When you start an e-commerce website, you realize that there are tons of items that need to be checked, cross-checked, and tested to ensure your customers have a great user experience . From website design to sleek, fast checkout modules, you have to set all these elements , to create the most efficient online store. Other wise, you may run the risk of customers encountering broken links, unfinished product page content, or staying away from a user-friendly checkout. That's why we've put together an exhaustive ecommerce startup checklist to guide you through the initial stages of running an online store.
Think of this ecommerce checklist as your roadmap to success before making a single sale. It allows you to create the ideal interface, a beautiful website without any issues, all before launching an e-commerce store and building a big show of business.
Check out the ecommerce startup checklist below, and feel free to bookmark this page in your browser for future reference.
Read through the list and mark each item as you complete it to ensure your ecommerce site is ready to sell.
Step 1: Design what your customers see first – the home page
Ecommerce Startup Checklist
When someone visits your website, they can choose to leave or keep looking around. If the home page interface and navigation aren't appealing to ecommerce shoppers, they'll hit the road right away, but with a few additions and tweaks to the first few pages, you can guide those customers through your site.
Here's what you should include and double-check:
Includes a beautifully designed logo.
Make sure the site works on all browsers and devices.
Promotional images and links on the home page.
Links to the most popular products.
Calls to action push people to important sales pages.
Have a clear search field at the top of your website.
Display any specials, promotions or free shipping options.
An area that provides the latest company/industry news.
Links to recent purchases and popular products.
Search areas for popular brands.
Store finder if necessary.
Language options if required for your e-commerce site.
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Step 2 on the Ecommerce Startup Checklist: Prepare All Standard Website Pages
The homepage is the most visited page on your website, but that doesn't mean you've finished designing and adding content to your entire website. Outside of product pages, your customers may want to learn more about your business, find a way to contact customer support, or even read about your shipping policy.
Before linking to these types of pages from the main and footer menus, you must create actual pages and populate them with content!
Contact Us Page - Ecommerce Startup Checklist
Below is a list of standard web pages to consider adding to your online store, along with instructions to guide you on adding specific content:
Homepage: We covered this in the previous step, but it's still worth mentioning here. To recap, the homepage has to show new visitors what your company is all about right away. What makes your brand unique? Are you ready for menu buttons, banners and links for your categories, product pages and collections?
About Page: This page highlights your brand story, the people behind it, and the history that brought you to your current state. About pages are important for branding, but also because some customers want to know that they are buying from certain types of companies. About pages are a great place to expand on your unique value proposition, such as explaining how your product materials are sustainably sourced or how you can become a women-owned business.
Contact us page: You can definitely have a more detailed customer support page, but you must also provide a quick, easy-to-find contact page with a simple list of contact information such as phone numbers, email addresses, contact forms, and addresses. Depending on your type of business, you may not want to include all of them, but you should at least have email list an option or two for customers to connect directly with someone at your company.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page: Customers want to know as much as possible about your product before clicking the "Buy" button. This is especially true if your online store offers alternative shipping, payment, or product options (such as subscription boxes or custom merchandise). Summarize the questions your customers are bound to ask throughout the process and fill them out with simple, transparent answers. And always avoid trying to sidestep the question or provide answers that are still overly complicated.
Terms of Service: This is a page that covers all the legal aspects of your operation, what services are included when someone buys from your store, and what they may receive on your website. It is wise to consult a lawyer when developing terms of service.
Shipping Details Page: Shipping pages are useful for customers who want to know exactly when a product will arrive. It's not uncommon for the average customer to check the shipping detail page during the holidays, or when they need something for a wedding, birthday, or just because they want to start using the item this weekend. Therefore, this page should cover everything from shipping times, regions, costs, and multiple shipping methods offered.
Return Policy and Refunds Pages: You can split them into two pages or combine them into one, but the goal is to provide the details and process needed for returns, exchanges, and returns. How much time do they have to return? Can they print shipping labels from your website or do customers have to pay for it themselves? Is it possible to do an exchange instead of opting for a full refund? What happens when the product is returned? Lastly, you should talk about your returns partner, such as whether your customers must bring all returns to a UPS store, or if they have the option of a post office.
There are more specific pages - such as blog pages for content marketing, educational pages, and photo gallery pages - but we'll cover these further in the list because they're not always appropriate or necessary, depending on Your marketing strategy or the type of business you plan to start.
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Step 3: Develop your overall eCommerce website infrastructure and look and feel
Every ecommerce website requires constant review and management, which means an ecommerce startup checklist is a great way to double-check that the entire site is functioning properly and that every page looks good.
Let's take a look at our ecommerce startup checklist, which should include items on every page and things to keep in mind when managing your website.
Including security certificates and reminders, transactions throughout the site are secure.
Keep the design minimalistic for easy navigation.
Test the speed of a website so that pages load quickly - Pingdom is a great tool.
Remove broken links and fill in empty product pages.
Make sure you have categories and filtering options on every page.
Make email signup forms appear on every page.
Add a link to your career page.
Make links to legal information.
Create a link to your contact page.
Added link to FAQ page.
Include links to your social pages.
Add a link to the return and exchange policy.
If necessary, please consider links to supplier information pages.
Add social sharing buttons.
Includes a login box.
Add tags at the top of your e-commerce site to categories and products.
There is a cart icon/button at the top in case people save items.
Show the payment system you use and any security measures you take.
Provides a tab to your support page.
Make your eCommerce website responsive and test it on all devices and browsers.
Display the checkout button clearly on every page.
Apply breadcrumbs on each page to help people find the product or page they need.