This is a question I fell into recently where I offered a friend who’s starting a new business, why don’t I just build you a website for your business? He happily agreed and gave me a brief rundown on what he wanted on the site – and one of those things was an e-commerce shop to showcase his products.
Now, while I’m 100% confident in using the internet and building sites from scratch. E-commerce is not something I’d dabbled with before, sure, I know that Shopify and other platform exists on the market that promises to hold your hand for the process, but of course these services charge tens if not hundreds of dollars per month for their services.
So this lead me to this unique problem of, well, if I don’t want to use a paid platform, what options would I be left with?
So, I did the research on e-commerce. From what it takes to make a functional e-commerce site, to the pitfalls to watch out for when you’re starting out, including these 10 dos and don’ts… I’ve summarized through my research that, it comes down to what type of product or service the business offers.
For example, a web discount textbook store would function very differently from an online tutoring service. Physical products vs. digital services.
So first, be sure to ask your client even before sending them a proposal (just so everyone’s clear):
- What are your expectations from having an e-commerce site
- Is the product offered physical or is it a service?
- How many products are going to be listed? (This will usually determine how many pages a site would need)
- What’s the overall marketing strategy?
- What are the expectations for me the developer?
That’s just the start of my questions, which I’ll present the next time we sit down for coffee.