We don’t have an ecommerce site yet. What are the key things we should be thinking about and where do we start?

A lot of factors go into making an ecommerce site successful, including good site design, use of efficient payment services and effective online marketing. Jon Woodall, managing director of digital agency Space 48, says the options available will depend on a retailer’s current online presence and whether or not they are looking to develop a website from scratch, or add a bespoke ‘bolt-on’ etail function to their existing non-transactional site.

“Retailers venturing online for the first time need an integrated package that offers flexibility and control over the look, content and function,” says Woodall. An ecommerce platform needs a good order management system, payment and shipping options and analytics.

Retailers new to ecommerce can sometimes forget the practicalities, says Woodall – one key consideration is to ensure the new site is fully supported by its server hosting provider to ensure it doesn’t crash if traffic is high. Melbourne Server Hosting managing director Daniel Keighron-Foster says: “Traffic surges can easily overwhelm servers with insufficient resources, so make sure your hosting package is from a reliable provider with an established reputation.”

As the website grows, retailers often incorporate load balancing technologies and redundancy servers so the site remains functional in the event of a systems failure. “Knowing who to call when there’s a problem is also vitally important,” adds Keighron-Foster.