Top 5 considerations to self-check your e-commerce startup

Canberra e-Commerce Responsive and Mobile South Coast Sydney and Melbourne Web Design

Many people come to me and say “we should just open up an online store, and…”

Even though I’ve been immersed in online shops for over a decade, it’s now, everyone I talk to, they want a piece of the action. And with easy, automated recurring business and online payments, why not?

Well, it’s easy for me to assist and the cost barriers to opening up a good looking, functional e-commerce site are well and truly broken. The thing is though, I want my clients to be successful and not be deflated with any hidden surprises down the track.

So for anyone out there reading, here’s some things you really need to consider before employing any kind of web designer:

1. Who else is doing exactly the same thing?

Google it, you may be surprised.

It’s not the end of the world, competition is healthy…. however you do need to consider how exactly it is you’ll out-do them at their game. Is it customer service? Competitions? Tempting loyalty programs? Amazing viral social media campaigns? A convenient app to penetrate the younger market? A better product? A cheaper product?

Some niche markets and products are obviously going to be easier. But really, if you have an idea like “we need to setup some kind of online computer parts store” – you need to can that thought, pronto! You’ll have an easier life and more returns working at a supermarket.

2. Warehousing concerns

Are you holding stock? Or entering into a drop-ship programme?

You need to think about this. Especially if your market is highly competitive, there are so many costs and issues around stock, warehousing and delivery. First of all, are you required to hold stock? Do the models change frequently or does the product go off – in other words do you have to worry about stock rotation. If so, are you across the costs and time in managing this? How much product do you think you’ll need to hold, and if you’ve borrowed money for stock, are you able to remain competitive while ensuring your products have enough return to keep up with that interest?

Many successful online stores use drop-ship programmes, where giant distribution warehouses offering popular products handle all of the delivery and warehousing concerns – you just need to sell their product for them online. This is a great way to go, but once again, you need to do your research on the numerous suppliers available and go back to my first point – how will you differentiate yourself from hundreds of other stores?

3. Product selection and marketing

So you’ve selected a product or product range. Is it the type product that sells itself through a redeeming feature, such as its uniqueness, quality or price point? If you’ve nailed one or two of those, you could be on a winner. Have you examined how other people are doing it online? Are there cheap nasty equivalents for sale on eBay at tempting prices? Are the websites selling similar products a bit dodgy? Make sure there’s an opening there for you, where consumers can easily recognise you have a point of difference.

4. How are you reaching your market?

Is it the web alone (i.e. good search rankings and an effective store) that will do it, or have you considered other avenues for your marketing mix? Who is your market and are they web savvy? Do they prefer to use mobile phones, apps and social media, or are they the Baby Boomers sitting at a desk?

These questions will determine your best approach to your marketing and what service you present online – you may opt to go for a traditional e-commerce site with good search rankings, or mobile optimised site getting traffic from Facebook and Google+.

5. How are you handling payments?

Payment Gateways and Merchant Bank Accounts

If you’re expecting large volume sales and frequent, high value transactions I would  definitely suggest going for a dedicated payment gateway solution through a merchant account at your preferred bank. St George Bank and Westpac use decent services such as eWay and PayWay which have excellent APIs for Australian website developers. It is a solution that is larger scale and has additional security concerns. Transacting in this way requires PCI compliance to avoid being banned or restricted by any of the leading credit card suppliers (Visa, Mastercard et al) and being subject to fines.

On the other hand, those transacting less than say, 100K a year online, simple PayPal solutions are available. They are easier and quicker to setup, and while the transactional costs are high, the setup cost is much lower. Since eBay has adopted it as a payment method for a decade or more, consumers are familiar with how it works and trust it.

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Fisse Design

Shop 5/4-6 Noorooma Cres,
Narooma NSW, Australia

5.017 reviews
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Jervis Bay Kayak & Paddlesports Co

a year ago

Adrian and his team are simply amazing. We are an existing business and our old website was out of date and quite complex. We spoke to a few designers but Adrian stood out for being wonderful to talk to (I actually understood what he was saying!) and making the entire process so simple, along with working to our budget. The team created an amazing new site, on schedule, on budget and kept us up to date the whole way through. I had been in fear of getting this done but have already let them know our new business will be getting set up through them without a doubt!


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Shilo Christie

a year ago

Adrian is a fantastic at his job and so is Sarah. Excellent service and great they built a fantastic website for us! Would definitely recommend 😊


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Matthew Deveson

2 years ago

We recently had Fisse Design build our website www.whalemotorinn.com - excellent service and we are very happy with the outcome. For example, easy navigation, great look and feel and all of the pictures and content that we wanted to reflect what our business is about. Most of all Fisse Design was able to capture the essence of our vision and our reason for being in the site. Thanks Adrian and Sarah - Matt & Jen


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Whale Inn and Restaurant

2 years ago

Fisse Design have just completed our new website and the whole process was so smooth, from the re-design, transition and launch. The site really captures our us and business and looks amazing. Thanks for helping improve our business!


