Setting Up And Marketing An eCommerce Store
We have involved with eCommerce from the very beginning (since 1998!). There is a lot to consider when setting up an eCommerce website. We are small business and eCommerce experts and can help you get the best possible results for your eCommerce Store.
Here are aspects of setting up your eCommerce Site that we can guide you through:
- Business Basics
- Internet Logistics
- Website Positioning
- Website Hosted or Third Party Hosted
- Shopping Cart
- Website Design
- Product Graphics and Description
- SKUs (Product ID Numbers) & Products & Categories
- Payment Processing
- Fulfillment & Shipping
- Third Party Selling
- Store Marketing
- Store Measurement
- Store Maintenance & Inventory Control
Business Basics, Internet Logistics, and Website Positioning
We are assuming most of you on this page have already looked at these issues. Of course if you have not and are looking for support, we will be happy to help.
eCommerce Store business setup components:
- Business and marketing plan
- Type of business structure
- Selling in Canada and/or USA
- Where you get your product
- Integration with a Physical Store
- Financial reporting
- Local and/or toll-free telephone number
- Sales tax
Here are few Internet Logistics to undertake if you have not already:
- Domain name(s)
- Company domain email
- Use of subdomains
In setting up your eCommerce website this is probably the most essential element. The “niche” of your site and your products will greatly determine your ability to be found via Internet Search.
Web Hosted or Third Party Hosted & Shopping Cart & Payment Processing
Website Hosted or Third Party Hosted
Operationally this is a very big decision that will affect you setup and future operations of your eCommerce Website significantly.
Hosted Via a Third Party Website – The biggest advantage here is the ease of use. A Third Party eCommerce host will often take care of domain . design, some of your SEO and payment processing. The big problem with a Third Party eCommerce host is the inability to customize and scalability. Your site might have a “cookie cutter” look and limited options. For example, you might want to sell wholesale, integrate with another Third Party store, or use a particular payment processor, etc – some Third Party sites will not have options. Some popular Third Party hosts are – Volusion, Yahoo Merchant, Shopify, BigCommerce, and SquareSpace
Hosted Via Your Website Host – The biggest advantage is that your can almost do “anything” you want with your eCommerce store. In addition, with the right hosting platform, you can scale up in size with little difficulty. The big problem with a Website Hosted eCommerce Store is it cane be more difficult to setup and maintain. One of the more common platforms is a WordPress site using a WooCommerce add-on.
This issue only comes into play if you are self hosting via your own website. WooCommerce has its own cart. In other cases you can use “independent” carts likes Shopify (also hosts).
Depending on the eCommerce Platform you decide upon, there are a lot of ways to obtain Payment from your customers. We can help you to explore the options.
Website Design, Product Graphics and Description
If you are using a Third Party eCommerce host, you will have little control in the look and feel of your website. If you are using a Self-Website Hosted eCommerce platform you will have a lot more control. It is important to not get too caught up in design beyond having the look and feel necessary to portray your brand and to ensure your customers feel secure ordering from you.
Product Graphics / Images
Many suppliers will provide images. Otherwise you will have to take them yourself or hire a professional. We can advise you on Product Image photography.
Product Description Copy is really hard to do. It is a very important aspects of having your products being found via search. We would recommend if you write the copy; ensure that you have an SEO expert take a look at it and tweak it before posting.
SKUs & Products & Categories
SKUs (Product Number IDs)
SKUs is another name for the ID number that you allocate to your products. SKUs are most important in how they interact with systems outside of your site. Systems such as accounting software, adwords, database programs, and third party selling sites. We can help you structure your SKUs effectively.
Products & Categories
For Products, retail price and cost, size, fragility, shelf life, searchablily, and competitiveness are important aspects. For Categories, factors to review are how the Category defines your products, how they affect search and the need to have a healthy number of products in a product Category. We can guide you through your Product and Category elements.
Fulfillment & Shipping
With high labour and shipping costs it is hard to cost effectively manage your own fulfillment. Ideally you will be able to outsource or have products that are higher priced. We can help you look at your Fulfillment options.
Shipping in Canada is very expensive. If you don’t have a good discount plan, you would want to use a Third Party company that has discounted rates for the major Canadian couriers.
Third Party Stores
Selling on Third Party stores is a difficult decision. The gains in revenue are sometimes overshadowed by invited competition, high fees and operational complexity. We can assist you in deciding what is best for your eCommerce business. The “big three” are listed below:
- Amazon – Sell Anything and also Have Built in Fulfillment
- eBay – Sell Mostly Deep Discounted Products
- Etsy – Sell “Craft” Products
Store Marketing & Maintenance & Inventory Control
Online Marketing of your store is the number one consideration from the beginning to the end of your eCommerce store setup. Almost every decision should be centered around how your eCommerce Website’s products will be found via Internet Search. eosFirst can guide you through this process.
You will want to keep your store look “fresh”. In addition, there are many ongoing operational housekeeping issues to keep abreast of. Other than dealing with orders, inventory and bookkeeping. You should allocate at least 1 day per week to the ongoing maintenance of your store or we would be glad to assist.
There will be no more important operational activity then Inventory Control. It gets especially difficult if you also use Third Party sellers. Fortunately there are cost-effect Third Party programs that can greatly aid your efforts. We can assist you in selecting and setting up these systems.
Unlike most business sales, with eCommerce selling, there is no “direct interaction” with the customer. Customer information needs to be gathered via some type of online measure system. The gold standard of online measure is Google Analytics and we can help you set it up.
We Are eCommerce Store Experts
We are experts about “everything to do about” eCommerce. We love learning and doing and always welcome a chat with someone considering setting up an eCommerce store. Why not spend a few minutes and give us a call to talk about your ideas. You can reach us at 1-800-921-2681 or via email at email.
CASE STUDY : The Added Touch
We Were Able to Support Sales Growth From $70,000 to $7.5 Million Dollars in Sales
We were able to transform The Added Touch business into one of Canada’s largest online stores. Over a steady period of time, the online business grew so profitable that it greatly exceeded the regular channel sales. The eosFirst team knows how to build a successful eCommerce business.
Internet Marketing In A Nutshell
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization or Site Optimization)
- SEO Content Marketing Blogging
- SEO Link Building
- SMO (Social Media Optimization – Organic)
- SEM Email Marketing
- SEM Offline Traditional Advertising
All of these marketing mediums in conjunction work together to help brand and promote your online business.
Book a Free “No-Strings At All” Consultation
With our service, you get real expertise from successful business people. The founder of eosFirst owned and operated one of Canada’s largest online business and has over 20 years of developing websites, internet marketing and maintaining business infrastructure.
We Are As Excited About Building and Growing Your eCommerce Business As You Are!
Growing eCommerce businesses like yours is our passion. Being small business owners ourselves, we appreciate how important your need to ensure a profitable outcome from our services. Like you, we are hard-wired to ensure all clients receive the best service value possible.