Quick Consulting tips for an eCommerce Start Up

Identify the shopping cart or eCommerce platform strengths and weaknesses

Posted by WebOfficer on Tuesday, July 12 2011

Choosing your eCommerce platform is fundamental to all other areas of your online business. Inventory, accounting, warehouse, SEO, cusotmer serivice and other factors center on the features your shopping cart has. Concerning product database control, websites that have a smaller amount of products becomes less of an issue because each page can be highly customized and the time. The product databse is essentially within the editor pages and it becomes the best way to mange the store. Online businesses that manage commodity driven products such as hardware, consumer electronics, beauty products or clothing, power features concerning product data must be a concern.

  • Choose a platform that does not add a lot more work to your business.
  • Keep away from cumbersome platforms that take large snippets of time to do simple tasks.
  • Look for platforms that group products and categories well together and allow for custom grouping as well. This is ideal for price control, image and asset management, support, accounting and other various functions.

Get command of your eCommerce product database and do research

Product database preparation is vital to long-term online success. Content management and shopping cart systems utilize various database schemas, so having control of product data will allow your business to conform to that and potential other future schemas.

  • Clearly set up processes and infrastructures to house your product database, inventory database and asset database. Relational connections should be made to alleviate bottlenecks that involve managing and growing data.
  • Normalize your product database ontology. Align your products to the best known or standard product classes. Look for ways to improve or expand upon this ontology where your competitors fall short. This includes ideal naming conventions, category trees and product attributes.
  • For highly commoditized and varied product databases, parametric data should be cleansed to the unit format, ideally down to units of measurement. Take a look at any consumer electronic and you will see various features based on performance-measured rates.

Research your business space and identify where your online store can thrive.

Compile research within your market. This includes who the authority is in your market and your market keyword list. Compare your product database to your competitors. Identify areas where you can gain a foothold on lesser competitive terms. The best place to start is comparison of navigation. If your product database ontology has been normalize to its maximum potential, you should already have surpassed your competition in may ways concerning the data organization that will eventually become part of your website information architecture.

When targeting your market keyword list, hit singles, don't go for home runs. In eCommerce, most conversions do not occur within the big volume terms, so donít go for them right away. Most conversions take place where searchers are landing on your sub category pages. By properly organizing your product ontology you will give your mid level pages and product pages the best chance to compete. Insure that your category tree is properly conveying the keyword strings to promote relevance of these keywords.

Enterprise level on-site optimization - tune your website

Once your product data is deployed into your eCommerce platform look for ways to optimize your default website settings.

  • Customizing category pages is one of the best ways to start.
  • Most CMS systems ignore search engine optimization tools on category pages in way of field mapping during database bulk uploads. If you can identify these weaknesses and do custom modifications in advance, this is wise.
  • Modification of Meta descriptions that are non-global should be made, based on the specifics of those categories and undying data is a good tactic.†
  • Look for ways to create prominence to each page in your website.
  • Optimize HTML structures to keep redundant enterprise level web document noise down.†
  • Donít forget to look at optimizing the CSS, information architecture and Meta data usage.
  • Website silo architectures are also a good way to create on-site themes that add ability to create relevancy for a topic.
  • Be sure to look your systems automated page creation. These include pagination, tag clouds, faceted navigation and search pages. Identify if these actually do harm or help your website uniqueness and content value.

Put your best user experience forward when your business starts up

The look and feel of your online store will diffuse trust factors and increase conversion.

  • Have an easy to navigate website, one that make is simple to identify where to go and clear calls to action.†
  • Have images and video where possible, we are in the digital age and people expect more from websites.†Take a look at Amazon asset library and youíll quickly see that assets are as much a part of an eCommerce store as product data.
  • Consider your branding, create a custom logo, color scheme related icons and materials. Craft a USP or unique selling proposition that blends well with your brand and color scheme. This can be crafted into your slogan, marketing snippets as well as blended into your warranty and mission statements.
  • Make sure your website has contact information clearly marked.
  • Be sure your server or hosting set up is fit to handle the amount of processing and size of your website. Fast page load times are essential in todayís ranking algorithms.
  • Keep your check out process as easy as possible and allow non registered users to have the ability to check out.

There are many other factors to getting a world-class online store, but these considerations will establish a good foundation and enable your eCommcerce start up business to grow.