Checklist To Build & Launch An eCommerce Website: Complete Guide

Building An eCommerce Website Checklist

Are you thinking of running an eCommerce business? You may have also developed a business plan and are ready to begin working on your eCommerce website. Let us tell you that developing an eCommerce website is a difficult task. So, how do you know you’ve completed everything and are ready to begin successfully?

Today, we’re bringing you an eCommerce checklist that will include important items that will assist you in developing a well-known eCommerce website.

So, let’s get started.

Step 1: Conduct Market and Competitive Research

It goes without saying that before you begin anything, you should thoroughly understand all aspects of it. The same is true if we want to start an eCommerce business.

Step 2: Examine Your Technical Groundwork

Choose a Domain Name

A domain name is required to launch your online store. An address to your website will be formed by your brand name and a domain name.

Choose a domain that is memorable, short, and relevant to your eCommerce website. You can purchase them from domain registrars as well as eCommerce platforms such as Shopify.

  • Namecheap
  • Google Domains
  • Cloudflare
  • Bigrock

Look for the Best Web Hosting Service Provider

Web hosting is an online service that allows you to publish your website or web app on the Internet. With such a service, you essentially rent a space on a physical server where you are permitted to store all of your files and data that are required for your site to function properly. As a result, you should select a web hosting provider who is prepared to provide you with space for your website’s files.

  • Kinsta
  • WpEngine
  • Cloudways
  • Digital Ocean
  • Vultr
  • Hostgator

Step 3: Lay the Groundwork for the Development of an eCommerce Website

Now we’ll lay the groundwork for getting started with website development.

Select an eCommerce Platform

There are numerous eCommerce platforms available on the market today. Using such platforms, you can create an eCommerce site from the ground up. eCommerce platforms include a plethora of features that make it simple to create and manage websites.

Furthermore, eCommerce platforms provide appealing templates that aid in the rapid development of websites. You can even modify the templates to fit your brand’s and business’s needs. User extensions for eCommerce platforms are available to add functionality to your website.

Some of the most popular eCommerce platforms are:

Magento

Magento

Magento, one of the most popular CMS, is an open-source system designed for eCommerce that comes in two editions – Community and Enterprise – to help both small and large businesses.

Magento is a powerful, easily customizable, SEO-friendly, conversion-driven platform.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It is designed for small to medium-sized WordPress-powered online merchants.

WooCommerce is: Simple for WordPress Websites; SEO-Friendly and Free to Install and Use.

Shopify

Shopify

With Shopify, you can sell your products and services with little to no setup. It improves your ROI and raises your revenue.

Simple to Setup and Use Easily Integrate with Apps Visually Appealing Online Store Reliable and Secure Robust Marketing Tools

Shift4Shop (Previously 3dCart)

3d cart

Shift4Shop is an all-inclusive eCommerce platform that integrates all of the features you need to create a complete eCommerce website without the need to install any software.

Shift4Shop is a full-service eCommerce solution with robust marketing capabilities and multi-channel retail capabilities.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a cloud eCommerce platform designed for rapidly growing businesses. It combines enterprise functionality with an app ecosystem and an open architecture. When compared to on-premise software, it allows businesses to grow their online sales with 80 percent less time, complexity, and cost.

BigCommerce is: affordable, user-friendly, and mobile-friendly; it provides excellent support; it allows you to sell on multiple websites; it increases customer loyalty, and it allows you to manage simple returns.

Engage the Services of an eCommerce Website Developer

A professional eCommerce Website Developer is in charge of making the user interface simple and easy to use for the customers. Furthermore, they ensure that all functions are functioning properly, and scripts such as Google Analytics are added. They also ensure that third-party plugins and apps are properly integrated with your eCommerce store.

In addition, to ensure that every feature performs at a high level, they work on:

  • Updating database servers, such as MySQL, and other software to integrate plugins, APIs, or add-ons.
  • Handling front-end web technologies like CSS, HTML5, JSON, and AJAX
  • Developing test plans, API testing/Unit testing experience, eCommerce data organization, and relationships
  • Optimization of web server configurations Deployment management Scaling web apps Maintenance of LAMP-based servers using Webmin, SSH, Plesk, and other tools
  • Creating custom payment forms and integrating payment gateways

The best developers are capable of handling your website flawlessly. That is why you should work with an experienced eCommerce Website Developer or a reputable eCommerce Website Development Company.

