This section of the article is a summary of the steps you will take to build an online shop. If you have read Part 1 and researched the feasibility of taking on this enormous project, here is what you need to do. Part 3 will explain some of these things in more detail.
Read Part 1, do your research and write some realistic goals for your venture.
Register a domain name. Read this article on how to choose a domain name if you do not know where to start.
Write a brief for the designer and developers of your new store. This should include:
Find a designer. Unless you are a graphic designer, don’t do this yourself, and don’t use your 17-year-old nephew who has a ‘flair for design’. Use a proven graphic designer who has a good grasp on designing for the web and can channel your customers in the right direction—towards the payment page.
Find a good web developer (see point 4) and set up the site. This may be a custom-built store, an off-the-shelf store or a hosted solution, depending on your requirements. More on this in Part 3.
Decide on a payment solution—Paypal or custom payment gateway. Third party payment solutions like Paypal or Google Checkout are a cheap way to get started, but can look a bit unprofessional.
You will also need a payment gateway. These people handle the credit card details and money transfers to your bank. The best one we have found so far is eWay.
Your web developer should be able to help you with this step. If not, call me.
Get photos of your stock and write both a short description (just a few words) and a full description (up to two paragraphs) of each item. Put this into an Excel spreadsheet so it can be imported into your store when it’s built.
Go to the post office and a few courier companies and ask for a pricing matrix. This will display the cost of shipping with relation to distance and weight.
Learn about Pay-Per-Click advertising or find a company that does it well (again, see Step 4). Don’t believe anyone who guarantees your return. The only thing you can guarantee getting is the monthly invoice. Learn about Pay-Per-Click advertising yourself so you are not going in blind.
Alternatively, call our qualified Google Professional, Silvio for good, sound advice.
Launch the site and begin marketing the hell out of it. Ensure your developers have installed tracking tools like Google Analytics so you know if your marketing is working. Analytics track how customers move through your store, what they buy, where they come from and the keywords they searched to get there. Without this, you are running blind.
Deliver on time, every time.Posted by Chris Garrett on 14 July 2008