When setting up an ecommerce website (online shop) there are a lot of things to consider and by doing your research in advance it can save you a lot of time and money in the long-run.

Over the upcoming months we will be publishing a series of posts to help put you on the right path.

It may sound obvious but the first thing to think about is what you will be selling online. For example, will the products be tangible, digital downloads or are you selling your time by means of taking bookings or selling tickets? All are possible but it does have a bearing on how the website is built.

It is a good idea to think how you would like to categorise your products and what details you would like to include about them. For example, it is pretty standard to include the product name, a description, a price and a photograph but are there any additional things that will make your products stand out from your competitors such as specification sheets and manuals?

You will also need to think about whether your products are simple or variable, e.g. are they available in different sizes or colours?

It is beneficial to organise your products on a spread sheet. If you have suppliers they may be able to provide you with one, if the products are your own then you will have to make this from scratch. When writing product descriptions do look at your competitor’s websites to see what they say but do not be tempted to directly copy their content as not only could you get in trouble with the law but you may also be penalised by search engines such as Google. In many cases you will then be able to upload the spread sheet straight into the admin area of your ecommerce website, which will in turn create your product pages, ultimately saving you time. You can then save your images into a folder and upload them too.

The spread sheet should include the following columns:

  • SKU Code
  • Product Name
  • Product Description
  • Product Image File Name
  • Product Category
  • Stock Amount
  • Product Price
  • Sale Price
  • Is Tax Included in the Price?
  • Shipping Costs
  • Variations (e.g. you may have a column for colour)

You can download an example product spread sheet here.

Coming soon! Look out for our next ecommerce blog which is all about how to increase sales through product photography.