If you’re thinking about launching a new eCommerce site or overhauling an existing site, you want to ensure that it converts visitors into buyers. But how do you make sure that happens? One way is to look to the experts. And that doesn’t necessarily mean hiring an expensive developer or consultant. This eCommerce website checklist will help you figure out what’s required based on the latest academic research.
Launching a successful eCommerce website requires careful attention to detail. The right website elements can mean the difference between success and failure.
Obviously, an eCommerce site should be visually appealing, have clear navigation, and include features such as checkout, order processing options, and payment options. But wouldn’t be nice to have some more specific guidance?
Well, apparently some marketing professors agreed, and, in 2015 researchers developed an operational model for increasing the financial performance of eCommerce websites.
As an operational model, the checklist includes items related to functionality (as you would expect) and also strategic and operational items. Broadly, the four elements the research focuses on are:
- Goal setting
In other words, the success of an eCommerce website depends on setting the right goals, getting the right visitors to the website, and providing a simple, secure user experience.
We’ll break down the specifics in the following eCommerce Website Excellence Checklist. Then we’ll cover the website-specific items you’ll need in our eCommerce Website Launch Checklist.
Here are the top 10 items from the eCommerce Website Excellence Checklist.
- Business Goals. Even if your company is 100 percent eCommerce, your website is only one aspect of your success. In order for your website to succeed, it must serve your overall business goals.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Organic search is critical for long-term success in eCommerce. Digital advertising is necessary, but to scale, you should have a plan to growth organic traffic. That will require SEO.
- Digital Certificates. These days, an SSL certificate is a must-have when accepting payments online. Without one, visitors won’t trust your site and it will negatively impact SEO.
- Maintainability. Especially for stores with many products, developing a website that is easy to maintain is essential.
- Social Media (SM). Part of your eCommerce website’s success depends on your ability to get the right people to the site. In addition to SEO, organic social is a cost-effective way to do that.
- Search and filtering tool
- Website Objectives. It’s vital that you know what you want your website to achieve so that it is developed with those objectives in mind. These objectives should support your overall business goals.
- Checkout. This one goes without saying, doesn’t it? But it’s not enough to have a checkout process that’s “good enough.” It has to present a smooth, secure experience that shoppers will trust.
- Payment Gateway. Here’s another no brainer. Shoppers need a way to pay you. It should be secure and easy-to-use.
- Shipping and Delivery. Shipping and delivery (and their associated costs) are one of the leading factors of shopping cart abandonment. It’s essential to get this part right.
Here’s a detailed list of the specific items you’ll need before you’re ready to launch your eCommerce website. This list doesn’t include the operational items above, and it dives deeper into the specific pages and technologies you’ll need.
- Terms of Service
- Returns and Refunds
- Product Photos
- Product Videos
- Product Categories
- Product Sub-Categories
- Product Details
- Shopping Cart
- Checkout Process & Shopping Cart
- Payment Gateway
- SSL Certificate
- Automatic Website Security Scanner
- Cloud Backup Provider
- Search, Filtering, and Sorting
- Conversion Pixels
- Live Chat
- Website Visitor Identification
This eCommerce Website Checklist will help you build a website that will last. By getting things right the first time, you won’t need to worry about maintenance issues in the future. That means the investment you make now will lead to more revenue in the long run.
 Ghandour, A. (2015). ECOMMERCE WEBSITE VALUE MODEL FOR SMES. International Journal of Electronic Commerce Studies.
 Ghandour, A. (2018). FAHP-based to-do-list for eCommerce websites the case of SMEs in Abu Dhabi. International Journal of Economics and Business Research, 15(1), 52-71.