Erecting a new eCommerce business can be quite complex: More than a store, it’s a mix of technology, design, well-planned user experience, pricing, marketing, planned user retention, to name but a few elements.
eCommerce business basics
Before you get offers from service providers, website builders or anything else, start with your vision for the business:
- What should it achieve?
- How many customers do you expect to serve? what are their characteristics (demographics, behavior, etc.)? Will you be selling to clients from different countries?
- What is your product offering, and how many different products will you be selling?
Next, plan your budget. Consider the following items:
The website development costs (up until the launch) should take no more than 10-15% of the overall budget. Site complexity will play an important part in the cost. Multi-language, multi currencies, several domains, special features, design, as well as complex product options will affect the overall site cost.
Remember that an eCommerce site is ever changing, so be sure to set a monthly budget for ongoing maintenance and improvement.
Staff and general
The minimum staff you should hold would be one person (the merchandiser, or “merch”) to handle site administration (routinely loading and updating product offering and inventory, sales, coupons, banners etc.). We strongly recommend another function to manage the studio, take pictures of the products etc.
Graphics and marketing can be handled by external resources (marketing agencies, freelancers etc.).
This would and should be the heaviest burden on the budget. Don’t count on your site going viral. Set aside a big chunk of the budget to build your brand online and focus on that.
Website platform and design
The platform and design should be a direct derivative of the above. Choosing the right platform will always be a clash between your vision and the budget constraint.
Choose carefully: Your platform of choice will accompany you for a while, and some may have constraints that you didn’t take into account. If the development isn’t done in-house, be sure that you get several offers. Some development studios have a tendency to specialize in one eCommerce platform, and they’ll offer you that, even if it isn’t the best solution for your needs.
There is an innate tension between the amount of work needed in social networks upkeep and the manpower in a small time e-Commerce business.
Choose your channels
If you have a define core audience – pick their favorite social channels first, and focus on the top 1-2 to gain traction.
If possible, use marketing automation tools to help with publishing posts etc.
Use quality photos, but try not to look too sleek.
Your paid channels should also be planned according got the presence of your audience there.
Bugs, loading time and overall user experience
User experience is more than just how the pages are designed. In fact, it has a lot more to do with page speed, bugs than the actual look and feel.
As initially mentioned, an eCommerce business is a mix. You can’t “win” at one and lose at another item on this checklist. You will make compromises, just be sure to make the best ones.
If you’re still not sure, contact us, we’re here to help