ECommerce 101

I want to preface this discussion by stating that this topic is for advanced Ecommerce websites with multiple categories and product quantities ranging from 10 – 5,000.

We often get requests to bid Ecommerce websites here at Chico Web Design.  With every inquiry we get, we tell all our potential clients the same thing, “Every web site is different, and the cost is based on your needs, feature set, and business requirements”.  Believe it or not, it’s a true statement! When you’re looking for a car, you can’t pick up the phone and call your local Chevrolet dealer and say, “how much for a blue vehicle”, right?  Just as the car dealer would say, we would also explain, “we need to know more information”!  Below are some common functionality questions that we ask when speaking to a client for the first time about their ECommerce site.

Ecommerce Questions

  1. Site Structure – Do you have any ideas of what you’d like your product catalog to look like?  I.E. If you have a retail store, sample categories would be something along the lines of, Handbags, Hoodies, Pants, Tops, etc.
  2. Shipping – How would you like to handle shipping, flat fee ($6.00 per product), table rate (0-$24.99: $4.95, $24.99-$99.99: $5.95) or anything different? Express shipping?  2 or 3 Day shipping? International shipping?  Free shipping?
  3. Wish list – Would you like to allow users to create a wish list and then send their list of products to a friend or family member?
  4. Recommended products – Recommending products to cross sell with a product of interest is another value added option you may want to think about.
  5. Shop by Brand/Manufacturer – Would you like users to sort by brand or manufacturers?
  6. Tell-a-Friend – Would you like to allow users to send product links to a friend via HTML Email?
  7. Featured Products – Featuring products is a great way to capture interest in specific inventory!  If this is something of interest, where would you like them place?  Rotating on the front page?  Above each category?
  8. Sale products – Would you like a link to sale items?  We can implement sale functionality which would allow you to mark items already in inventory for sale.
  9. Coupons – Do you plan on offering discount coupons?  Do you want to offer gift cards?
  10. Newsletters – How often or do you want to capture emails for newsletters?
  11. Taxes – Does your state have any special tax rates on specific products or product categories?

This is by no means a full list of questions to ask for every Ecommerce web site, but these are some basic questions to ponder when you are searching for a design and development firm to bring your dream business from a thought to reality.

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