If you have not already registered a domain name for your e-commerce store, then you will have to reserve one as quickly as possible. You will have to choose a '.com' suffix for your domain name if you are selling in different countries. However if your target market is restricted to one country a domain name with the country's suffix will be sufficient (e.g. if you are only selling to the UK you could use a '.co.uk' suffix). If you do not necessarily want to use your company's name for a domain name, try choosing one that is small and sounds good. Try mentioning it to some of your friends on the phone and ask them to spell it out for you. Ask them if they can still remember it the next day. If no such name is available for you to reserve, try adding an extra word to the domain name that will better determine your business, e.g. 'maryswines.com'
The product categorization you have chosen for internally organizing your business is not necessarily the best option for your e-commerce store. Magnet Commerce allows you to have an unlimited number of categories and sub-categories, but you will most probably confuse your customers if you try using too many. There are two golden rules to help you build your category structure: A) the main categories should not be more than 7, and B) every final category should have between 10 and 20 products. Apart from that you will need to think whether the category names are clear to everybody, not just to yourself. Best way of finding out is by asking your friends what products they would expect to find under a category with the name in question. And vice versa, in which category they would expect to find a given product.
It is important that the customer reaches the desired product in just 3 clicks, so apart from product categorization and search engine facility, Magnet Commerce gives you the additional option to organize your products in a way that you will already have seen if you have shopped from Amazon, eBay, Yahoo Shopping or MSN shopping. This additional way is the filtering of products according to their properties and will be explained with an example: An online jewellery shop customer is in the 'Rings' category which lists 1000 products. Instead of taking hours to check out all 1000 products, she can filter them in seconds and get to those that cost 500-800 EUR, have a diamond stone and an 18K white gold ring. In a few seconds and in just 3 clicks the customer has restricted the 1000 products down to 5, which are of most interest. You will therefore need to decide which are the crucial properties of your products for every final category.
Once you have decided which of your products you will be selling online, it would be helpful to put them down in a list containing a code, a name, a small description, a long description, a price and a category for each product. The more complete the list is, the easier and faster it will be for you to setup your online store. Whatsmore, if you can have this list in an excel format or this data is already placed in some database, you could import the data file in your online store in one simple step by following the import instructions.
The photographs in your e-commerce store will be available in two different sizes, a normal one for each product page and a small one (thumbnail) for pages containing product lists, such as pages showing categories. Once the big photograph is imported in the system, the small one is automatically generated in the size and quality you have defined. We suggest that you keep your normal sized photographs in JPG format with a length that does not exceed 300 pixels and a 30K size so they will load fast. If the details of your product are important you can use larger images but do not exceed 500 pixels in lenght. For the small photographs we suggest 100 pixels. You could take the size up to 200 pixels. You can add as many photographs as you wish for a product. Keep in mind that customers can not see or touch your products as they would do in a real shop and therefore the better the pictures and descriptions are the more likely it is for a visitor to turn into a customer.
It is most likely that you will already have a logo for your company which you will want to add to you e-commerce store. Ask you graphic designer to provide you with a GIF or JPG file that is 150-250 pixels long (depending on the shape) and no bigger than 30K in size. If you don't already have one, contact us and we will prepare 3 proposals for you at a competitive price.