Do you think you are ready to dive into the world of managing an e-commerce store? Before you dive headfirst into the exciting world of online retail, let’s ensure you’ve got your bases covered by reading through this comprehensive checklist that we’ve developed over the years with all the experience we’ve had in setting up a WordPress based e-commerce platform using WooCommerce, also now known simply as Woo. Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or just starting out, setting up your online store demands attention to detail. Let’s break it down step by step:
Store Setup Essentials:
- Physical Address: Even if you’re running your business from home, you will be required to input a physical address for legal purposes.
- Target Countries: Decide on the regions you’ll be selling to or shipping products. Whether it’s solely the US or an international audience, make it clear from the start. Selling internationally can add a large amount of complexity and costs that you may not be thinking about.
- Payment Methods: Choose between Woo Payments, Stripe, PayPal, or Square Up. Each has its perks, but ensure you have the necessary login credentials for seamless integration. In our experience Stripe has historically been the best option but Woo Payments is a newly offered option that may be right for your small business.
- Sales-Related Email Address: Dedicate an email specifically for all sales-related notifications to maintain organization. This is the email address that your website would send correspondence to your customer from. It should be something like [email protected]. If you don’t already have a hosted email account that matches your website domain URL, then you will want to get that set up. This is a service that we provide and would be happy to discuss with you. We can help you set up your own custom domain email ([email protected]) cost $8.25 per month using Google Apps for Work (includes email, Google Drive, Calendar and Google Apps). There is also a one-time set up cost of $25 in addition to monthly cost billed annually in advance.
- Guest Checkout or User Accounts: Decide whether customers can check out as guests or if you’ll store their information for future purchases. When you allow them to create user accounts this adds some additional complexity to your website but can be easily done.
- CRM Integration: Consider integrating with Mailchimp or another CRM system for effective customer relationship management. Ensure you have the necessary login details for integration.
- Syncing with Social Media: Determine if your products will be synced to Facebook. If so, ensure you have admin access to the Facebook Page that the products would be synced to.
- Product Categories: If you have different types of products, it’s highly suggested that you organize your products into clear categories or taxonomies for easy navigation.
- Inventory Management: Decide whether you’ll manage stock manually or use a tool to keep track of product availability.
Product Details Checklist:
- Product Name: You will need to write clear and descriptive names for each product.
- Product Description: You will also need to create compelling and informative product descriptions that highlight the product’s features and benefits.
- Product Images: Have you had professional images taken for each product you plan to sell? You will need high-quality images showcasing the product from different angles.
- Product Price: You will need to set competitive and appropriate pricing for each product.
- Product SKU: Unique identification numbers for each product to manage inventory efficiently.
- Product Weight: For physical items being shipped, precise weight details are crucial for accurate shipping calculations.
- Product Dimensions: Similarly, detailed dimensions ensure correct packaging and shipping costs.
- Shipping Class: Group products into shipping categories for streamlined logistics.
- Product Attributes: Specify sizes, colors, and other variations separately in spreadsheets, especially if they affect pricing or logistics.
- Size Charts: Provide clear size guides to assist customers in making informed choices.
Launching an e-commerce store involves meticulous planning and attention to detail. By ensuring you’ve checked off each point on this list, you’re setting yourself up for success in the competitive world of online retail. Remember, a well-structured and organized store not only attracts customers but also keeps them coming back for more. So, take your time, delve into each aspect, and watch your online store flourish! Now that you have this checklist at hand, we would suggest creating a spreadsheet for your products with one row per product and a column for each product attribute listed above.
As the e-commerce Shop Owner you will be responsible for logging into the back-end of your website at least daily to process any transactions that have come in. WooCommerce will send you an email letting you know that a transaction has been received.