Launching An eCommerce Site? Follow these Six Precautions
Today, eCommerce is becoming the backbone of retail. Without eCommerce, retails seems to be sluggish and slowing down. Hence, the present scenario is all about opening new eCommerce websites, so that the impetus for retail is always available to eCommerce enthusiasts on a global scale.
However, before you launch an eCommerce website, you will need to examine the salient points as described below:
1. Test all key items
You will need to test all key items related to eCommerce before you go and launch a website. You also need to understand that while testing the website for launch and also during the beta phase, you will also need to also understand that the launch of the site is not the end of the development phase.
There is always room for further development. You might come across two issues after launch of your website – 1. critical and 2. non critical. For example an incident of a customer not being able to open an account can be classified as a critical incident.
2. Start on a smaller scale
While planning for the expansion of an eCommerce website, you will need to start on a smaller scale. Initially, keep your focus solely on selling online and narrow down your focus to key items. You will need to launch first with a focused yet small catalog, and then check the fulfillment process to ensure that all works well without any hitches.
3. Make sure customers can find you on the Internet
You will need to make sure that your customers can find you on the Internet and keep coming back to you.
So that they can find you initially, you will need to ensure that you have all the SEO basics such as on site content i.e. titles and descriptions, meta information, content for products, homepage, category pages, and other content pages, crawlable and indexable site, and so on. You also will need to consider location based services such as Google Maps and Google+.
4. Ensure customers can come back
Once your website actually begins to drive traffic, you will need to ensure that customers keep coming back. This is applicable even if they don’t purchase anything during the initial visit.
Many a times, customers reach initially only to make inquiries. However, they often make a purchase later. You might want to connect with all your customers, but you might need to hire a customer service manager or a community manager to connect you to you customers through all the possible channels.
5. Streamline your fulfillment cycle
Once that you have your first order, or even your first 50 orders, then you will need to streamline your fulfillment cycle to ensure that the customer receives the product without delays. Things that you will need to check here are stock levels, returns and exchanges, order tracking and status display, delays in procurement and delivery, and so on.
6. Ensure that your decisions are backed by data.
Whenever you make a decision that is going to affect the bottomline, you will need to make decisions that are backed by solid data. In the eCommerce world, is is Google Analytics that is the backbone for such data.
There is no room for knee-jerk reactions. Everything has to be based on rock solid data. Even email marketing has A/B testing so that you get the parameters right. Similarly, other measurable data includes SEM, CRM affiliate marketing, and so on.
These are not the only steps in the eCommerce world in case you need to foray into an online business. You will also need to look at these points every few months, so that your business remains constant and even grows as your website grows and evolves further.