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eCommerce is an excellent way for retailers to improve their bottom line and promote their brand. The 6 must-follow steps below will help guide you to business success. Below are some questions you need to ask yourself to make sure you’re ready to start building your online store.

It’s 2016, and you’re not going anywhere without an online store. After all, it is the fastest way to cater to more customers beyond the local sphere—you can massively expand your business. Here’s an eCommerce website checklist to see if you have everything covered:

eCommerce Website Checklist

  1. Do you know what you’re selling and how you’re going to sell it? Whether you are open to domestic or international shipping, it must be clear to you that there already are channels that you will use to deliver your products or services to customers, and that these channels cover shipping for all the areas to which you want to open your business. Do you know what you’re selling? Especially in our modern era dominated by huge online stores like Amazon, it’s critically important that you find your niche; small and medium businesses survive because they make smart product decisions. That means finding the right product, choosing the right vendor, and solving challenges with shipping.
  2. Do you know your product will sell? Making a store isn’t usually your first port of call: it can be smart to experiment on vendors like eBay to see whether or not there’s a market for your product. You don’t want to stay with them forever (they take a big cut of your revenue) but it’s a cheap and low-risk way to test product viability. If it’s not selling on eBay, it’s probably not going to sell on a totally new store.
  3. Are you ready for your own website? Once you’ve ascertained that there’s a market for your product as outlined it step 2, you want to go about creating your own website. There are simple WYSIWYG builders like Shopify that are popular for a reason—they allow you to build a storefront with little to no code knowledge. They’re a great place to start out, though once you’re settled in you might want to talk to a professional about getting some custom work done (see point 5).
  4. Are you ready to invest in good photographs, short video clips, and great copy for your site? With clients preferring visual content, your product photos must be high resolution and cover a variety of angles. Clients love details, and your copy should cover essential information about your products. For those who want to see the products in action, video demos are a must. Visual content is a huge asset to branding, and video testimonials are a hugely powerful tool—it’s easy to fake positive reviews in text, but much harder to fake video.
  5. Do you have a way to get in touch with developers? This is essential, so make sure that whoever helped you build your website will provide after-sales services whenever you need it. There’s nothing worse than having your site go down during a high-traffic period, and being unable to fix it until after everybody has gone. Developers will also be able to get under the hood and do some serious custom work for you, both streamlining your backend and making you a unique and attractive frontend.
  6. Do you have a well-defined online marketing strategy ready for implementation? It takes more than just great product and a sturdy website to become an online business success; a big part of it is due to a stellar online marketing campaign. This should cut across a variety of social media channels, email content, blog posts, and more. Your budget should include pay-per-click ads, social media marketing, and SEO.

If you are determined to make your business successful on the web, this our checklist should be your starting point! While you’re here, check out our guide to eCommerce product videos, and consider getting in touch with our experienced web developers. We specialise in eCommerce development, and we can help you take a simple website and make it something truly incredible.