Setting Up E-Commerce: What Do I Need?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Every business should have a functioning website. But what if you also want to sell your products online? An online store is a great way to reach a broader customer base, and make your business more successful. To get your ecommerce site up and running, what do you need?

1. A clear vision.

What is your brand all about? What exactly do you want to sell, and to whom? This may seem obvious, but if you don't a clear vision of your target audience and what they want, there's really no point in making a website. First things first, determine who your customers are and how you want them to perceive your brand.

2. Products

Again, this seems pretty obvious. But you will need to make sure you have good quality, well-staged images of your products, as well as thorough descriptions, and size/color information. Know how you want your products categorized and organized. This is important because you want your items logically organized so that your potential customers can easily find what they are looking for.

3. Payment Processing

Once you have your products established you want customers to purchase them. So what options will customers have for paying you? There are many services to consider such as PayPal, Stripe, credit cards, checks, the list goes on. Services like Authorize.net allow you to accept and process credit cards on your website. PayPal as well allows you to process all major credit cards or allow customers to pay with their PayPal account. There are many options to consider.

4. Order/Shipping/Returns information

How do you want your site's shopping cart to be set up? How will you handle shipping? UPS, USPS, local pick up? There are many options to consider. What is your return policy? These questions are extremely important to know in advance.

5. An ecommerce platform.

A website where customers will be buying products and entering personal financial information requires heavy duty security. But it can be hard to ensure that your website will be secure. Setting up a site with an ecommerce platform can take the stress out of this. Sites like BigCommerce offer attractive templates, and rock solid security.