What makes for a great design? How much time and investment should you dedicate to development? The answer very much depends on your business. A successful launch is about understanding the needs of your target audience, a good design brief and constant – effective – communication throughout the process.
This should include everything from research to competitor analysis and ongoing consultation. Once this initial work has been done, design should take place – we always provide at least two design concepts to our clients. Once you agree which concept you like, we’ll get to work on it, creating artwork and final creative. Once your site has been designed to a standard you’re happy with, it should be tested to ensure the best usability and functionality. This is why user testing, both at concept stage and development stage, plays an important role. It produces a rich and engaging design, which portrays your brand in an impactful way and satisfies your buyers’ needs and expectations.
Development means taking your final design and making it work online, meaning lots of coding! Development can consist of:
- Shopping cart
- Customer services
- Contact us form
- Newsletter signup
- Information pages
- Advanced modules
- Site search
- Tell a friend
- Related items
- Social bookmarking
- Saved searches
3. Standard guided backend set-up
Backend set-up is so important to get right and NO corners should be cut. It involves setting your website preferences, including order management, payment methods, credit card processing, shipping methods, sales order workflow, promotion codes, inventory set-up, pricing and creating email templates for auto responders. Phew.
4. Advanced backend setup
Depending on the size of your website, you may want to be quite advanced with your backend set-up. This can include everything from having multiple price levels, quantity pricing, more than one currency, multiple warehouses and even multiple web stores. NetSuite ecommerce platforms can do almost anything you like – no matter how big or small.
5. Data migration
Data migration is very dependent on the having a perfectly formatted csv file to upload. This means Item information must be correct and up to date, and images need to be in the right format and categories.
6. On-page search engine optimisation (SEO)
If you want visitors once you launch, there are various ways you can go about it. One of the most cost-effective ways to get traffic to your site is through effective SEO, otherwise known as natural traffic. It’s important to make sure your SEO includes:
- Competitive keyword research. Mix up keywords based on competitiveness and monthly search volume.
- Site structure. Optimum navigation, internal linking, duplicate content check – all very important to get right for SEO.
- Sitemap. Sitemaps are helpful for both people and search engines. Sitemaps tell search engines where to find all of the pages on your site and the priority of each.
- Google Analytics. Google Analytics is free and arguably one of the best packages on the market. Better still, it’s free!
- Friendly URLs. Ensure these are as concise as possible and include your target keywords for each page.
7. Website testing
This is where many companies go wrong. They put a website live without testing it – no! Testing ensures you hit the ground running once your site is launched and includes checking:
- All links and pages work when you click on them
- Your website works in all browsers, e.g. Firefox, Google Chrome, IE
- Checkout and ordering – make sure you try different scenarios
- Backend order workflow and fulfilment
- Forms and auto email responders
NetSuite ecommerce websites are really easy to use, but even the simplest platform requires face-to-face training. When we develop your website we’ll also include documentation you can refer to, as well as a full hand-over.
That’s it; you’re ready to go live. Once you’ve launched, unless you have an IT department, you will need after-launch support – normally this is for two months and involves resolving issues, enhancements, tweaks and training.