Starting an eCommerce Business Priority List

I get this question quite a bit and made this comment last night in answer to Sam’s question. I thought I’d make a quick list of the top things that have to be done. Here they are:

  1. Get content on the pages of your site. Content can include but is not limited to the following: a) Information: answers to questions visitors might have about the things you are marketing, fun facts, tips, top ten lists, etc. b) Pictures: of products, of yourself, of clients using the products, etc. c) Positive feedback about the products, testimonials, your opinion of the productsc
  2. Get products on the site. Remember the “three click theory” rule – if a client has to click more than three times to make a purchase, they’ll probably go somewhere else. Make the path to the check for products easy to follow. Products are not limited to your catalog pages, they can also be on the home page as “Featured Products”, specials, or whatever. See dance bags at www.ClogOn.com.
  3. Get your name out there on as many other quality sites as possible. The best way to do this is via
    a) article writing
    b) press releases
    c) submitting to directories (free, paid, niche, and local)
    d) blogging (on your own and on other peoples blogs)
    e) link trading with other sites

There are definitely other things to do but this is a good start.

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31 Replies to “Starting an eCommerce Business Priority List”

  1. Great summary, I printed it to keep as a reminder. As soon as I resolve a few issues regarding whether I should use one versus two sites I will be getting down to the business of writing.

  2. Hi Nate,
    I am working feverishly to implement these tips on my site. It makes a difference having someone who is already successful in this industry to keep me from having to reinvent the wheel. Thanks once again for sharing these valuable tips!

    Don

  3. Nate,

    This is the area that has become the biggest challenge for me. It is now starting to get easier and I feel that I will get comfortable with sooner than expected.
    Thank You

  4. Thanks Nate, with so much info to process and get your head around, it’s great to have simple, easy to understand lists. It’s also great to read the other replies and know that we’re not alone!!!

  5. Thanks for the tips Nate. I was really overwhelmed last week, trying to get products and content on my website, and trying to write articles and press releases at the same time. I kind of feel relieved also knowing I’m not the only going through this 🙂 I will definately follow your guidelines and trust that it will be helpful.

  6. I am glad I read this before I begin my website. I will have it with me as I construct. Guidelines are tremendous help in a sea of vast information.
    Thanks

  7. This gives me a lot to work on! I’ve started on the products page, but just barely. The three-click rule is something I wasn’t thinking about when I started my product page. So that will help me as I work more on that. I printed the list so I can refer back to it.

    Thanks!

  8. Thanks Nate for the priority list of what needs to be done on my site.
    I have always been one who worked from a “to do” list to keep my mind
    focused and to keep me from getting so frustrated.

    The “3 click rule”is definitly the way to go on my catalog pages, because I always get upset when it takes me forever to get to the procuct.

    Getting my name out there is soooooo critical to my business, so I need
    the tips you gave us. After all, this means dollars in my pocket.

    laverne romines

  9. This is a great list. When you have a list of things infront of you to help remind you of what to do next, it eliminates any confusion or going in circles. And making it user friendly is nice for the customers trying to buy products.

  10. Thanks Nate, good to keep focussing us back on the task in hand. Yes products is the obvious thing but I like the idea of “fun facts, tips, top ten lists, etc. b) Pictures: of products, of yourself, of clients using the products, etc. ” Interesting thought on a food site – food for thought.

    As to the three click rule well that could be harder and requires thought particularly if the menu structure will use up a lot of it. Finally the tips on “getting your name out there” addresses most of the marketing questions

  11. Thanks for the info. I printed it off and have it posted on my wall in front of me. My weakness is opportunity glut. So many products – so little time.

    Tom World

  12. Thanks for the info. I printed it off and have it posted on my wall in front of me. I weakness is opportunity glut. So many products – so little time.

    Tom World

  13. Really good information. Thanks for the list you always have the answers we need which is great. And I definately will use the 3 click rule.

  14. very good information. I am still in process of securing my products from suppliers. I will definitely study these points and apply them as I build my site. Thank you…..Don….

