There are lots of items that you need to get together when you decide to start a new e-commerce website. These can be things such as creating content for your products, marketing campaigns, coupons, and all the legal stuff, just to name a few. Here is an extensive list that covers everything you need for a new e-commerce site. Your site might not need all of these, so pick and chose the ones that apply to you 😉 Let us start with your Home Page.
1. What your visitors see first
When visitors drop into your site, based on the first impression, they either chose to stay or leave. We’re talking about the look and feel of the website, as well as navigating the website. Here’s what we need for your Home Page:
- A well-designed logo
- We will include promotional graphics and links on the home page. Think of your promotions and graphics that can be used for them. We suggest using images without any text on them, as the text is more useful placed on images rather than being part of the image itself
- Your most popular products
- Calls to action (get a few ready)
- Specials or free shipping options
- Latest News
- Brands sold and their logos
- Store addresses (if multiple stores. If many stores, you can set up a store finder)
- Languages. Please make sure your content is in the languages you are serving your customers in
2. General content
E-commerce websites have some standard pages, links, and content that would be displayed across the website. Parts of it is handled by your designer, such as a shopping cart in the header, a login box etc… Here is a list of what the website owner should work on:
- Logos of certifications
- Email signup form (please make sure you provide your web designer your email address, preferably on your domain name rather than a Gmail for example)
- Career page
- Terms and conditions
- Return & exchange policy
- Shipping policy
- Any other legal information you must provide
- Contact information
- FAQ (Frequently asked questions)
- Links to your social pages
- Links to supplier pages
- Payment methods accepted (your web designer will place these in the footer for example. Some of these are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal and/or Stripe)
- Support page (how to clients request support? Through a form sent to you by email? What kind of questions do you need them to answer?)
- About Us (Mission, philosophy, history)
3. Product pages
When people search for a certain product on their favorite search engine, chances are they will land on one of your product pages. You need all the information on that page to be clear and provide the visitor with everything he needs to make the purchase. Here is what you need for your product pages when setting up a new e-commerce website:
- Product title (should be optimized for the term used when looking for that product)
- Product content (images, description, price, attributes such as color, size etc…) These will also be used to create filters to make finding the right product as easy as possible.
- Include calls to action in your descriptions
- Product specs, brochure, videos
- Dynamic pricing rules (for example a price reduction when purchasing the item in bulk)
- Availability of the product (inventory if any)
- Shipping costs (or box sizes, as well as weights, if using a shipping calculator from your favorite shipping provider)
- Materials used in the product
- Size guide
- Prices in different currencies if international
- Live chat greetings
- Manufacturer product codes
- Unique features (why your product is better than your competitors’)
- Keywords. Make sure these are used throughout your product page
- Products to upsell (products you would like to suggest they look at when looking at a specific product. These can be things that are bought together frequently for example or another product that matches the one they’re looking at)
4. Shopping Cart and Checkout
This is basically the last few steps before your client makes his purchase! Let’s make sure nothing is missing on these pages to increase your conversion rates!
- Payment methods (accept them all)
- Shipping costs and options. Do you offer free local shipping? Local pick-up? Free shipping when the client spends a certain amount?
- Cross-cell items. On the checkout page, you can suggest a few items that they can add to cart before making the payment. Look at this like the candy shelves right next to cashiers everywhere you go.
- If your products are high priced items, offer them, if possible, financing options
The customer experience does not end here, but your required content does. Customers should be pampered after their purchase, with other offers based on what they bought, review request follow-ups and much more.
5. Blogs and other stuff
This content sets you apart from your competition and shows search engines that you are more than just an e-commerce website. The following are items to include on your site, which helps in strengthening your brand and your reputation.
- Product reviews and customer testimonials
- Company news and events
- Tutorials and guides
- External resources from suppliers or any other corporate connection
- Articles about the industry
- A page for competitions and drawings
- Promotions page
- Video testimonials
- Case studies
Well, that’s about it for this new e-commerce website checklist. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to drop them in the comments section below.