Lessons Learned from Building a Thousand-Product Ecommerce Store from Scratch

Author: Myk Baxter

As an eCommerce consultant, I know the amount of hard work, time, and energy that goes into building a digital store. Recently, my team signed off on perhaps the biggest project we’ve ever worked on: an eCommerce store specializing in storage solutions, with over a thousand product variants, built from scratch. It was a great accomplishment for us all, and we’re incredibly proud of it. We put in many man-hours, even on evenings and weekends, to produce a high-functioning, easy-to-manage store that has continued to pull in sales since its launch.

In the process of building this eCommerce store, we learned many great lessons, and today we’ll be sharing them with you in the hope that they come as a helping hand to others who find themselves in the same situation.

Lesson 1: Work Closely and Collaboratively with the Client

When a client comes on board with you for a big project like this, it’s essential to communicate with them consistently and work collaboratively to produce a result that both parties are happy with. Our account manager communicated with our client almost every day for two months to make sure that they were happy with how the products were being uploaded and displayed, that the small snags he picked up on during the build were fixed there and then, and to update him on the progress we made each day.

We also learned that sometimes emails aren’t enough in terms of conversation, with Hannah turning to the telephone to get things done in a timely manner and to prevent any time hanging around for an email response. Sometimes you just have to go that little step further!

Lesson 2: Take the Time to Understand the Client’s Wants and Needs

The purpose of an eCommerce store will always be to sell your product offering, but the functionality of a site can differ; from the payment gateway to the post-purchase experience. Does your client use Klarna or another pay-later platform? What emails do they require as part of the user journey? What delivery options are available? These are questions that you need to ask at the beginning of the project to grant you enough time to collate all the information you need to set up the functionality, as this is where most of the development time is spent.

The functionality also requires continuous testing before going live, so you want to allow plenty of time before the deadline to identify and fix any snags in the user journey.

Lesson 3: Great Things Take Time

A project this big should never be rushed. If you want to achieve great things, you need to take your time. We worked closely with the client to devise a timeline of the different stages in the build. One is the uploading of each of the products, the creation of the product categories, and how these would be displayed on the site. We went through each product and category numerous times to ensure that they were just as the client envisioned and that the user experience would be flawless.

Lesson 4: No Task is Ever Too Big

As mentioned above, this was probably the biggest project we’ve ever worked on as a whole team, and you know what? Sometimes feeling the stress of a deadline looming works in your favour. Everyone was all hands on deck to get this completed ahead of time, and since then, it’s made every other task look minuscule. We’ve continued to keep up the momentum we had, and we’re continuing to produce fantastic results for our client base.

In conclusion, building a thousand-product eCommerce store from scratch was a challenging task, but it taught us many valuable lessons. Working closely and collaboratively with the client, taking the time to understand their wants and needs, allowing great things to take time, and realizing that no task is ever too big.

Learn about our eCommerce services here: https://www.mykbaxtermarketing.com/

Thanks for reading,

Myk Baxter, eCommerce Consultant