Website Developer Capabilities

When looking for a professional eCommerce website developer, make sure he has the following key skills:

  • Website Skills
  • Problem-Solving Ability
  • Good Communication Skills
  • Stay Current with Web Trends and Technology
  • Expert in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript Coding
  • Proficient in PHP and MySQL
  • Expert in eCommerce Business Know-How

Step 4: Begin with eCommerce Design

Now, let’s take a look at the eCommerce development checklist. To have a successful eCommerce website, you must meet all of the requirements.

Things to Think About Before Starting an eCommerce Design

Determine your design requirements before contacting an artistic eCommerce website designer.

  • Using a Mobile-First Strategy
  • Count of Products You Want to Begin With
  • Page Format
  • Website Protection
  • Performance and Speed of a Website
  • Photographing a Product
  • Integration of Live Chat

Obtain the Services of an eCommerce Website Designer

You should check a website designer’s skills before hiring him. He should also be able to code, as it is required in website design. As his primary focus is website design, don’t expect him to be technologically savvy.

  • A Website Designer’s Capabilities
  • Using fundamental design tools
  • Visualization
  • UX/UI
  • HTML and CSS

Ensure the Website’s Responsiveness

When it comes to eCommerce website design, your website should be responsive. People nowadays browse the web using a variety of devices. As a result, your eCommerce website must function flawlessly across all screen sizes, orientations, and platforms.

Furthermore, according to a survey, roughly 62 percent of smartphone users and more make purchases on their smartphones. As a result, your website should be prepared for this as well.

Menus with Simple Navigation

A simple navigation menu will make it easier for your customers to identify the various product categories that your eCommerce website sells. Generic terms, on the other hand, are recommended to make segmenting your product items easier.

Don’t Forget to Include “Featured Product,” “Top Selling,” “Recommended for You,” and “You May Also Like” Products to Increase Sales and Create Personalized Shopping Experiences to Make Customers Feel Special.

Insert Your Contact Information

Well, your eCommerce store’s contact information should be displayed on every page so that your customers have the impression that your support team is always available to them. They may find your customer service team to be easily accessible in order to resolve their concerns.

Insert Cart Icon

Most eCommerce websites have a cart or basket icon that is clearly visible in the top right corner of all pages. When your customers add items to that cart, it will display the number of items they have added.

As a result, don’t forget to include a cart icon on each page.

Display Brand Logos

If your eCommerce store sells the products of big brands, then you should showcase their logo wherever it’s possible. This will inform your customers about the products you sell. Moreover, this action will append prestige and authenticity to your brand for being associated with leaders.

Step 5: Include Essential Buttons

Include Calls to Action Button

You should motivate your customers to explore your website. While running a promotion or sale on selected products, be sure that you showcase that on your homepage. Additionally, don’t forget to include a call to action and a link to that On-sale product listing.

Remember to Include the “Add to Wishlist” Button to Allow Your Customers to Keep Aside the Items They Like to Buy Later

Add “Add to Cart” or “Buy” Button

Furthermore, you can include such buttons on every page using bold and bright colors. This will help customers to buy with just a click.

Include “Return” & “Exchange” Buttons

Also, you should add the “return” and “exchange” buttons so that it may become easy for customers to choose any action as per their need.

Add “Checkout” Button

Besides, near the cart icon, a checkout button is also seen on an eCommerce website. On clicking that button, the customers find it easy to jump directly to the checkout page.

Step 6: Add Necessary Images

High-Quality Product Images

Well, images of products are very important and for that, a professional photographer will help you out. You should prefer the photos capturing the moment when your product is in use. This will make your photos emotionally appealing.

Apart from that, you should showcase varieties of your products from distinct angles of the item. Additionally, you can add a “zoom-in” feature also if possible to offer your customers a close look at your products.

Include The Category Introduction of Products with Images to Enhance Customer Engagement

Add Images along with Buttons

As we have mentioned above the importance of calls to action, here, we would like to let you know that along with those buttons, you should also use images. This visual presentation will make your customers know the products better. You can also include the visuals of your customers enjoying using those products. This will help in the buying decision of your customers.