  15. Nate,
    Thanks for the list — it is helpful and I will have to check the 3 click rule; I have been busy adding products and metatags to my site

  16. These 3 items are absolutely the foundational things of a good website and an ecommerce business. Staying focused on these will always pay-off. And losing site of any one of them is disaster.

    I loved your item #2 — get products on the site. That’s the key to sales, all right. But of course your explanation of it is what matters. The three click rule is a very important strategy in site design, and it’s the major tactical plan we must implement for all visitors to have a valuable experience on our sites. Valuable for us, that is. Cuz they are more likely to buy from us.

    This is something I work on constantly because it’s too easy for us to miss it. We are often too close to the trees to see the forest. I am guilty of doing things sometimes such as, Oh, wouldn’t the visitor-customer benefit from knowing this first. So I would stick in a totally distracting page. That is a mind disease I’ve cured myself of lately. Too much information is as bad as too little. And if it causes the visitor to need to take four or more clicks to arrive at a product page where they ostensibly make their buying decisions, then it’s incredibly stupid.

    When I found through analytics that almost all my natural search visitors from the search engines were actually landing on my product information page instead of my landing page (due to the search word used to find my site, and the specific page’s optimization for that keyword), I have now completely redesigned my product into page to do more selling than introducing.

    Now my product information page introduces AND sells them hard on the product choices. Mostly it sells. Then they can go, in one click to the product category of their choice, one more click puts them on their specific product selection buying page where they make their buying decision. Three clicks.

    My landing page is optimized quite broadly, so it gets much fewer landings from visitors who are intent on one specific item they have searched for. But I’m leaving it, with a bit of revision toward its actual purpose. It’s for them to see if they want, but now it’s more of an ‘about us’ page — a more real “home page.” For those using broad search terms such as my product brand name or my url, the landing page/index page is a good place for them to start.

    Good advice, Nate. We need to continually keep the fundamentals in mind or we lose sight of what we’re doing.

    Content is incredibly important to obtain and maintain high natural search listings in the search engines. I continue adding new content all the time. It’s work, but it’s surprising how simple the work really is. For example, I add new findings about my product. I also rewrite articles I’ve submitted to article directories and put them into “information” areas of my site. The visitor can read these if they want, but mainly I do it because the search engines love it so much. One cannot have too much content. I just have to remind myself not to let it get it the way of the visitors’ three clicks path to my products’ sales pages.

    I’ve even added informational content on my check-out page and I sense that it’s helped buyers re-confirm their decision to buy when they are checking out. The amount of cart abandonment has decreased according to my analytics. And I think this must be the reason why.

  17. Thanks Nate – All this is great to keep focusing on. I seem to be using the 4 clicks for some items, the 4th click is the “add to cart”. Hope I’m not messing up! On to meta tags, and article writing. This is getting exciting.

  18. This is some great information. We will use this to keep us focused, since we feel so overwhelmed with all the information

  19. Thanks for the tips, Nate. I need to go back and check out the three click rule on my website. I just completed my first product page and I may need to rethink the mapping for future pages.

  20. It has taken weeks, but your mentoring is really beginning to sink in. Your priority list helps to enforce the practice of including good, keyword phrase embedded content on the pages of my site for high rankings with search engines. I have also begun to make comments to other related blogs for more links back to my site, but currently I am concentrating most on the “three click theory”. I am changing my pages to make it easier for visitors to order items they seached for directly that lead them to my web site. Thanks for sharing your techniques!

  21. This was very helpful. I am just starting out and it gets overwhelming at times. I try to stay organized and this will help “guide” me through with what I need to be doing. Sometimes it’s better to see things written out, like a “to do” list, it gives me a sense of accomplishment as I check off what I’ve done.

  22. So glad to hear that having “content on the pages of your site” could mean adding information, fun facts and tips…etc. This has been the hardest part for me because I am starting my business… completely from scratch. I don’t have products that are ready for my site yet, so this is a great reminder to add information!

  23. THank you Nate for putting this superb list together. I makes it look so easy. Although I am good at prioritizing I am glad for the way you have put this together. I am printing this out and putting it on top of my folder as a guide.