What you need to know before building an Ecommerce website
By Erin | Oct 24, 2018 (4 min read)
If you are looking at starting an ecommerce business, there are many steps to consider. As online website developers, we have helped many businesses to understand what is needed before they get started on their site. As the world moves more towards this model, the benefits of owning your own online store are increasing.
Here are four important questions to answer before you build your site.
How many products do you have?
Do you know exactly how many products you will be listing for sale on your site? Are there different sizes, different packages? Different colors? How many SKUs (stock-keeping units) are there in total?
This is important to know as it can take a long time to get everything set up. You will need studio photography for each, as well as descriptions and pricing laid out before you can add them to the website for sale.
Also, keep in mind some platforms will bill the users by the volume of transactions, whereas others will bill by the number of products on the site. So if you are expecting a lot of sales, then you must be ready for the increased cost that comes with selling via an ecommerce platform.
What kind of products are you selling?
Each type of online store is different. And there are also different kinds of products that can be sold.
Simple, variable, configurable – basic products or those that have different types that are grouped together on a website (eg. clothes of different sizes)
Subscription – the ability to offer products on a regular basis, with repeat payments and shipments
Depending on what you need, the setup of your website will be slightly different. The more you know about the product types, the better your developer can create your site as you want it.
What is the estimated development budget?
No website can be built to custom specifications without development work. If you have a vision in mind for what you would like your website to look like, you can compare it to other sites that are similar. You developed can even do a basic code review on a similar site to get a feel for what you have in mind.
Of course, you need some sort of budget in mind for this to happen. Do you have $5000 to spend? What about $25,000? The typical range for a site is between $5000 – $50,000, depending upon the platform and the uniqueness. It can even be higher if there is a lot of specialized development needed.
It’s important to know what your upper limit is so you aren’t surprised when it goes into development.
How much updating will be needed?
When deciding on an ecommerce site, you must also think about how much updating will be needed? Both for your products and also the content and backend of the site.
Most platforms such as Magento. Woocommerce, Shopify and BigCommerce will have regular updates that help them stay current and secure.
If you are able to do the basic updates yourself (or someone on your team can) this is great. But if you don’t have backend developer knowledge, it is important to think about how much time might be needed in the future.
These four questions should give you a better perspective on what is needed to set up your online store. If you have questions about getting started in ecommerce and want to work with an experienced website developer, then we can help.