Checklist to Start an Online Store for Magento Merchants

May 12, 2021

If you’re reading this article, I know you’ve gone through the ocean of knowledge to decide that Magento is your chosen eCommerce platform to start an online store. However, there are still tons of things to define and prepare, which can make you feel overwhelmed to take the first step. Therefore, as a solution consultant and provider, we’d like to help by designing a useful checklist to start Magento store for you to decide each step easier and build a clearer roadmap.

Table of contents:

Start your online store with an eCommerce checklist

Know Magento scope of work to start an online store

Build your Magento website

Conclusion

Start your online store with an eCommerce checklist

Build a strategy for your eCommerce business 

When you decide to start an online store, you should have a long-term business plan in place. This is essential as a sound and oriented business plan will ensure future success. In other words, your master business plan should answer the following questions: 

  • What is the market I aim for? 
  • Which results do I want to achieve in this market? (Mission)
  • Why do I start an online store and how does my business create value to the customers and the market? (Vision)
  • In what types of criteria can my desired results be expressed and how can I measure them? (some operational metrics and KPIs)

Please think carefully and answer the above questions with an estimated amount of time you need to spend to achieve each milestone of your plan.

 

What’s your mission and vision to start an online store?

Choose a business name 

You should choose a name that is unique but best suited to the characteristics and values ​​your business offers. 

 

The business name should cover vision, mission, and values

 

Above all, choose a business name that no other brand is currently using. A simple way to check if the brand has been registered by another business is to do quick research using search engines like Google. Try entering your ideas into the search bar and reviewing the results. This not only eliminates duplication but also helps consider the bigger picture of the market. You can refer to how similar brands work based on related suggestions. Many complementary ideas to start an online store can come as a surprise.

Choose products to sell 

“What should I sell?” This is probably the hardest question. Most merchants consider the following points to choose the product that can be well sold and suitable for their business to start an online store:

  • Profitability
  • Market competition
  • Market saturation
  • Merchant’s passion
  • Merchant’s experience
  • Customer’s pain point
  • Industry dynamics
  • Annual forecast

Speaking more about the products, inventory management software is necessary to avoid overstock or out-of-stock situations, thereby optimizing the holding inventory cost. In addition to providing real-time inventory invisibility, advanced inventory management software often provides sales reports and demand-supply forecasts. This helps businesses to have deeper insights into the business situation to make reasonable strategic changes.

Understand your target customers  

According to CB Insights Report, 42% of startups fail because the market has no demand for the products and services they provide. In other words, you don’t know who your potential customers are and what they want. A good way to define targeted customers is to use the Customer Persona method and template. 

 

Customer Persona or Buyer Persona to visualize your target customers

Define your marketing strategy 

Have you heard of the term Customer Journey? In fact, you can think about marketing in the same way you search for products.

 

As an eCommerce, you should focus on digital marketing when you start an online store. After you’ve chosen a particular product and service to offer, it will take a little bit of Customer Persona research like the one above because you need to know who is most interested in what you sell.  Finally, make sure that the right users are viewing your advertising.

 

One more thing, your marketing campaigns can only perform well if you incorporate support from multiple social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at the same time. They have the power to spread and make your business ideas go viral as online users often use them, which can help your product quickly reach your target customers.

Register your online store domain 

Determining the domain name of your website is also difficult and as important as determining the company name above. The two characteristics of a domain name are uniqueness and availability. In terms of uniqueness, your domain name must be completely different so that customers don’t get confused with other websites.

 

Most businesses take the website domain similar to their business name with some suffixes. But, what if the domain name has been taken by someone else? As an element of availability, you can use an alternative method of choosing a URL string with related content. That is to say, relevance is important because it is brand reminiscent and makes it easier for your customers to recall and type your website domain name while surfing the internet.

Know Magento scope of work to start an online store

When you decide to choose Magento as the eCommerce platform to start an online store, you already know the popularity and benefits of Magento.

Magento edition:

There are two versions of Magento:

  • Community Edition, recently renamed Magento 2 Open Source.
  • Enterprise Edition, recently renamed Magento 2 Commerce.

 

Those two versions have the same core to meet the basic needs to start an online store, but the features and utilities will be different. You can consider the following aspects to make a choice: 

  • Resources
  • Target market segmentation
  • Scalability

 

Then you can use this Magento comparison chart to decide.

