Steps to start building an online store

Viet Nam Viet Nam
Kudos: 51
Joined: Jun 16, 2016
Steps to start building an online store
28 Jun 2016
This article will try to prepare a company that is thinking about building an online store for all the essential things they need to know before they start this process.

Research and goals

1. Competitors

The first thing you need to do is research your competitors. Have a look at other online stores that are selling the same or similar products. Gather as much information as you can about their marketing tactics, technical solutions and the way their business works. Now look at your business realistically and ask yourself if you can compete with that. Figure out where is your place in the ecosystem. Are you able to compete with better prices, or are you able to compete with the quality? Maybe you can market your products better? Maybe you can have a better technical solution? Maybe you can advertise with better ROI? If there is no way you can compete with them, your online store will be a big waste of money so this is the most important step in building an online store and conclusions you draw from this research will guide you into different directions while you continue reading this checklist.

2. SEO research

Contrary to the popular belief, SEO is not something you put into your website after you’re finished with building it. The SEO keyword and competitor research is something that needs to be done before you even start thinking about creating a wire-frame of your online store. You need to do this before you choose the name of your store, before you decide which products you are going to include or anything else. Make a list of products you could sell online, based on your previous competitors research.

3. SEM research

After you did the SEO research, in most industries you would come up with conclusion that there are some keywords in which you’ll be able to compete but it will take a pretty long time for you to get there, so we’ll leave this as a long term work in progress (plan the part of your budget for the long term, ongoing SEO optimization).

4. Setting up the goals

5. Product images

Prepare the images of all of the products you are going to include. If needed take new pictures of these products, you want these pictures to be really good and accurate. Read a blog post wrote about the important tips for effective product pages

6. Product descriptions

7. Static page content

Don’t forget that every online store usually has several static pages that need their content as well. These usually include “About us”, “Contact”, “Disclaimer”, “FaQ”, “Return policy” etc.

8. News / articles / blog

9. Choosing billing options

You’ll need to have a look at the options available for your country and countries you are going to be shipping to. Have a look at different payment gateways. Compare the prices, and put them back into your ROI calculation.
10. Shipping

Which countries do you ship to? Are you going to provide free shipping to your customers? How much will that cost you? Are you still able to compete? Look at the technical solution they offer.

11. Homepage wireframe

The wireframe of your homepage will include elements you marked as very important in your SEO research

12. Primary navigation

When creating a primary navigation wireframe, use the data from your SEO research again to figure out what deserves a spot in the primary navigation and what does not. In most cases you will have more than one navigation, especially on the big e-commerce websites with lots of different products, categories and different ways to filter and sort these products. Think about logical placement of these elements on the website.

13. Other pages

There are lots of other pages that need to be wire framed before you start building the technical solution for your online store. You’ll need to define the wire frame of your product page, category page,

[Last edited: 30 Jun 2016]
Viet Nam Viet Nam
Kudos: 32
Joined: Apr 20, 2016
Re: Steps to start building an online store
1 Jul 2016
Thank you! You are right to provide steps for building an online store. The only thing you missed that's really important is choosing a suitable shopping cart. Depends on the size of the store, you can choose the one which is most suitable. However, If you fail to choose, you may need to have a shopping cart migration tool to change the shopping cart to another one.
Hope that my reply could have something useful for you!
LitExtension - Ultimate shopping cart migration tools & services.

World First
Seller Dynamics