Developing an e-commerce website takes considerable time and effort from both the client and the web development team. Let’s talk about the materials needed for an e-commerce website. This information will help guide you in getting the materials together for your webstore so that you can get a more accurate quote regarding your E-Commerce store.
1. Regular Website Content
Much like a regular website, an e-commerce store needs the fundamentals. A homepage, about, product/services overview, and a contact page. To accompany these pages, it’s best to have photos available. If your organization does not have many photos, provide direction on what types of stock photos to obtain. Or provide contact information for any distributors you work with as they may have product photos you can use. For more information about these materials, click to read more about the Types of Content Your Web Developer Will Need.
2. Product List (Organized)
Your product list should provide all the details of your product. The product dimensions, weight of the product, product variables (colors, sizes, etc.), a short description, and a detailed description. These are all important factors for online shoppers in determining to purchase from you. It also matters to your developer to configure ordering variables.
3. Product Photos (Show A Variety)
You want uniform product photos that clearly show your product. Misleading, grainy, or otherwise unprofessional photos do not translate well for online sales. Take the time to create stunning product photos. If you resell products, your distributor may have access to stock photos of the products you purchase from them.
4. Clear Order Fulfillment Process
Customers need to understand the process once they place an order so they know what to expect. Developers need to know so they can put this information in prominent locations on the website. It also helps them determine the backend and notification system for your online store. If you do not have a clear process in-house (or a good working theory), you will need to spend some time with your team to determine the order fulfillment process.
Standard WooCommerce features include notifications for when an order placed and complete (shipped). Built-in WooCommerce features are great for most clients. However, some clients need to additional steps. For example, our friends at Close To Your Heart Memory Beads have a unique fulfillment process. They send their customers a kit, the customers send it back, they complete the memorial bead order, and then ship the memorial bead to the customer. Close To Your Heart keeps their customers updated along the way with a couple clicks of a button as they complete the order.
5. Shipping Information
In addition to having a clear order process, what shipping methods are going to be available to your shoppers? Whether you configure a set shipping and handling rate or utilize an existing carrier’s API, your developers need to know the logistics to configure your webstore. For more information about different shipping options available for WooCommerce stores, click here.
Some important shipping considerations include: will you have free shipping options? How many items from your store fit into a single package? Web developers can write rules such as orders over $75 ship free. They also use calculations to determine variable shipping costs.
6. Organizational Customizations
Whether you have a point of sales (POS) system or a unique process, require notifications to fire to different departments, or other software applications your webstore needs to work with, developers need to be made aware at the beginning of the project. Just like the Close To Your Heart Memory Beads example we used in the order fulfillment section above.
Whether your work with an agency or build a webstore yourself, you will need to know your tax liability. We recommend meeting with a local CPA or business attorney to determine your tax responsibilities in relation to your business. The web developer will write tax rules based on the information you or a professional provides. Your web developer is not liable for any issues regarding taxes.
9. Other Considerations
When you work with a professional web development agency, they will guide you and further explain options to you so you can make an informed decision about your webstore. It is important that you have a good idea about the information and content you need to supply before starting your project. This helps move your website project along quickly. It also lessens the time the web team will spend on your project. When the team has to go through long periods awaiting feedback or materials, there is considerable time refreshing everyone’s approach to the project.
Get it together.
Once you have these materials, you are really ready to develop a webstore. An agency will be able to review your materials and give you a more accurate proposal and devise a strategy with a timeline.