Guide

Planning for e-commerce

Running an e-commerce website

Even in the planning stages of an e-commerce project, it is important to understand how the website will be maintained on a day-to-day basis. There are also various marketing and security issues that need to be taken into account.

Site maintenance

Changes in product details, product ranges, special offers, up-to-date advertisements and sales information will all need to be maintained throughout the life of the site. You should also consider redesigning the site every few years in order to improve it in line with technology changes and design trends. It can help to have a content marketing strategy.

It is important that the site evolves to meet the needs of your customers. There are a number of actions you can take to encourage customer feedback, including carrying out surveys and putting feedback forms on the site.

Marketing

No matter how well designed your e-commerce site is and how competitive your products and prices are, if the customers are unaware of its existence then you will fail to exploit its potential.

Popular methods of promoting a website include:

Security considerations

Using the internet for business purposes is fraught with risks to security. Hackers can attack systems at any time. Whatever your business, there's a real risk that your system may become the target of an attack that could affect your organisation.

You should recognise the need for effective security controls to prevent your site from falling victim to hackers or fraudsters.

See cyber security for business and protect your business online

Contingency planning

The more successful your e-commerce service becomes, the more reliant you will become upon it. You should consider what risks and threats your e-commerce site might be open to and have contingency plans to ensure that you can continue trading should anything go wrong.