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Everyone is eager to jump on the ecommerce bandwagon, as this avenue of retailing goods is definitely the way of the future. It is only when you begin to set up an ecommerce website, that you realize that there are a whole lot of details to be tied together in order to achieve this goal. Starting from the dynamics of the team that is working on the project, to the planning, and the functionality and features to be achieved, here are the major components to be considered:
Server and hardware configuration: This really should be one of the first steps when you start setting up your ecommerce website, as this would serve as the foundation for the performance of your site once it is up and running. Discuss with experts regarding the kind of traffic you want to be prepared for, and the best degree of responsiveness that you can expect, and finalize your hardware setup accordingly. You could also opt for a scalable configuration, where it might be possible to add on what you might need as the traffic and business become bigger.
Team coordination: An ecommerce site project would usually not be a very long lasting one, as it is important to align to a market window and work towards it. This means that the few months that it lasts are usually filled with intense work, and a lot of discussions and follow-ups. This makes it important that everyone in the team is on the same page, with one or two key team members coordinating towards the deadlines. Sharing checklists on common domains like Google docs could be very useful for assignments like these.
SEO and searchability: The website design and the digital marketing teams need to work in tandem to ensure that the required SEO of the site is taken care of. This would mean that any required mapping as well as the keywords on the site would make it easily visible to relevant searches. As the search algorithms of popular search engines might change now and then, this also needs to be an ongoing exercise and not just to be done at the time of initial launch. As Dave Lloyd mentions in this Adobe.com article, other than offsite searches, it is also important to check that your onsite searches provide useful results to the user.
Content and links: The first impression a potential customer receives is of your website homepage, or of a relevant landing page from a search criterion. Your team must pay a lot of attention to these pages to ensure that they capture the attention of the viewer, and also help direct them to other pages on your site to keep them there for a longer time. Proofreading to avoid spelling and grammatical errors, and a good quality assessment team that ensures the functionality of all the aspects of the pages including links, are other points that must be on your checklist. This article provides some good pointers for important aspects of your website content.
Analytics: For consistently improving on performance, it is essential that you are capturing all the required analytics data for your site. This hubspot blog provides a useful checklist to help with your analytics setup and tracking. It is also to be noted that your digital marketing team needs to be constantly on top of the recorded data, to be able to suggest measures for improvement.
Social media: The social aspect can no longer be detached from any ecommerce website and along with website content, you must create and keep an eye on social media pages for your brand as well. Facebook and Twitter have become common zones for the present day customer, and these can aid in all stages including reaching your target customer as well as in maintaining that relationship once established. Do be prepared for a mechanism to quickly and ably deal with negative feedback, as this is an unavoidable part of having a social media presence.
Security: Ecommerce means that you would be dealing with the sensitive data of your entire customer base including private information and bank and credit card information. It is important to plan for a secure database and the relevant encryption for all your transactions. The required security certificates for your website could serve as a good starting point to assure the customer or viewer that you have taken the measures to address this.
If you are on the path to setting up a new ecommerce website for your brand or organization, these steps should serve as a good place to start. We hope that you found this post useful, and do share your thoughts and questions with us in the comments below.