The pandemic hit many industries hard, but few weathered the storm quite like eCommerce. While everyone followed instructions to stay home and stay safe, people all over the country were tapping away at keyboards and screens, filling up their virtual baskets with goodies to keep them occupied and entertained.
From sporting equipment and outdoor toys to jigsaw puzzles and cookbooks, the nation went wild for online shopping. Many astute business owners responded to the trend by shifting their own offering. Breweries that had previously relied on orders from bars and restaurants pivoted to a D2C model, offering beer on-demand to help furloughed workers pass the time. Even restaurants adapted their offering, bundling cook-at-home kits to keep budding chefs entertained.
Google Trends paints a clear picture of the upturn in demand for eCommerce sites.
If you’re gearing up to launch your first eCommerce website, we’re here to help with our ultimate checklist. We share our tips for getting your website ready for anything.
Get a secure website
A secure website is non-negotiable for an eCommerce website. If you’re building your eCommerce site through a platform like Shopify, you’ll have the added advantage of built-in security. Customers are also familiar with Shopify, so they know exactly what to expect. If you’re using WooCommerce on a WordPress site, make sure your site is protected with an SSL certificate and that your certificate works across every single page of your site.
Test the core actions
Before you go live, stress-test your website to establish if customers can do everything they could possibly want to do. This includes adding products to the cart, using discount codes, adjusting quantities, and removing items. You should also make sure it’s possible to navigate between products and that product information is easily accessible.
Add your policies
Implement live chat
A live chat feature will help you to assist customers in real-time. When making a purchasing decision, internet users don’t want to wait 2-3 days for an email response, they want answers straight away. You can use a chatbot to man this all the time, or just when your support team is out of the office.
Write detailed product descriptions
In the absence of a physical store, customers need good product photography and detailed product descriptions to help them make a decision. You could also consider adding reviews to the page to add more user-generated content. Getting a second pair of eyes on your product descriptions can help you to identify your blind spots.
Create follow up emails
Don’t rely on the templates provided by your eCommerce package. Make sure you customise your emails and give them some personality. You should also add a follow-up email asking the customer to provide a review and rate their experience.