Thinking about e-Commerce? Good. there are many considerations. Here are some basic questions to answer.
E-commerce is a hyper competitive, multi-faceted market that has low barriers to entry, yet presents incredible opportunities and challenges to those who enter. Without proper due diligence, strategic planning and careful execution, a lot of time and money can be lost in establishing a market space, converting visits to sales, properly fulfilling orders, generating repeat orders and servicing customers from the first visit to each purchase.
A partial list of the key questions to consider & plan for on any e-commerce approach include the following:
Customer Focused Questions:
- Who are my customers (personas and demographics)?
- Where do I find them on and offline?
- How do they search for my products/services?
- What makes them decide to purchase (price, recommendations, reviews, etc.)? More importantly, what turns them away?
- Do I feature products?
- Am I recommending products to help increase the per order averages?
- Do I offer product bundles?
- Am I focusing on converting non-customers to marketable prospects (i.e. coupons or information in exchange for registering for email DB or liking Fan Page)?
- On what intervals am I communicating to my customers? What are those messages (product information, special offers, contests/sweepstakes, tips/advice/how-to information, etc.)?
- 10.Are my customers also rewarded or non-rewarded advocates?
- 11.Do I promote product reviews on the site?
- Is my e-commerce site easy to navigate?
- Is my site optimized for the mobile experience (phones & pads)?
- What key words/phrases are important for the content to be optimized for?
- Are all of my pages SES friendly for Search Engines to properly include in search results? If your product pages have special characters ($, ?, &) in the address bar, the answer is no.
- Is my content properly formatted for search optimization (page titles, meta data, headings, paragraph text, alt tags, etc.)
- Do I provide sharing opportunities on my pages (FB Like, Tweet, Pin, etc.).
- Do I have integrated analytics to tell me where my traffic is coming from and help understand why?
- Do I have consistent updates to my site (search engines love this)?
- Do I offer account creation and profile storing for easy repeat orders?
- 10.Do I incorporate the webmaster tools provided by Google and Bing?
- 11.Do I have product feed capabilities?
Fulfillment & Customer Service Questions:
- What kind of support do my customers expect?
- What is my process for generating shipping labels and quickly filling product orders?
- Is order fulfillment tied back to automated customer notifications?
- Can the user track orders on the site in their accounts?
- What kind of financial and sales data do I need to generate from my e-commerce system (reports, QuickBooks integration, etc.?)
Being able to answer these questions is imperative to a successful, revenue generating e-commerce business. This is exactly how Right Here Interactive will approach the e-commerce project for you.
What do you think? What other questions can be asked in your initial planning stages? Please leave a comment.