8 Things You’ll Need Do When Opening Your First Bigcommerce Store
Bigcommerce is a hosted eCommerce platform which is popular among small and medium-sized businesses. Bigcommerce offers a plethora of apps, features and easy third-party API integration which help you kick-start sales in a short time.
I have seen many stores owners overlook some important Bigcommerce settings and third-party services. So I decided to write an article to educate those people who just started their online store on Bigcommerce. Without any further ado, below is a checklist of the 8 most important steps you should go through when setting up your new Bigcommerce store.
1) Enable Web Analytics and eCommerce tracking
Thinking of building a successful online store without web analytics data is to cry for the moon.
Whether you are looking to boost e-commerce sales, generate leads, or enhance your brand awareness, a web analytics tool is your true companion.
There are so many different web analytics services which will help you gather information about user activities on your website and generate reports. You might be thinking, Bigcommerce also has this analytics feature which gives us reports about sales going on the website, then why would you need any third party analytics tools. Here’s why:
Bigcommerce Dashboard provides you details about sales data and basic reports on user activities on the website. What if you would like to know how people are coming to your website- Google Search, Facebook or anywhere else? What kind of devices are our customers using to access our website? What percentage of users are coming through mobile or tablets? How many people visiting the website and how many visitors are ending up as customers? Are they clicking on the promotional banners or products on our website? What is the bounce rate, how many customers are leaving the website without buying any product? We have a local business, and we want to know how many customers are coming from our city or county? How much time are visitors spending on your website? In simple words, third-party analytics tools will help you collecting, analyzing, and reporting more in-depth website traffic and behavior data with the end goal of optimizing the success of your online store.
There are different free and paid tools available to help you collect a wealth of information about your visitors, customers, and business. You can use tools such as Kissmetrics, Google Analytics or Mixpanel. But I would recommend that you should first go for Google Analytics which is easy to use and free of charge. Additionally, it’s a must-have tool if you are aiming at growing your store through Google Ads Services.
You don’t need to be a tech-savvy to install this Google Analytics code, you just need to copy and paste small snippets of code on your website. Bigcommerce also provides a step-by-step guide on setting up Google Analytics and eCommerce tracking- just google it ;).
2) Tracking Your Site Search Bar
Of course, you already have a website search bar on your new Bigcommerce store, but are you making most out of it? There is a Google Analytics feature which provides you data on what type of content people are looking for on your site. You will get reports of keywords and search terms people use to perform searches on your website. This site search report gives you data about which products are people interested in buying on your website. Here is a small guide on how to track what people are searching on your website.
3) Add SSL CERTIFICATE:
In Bigcommerce, a free SSL feature actually comes pre-installed, out of the box. But there is a minor issue with this free SSL feature, your secure pages, like the cart and checkout page, will still contain a Bigcommerce URL and will be in this format -xxxxxx.mybigcommerce.com. So to add an extra layer of security and enhance store branding, it’s better to buy a premium SSL certificate subscription. You can get one from your domain hosting provider, or you can buy from popular SSL certificate provider such as Geo-Trust. Bigcommerce help section has a step-by-step guide on setting up SSL certificate- just google it ;).
Once you installed the SSL certificate on your store, your store will continuously display a secure and branded (in this format- https:yourdomain.com) throughout the checkout process.
4) Setup Business Email Address
One really important thing that an online business need is a Business email address. If you are setting up an eCommerce store, you need need to set up professional emails containing your domain, like firstname.lastname@example.org. Having emails on your own domain will lend additional credibility to your online business.
There are third-party tools such as Google Apps for Business and Zoho, which will help you setup email service. Google Apps is a popular email hosting solution which most of the Bigcommerce stores are using to manage their email services. Google Apps used to be a free service a few years back, but now it is a paid service- you pay monthly fees per email you setup on Google Services. There is a Guide Available on Bigcommerce on setting up email services using Google Apps- just Google it.
Just in case, if you are looking a free alternative for Google Apps try Zoho (which is free to use up to 25 users)
5) Add Trust Indicators
Online customers, especially first-time visitors, may evaluate your website credibility by looking at various trust indicators. There are various type of trust indicators for an online business- testimonials, verified reviews, awards, media coverage, and badges such as security seals, business ratings, payment and purchase protection seal.
Did you know in a study by Econsultancy, when people asked how they decide to trust a website while shopping, 48% of interviewees answered: “The website shows trustmarks to reassure shoppers”. I hope this study will give you an idea about the importance of trust indicators.
6) Inventory Management [Optional]
In case you have thousands of products and you are a drop shipper, then the decision to use a third-party inventory management tool is inevitable. There are some inventory management tools available for Bigcommerce which help you in managing product inventories and transfers customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer, another retailer, or a wholesaler. You can use Hublogix or for your eCommerce store.
7) Customize Store Emails
Store emails are order notification emails sent after customers place an order. I have seen many stores, they don’t customize their store emails and keep using store emails with off the shelf templates. As email is the primary method of communication between your business and customers, editing your store’s email templates to add a personal touch and branding is a good idea that will help you communicate professionally with your customers. And yes please do more than just adding company’s logo in order to make store emails more beautiful and professional.
8) Setup Useful Apps and Third Party Services
There are different kind of Bigcommerce apps which will help you take your online business to next level. You should definitely take a look Bigcommerce apps marketplace to find out apps that your business needs to grow. There are many Bigcommerce apps to help you manage out of stock products, integrate loyalty program, affiliate program, referral program, live chat, customer support, order tracking apps, prices comparison apps, coupons, marketing apps, order management apps, and so many other features and possibilities.
I also have a compiled a list of useful Bigcommerce apps which you can try on your new store.
With the continuing rise of eCommerce industry, knowing the best practices, services and apps will your online business heard and stand out from the rest. For any comments on this article, please use the comment box below.