Everything you ever wanted to know about eCommerce and way more.
Step 1 | Domain Name
* Domain Name Registration – www.yourdomain.com, etc.
Step 2 | Products – Ecommerce Solutions / Smart Web Site Design
- Product Keywords, Title and Descriptions:
- Good product descriptions and titles are vital to be successful at eCommerce. Generally, you will need a Product Name, SKU, Description, Key Words for search, Weight, Height and Length
- Size and Variations:
- For example, the Size group could contain: “small, “medium”, “large” and another group called Color: “large” or “red”, “blue” and “green”.
- Product Categories:
- For example, > Toys > Babies > Bath Toys. Better organization enables people to find what they are looking for faster!!
- Product Images:
- A thumbnail and a large version of each product are a good idea. Sizes are unimportant as long as you remain consistent – catalogs look more uniform that way. Resolution on large images is important, we recommend 72 dpi. Some shopping carts allow up to four images per product for the larger, detailed pages.
- Pricing Information:
- Be sure to include base price, B2B price, volume pricing, static pricing, prices of various options, costs, etc.
Step 3 | Payment Methods – Ecommerce Solutions
- Merchant Account
- This will be necessary for any credit card authorizations online or Brick and Mortar stores.
- Payment Gateway Provider:
- If you want real-time online authorizations, you’re going to need this. Internet Protocol (IP) payment gateway services that enable merchants to authorize, settle and manage credit card or electronic check transactions anytime, anywhere are handy. For example: Paypal, Verisign, Authorize.Net
- Business Bank Account:
- Simply put, it’s a necessity for any business.
Step 4 | Currency – Ecommerce Solutions
Take a minute to ask yourself:
- What currencies do you need to support?
- Does your merchant account / payment gateway provide support your required currencies?
Step 5 | Taxes – Ecommerce Solutions
We know you wouldn’t want to overlook the tax policy for purchases:
- What state / country will operations be based out of? Does the company have more than 1 “node” (an office, warehouse, or distribution center)? If yes, where?
- What is the sales tax rate (or VAT if you are in Europe) in your state or country?
Step 6 | Shipping – Ecommerce Solutions
It’s a good idea to consider shipment possibilities and which would serve your company and customers the best:
- Package tracking via UPS, FedEx or USPS.
- What carriers will you use? USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.
- How will you charge for shipping? By value, by weight, a fixed rate based or a formula?
- Will you allow international shipment? If so, how much will you charge? Will the customer be responsible for paying customs charges (we recommend that they do)?
Step 7 | Technology Requirements – Ecommerce Solutions
When building an eCommerce website, these are some important decisions you will need to make.
- Do you have any technology requirements as far as a programming languages (Cold Fusion, PHP, ASP), operating platforms (Unix vs. Windows), or database platform (MS Access vs. MySQL vs. MS SQL)?
- Do you have/need your own dedicated server, or do you need a hosting provider?
- Do you have adequate space for your product catalog images?
Step 8 | User Experience – Ecommerce Solutions
These are some other questions you’ll need to answer before you launch into your design and development process:
- Will you want your customers to have the ability to register with a username and password so that customers can view previous order history and track orders?
- Will your site require a search engine for finding products, articles, etc?
- Will you have a newsletter for users to subscribe to? Will they be able to manage their own subscriptions? Will it be HTML formatted?
- Will you have sales and specials?
- Will you have auctions?
- Will you offer discounts or promotions?
- Will you have affiliates?
If you contact us, we can give you a free personalized consultation and make some great, inexpensive recommendations based on our years of experience!