Magento hosting service 

You can search for Magento hosting service based on criteria of your own demand:

  • Type of hosting offered
  • Features
  • Server locations
  • Areas of specialization
  • Security
  • Support Service
  • Price and general feedback online

Our recommendation is to find a hosting company that can scale your Magento servers without affecting your customization. With it, your automated or on-demand backups are created at an offsite location and can be restored with one click.

Magento theme

The Magento theme is like the outer shell of your online store, the look that helps to convey the style, values, ​​and sometimes beliefs of your business and products. For instance, a good theme can help your customers shape their searching journey on your site.

 

Our recommendation to purchase Magento themes:

Build your Magento website:
Do it yourself or hire Magento Developers

 

Consider the technical checklist below if you want to handle your Magento website on your own:

Magento Development 

  • Install Magento
  • Set up Favicon 
  • Change HTML Head for Magento SEO
  • Place Product Placeholder Images
  • Enter the store information (address and email)
  • Change Admin URL for security purposes
  • Establish the Tax Rules
  • Set default image of transactional emails 
  • Finish the Layout of 404 Error Page
  • Clear Test Data
  • Set up product inventory 
  • Bring JavaScript Into One file
  • Place CSS in a Single File
  • Create maintenance flag file 
  • Create an email rule for error Page reporting
  • Handle Index Management
  • Enable Caching
  • System compilation set up
  • Google Analytics set up
  • Set up Google Base: an important Google facility provided by Magento
  • Google Sitemap set up
  • Check the Newsletter Subscription Procedure
  • Check for Payment Gateway
  • Set Up SSL Certificate
  • Place extension license key
  • Check the PHP Configuration
  • Turn On Cron Jobs
  • Clean Log
  • Create Database and Files Backup
  • Install Magento extensions and make needed customization

Optimize website 

Don’t you want your customers to wait a long time for loading and reading your website content? That lies in optimizing your site performance, including loading speed. Website performance directly affects shopping experience and customer satisfaction. To optimize your Magento site performance, you need to audit your website speed, identify detailed technical issues and then think about needed solutions to optimize your website speed.

 

Some free recommended tools to analyze your website performance:

Maintain website 

After your website has been up and running for a while, active and regular maintenance is essential for running the business smoothly in the long term. This is a challenging job in terms of time, cost, and specialized knowledge. First, the meticulousness of observing the website daily for potential errors and the standard procedure to periodically inspect the entire website. Next, it takes experience and knowledge to come up with complete maintenance and action plan.

 

Should I hire Magento Developers to start an online store?

 

In case you decide to hire Magento Developers for your project, they will do all the Magento technical tasks above for you, launch your online store, and give your website a good hand. Budget is an important factor, then comes dedication. So, you need to take careful consideration of the following factors to select qualified developers.

Requirements for Magento web agencies

  • Adobe Exchange Partners (previously Magento Solution Partners)
  • Adobe Certified Experts – Adobe Commerce Developers (previously Magento Certified Developers)
  • Experience and Testimonials
  • Portfolio
  • Pricing
  • Location
  • Quality assurance and testing
  • Transparency and customer service
  • Support policy

If you are looking to hire a Magento expert, MageCloud is here for you! Contact us to get started!

In general, most Magento web agencies have all resources needed to complete the project in the optimal time, including the most advanced technology, standardized process, and experienced developers.

Requirements for Freelancer developers

  • Magento certificates (now Adobe Certified Experts – Adobe Commerce Developers)
  • Experience and customer reviews
  • Portfolio
  • Cost per hour
  • Location

Our recommendation of freelance developers is dedicated to sources like UpWork and Freelancer. This is the best option if the technical workload is not too big or you demand a dedicated person in just a short period.

 

MageCloud is top-rated Magento agency on Upwork! Upwork member since 2009.

Conclusion

In conclusion, starting a Magento website doesn’t have to be overwhelming, especially with our guidelines and recommendations. This checklist to start Magento store will help you not get lost in the matrix of information and considerations. Most importantly, let’s start an online store site to grow your own business with trusted partners.

 

 

Author Bio: Guest post by Magestore, the leading POS provider for Magento retailers

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If you would like to know how MageCloud can help your eCommerce business, please contact us to start discussing your requirements. For more information, email us at [email protected].

 

 

 

 

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