I design .

I'm Ketan ‐ A Melbourne web designer and developer
with over 20 years of industry experience.

Head icon.

Ecommerce - Where do I start?

← Journal

By now, you should know which ecommerce platform you will use for your online store, and now the hard work begins. But where do you start?

Before any design or development begins on your online store, there are always a few tasks that I recommend be completed before anything else to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Prepare your data

I’ve often heard clients say they’ll prepare their product data when the website is ready. Doing this after the site is designed can cause all sorts of issues:

  1. The website design doesn’t account for specific data to be displayed, such as product sizes or customise and buy options.
  2. The website may not have an appropriate layout for the style and size of the product imagery.
  3. The product categories have not been defined, and there’s not enough space to list them all on the design.
  4. Changes to the website’s design will inevitably cost you more money.

Photograph your products

It’s a good idea to have your products professionally photographed before creating the store’s design. The quality and style of the photographs will dictate how your website will look. For example, products with a dark background may require a different website layout from products with a white background.

Define your brand identity

If you haven’t got a logo or visual identity for your business, it’s best to have this designed well before launching your store. Getting the right domain and brand name is essential to a successful shop that customers can remember.

Your brand should be consistent between all your online and offline materials; invoices, product tags, social media and your online store.

Getting your brand identity right from the start is essential.

Write up those important documents

Prepare your terms and conditions, refund policy, delivery costs, privacy and cookie policies. It’s a good idea to spend some time on these to ensure you cover yourself adequately.

Provide as much information to your designer/developer

Giving your designer as much information and data about your products before they start any work will ensure all requirements of your product range are covered and the project can stay on time and within budget. Your pre-project discussions should include your product data.

It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the typical process of a website project so you can plan ahead. Here’s my project process that I use for all website design projects.


Sketch sitemap library available for US$14 on Gumroad.