January 17, 2019 - Comments Off on An Ecommerce Checklist

An Ecommerce Checklist

Thinking of starting an ecommerce website/business? Here's a few questions to get you thinking (in no particular order).

  1. Why do you want an ecommerce website?
  2. What has led you to this decision?
  3. What are your expectations of having an online store?
  4. What is your USP?
  5. Are you competing on price?
  6. Who are your competitors?
  7. Who are your current customers? (age, demographic, socioeconomic)
  8. What is you average basket spend?
  9. Where do they live?
  10. How/who will you drive traffic to it?
  11. What is your turnover/profit now?
  12. What do you expect the turnover/profit of the online store to be in year 2? (probably rule out year 1 making any profit)
  13. Where will you be advertising?
  14. Do you have a social media strategy (beyond writing stuff to drive traffic)?
  15. Do you have a (permission based) customer database that you can email market to?
  16. Do you have an EPOS system, if so what data do you have, what can you export in what format?
  17. What accounting package do you use?
  18. Would you expect to be able to download sales data to integrate with your accounting package?
  19. How many SKUs do you hold?
  20. How many SKUs per product on average?
  21. Will you offer your whole product range/a subset or a restricted range?
  22. Do you want to have a search form on the website?
  23. Who will be responsible when a product is sold out for updating the site to unpublish the product (potentially out of normal working hours)?
  24. Do you have an established product/SKU coding scheme?
  25. Do you have a set of store policies/procedures that you can carry over to the website, e.g. reporting structure, daily sales etc?
  26. Do you offer warranties and guarantees?
  27. Do you want to offer promotion codes? with what sort of discounts?
  28. Do you want to show featured products on the home page?
  29. What countries will you be selling to?
  30. How will you fulfil orders?
  31. Who will fulfil orders?
  32. What carrier will you use?
  33. How will the products be packaged?
  34. Are you insured for losses in transit?
  35. What promises will you make, e.g. 24 hour delivery, free returns etc.?
  36. Will you use a different telephone number to your current one, e.g. an 0800 freephone number?
  37. Will your shipping be based on weight, cost or size?
  38. Is the delivery charge built into your cost or is it added at checkout? Will you offer free delivery above a certain amount?
  39. Who will be responsible for running and maintaining the online store on a daily basis (including after hours and weekends)?
  40. Who will write your content?
  41. Who will provide product photography? or do you have a decent enough camera and are proficient enough to take quality product photography?
  42. Do you have any software that you can use to crop and resize images before you upload them?
  43. Do you use a PC or a Mac?
  44. Who will provide product categories, descriptions and prices?
  45. Who do you expect to upload your initial content including products?
  46. How will product photography be provided?
  47. When you have a new product that needs photographing, who will do it and what is their turnaround?
  48. What other websites do you like and why?
  49. If you have a current identity do you want to keep it and if so do you have artwork and guidelines for its use?
  50. How do you expect customers to pay?
  51. Do you want to use PayPal or do you want to go directly to your bank account via a merchant account?
  52. Do you have a business PayPal account or alternatively an ecommerce merchant account with your bank?
  53. Do you understand the advantage/disadvantage of using PayPal versus a payment gateway that connects to your ecommerce merchant account?
  54. Who do you bank with? (this is important if you're going to use a payment gateway as not all shopping cart software is compatible with all banks 'out of the box')
  55. How will you deal with PCI compliance?
  56. Have you discussed this site with your bank?
  57. Do you want customers to have to register on your site?
  58. What will you do to keep your customers data safe?
  59. How many pages other than product pages will you need (e.g. about us, location etc)?
  60. How many products do you want to put on your site to start with?
  61. What are the categories for your products?
  62. Do you have a sitemap or navigation plan drawn up?
  63. Do you want your products to appear in Google Merchant Center?
  64. Do you want to send your products to price comparison websites?
  65. Do you intend your site to carry advertising of any sort?
  66. Do you have a domain?
  67. Where is your domain hosted?
  68. Do you want to continue with your current hosting set up?
  69. Have you bought an SSL certificate (necessary for secure transactions)?
  70. Do you have other online presences that need integrating into the site e.g. twitter, Instagram, facebook etc.
  71. Will you want a blog/news/updates page?
  72. How will you launch the site? quietly to one person at a time, with a party, or somewhere in between?
  73. What media routes do you use that will be useful to publicise your new website?
  74. And of course ...
    What's your budget?
  75. Why did you decide on that figure?
  76. How much have you budgeted for ongoing updates/marketing/maintenance etc.?
  77. Who will maintain and administer your website (inhouse, external, level of expertise etc)?


Published by: Nick in Blog, Ecommerce

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