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Rachele O'Reilly

2 years ago

Always very professional. A creative approach. Lovely to deal with.

Rachele O’Reilly
Impact Exhibitions & Events


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Venetian Plaster – All Render Texture

3 years ago

Adrian was great, he was fast and reliable and understood what I wanted. and he did a great job on my website. Something no one else had the time or effort or talent to help me. I highly recommend fisse design!


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Jodee Coyle

3 years ago

I asked Fisse Design to do our web page and facebook. From the minute i waked in to door Adrian and Sarah were friendly, warm, professional and very easy to deal with. For someone like me who knows very little about the process, they both made it so easy. Thank you. Would highly recommend.


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Eric Hopkins

3 years ago

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Narelle Jackson

3 years ago

I am the new manager at Horizon Holiday Apartments in Narooma. I initially contacted Fisse Design to organise a revamp of the Horizon legacy website with a view to provide a new site in 2018. The professionalism, knowledge and design ability of the staff at Fisse Design is absolutely fantastic. As it turned out, the legacy website had many broken links and instead of a revamp, Fisse Design provided us with a complete new website to meet our initial needs within a 1 week period which is just an amazing outcome. We could not be happier with the service that Fisse Design has provided us and we look forward to working closely with Fisse Design in 2018 to build a more informative and guest focussed website with lots of additional information. I thank Fisse Design for everything you have done for us. I honestly believe that there would not be a better web designer/developer in Australia that would work with you so closely and ensure the client receives exactly what is asked for. Well done Fisse Design and thank you so very much. Narelle @ Horizon Holiday Apartments.


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Oakleigh Farm Cottages

4 years ago

Thanks to Fisse Design for the upgrade of our tired outdated website to a modern reactive site with online booking page and content manager.We are loving the ongoing customer service from web hosting to upgrades & technical support. It give us peace of mind to have Fisse Design looking after our gateway to the world.


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Lou Porich

4 years ago

Fisse Design are fantastic to work with. They have done a great job developing the new Burrabooks website… not launched yet, but getting closer.

Very friendly, professional and cooperative! Thanks for a great job Adrian.


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Vicki Moorhead

4 years ago

Right from our first design brief with Adrian, everything seemed to feel like it was going to be "too easy". Our area of expertise is everything bicycle & Adrian is all about website design. Bring the two together & we now have a slick web page, thats easy to update, looks great on any platform & our business digital presence has soared in performance.


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ChelleMick Gardner

5 years ago

We were recommended to Adrian through friends and couldn't be happier with the results so far. We have engaged with Fisse Design to host, redesign and optimize our site on the internet.

Early days but already seeing results. Highly Recommended.


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Karen Mclellan

5 years ago

We asked Fisse design to build us a new website last year for Oakleigh farm cottages and were really impressed with how Adrian really wanted to get to know us and the business first, so that he fully understood what we needed. We wanted a modern, sophisticated, mobile-responsive design that was user-friendly, really ranked well and integrated our booking system and that is exactly what we got. It's been working really well for us and Adrian is always there with support, ongoing updates and general advice on the online presence of our business. Always approachable, easy to get on with and adaptable. Highly recommended


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Don Waterfield

5 years ago

After about 7 years using Ebay exclusively to sell our product, we decided that it was time to have our own website but did not know where to start. We found Fisse Design via google, discussed our needs with Adrian and he came up with a website that was beyond our expectations. Initially we required a website that linked our viewers back to our Ebay online Store, however after 12 months we decided to run our website and Ebay separately and had Adrian design a shopping cart. The website has gone from strength to strength due to Adrian's help and advice. We could not be happier with the website and Adrian has set it up so as we can change product, blog and upload images etc. We have no hesitation in recommending Fisse Design to anyone.


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Chris Smith

5 years ago

We got Fisse Design to redevelop our website and make it stand above our competition. For us the biggest asks were for it to rank well on Google, for the site to look great (on mobile phones too) and to hook it up with our bookings system. I trialled a few bookings systems until I found the right one for me, and Adrian got it to work with all of them. He did the lot and we simply couldn’t be happier. He did it for a great price and now he’s hosted it for over 2 years without one hiccup. As for the search engines, almost immediately we saw the effect of his optimisation work and over the weeks and months we enjoyed #1 , #2 and #3 rankings for all of our main search keywords. He also gave us some sound advice and a basic online marketing strategy which we followed - and it has all simply worked! Anytime I’ve got a problem, he sorts me out. Absolute legend, highly recommended.