Do you hire a professional who has done it before, has already done the research, and can provide the benefit of their experience? OR do you take it on yourself? That will depend on how tech savvy you are, and how complicated your E-Commerce requirements are. Below are a few of the major components involved in deploying E-Commerce to your website:
- A Shopping Cart
- A Payment Gateway
- A Shipping Service Provider
Each component has it’s own set of considerations. You don’t want to spend several hours setting things up only to find out that an element you require is not available.
Check out our E-Commerce ‘starter’ lists below:
When it comes to choosing your shopping cart platform, you should ask the following:
- Will it work on mobile devices and display well in all major browsers?
- Is it set up for searchability?
- How user friendly is it for you during set up, and your customers during the purchase process?
- Will it integrate with the payment gateway of your choice?
- How easily can you add it to your website? Do customers have to leave your website to get to the storefront?
- Does it allow customization to buttons and colours consistent with your branded website?
- Will it limit the number of products, categories, or options you can add? Also, if you have 100+ products, is there ‘quick add’ functionality?
- How many product options are available? For example, can you set up a choice of sizes or colors for each product.
- Can you offer your customers personalization? For example, adding their name to a t-shirt or product you offer.
- Does it allow downloadable products? If so, are they protected links? Does it allow unique validation codes if required?
- Does it include easily exportable access to customer order history?
- Will it include tracking for payment and shipping status?
- Can you set up discount coupons for your customers to use in the online store?
- Does it allow configuration of various shipping, tax, and currency options as required?
- Will it integrate into your social media?
- Is support available when you need it?
When it comes to choosing how to process customer payments, you’ll need to choose a payment gateway. Here are a few questions you should be asking:
- Is the commission affordable to your business?
- Will it integrate with the shopping cart you have chosen?
- Does it accept all of the forms of payment and currencies you require?
- Can you process credit cards directly on your online shop website (seamless) without redirecting the purchasing customer to a 3rd party website? OR is it a non-seamless payment gateway such as PayPal, which redirects the purchasing customer to the PayPal website to process the payment and then back to the online shop after payment is complete?
- Will you be able to accept recurring payments if required?
- Does it provide anti-fraud security and Virtual Payer Authentication (VPA)?
Savvy online shoppers will expect dependable and budget-friendly shipping options so you’ve got a ton of research to do.
Shipping can be very complicated with a ton of specifications depending on the type of product, weight, dimension, destinations, speed of service, etc. You may need to set up accounts with more than one shipping service provider and this could require some lead time.
Setting up shipping is probably the most labour intensive part of the process, and requiring the most thought. Make sure that whichever shipping options you ultimately choose — they are compatible with your shopping cart and all the various product shipping scenarios. View a demo or test it out if possible.
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