Checklist for starting an eCommerce shop

Setting up an eCommerce shop gives your brand an online footprint and offers access to an entire digital world of customers.

In fact, an Ecommerce Foundation report predicts that eCommerce in Europe will be worth €621 billion by the end of this year.

The process from beginning to end can seem like a maze, but we have put together a simple and helpful checklist to make sense of it all.

1. Set up your brand

A solid brand foundation is a great start to any business, make sure all your ducks are in order before going live.

  • Decide on a name
  • Figure out what you are going to sell in terms of good or services.
  • Are your goods or services physical or intangible?
  • Form your business model, are you B2B, B2C, C2C, or C2B?
  • Are you aligned with a brick and mortar location?
  • Register your business and check for licenses
  • Write your Ts & Cs
  • Secure your domain name
  • Set up your business structure; sole proprietor, partnership, LLC or corporation.

We recommend: Shopify or Magento

2. Cost

There are so many ways to price products for your e-commerce shop, but figuring out which set up is right for you means research and a keen understanding of your customer base. A study found that a shopper considers a price lower if it has fewer syllables. Round values tend to do better.

  • How are you pricing your products?
  • What’s your strategy? Are you using value-based pricing?
  • What about bundles, sales and competitions?
  • A/B test prices
  • Figure out how you are positioning your prices in the market

We recommend: Bloomfire

3. Frontend and Backend

Managing an e-commerce site means constant updates and maintenance, starting off on the right foot can ease any future issues.

  • Find a designer with UX experience
  • Keep the design minimalist for easier navigation and less customer confusion
  • Build links to these pages: career, legal, privacy policy, contact and supplier information, FAQs
  • Set up your DNS (Domain Name System) server: MX records, A records, CNAME, text records
  • Set up a 404 page
  • Product pages: currency converter, buttons, CTAs, descriptions, product images and videos, shipping and tax, cart icon, live chat, reviews, social share icons, specs, sizing, keywords.
  • Sign up for a CMS (content management system)
  • Create email forwarding and email helpdesk
  • Make sure your website works in multiple browsers
  • Set up URLs (filtered, site search, cart-related)

We recommend: Cloudflare

4. Marketing and Social Proof

Marketing your eCommerce site means utilising all the digital channels you can and ramping up your social proof.

  • Optimize product page copy with keywords
  • Create shoppable content for social sites
  • Decide which social media you want to focus on more; Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
  • Reach out to influencers that align with your brand
  • Create blog posts and guest posts
  • Do you want an Instagram shop?
  • Explore PPC options
  • Develop either Facebook, Instagram and Twitter ad campaigns

We recommend: HubSpot

5. Customers

Goes without saying, customers are the bread and butter of your enterprise. You build it, they will come - but you have to convince them first.

  • Segment and analyse your customers for more targeted marketing
  • Where are your customers located in the world?
  • Make sure you are GDPR compliant
  • Conduct market research on your customer base
  • Collect customer testimonials
  • Set up call tracking and data analysis
  • Create campaigns based on segmentation analysis
  • Have a review section

We recommend: Salesforce

6. Payment and Shipping

This is probably one of the most important aspects of your eCommerce formation, collecting money and getting your products out there is the purpose. Getting this right is pertinent, here are a few things to check off.

  • Set up free shipping when customers spend a certain amount
  • Include promo code bar
  • Offer payment instalments for high priced items
  • Be clear about how digital downloads are received
  • Organize payment processing
  • Create a relationship between carriers, suppliers and eCommerce site
  • Decide on a return period
  • Who is responsible for the cost of return?
  • What are the customer protection laws in your region?

We recommend: Worldpay, PayPal or Stripe

7. Parcel services

There is a lot to think about when you’re choosing parcel services, especially if you ship internationally. Staying compliant to local and foreign regulations means choosing a service that checks all the boxes.

  • Figure out which parcel services you want to use
  • Compare parcel services; do they offer multiple delivery attempts? What about international shipping?
  • Do they offer international pallet services?
  • Do they have online tracking?
  • Do they give more delivery options if the customer is not at home?
  • Figure out your merchandise weight
  • Determine VAT costs

We recommend: ParcelCompare

Creating an eCommerce business from scratch is painstaking but so worth it if your product is something you believe will make an impact on the market.

If you need help building an eCommerce website, CodeControl can help. Click here for more information.


Über den Autor

Danielle de La Bastide is a copywriter and content creator based in London, who currently specialises in writing for the tech sector. She has worked with BuzzFeed, Freespee, Microsoft, Interesting Engineering, London Pass, New York Pass and more.