An Introduction to Ecommerce: Part 3

An Introduction to Ecommerce: Part 3

The following is a four part series focused on providing you with an introduction to ecommerce. We will answer many things along the way, including such questions as:

  • “What is ecommerce?”
  • “Should I build an online store?”
  • “Do I have the expertise”
  • “What are the costs involved in such a site?”

In part 1, we looked into the “in’s and out’s” of ecommerce. In part 2, we answered another important question “Should I build an online store?” In part 3, we will answer the question “Do I have the Expertise?”, and review ways in which we can ease any concerns over the technical details of managing an ecommerce site. Let’s get started.

Introduction to Ecommerce – Part 3: Do I have the Expertise to Manage an Ecommerce Site?

Our clients often face the fear of whether they can pull off the task of maintaining and running an ecommerce site. We address this issue in two ways:

  • Show demos of ecommerce stores
  • Provide site training and documentation

Showing Demos

By showing demos of other sites, we engage our clients on the ins-and-outs of the processes that typically drive ecommerce stores. Assuming that these have been built well, it will quickly become apparent that ecommerce is not rocket science.

When walking clients through a top level overview of how the store looks to the public, we show:

  • the storefront
  • category pages
  • product details pages
  • search functionality
  • the check-out process

By covering these pages first, we create a solid understanding of what will be produced through the store’s admin area. This is important because clients need to understand the correlation between the admin area and the public-facing site. In other words, this understanding provides a better grasp of “what effects what” when administrating the site.

With that ground covered, it is time to move over to the administrative side of things. First, we walk-through the top level overview of the admin area and its navigation, providing a short description of what each section does. By doing so, we help build a mental model of the admin area before providing detail that very well may overwhelm someone at this point.

Now, it is time to review the following… Specifically, how:

  • categories are set-up
  • products are added
  • shipping is controlled
  • tax rates are applied

Covering these areas gives clients the confidence to manage the back-end (or admin) area of the ecommerce site with ease.

Training & Documentation

Now that we have shown clients a sample ecommerce site without making their head spin, it is time to discuss the support options that Convergent Studio provides. This helps them understand that when the project is complete, they won’t be left hanging all alone.

We typically offer two support options:

  1. One face-to-face training session
  2. A short, customized user manual

Some clients prefer to meet in person and be guided through each piece of the store’s functionality. Others simply prefer to have a guide that they can reference instead. The decision between using one support option over the other (or even both) should be dependent on how best the client learns. Visually? Through conversation? Through getting their hands dirty?

Regardless, of their preferred method, we are attempting to convey that – just as they have seen – they can do this and they will have the support they need along the way!

Read part 4 in our series on An Introduction to Ecommerce, the final article in this series!