Ecommerce Websites

Ecommerce Websites Checklist

Selling your products via an ecommerce website has a tonne of benefits. You can improve your profit margin with low overheads. Your brand will be “out there” even more. You can can “soft-test” demand for new products before filling up your warehouse.

Ecommerce websites aren't expensive to startup but it has to be done right. We made most of our mistakes 10 years ago when starting out in ecommerce. Our early blunders were great learning tools for subsequent online success. Our real world ecommerce experience will stop you from making the boo boo's we did early on. After 10 years of running a number of successful ecommerce websites, we've learned a thing or two.

Viability Checklist

Test demand

This is an easy one. Jump into the google adwords “keyword planing tool” and start searching. You'll quickly see the monthly searches made for your product. This tools even gives you competition density numbers. Pretty darn cool. If lots of people want it, and competition isn't overly dense, your in good shape.

supply chain

How will you get the products? How long from order placement to stock arrival. Is there consistency of supply? Does the supplier drop ship? These are the big 4 questions to your suppliers. There's nothing more frustrating than getting off to a flyer and running out of stock.

target market

This fairly traditional marketing know how. Intuitively you'll know who the product is for. Mini-skirts and bargain bling bling will be younger girls. Motorcycle parts will be all men 16-80 years old.

Competitor analysis works wonders here. Check out the wording of established players in the market. They'll already have a wealth of demographic data and be targeting the right groups. Make sure your short, sharp, engaging message hits the target.

Terms and conditions
for Ecommerce Websites

I know I say “this is key a lot”, but is it. T&C's are the agreement you enter with the customer upon purchase. This needs to be water tight and not open to interpretation. Unless an event is covered in the T&C's any legal (or paypal) dispute will go in the favour of the customer.

Apart from the legal aspect, it's just good business. Clearly defined rights and obligations make both buyer and seller feel comfortable. Make sure the basics are covered like:
I) what happens if the parcel is lost or damaged;
ii) For returns, who pays for shipping?

It's actually a great place to show your commitment to customer happiness. Things like 30 day money back guarantees and satisfaction guarantees lead to to higher conversion rates.

The building blocks
for Ecommerce Websites

Ok, there's a few elements here so lets break it down.

Domain name

Man this can be a pain. So many times I've had the killer domain name idea only to find the domain has been taken. It's even more irksome when the domain isn't being used.
Any who, this is all part of the fun of picking a domain name. In the early internet days the words in your domain name held a lot of weight for google ranking. While it's still important, it's not the be all and end all these days. So don't stress if the perfect domain name isn't available.

Make sure it ticks these 4 boxes:

  • Short
  • Memorable
  • Easy to spell
  • Relevant

Domain names are not just for search engines, they’re for people too. Reading a url gives searches a good idea of what your about.

Ecommerce Website hosting

Another important one. I liken this to a house's foundations. If you build a mansion on the sand, it'll crumble into the sea one day. Then all your hard work would be wasted. Make sure you build your site on solid foundation. A tried and tested host you can depend on is vital for online success.

Speed. Make sure they use the latest technologies. Google weight's speed higher now than ever before. A fast server often means better search rankings. We only use Solid state drives now for extra speed (and reliability). This has a double benefit. Google loves it and people love it. If pages load slow, people click away and go to the next online store.

Support. You need “true” 24/7 support. Ecommerce websites are doing business around the clock. You never want the “closed for repairs” sign up. Technology is not perfect, stuff happens. Fast Response times are what turns an average web hosting company into a great one.

Design

It's all about sales. This is the ecommerce website design mantra. Every design element site should work together.

Flow. Good looks are important but nothing beats good website flow. The ability of a site to smoothly lead visitors to conversion is “flow”. Good flow makes a huge difference to sales conversion rates. Sites that are logical and easy to navigate are essential to make a sale.

Show off a little bit. Highlight the advantages of your store on every page. For example free returns policy, 60 day money back guarantee or free express post shipping. Assume, visitors don't know anything about you and get the message to them.

Ecommerce Website platform

There's a million of them. All spruiking they're benefits. How do you know which one to use?

Ultimately there is no “best ecommerce platforms”, they're is only the best one for your business. That being said some are more stable, user friendly and well supported than others.

Over the years we've tried out most of them and settled on a couple of platforms that tick the main boxes:

I) is it stable?
ii) will it grow with my businesses?
iii) do I have control? (hosted solutions are a BAD IDEA for this reason)
iv) is it well supported in the tech community?
v) is it easy to use?

Content

If you have a lot of products, writing compelling product descriptions can take a while. Take your time and do it properly. Don't copy and paste from a supplier website. Google will match your page up with the original and ignore yours. Why would a person searching need to see the same info twice?

Content that converts. Your content needs to be SEO friendly, original and compelling.

We help you with the SEO stuff. All our sites include basic keyword research for free. We want you to succeed online

 

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