Key Questions That Drive E-Commerce Success

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:

  1. Who are my customers (personas and demographics)?
  2. Where do I find them on and offline?
  3. How do they search for my products/services?
  4. What makes them decide to purchase (price, recommendations, reviews, etc.)?  More importantly, what turns them away?
  5. Do I feature products?
  6. Am I recommending products to help increase the per order averages?
  7. Do I offer product bundles?
  8. 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)?
  9. 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. 10.Are my customers also rewarded or non-rewarded advocates?
  11. 11.Do I promote product reviews on the site?

Technical Questions:

  1. Is my e-commerce site easy to navigate?
  2. Is my site optimized for the mobile experience (phones & pads)?
  3. What key words/phrases are important for the content to be optimized for?
  4. 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.
  5. Is my content properly formatted for search optimization (page titles, meta data, headings, paragraph text, alt tags, etc.)
  6. Do I provide sharing opportunities on my pages (FB Like, Tweet, Pin, etc.).
  7. Do I have integrated analytics to tell me where my traffic is coming from and help understand why?
  8. Do I have consistent updates to my site (search engines love this)?
  9. Do I offer account creation and profile storing for easy repeat orders?
  10. 10.Do I incorporate the webmaster tools provided by Google and Bing?
  11. 11.Do I have product feed capabilities?

Fulfillment & Customer Service Questions:

  1. What kind of support do my customers expect?
  2. What is my process for generating shipping labels and quickly filling product orders?
  3. Is order fulfillment tied back to automated customer notifications?
  4. Can the user track orders on the site in their accounts?
  5. 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.

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