October 21, 2009

Ecommerce Checklist


Hostway Team

By Hostway

Online sales continue to grow despite the economy's overall sluggishness. And with the holidays just around the corner, there's no better time to start selling your products online. We've created a list to help you get started and organize your project along the way.

Lay the Groundwork

  • Determine the geographic limits you'll place on sales and learn your tax obligations to the area(s).
  • Choose a shipping company and get information on their rates.
  • Determine how many products you will sell.
  • Take high-quality digital photos of your products (from every angle if possible).
  • Come up with a list of keywords related to your product and store.
  • Write detailed descriptions of your products incorporating your keywords.
  • Plan your Web site. Determine how many pages it will have, what the order path will be and what information you need to collect to complete the order.

Getting Started

  • Decide whether you're going to design your ecommerce store yourself or hire a designer.
  • Choose a Web hosting plan for your Web site.
  • Select shopping cart software.
  • Prepare to accept payments: create your merchant account and purchase an SSL certificate.
  • Once your Web hosting plan is set up, create an email account for customer service, sales, billing and any other departments customers may need to contact.
  • Consider adding customer reviews to your site.
  • When the design is complete, do some test orders to make sure everything is working properly.


  • Create an email marketing plan for your launch.
  • Devise an advertising strategy.
  • Create social media accounts and add their icons to your Web site.
  • Set up your Web analytics to measure your results.
  • Do a final test by asking family and friends to place an order. Make sure everything is easily understandable and in working order.

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