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09/02/2024

Must have Checklist for Launching an Online Store

You’re ready to share your product with the world. Now what? Use this checklist to guide you through launching your online store.
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Do your market research

Are people searching for your product or service? Who’s your target audience? Who’s your competition? How can you stand out from them?

Say you want to sell gift boxes for people who love to barbecue. You might think you are on to a winning idea, but there will be competition. Your first step is to type variations of ‘gift boxes for people who love to barbecue’ into Google. See what products are shown, and identify on first glance why they are shown. Is it price? A great image? Big product range? Is the website easy to navigate and purchase from? Is shipping free? Keep asking yourself question after question. When you get to the end and you still think you have something better to offer, then go to the next step.

Set up your domain name and hosting

Choose your domain name, then check the availability through a site such as GoDaddy. When choosing your hosting provider, you’ll want to ensure that they provide you with a plan suitable for an e-commerce website. Hosting Harbour simplifies the process for you and scales with your business.
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Design your website and ecommerce platform

When designing your e-commerce site, simple is often best. Make it easy for the user to navigate and find the information they are searching for.

Must have e-commerce website pages:

  • Homepage – Let your customer know who you are and what your brand is about. Build their trust. Words and images work hand in hand. If you’re selling barbecue gift boxes, show photos of people using your products and enjoying themselves.
  • Products page – Showcase your products in an eye-catching way and provide item specifications for the consumer. Do you have a variety of gift boxes you’re selling? Provide a description of what’s included in the box along with individual product descriptions.
  • Cart page – Make this easily accessible. For example, have the icon in the top right corner of all products pages. Display a thumbnail and description of each item in the cart along with the current total of the products in the cart.
  • Check out page – Allow for different payment options through a secure network. For example, what credit cards will you accept? Will you utilise PayPal or AfterPay? Clearly display billing and shipping information.
  • Contact us – Make it easy for your customers to get in touch with you whether it’s with questions, concerns, or feedback. But, most importantly, respond to your customers in a timely manner.

Launch your online store

Before your site goes live, make sure you’ve utilised the best SEO practices and tested that all pages are functioning as you planned. Lab007 takes the guesswork out of this for you by designing sites that are not only eye-catching and user friendly but are also fully optimised to help your customers find you and your products.

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Develop an ongoing marketing and SEO strategy

SEO is not a one and done project. It’s an ongoing task, just like your marketing. Some ongoing marketing and SEO strategies that you’ll want to consider include:

  • Pitch your brand and products to online publications to gain visibility and backlinks. When more sites link to your website pages, Google views you as a trusted authority. Try reaching out to your suppliers, websites that highlight local businesses, business directories, etc.
  • Social media marketing across various platforms. Where are your customers hanging out? Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, Instagram? What type of content are they engaging with? This is where your visual content will shine for you.
  • Set up email marketing campaigns. Email your customers regularly for increased engagement using a mix of promotions and helpful information. For example, if you’re selling barbecue gift boxes, not only promote your products, but provide useful tips on how to use them or recipes for your customers to try.
  • Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. What markets are they focused on? What is their branding message? How can you stand apart from them within similar markets? Is there a market they haven’t tapped into?

FAQs when setting up an ecommerce site:

What e-commerce platform should I use?
Select a platform that suits your business and meets your technical needs. You’ll want to take into account not only pricing but also ease of use. For example, how easy is it to update or add products? If you’re like most of us, you’ll want a platform that simplifies your life rather than complicating it. A platform such as Shopify makes life easier for those of us who need a little extra help with the technology side of things.

Is my website user friendly and mobile friendly?
Make sure navigation is simple and intuitive for the user. Over 50% of most websites’ traffic comes from mobile. Implement a design that functions as well on mobile as it does on desktop. Choosing a theme that’s optimised for mobile users is more important than ever. Lab007 recognises this and prides itself on building industry-leading websites.

How will I manage and track inventory?
Set up a management system to track stock levels, restock, and avoid overselling. If you’re using a platform such as Shopify, you can utilise their built-in inventory management system. Other options for small businesses include Oracle NetSuite or Zoho Inventory, both of which allow you to track inventory across multiple channels.

How can I optimise my site to be found by search engines?
Use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) best practices such as: keyword research, competitor analysis, a sitemap, great content, quality links, and a site that is fast and easy to use. Your content should resonate with your audience, and you should always respond to reviews. Along with your Google Business Profile, set up Google Analytics and Search Console to monitor the health of your website and provide ranking insights. There is a lot that goes into SEO. However, when you pair with Lab007 you unlock your competitive advantage.

Lab007 will answer all your online store questions while they build an eye-catching, fully optimised website that provides a solid return on your investment. Schedule a free consultation today!

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