So you have decided to put your products and or services online, great! The next step is to prepare your business for online use and gather the details required to make your online store represent your products and or services effectively and accurately. An online store can greatly increase your sales, brand awareness and customer loyalty if done correctly.
This step by step preparation guide will help you get started.
Reducing Online Store Development Time
Usually the main factor that slows any design or development project down is slow feedback and content delays from the client. This is totally understandable, as most of business owners are very busy with other business and personal concerns besides their website. However, for the client’s website project to go smoothly and efficiently, we recommend preparing content and details as early and quickly as possible.
Why Do I Need To Do All This?
Any online store will usually require at least the items listed below, but depending on the complexity of your project there could be much more. Please try to prepare these items and send them to your project manager as soon as possible. This will greatly speed up the development process.
Details may include, but are not limited to:
Your domain name and log in details
Your domain name is the name of your website URL for example: www.yourwebsite.com. You will want to find or purchase your domain name and log in details so that you can provide them to the developer. Your developer will need your domain name in order to setup your testing server and also to make sure your domain is accessible. Many times a project has been delayed due to the client not being able to find or obtain the domain login details.
If you are having trouble obtaining your domain information please let your developer know as soon as possible, so that they can assist you.
It’s very important that you provide the product details for each product and have these details available as soon as possible. Your developer will use the details you provide as a guide for the entire store system. These details may include but are not limited to:
- Product title
- Product Code (this is also known as the product Sku)
- Number of each product available
- Product description
- Options such as colors, sizes, weight…
- Any coupon discount you might want for the product
- Your local sales tax rate
- Shipping options, if by weight, then they will need the weight and size, if you just want to charge per product then they will need to know how much you want to charge to ship each product
- Shipping Method, such as UPS, FedEx, USPS…
- PayPal email that is linked to a PayPal account, this is important as this is where your sales will go if you are using PayPal as a payment method
- Merchant account information (if you have one)
- Content for any web pages, such as your home page, about us, contact us
- Your full mailing address, phone number
- Return policy
- Shipping Policy
- Any social networking pages you own, such as Facebook, Twitter or any others
Hopefully these details are easy to find, but they are required for any online store so it’s better to find them now rather than on the project deadline.