Are you considering opening an online store? Below is a list of questions and notes which AloeRoot provides to potential ecommerce clients – if you can think about these topics in advance and use them as a preparedness guide, your venture into online sales will move more quickly and smoothly.
Do you already have a web presence? If so, what’s your website address?
In which province or state is your business headquartered?
How many products do you wish to have in your store?
Is each item one of a kind?
Do you have an offline / real world / brick and mortar store also?
Will you maintain separate inventory for your ecommerce shop?
To which countries do you ship?
How do you ship? Purolator, Canada Post, UPS, other?
Do you offer free shipping at all?
Do you offer local pickup?
Do you need to offer parcel tracking?
Which payment methods will you accept? Visa, MasterCard, check, money order, PayPal?
Do you already have a merchant account for accepting credit cards? Who is your provider? (You will need to locate any merchant account information you have available.)
Which taxes do you collect?
What information does your bookkeeper or finance department require from your ecommerce store?
Will you be using the store to help manage your books, or do you have separate accounting software?
Three Things You Need:
1. A security (SSL) certificate installed on your web server. Cost: approximately $60 if your site is hosted on our servers. Otherwise we will determine pricing for you.
2. Ecommerce Software: there are many varieties available. We can determine, in consultation with you, which option is the best for your operation and budget.
3. Hosting for your store: we offer hosting plans suitable for our ecommerce shops. If you have an existing hosting plan, we can find out if it offers all the features required to run your store.
Information You Will Need to Provide to Us:
1. Your company’s contact information including:
• Office address
• Shipping address
• Credit card billing address
• 800 number if applicable
• Customer service name, mailing address, email address and phone number
3. Text about your shipping policies.
4. Your returns / exchanges / customer service policies.
5. Quality photographs of all your products (we can assist if necessary). Good product photos are one of the most important factors in making sales online.
6. A list of all your products as a spreadsheet with the following information included. We will help you determine on an individual basis whether all this information is required:
Name, SKU, Description, Short Description, Weight, Height, Length, Width, Price, Quantity Available, Taxes charged.
New Accounts You May Require (we can assist):
We can help you set up accounts with the following providers, if necessary. Because these accounts require you to provide private financial information, we request that you create the accounts yourself with our assistance and share with us only with the information we require to build your store.
• Shipping Accounts as needed: Canada Post, UPS, Purolator etc.
• Merchant Account for accepting credit card payments
• Payment Gateway Processing Account (processes credit card transactions in your shop)
• PayPal Account
If you gather all this information at the early stages of your ecommerce plan, it will be much quicker and easier to set up your shop. Generally, it takes longer to gather all the required information and to set up the necessary accounts than it does to build your store, so it pays to be armed with this checklist before you begin!