We were talking today with a designer and a developer about an ecommerce project we’re considering. Having given them an idea of the products, I was about to move on to strategic considerations when the developer starting peppering us with questions.
“They’ll have to be shipped cold. What are their must arrive by dates?”
“Will they be shipping overseas?”
“Will they want to connect with their warehousing and inventory control systems?”
I probably have some of those wrong. It’s an agricultural product, and my acquaintance with logistics in agricultural settings is limited, though we have worked on several agricultural ecommerce websites.
But of course he was right. When you plan your ecommerce website, you need a design concept, branding, a good SEO strategy, strong content… and enough knowledge about your supply chain to be able to convey to your web designers what you need.
Things to discuss with your web team:
- What you’re doing now, when it comes to point of sale systems, inventory management, shipping, and so forth. The more clearly you describe your current system, the better your web team can make sure that the new website fits into your workflow.
- What you want to change. If you’re currently using a fulfillment house but you want to shift to handling it all yourself, you don’t need what you have now. You need something completely different.
- How you’re special, from the point of view of ecommerce. The project we’re thinking about does have to ship products cold. That’s a first for us in ecommerce websites, so we will need some training. It’s also a good heads-up for us to know that our usual ecommerce plugin might not work.
- Legal requirements vary from one product to another. If you have to include nutritional information, if you need to gate your shop till visitors confirm their ages, or if your product cannot be shipped to every state, your website will have to reflect those factors.