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The Ultimate Ecommerce Checklist

eCommerce is definitely one of the most dynamic forms of business you could ever pursue. The tactics of just 2 years ago could be considered archaic today. Quite often, strategies you may flippantly trial could turn into mainstay revenue earners (think ZipPay, Ozbargain, “name your price” functionality and more). This hunger and willingness to trial various channels is often the difference between a thriving eCommerce store and one just chasing the scraps that escaped your leading competitors.

We’ll cover the ultimate eCommerce checklist below. Check back regularly for updates on the hottest eCommerce trends.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR AUDIENCE & MARKET TRENDS

1) GOOGLE TRENDS

Google Trends is a tool by Google that analyses the popularity of top search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages. It uses graphs to compare the search volume of different queries over time. Google Trends also allows the user to compare the relative search volume of searches between two or more terms. Discover trending products, regions and seasonality for your eCommerce store!

2) SOCIAL LISTENING - GOOGLE ALERTS

Social listening is the process of monitoring digital conversations to understand what customers are saying about a brand and industry online. Monitor the web for interesting new content. You can get emails when new results for a topic show up in Google Search. For example, you can get info about competitors, news, products, or mentions of your name. There’s no better way to get the jump on industry developments before your competitors do.

3) DEMOGRAPHICS - ENGAGEMENT USING GOOGLE ANALYTICS & FACEBOOK PAGE INSIGHTS

Demographics Insights will help you to analyse the user behaviour on your website. There are many options inside Facebook and Google Analytics to see insights like age ranges, genders, likes, engagement, reach, location, device, etc to boost the Organic Social Media and Paid Ads. An example use case is: This tool will quickly told a Nimbull client that males between 25 and 35 spend the most money and the most “time on site”. We quickly tailored our tone, language and promotions to this key demographic on the Shopify website and paid advertising.

4) BUILDING A REPORTING FRAMEWORK

Design and Build: Develop a unified structure that incorporates targeted data extracts, key metrics, thoughtfully designed templates, and user-friendly deliverables. Create Monthly Deep Dive reporting & Project Plans. The most pivotal piece is Conversion Tracking - use GA goals and UTMs so you can understand the true source of all sales, and which channels desperately need some TLC.

LAUNCHING A STORE

5) CHOOSING WEB PLATFORMS

Choosing the right website platform for your eCommerce business can be confusing. With so many different options available, it can be hard to know the right one to choose for your business. You can compare them all and check which platform you should choose for your business. The most eCommerce platforms are Shopify, Magento, Neto, Woocommerce and BigCommerce. Shopify is absolutely amazing overall, and Magento is great if you have deep pockets and want infinite customisation. For more basic needs where not many products are sold, use WordPress, Squarespace, Weebly & Wix (where eCommerce is more of a bolt on).

6) DOMAIN NAMES

Choose one that is short and can’t be misspelt. Use a .com.au if you are only selling to Aussies. There are dozens of domain name providers with Godaddy, Crazy Domains and Netregistry being among the safest.

7) WEB HOSTING

Some of the best Hosting Services for new websites are Godaddy, Bluehost, HostGator Cloud, Hostinger, GreenGeeks, DreamHost, SiteGround, etc. But most platforms like Shopify will do it for free!

PAID SEARCH

8) GOOGLE SEARCH ADS - ESPECIALLY GOOGLE SHOPPING!

Google offers paid advertisements which is known as PPC (Pay Per Click) that appear in search results on google.com, google.com.au and its partner websites. In addition to the regular paid search ads that appear at the top and bottom of the search engine, Google Shopping is a standout tool for eCommerce marketers. In 90% of cases it will be the highest paid media ROI channel. Google Shopping is powered by the Google Merchant Center.

9) NOTABLE MENTION - BING

The next most popular search advertisement platform is Bing Ads. It’s about 14% of the Aussie market but varies from country to country.

WEB ANALYTICS

Do you actually know whats going on on your website? Take a look over years of data or in real time!

10) GOOGLE ANALYTICS

A must have if you want to know whats going on with your store. There’s no faster way to understand the source and behaviour of your customers. It’s free and will give you 90% of the functionality you need. Advanced or enterprise level marketers may consider Adobe Analytics.

11) CONVERSION RATE OPTIMISATION

Consider Google Analytics Experiments & Unbounce to test the uplift from tweaks to your landing pages.

12) SITE STRUCTURE

Setting up website navigation is key to moving customers from the homepage to checkout. Consider the right mix of header and body menus with Categories/Subcategories.

