help you understand the problems that customers have, and how/whether they want those problems solved.
Research your keyword data trends and uncover the best keywords for your niche. Knowing your best Keywords will help you target your ideal customers, keep your customers acquisition cost lower and can be used in blogging.
Write a useful customer marketing profile so you know exactly who you’re selling to. Find out who your ideal customer is, where they hang out online, what they’re interested in and how you might be able to attract their attention.
Decide which eCommerce cart is best for your business and budget. Get a feel for the initial and ongoing costs for the cart, and also how much web developers will charge for maintaining your software.
Set up a Shopify store in a matter of minutes, ideal if you’re making your own product and the look-and-feel is ultra important.
Install Woocommerce for WordPress in a weekend, ideal if you are technically-able and a large fan-base is important. If you’re not in the mood to set up your own cart then search for an eCommerce Professional who can guide you along the way.
Make your own service level agreement so you can save time and money later on. Consider such things as how quickly your store can be fixed if it breaks, who is responsible for creating back ups, who bears the costs for bugs and how to identify responsibility, expected ongoing costs and how to part ways amicably if it comes to that.
Choose a store name that resonates well with customers. This will be your first impression on customers. Is it easy to understand over the phone? Is it easy to spell? Is any part of it associated with a highly competitive or branded keyword? Does it need a product or category keyword included in the domain?
Register your domain name with a reliable registrar. Do not use your eCommerce cart’s service; it’s better to keep your domain name separate so that both email and store aren’t at risk at the same time.
Set up eCommerce-appropriate email accounts for the varying departments and access you’ll need in the future. Configure your email signatures to put your best foot forward and give email access to team members who need them.
Quickly configure your cart for currency, SSL, shipping & tax rules. This will enable you to immediately start selling online.
Buy and set up an SSL certificate appropriate to your risk profile. You can either buy through your cart seller or create your own SSL certificate. This is essential if are completing transactions within your cart.
You’ll more than just your phone number and email address. Don’t forget to add in your business hours, a link to frequently asked questions, a link to your Returns and Refunds policy and a little bit of information about your store.
Install eCommerce dashboards into Analytics so you can easily check your progress. Get these emailed automatically to yourself once a month. It’s like getting a regular health check, but for your store.
Monitor your online store regularly and arrange regular training session with your team to grow and grasp more opportunities.