TAGS

COVID-19: Ecommerce playbook

Setting up an online store in a hurry during lockdown?

This ecommerce express playbook aims to help get your business online, and fast.

If you already have an ecommerce store, check out what to do with your online store during lockdown.

We’ve seen some innovative businesses start in a hurry as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns around the world.  We’ve seen flatpack work-from-home desks, divider screens for pharmacies, online mortgage broking and raw dog food delivery sites pop up almost overnight.
 
Rocketspark is a great tool for getting a site online pronto and some of these new businesses were started by friends so we’ve been watching their journey first hand.  
 
Even though Rocketspark Ecommerce is simple to use it still takes time and effort to know what to do and what features are the most important.  We’ve got some great books on how to make an ecommerce website and how to build a website click by click — but our friends didn’t have time to read the big books, so we’ve created a shorter checklist for them setting up a site in a hurry.

Get your payment system setup underway

Setting up your payment system can have a few delays as you gather any ID verification and complete forms.  It’s best to get this underway early. Stripe for credit payments is possibly the fastest to set up.
 
Buy now, pay later systems like Laybuy, Afterpay and Zip can make a huge impact to your sales volumes but there can be a few days delay in getting your account approved so it’s worth getting this step underway asap.

Start with your products and shop structure

Set up your products in your shop before you design the site as this will make it much easier to design the informational part of your site as you’ll be wanting to link images, text links and buttons through to products and categories in your store. 

Spend some time thinking about categories and filters that will make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for.  Getting your product titles, descriptions and photos together can be slow. Investing time in the content will reap rewards for your search rankings later on so it’s worth the investment but you can always refine / add to the content later.
 
Use the product import feature for bulk importing your products. If you create the CSV import template in a Google Spreadsheet you can get many hands working on the same sheet for an extra speedy turnaround.

Get found in Google

Working your way up the search engine rankings takes time and effort.  The key to good rankings fast is to target very specific phrases.  Make each page of your site focussed on a very specific keyword theme and ensure the headings, url, links, buttons and body text all contain the keyword phrase.
 
See our SEO guide for the important steps.

Google Shopping

As you’ll want to get results fast Google Shopping is a powerful way to get your products in front of people.  Google shopping is a pay per click advertising service managed via your Adwords account and Rocketspark has a direct feed of your products to the Google Merchant Centre you need for Google shopping.  As the results are visual we’ve found the ads generally get a better conversion rate.

Build your audience

Set up your social media accounts as a way to connect with people.  Tell your story to engage with people at a personal level. 

Also set up Mailchimp Ecommerce which is a powerful way to connect with your potential customers and existing customers.  The return on investment is a no-brainer. Be sure to enable Mailchimp’s abandoned cart capability.

Get your systems right

  • If using Xero as your accounting system you can connect your site direct with Xero to create the invoices and streamline your bookkeeping
  • If you are in NZ check out Go Sweet Spot as a freight soution
  • If you have lots of different stock items or need to connect with other freight systems check out Trade Gecko

Are recurring subscription products an option for your business?

Consistent recurring revenue is the ecommerce dream!  Do you have repeat customers buying the same products on a regular basis? Get Rocketspark’s subscription service to build your own delivery box or sell individual recurring items.  Our Subscriptions for Ecommerce feature is a no brainer for starting a subscription ecommerce business.  Our subscription system doesn’t have every feature under the sun but it is simple to set up and a great solution for many businesses.

Video content is great

A brief phone recorded video showing your products or telling your story will draw people in.  Work from Home Desks have a great video example which is quite mesmerising and shows their product very well.

Next step

Once you’ve got your site set up and the sales are starting to roll in you might like to make a cuppa and sit down to read our books which will help you get to the next level:

How to build a website click by click

Getting started with ecommerce