13) SHOPPING CARTS

The user flow & measurement of your shopping cart is key to success. A simple issue like displaying GST incorrectly or not showing shipping costs early enough could be costing you thousands a week, or halve your conversion rate. Look for Shopify Plus for larger control over your shopping carts.

DISPLAY & RETARGETING

14) GOOGLE DISPLAY NETWORK

Regular Display

Its not all about immediate sales. Display ads can target the right audience based on their Interest, Topics, Keywords and Placements.

15) DISPLAY RETARGETING

Google, Adroll & Rakuten can help you bring back shoppers who have left your website without checking out.

SOCIAL MEDIA & CONTENT MARKETING

16) SOCIAL MANAGEMENT TOOL/AGGREGATOR - HOOTSUITE

A social media management tool is used to publish or schedule social posts directly to the social media platforms. An amazing time saver!

17) MONTHLY SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDARS

Create your content a month in advance, and have many contributors, to ensure a constant flow of great content throughout the month.

18) FACEBOOK PAID ADS

LIKES. Offsite. Standard. Carousel. Slideshow. Boost Posts.

Facebook Competitions (game of chance vs game of skill).

Instagram.

Facebook Groups.

19) TWITTER

20) LINKEDIN GROUPS

21) SOCIAL INFLUENCERS

A good ground game is great, but try to achieve scale through platforms that bring the influencers to YOU. Check out Tribe.

22) BLOG ARTICLE DEVELOPMENT

Watch tone & staying “on brand”.

Sourcing content - internally or using a content marketing agency.

Seeding content using Outbrain.

23) GRAPHICS, VIDEO AND ANIMATION TOOLS

EMAIL MARKETING

A good EDM strategy is key to closing unfinished sale & enticing existing customers.

24) EDM PLATFORMS - MAILCHIMP CAMPAIGNS

Have an email subscription box around your site, especially in the footer.

Collect email addresses of all purchasers, and opt them in for offers by default.

Newsletters - pick the right cadence based on “unsubscribes”.

Automations - welcome messages, trigger / delayed messages, upsells.

RUNNING A ECOMMERCE STORE - DAY TO DAY LOGISTICS

In general, without a high margin and high demand product, your store is doomed to fail. Some exceptions can be made for low margin stores that can achieve copious volume.

25) CHOICE OF PRODUCT TYPE/LINE

If not manufacturing your own product, then scarcity + price vital. Sourcing great product/negotiating with wholesalers is vital. Build real relationships!

26) SHIPPING

Its time to decide how your will tackle: Delivery - don’t just rely on Australia post. There are serious savings to be made, especially in metro areas, by using SENDLE, COURIERS PLEASE and other areas. Warranty. Returns. Refunds.

27) DROPSHIPPINS

Never handle any stock! Take orders and have the supplier fulfil the sale. Very convenient and great for cash flow, but not all suppliers will offer it. Also, watch out for OUT OF STOCK which you can not fully control when dropshipping.

28) AMAZON FBA AND OTHER FULFILMENT PROVIDERS

29) LIVE CHAT

Answer questions, objections and close sales.

30) COUPON CODES & SALES EVENTS

Deliver discounts in an insatiably simple way using coupon codes like “enter CHRISTMAS123 for 10% off”. Skin your homepage and supply discounts for seasonal promotions. The biggest ones will undoubtedly be Christmas, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, EOFY and Click Frenzy. Add “compare to” prices when discounting so users know what the original price was (with a line through it).

SHOPPING ENGINES, AFFILIATE NETWORKS & COUPONING SITES

31) AMAZON & EBAY

Seeding Products. Reach. Servicing. Margin & Fees. Use CODISTO to automate.

32) OZBARGAIN

33) COMMISSION FACTORY & RAKUTEN - AFFILATES

Explore various types of affiliates and set yield. Welcome Message. Commission %. Accepting the right affiliates.

TAKING PAYMENTS

34) ONLINE PAYMENT GATEWAYS

A secure and reliable payment method that makes it really easy for you to accept payments from anyone, anywhere - from any device. Enough of these should boost your conversion rate. Aim for at least 7 of them in your footer.

Must Have’s

Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Shopify Pay. Credit/Installment Gateways e.g. ZipPay, Afterpay, Latitude Pay, OxiPay etc.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION

Maximise FREE traffic from Search Engines

35) INSPECT AND IMPROVE YOUR CODE, CONTENT, CONNECTIONS (BACKLINKS).

36) SEO TOOLS

Google Search Console. WebCEO. Screaming Frog. MOZ. Google Pagespeed Insights.

GTMetrix. Google Keyword Planner.

37) KW RESEARCH IS KEY

Start with Google Keyword Planner in Google Ads, and “rising searches” from Google Trends.

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