From Brick to Click in 60 Days: Discover the World Wide Web
Welcome to a new edition of our actionable series, Brick to Click in 60 Days. We’re now at the halfway mark, and we assure you, it’s only going to get more exciting from here.
But, before we begin, don’t forget to check out our Week 3 plan, ‘Create a Visual Splash’, if you missed catching it earlier.
By now you’ve probably got the hang of how to choose your target audience, what and where to sell to them, and how you can entice them with delightful experiences and visual appeal. Your next task is to get your website up and running and ensure that you reach out to millions of potential customers! Read on…
Lift-off Your Website: Give your business a unique online address; a domain name. Sometimes, you may not get the name as you would like it to be. That’s ok, think of a cool suffix or prefix that will make it easy to recollect. Quite possibly, you would have already done the needful. In case you haven’t, do it now!
- Get your domain booked.
Choosing your Platform: You can broadly choose from 3 types;
a) Custom coded
b) Open-source platforms like WordPress Magento, etc., and then
c) SAAS-based platforms like Shopify.
Whatever you choose, you will need to consider the amount of customisation you need and the kind of functionalities you want to use. But do get the look and feel and content in place… zero into a theme for the design or custom design it.
Plugins and APIs: You will need a delivery partner and a payment gateway. Identify these with reference to the deals, costings and service offered. Close the deal and plug them into your website. Integrate Google tracking to understand performance. You might also need a CRM to help streamline contacts and leads.
- List the functionalities of your website that are a must-have.
- Compare platforms against these functionalities and choose the right one.
- Identify partners for Delivery, Payment, Performance tracking, and CRM.
Automation and Testing: Finally, make your website responsive so that it works just as efficiently on phones and tablets too. In fact, plenty of brands are going mobile-first in their approach, since most Indians seem to be shopping more on their phones than desktops.
Once all the pages are up, ensure the website works by plan — test it on varied devices for user experience issues and any broken links. Automate actions on the website, like abandoned carts, failed payments, etc. Optimise it too with the right tools, to improve performance.
- Roll out a beta and get friends and family to test the website.
List, List and List, and Of course, SEO: For most online shoppers, a search engine like Google is often the starting point in their shopping journey. That’s your cue right there, to get your website optimised and ensure that the keywords and meta tags you use, successfully drive traffic in your direction. Your product listing pages on your website need to be keyword-rich and tagged appropriately, for shoppers to find them effortlessly on search engines. If you go back to our Week 1 plan for a moment, you’ll notice we’ve stressed the need to list your products on aggregator sites as well. By doing this, you are putting your products out there in the virtual space, for your target audience to reach out to more easily. Because, you never know, where your next customer is peering from! Contrary to popular assumptions, SEO is an ongoing activity. Identify evolving keywords and keep your content updated.
- Ensure your website has a page that can accommodate a lot of content, like a blog or a recipe page, tips and knowledge articles, etc.
- Take the list of products you shortlisted in Week 1, and start putting appropriate tags and sorting filters on those.
Key takeaway: To get your website up and running requires a little prepping. From booking a domain to choosing a platform to build the website on, to automation and SEO, there’s a lot that goes on in between. But the end result is for everyone to see and marvel at. And, that’s our goal…an e-com website that customers find attractive enough to shop on!