There are many areas to consider when setting up an ecommerce website, which includes:

  1. Understand what the business needs to achieve from their website (e.g. sell products and/or services, handle returns, generate & store enquiries, send out email campaigns, capture CES ratings and reviews)
  2. Consider what geography your website will cover and legislative requirements in different jurisdictions
  3. Understand your product data architecture and how buyers will search for your products and buy them (e.g. special search patterns such as Make Model Year for automotives, product bundling and addons, upsell and cross-sell)
  4. Decide stock control and fulfilment policies
  5. Estimate traffic volumes to the site so you can correctly specify the hardware needed to run the site and to handle 3-5 year growth and burst traffic (burst means more traffic on short periods e.g. Black Friday)
  6. Understand which channels to sell through and how to take payments:
    1. Website
    2. Telephone
    3. Marketplaces
    4. Referrals / affiliate
    5. Social
  7. Identify the correct couriers to use
  8. Specify which backend systems you wish to integrate with (e.g. accounts, inventory, CRM) 
  9. Understand legal compliance issues and handle them appropriately  (Companies Act, GDPR, Privacy/Use Policies, UK and EU VAT regulations, US Nexus rules)
  10. Check competitor product offerings in terms of catalogue size and mix, pricing and promotions (including quantity discounts) and delivery services 
  11. Budget for how you will acquire customers and via what media
    1. Organic
    2. Link building
    3. Ads (Google, Bing, facebook, instagram, magazines, trade shows etc)
  12. Create a design specification to capture the look and feel of the website and adherence to company livery standards (colours, fonts, style)
  13. Select the website software you wish to use - hopefully REC+ will be a good fit for your business.
  14. Transpose the design into mockups for mobile and desktop devices so it re-sizes nicely on different device sizes
  15. Build and browser test the design
  16. Implement the software, train staff and test it works to specification
  17. Go through a site launch and communication process
  18. Monitor the site post go live and pick up any issues such as 404 pages / redirects
  19. Establish feedback loops from buyers to continuously identify improvements

There will be other considerations that arise during the planning phase of your project which may be individual to your business model and customers and need to be taken into account. Proper planning pays dividends.