Step 7: Add Required Functions and Bars

Filtering and sorting functions should be included.

This way, you’ll make it easier for your customers to find the products they’re looking for, according to their specifications. They can filter the type of their product and more, and they can sort the prices of the items according to their preferences using the sorting function.

Show Stock Availability to Inform Customers About Stock Status

Add a Search Bar

A search bar can be found on every page of any eCommerce website. If a product is available in your catalog, a comprehensive search function allows users to locate it. You can also provide them with suggestive search terms that will help them while typing in the search bar; this would be the icing on the cake.

Include product video demos to give them an idea of how to use the product and how it looks.

Keep the product description brief

You should keep product descriptions brief. Customers usually do not want to read such a long one. So, beneath the brief description, you could include a “read more” button that, when clicked, would reveal more information about the product.

Highlight “Customer Favorites” and “Best Sellers,” as customers prefer to purchase highly ranked products.

Step 8: Begin by developing a website

Obtaining a Business License

Another legal consideration that you must consider is your business license.

The procedures and rules for obtaining a business license vary depending on your location and the products you sell. As a result, make sure to check your state and local laws. If your business is regulated by a federal agency, you must also obtain a federal license or permit.

Add Standard Pages to Your Website

Your website should include at least the following standard pages:

A Homepage, which is usually the first page on our website, an About Us page that helps us build trust with our potential customers, and a Contact Us page that makes it easy for users to contact you.

Additionally, target product pages because they are important when it comes to customer purchasing decisions.

Control Your Inventory System

Well, if you want your website to succeed, inventory control is essential. Inventory management allows you to save money by avoiding overspending and missing sales due to a lack of inventory.

Some eCommerce platforms include inventory management features. As an example, Shopify provides inventory management solutions, such as Stocky.

Make Your Checkout Procedure

When designing your eCommerce site, keep the checkout process in mind. To reduce cart abandonment, ensure that the process is user-friendly. Users will be able to easily add products to their carts and obtain the information they require, such as shipping rates, etc., as a result of this. Furthermore, keep the checkout form as short as possible; otherwise, customers may find it annoying.

Step 9: Integration of the Payment System

How do I incorporate a Payment Gateway Solution?

A payment gateway is a software app that acts as a middleman between an eCommerce store and a payment processor. It receives payment from an eCommerce store’s customers.

When a customer enters payment information on an eCommerce website, the payment gateway securely sends the information to the payment processor. A payment gateway that is properly integrated with an eCommerce website will increase conversion and sales.

Top Payment Gateways for Online Stores

  • Braintree
  • Apple Pay
  • WePay
  • Stripe
  • Google Checkout
  • Skrill
  • PayPal

Provide a variety of payment options

Providing your customers with a variety of payment options allows them to select the one that best suits their needs. They can pay with their credit cards, online wallets, cash on delivery, or net banking.

Select a Trustworthy Payment Processing System

Check your payment process before launching your website. Customers must be able to pay for their orders and complete their purchases if payment processing is successful.

For that, you should select a reputable Online Payment system, and make certain that you offer widely accepted payment options, such as PayPal.

Step 10: Shipping and Delivery Integration

Why Work with a Logistic Partner?

A logistic service provider is in charge of transporting your products from one location to another, as well as planning, controlling, implementing, and tracking the movement of goods and their storage details. Furthermore, it provides products with safety and security.

A logistics partner can help with route optimization, easy booking, tracking goods, and security.

Top eCommerce Logistics Partner

  • FedEx
  • Ecom Express
  • Blue Dart
  • DHL

Include an estimated delivery time to let them know when they can expect the product to arrive at their door.

Provide a Variety of Delivery Options

If you don’t already know, there are two types of delivery options:

  • Free Delivery – with no additional charge
  • Fast Delivery – with a fee

So, include such options to make it easier for customers to choose delivery options based on their purchasing needs.

Step 11: Examine the Additional Functions

Set Up Analytics Tools to Monitor Your Website’s Performance

Make sure you have an analytics tool set up before you launch your site.

Your eCommerce platform may come with built-in analytics, but you can also use a tool like Google Analytics. Such tools are essential for tracking website performance and learning more about your website’s visitors.

