E-Commerce Questions Checklist
Use the following checklist as a guide for asking appropriate questions in anticipation of building an e-commerce website.
√ Is the current product catalog consistently categorized? What exceptions are there for these categories?
√ How many sub-levels are there for each category? For example, in the case of a shoe catalog there might be three levels before actual products would be listed (men's/dress/loafers/product).
√ Are their individual SKU numbers for each unique product including variations of color, size, etc.?
√ Does the existing merchant account allow for processing credit card orders online?
√ Are there any irregular pricing rules for the site? Does choosing certain attributes add cost? Do some products offer accessories or packaging options that would add cost to items?
√ Is the product catalog in database form (get copy of the database file).
√ Are there any special tax issues with selling the product online?
Consider these details when building an e-commerce site.
1. SSL encryption certificate. In order to accept credit cards online through a secure encrypted page, an SSL certificate will need to be purchased. We charge $849 to purchase and install this certificate ($349 to VeriSign, $500 Newfangled admin fee). This certificate will need to be renewed every two years.
2. Batch uploading of product databases. When there are a large number of products or unique product SKUs it may be easiest to batch upload the database into the e-commerce site. This can be done as a one-time upload or, to do this regularly, a database upload bridge can be customized for the site. Getting a sample database file before development is critical to ensure batch uploading compatibility.
3. Store Policies and Procedures. An e-commerce site usually requires policy statements on the site. These will need to be defined, written, or adapted for returns, privacy, cookie usage, order status checking procedure, and out of stock terms. These policies may need to be approved by their legal counsel.
One of the reasons why e-commerce sites tend to be more complex than other sites is that there are simply so many details that need to be explained and discussed when building an e-commerce site. Working through this checklist and reviewing these questions will help minimize these complexities and identify any potential problems before they become a real problem.