The following post is based on the first episode of our new podcast, The eCommerce Show. In this episode, StuntCoders CEO Dejan Jacimovic shares from his experience as a web developer and eCommerce solution-builder and provides insider insight as to the three essentials necessary when starting an eCommerce business.
You’ve got a lot on your plate. From designing an innovative product, to hiring phenomenal staff, to balancing work-life-business, launching your eCommerce site is a blur of paperwork and excitement.
And it can get overwhelming to even know where to start. Yes, filing your tax forms are right up there, as is making sure you’re eating and sleeping well, so Dejan Jacimovic, our CEO, wanted to share the following thoughts on getting started you should consider to make your launch successful from Day One.
1) Get the ball rolling
No doubt you’ve already spent an enormous amount of time and energy crafting your product and dealing with the many formalities of creating your business, so don’t waste any more time getting started with your online store.
The platform you choose now isn’t nearly as important as getting your product on the market and providing excellent customer service – you can always migrate platforms in the future if you grow out of what you choose now.
Do take the time to do some research before choosing just any solution, but the reality is, most solutions offer similar functionalities – the difference will be how much time and energy you invest into presenting your product (i.e. photography and descriptions) as well as building a solid customer service base.
The best time to start is now!
2) Surround yourself with a great team
Once you’ve chosen a platform to go with, the next element you need is to find a person, or team of people, who can provide technical support for the software you’ve chosen.
Nothing is worse than having a server crash on go-live with no support or trying to answer customer questions that require back-end systems knowledge, of which you have none.
There are extremely smart and well-educated individuals who know and understand these types of platforms inside and out and adding their expertise and knowledge to your team is invaluable. Without it, you risk less-than-stellar customer support at the point of sale, which is a critical fault.
When interviewing for systems technical support engineers, there are a few key things to look out for:
- What technical qualifications do they have relevant to the platform you’ve chosen?
- How do they handle high-pressure situations and working outside of business hours?
- Do they have generic problem solving skills?
- Can they clearly and concisely communicate technical problems in easy to understand terms?
Don’t be afraid to shop around–there are plenty of organizations who specialize in this type of service, as well as individuals you can hire permanently. You do have choices as to who you incorporate into your team, so find the best candidate you are confident in trusting this vital part of your business with.
3) Automate from the start
As an entrepreneur, you are most likely the owner, accountant, customer service department, and sales team all rolled into one sleep-deprived package.
That’s exactly why automating as many tasks as early as possible can potentially save you a few wrinkle lines and frees you up to focus on your product and the customer first.
Pick a place to get started–for most people, this is going to look like some level of automating your accounting systems. There are options which allow you to fully relinquish control and others that simply automate the tasks such as creating and sending invoices or managing payroll and accounts receivable.
Another great place to start is automating your social media posts–it’s a small, but valuable task that can become repetitive and slowly chip away at your head-space (and time) throughout your day. A quick Google-search and you can quickly find an app to help you schedule and prioritize your posts well in advance.
Launching your online store is the most exciting phase your business has seen yet. Your customers have been counting down the days to when they can finally pick your product off its digital shelf.
Take a few minutes to consider which platform you want to go with, who you can surround yourself with to support it, and which tasks you can offload to free up your focus. Most of all, just get started!
Hear the full interview with Dejan, and check out more great interviews with eCommerce heroes, by heading over to The eCommerce Show.