Terms and Conditions Page

One of the most important requirements for an eCommerce website is well-written, professional terms and conditions that customers can easily find on your site.

The Terms and Conditions page contains the rules for using your online store and is essential for legally protecting you.

As a result, make certain that such pages are included on your website.

Private Policy Page

The privacy policy contributes to the development of trust between you and your users. It also protects you legally, just like T&C.

Make sure to include a private and policy document on your website that customers can easily find.

Keep in mind to include a return policy.

A return policy outlines the procedures and rules for returning items purchased. Make sure your return policy is user-friendly. This will encourage your customers to purchase products from your store because they will be aware of your store’s simple return policy.

Step 12: Verify the Website’s Security

Incorporate Security Badges

The security badges will reassure your customers that their financial information is secure. You can do this by including an SSL certificate and other security badges.

When it comes to eCommerce websites, security is critical because people only provide payment information when they trust the website. As a result, you must purchase a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. In addition, your checkout process should include a credit card verification value (CVV) and an address verification system (AVS).

To keep things looking clean, include some links to pages that address customers’ security concerns.

PCI DSS compliance is required for websites.

You should also ensure that your website complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Big credit card companies want businesses that accept their cards to follow this standard. This standard is concerned with the security and protection of credit cards.

Your eCommerce platform may provide you with everything you need to be PCI compliant. Make certain that your website meets such eCommerce website requirements. If you are not compliant, you may be unable to accept credit cards and maybe fined if a data breach occurs.

Step 13: Search Engine Optimization Considerations

Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

When designing your eCommerce website, make sure to keep SEO in mind. It is a broad set of strategies aimed at improving your website’s ranking in search results.

You must naturally incorporate keywords for which you want to rank and ensure that the necessary HTML tags are present on each page. Choosing an SEO-friendly eCommerce platform can assist you in this.

Engage the Services of an SEO Expert

Hiring a good SEO professional, on the other hand, is a difficult task.

To begin, most SEOs are self-taught, and the only way to validate their experience and knowledge is through their portfolio.

Second, because the SEO world is constantly changing, determining which SEO expert has the most up-to-date skills and knowledge is nearly impossible.

As a result, you must:

Examine their track record; interview the potential candidate, and assign them a test project.

SEO Expert Competencies

Before hiring an SEO professional, make sure they have the following skills:

  • Ability to Speak and Write efficiently
  • Analytics Skills
  • Social Skills
  • Decision Making Expertise
  • Technical SEO
  • Content Strategy
  • Link Building
  • Keyword Research

Create an Online Store Marketing Strategy

You should have an eCommerce store marketing plan in place before launching a website to help your website launch and grow your business. Your marketing strategy may include a variety of marketing channels, such as:

  • Email marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing

Setup Email Notifications

A useful tool for following up with your customers, sending emails, providing customer support, and encouraging upsells and repeat business. Sign up for email marketing software and create some basic emails, such as:

  • Welcome emails
  • Order confirmation
  • Delivery receipts
  • Shipping updates

How Much Does an eCommerce Website Cost?

When it comes to the cost of developing a website, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. It is determined by the platform used to create the site as well as the needs of the business.

Expenses may be added after the website is launched. The performance of the website and functions occasionally necessitates improvement, which adds to the expenditures.

If you want to hire an eCommerce developer but don’t know how much money you’ll need, you should discuss everything beforehand. They will provide you with the necessary information regarding development and design strategies as well as costs.

Key Factors Which Determine an eCommerce Website’s Cost

  • Domain Name Costs
  • eCommerce Hosting
  • Cost of the development team
  • Number of Products
  • SSL Certificate Costs
  • Payment Processing Costs
  • Design Costs
  • Extension Costs
  • Timeline

Final Thoughts

When launching an eCommerce website, you must consider a number of critical factors. However, in order to alleviate your concerns, we have included all of the necessary steps that may assist you with the design and development of an eCommerce website.

I hope you found this post useful. So, before you launch your website, make sure to go over the eCommerce checklist mentioned above.

Arman Mathur Digital Marketer

About the author

An expert digital marketer and content strategist working in this industry since 2012.

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