Starting an ecommerce website? Here’s where to start

We field a lot of questions from people looking to start their first ecommerce website, and we've noticed that there are a handful of questions that are never asked - but should be. So we compiled a list or both the questions and some things to consider when answering them. Hopefully, you find them as helpful as we do!

As with setting up any business, the starting points are all about your products and their customers. Early on, it's vital to realize one thing: the focus should never be on you, your products, and what you know and believe about them. Instead, the customer must be front and center in your thoughts and actions. Think like a doctor, where it’s diagnosis first and then cure after!

Evaluate how your potential customers will use your products, understand the key elements they will be looking for, appreciate what problems they might want to solve or key benefits they wish to gain. You can then later match your products to this ‘wanted’ poster they have in their mind!

The second part of customer evaluation is to appreciate how they will then search for these products. The previous point can help you build a frame of reference of the words or terms they are likely to use, including product points, benefits sought, worries solved, and, if appropriate, location.

Now, undertake a careful comparison of your company and products versus your competitors. Understand the key reasons why people should and will choose you over them. This might include areas apart from the actual product and cost, such as shipping, speed of delivery, as well as internal qualities including size, style, and variations. Incidentally, as everyone loves ‘free’, it can be worthwhile to build the delivery costs into a price and then offer ‘free shipping’!

From all of the above, you can then craft a personal story of your business and its products. You differentiate your business from others, provide a searchers’ narrative to buy into. Then, this can be reflected in the ecommerce web design that is created for you, one with a match of impact and detail, one that works well across all devices. It pays to take time early to think of the art you’ll use, and how to source this, from taking images yourself, buying stock photos, or hiring a professional photographer.

A final point – any physical store wants to attract regular custom, and finds ways to do so, be it through special offer advisories, next purchase discounts, loyalty packages, certainly by building a communicable database. Online, should be no different, moving searchers through a process that sees them become ‘regulars’ at your ecommerce site.

Striking Alchemy