ECommerce Recipe New to ECommerce Fall 2011 Final v 1.2
Participants: Bridget Christopher-Walton Robert King Justin Platt Ryan Roch
Contents ECommerce Recipe Overview …................................................................................ 3 Qualifying Lead Criteria ................................................................................................ 4 ECommerce Recipe Document ….............................................................................. 5 - 16 Call Model Document ….............................................................................................. 17 - 18 Email Templates …...................................................................................................... 19 - 21 Call Model Diagram …................................................................................................ 22
ECommerce Recipe Overview The ECommerce Recipe is intended as an initiative to provide guidance to qualified clients new to ecommerce in the general process of starting an ecommerce business. These clients have limited understanding of the process and have outlined their expectations improperly. By providing guidance, assisting the client in the understanding of both financial expectations and process expectations we can build a relationship with them and prevent these clients from cancelling and becoming a cyclical ecommerce platform jumper. The ultimate goal from the perspective of BigCommerce is to: 1.) Increase Conversion 2.) Decrease Cancellations 3.) Obtain Competitive Advantage Over Competition Note: The intent is to build similar tailored initiatives for :
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Clients with Brick Mortar Businesses ○ No current website Clients Experienced with ECommerce ○ Ebay, Etsy, Craiglist Power Users Clients Experienced with ECommerce ○ Switching Platforms
Qualifying Lead Criteria
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The qualifying lead criteria for the ECommerce Receipe - New to ECommerce document is as follows: The potential client has determined what products they will be selling and: The potential client has determined where they will be obtaining their products The potential client has no current online presence or The potential client has limited online presence ■ Limited online presence is defined as selling minimal items in various marketplaces ie. Etsy, Ebay, Craiglist The potential client is new to ecommerce not necessarily new to business/ business concepts
ECommerce Recipe Introduction BigCommerce is a leading software company focusing on providing a hosted solution that makes it easy to setup your own professional online store - no coding or design experience required. In essence, the software we provide gives you the tools to build your ecommerce site , manage your day to day ecommerce business, and drive traffic to your site. If you are reading this, you already have researched what products you want to sell and where to obtain those products but you are completely new to ecommerce. Don’t stress, you are already headed in the
right direction as we want you to be successful with your ecommerce site using BigCommerce to build it. Building your site and using the tools we provide is just one aspect of creating a successful Ecommerce site. This document is intended to guide you in the process and outline the elements involved in setting up an Ecommerce Business. This document is not intended to be the end all of everything you need to accomplish. However, it will definitely give you a jump start and push in the right direction. While you are building your Ecommerce Business on BigCommerce, use your assigned ECommerce Consultant as a resource. Remember, our success is tied to your success and we want you to succeed. Don’t forget, success will not happen overnight. You need to give yourself at least 6 -12 months and build your road map to success to utilize every possible resource, and tools given. If one plan of action doesn’t work, try something else. We deal with clients who have succeeded and they can tell you, it didn’t happen overnight.
Phases For Your ECommerce Success Road Map Phase
Getting Your Business Started
Determining Your Financial 1-2 weeks Outline
Phase Three A
Building Your Marketing Plan
Phase Three B
Set-Up Your Store
2- 6 weeks
Continue To Grow Your Business
Time Frame: Open
Phase One - Getting Your Business Started Step 1: Obtain Proper Registration
Now that you have decided to start your own business the first step will be to register your business and obtain any required licencing : Step
1. Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business
2. Register Your Business Name
3. Obtain Your Federal Tax ID
4. Register with Your State Revenue Agency
5. Obtain Licenses and Permits (If Applicable)
Important Note: Here they will provide you with a tax id #, which will be necessary when you apply for a payment gateway. You will also now be responsible for paying taxes to the state for every sale that you make. Payment gateways are now responsible for providing sales transactions to the IRS, so not having a tax id will soon be illegal. Resources 1.) U.S Small Business Administration: ● http://www.sba.gov/ 2.) Your States Business Agency: ● Texas Example http://governor.state.tx.us/ecodev/business_resources/sba/ ● Additional State Links: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99021,00.html 3.) SCORE (Non-Profit Mentoring- Information Services): ● http://www.score.org
Step 2: Obtaining a domain name The second step will be to purchase your own domain name. Immediately once you have decided on a name for you business you will want to verify that the domain name is available. Remember you only need to purchase the domain name, nothing additional. Important Note: An item to consider is if you are going to include keywords in your domain name. For instance if you are selling skateboards, you may want your domain to read,” www.rkingskateboards.com or kingskateboards.com.” Why? Having a keyword in your domain name is helpful for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), because the search engines hold a higher priority for a domain name that contains a keyword that is being searched for by the customer. Having a keyword within your domain name is helpful, but not a deal breaker as far as SEO is concerned. The content on your site will be the primary factor in where you will rank with the search engines. Another good way to think of this is from the standpoint of your customer, what will they type when they are searching for your product? If you think they would type “custom skateboard decks” when they are looking for your product, if you can buy www.customskateboarddecks.com your site will rank on the first page of Google for that search very quickly because the URL is an exact match for those keywords. Resources 1.) Registrar - http://www.godaddy.com/ 2.) Search Domain Ownership - http://www.whois.com/ 3.) Google Adwords keyword tool - https://adwords.google.com/ (You will need to sign up for a free adwords account to use this resource) - once you have your free account and are logged into adwords, click on “Reporting and Tools” then click on “keyword tool”. This will let you see how many people are searching for your targeted keyword, where in the world they are from, related searches, and an estimate on how much it would cost to advertise on
Google for that keyword.
Step 3: Choose Software To Build Your ECommerce Website This third step is pretty much set. If you are reading this document you understand that we want you to be successful and as the leading eCommerce shopping cart provider we are the final destination. You will find everything that you need to run a successful eCommerce business on the BigCommerce platform. From selling on Facebook, to built in shipping integrations with every major shipping provider, BigCommerce has it all. BigCommerce is so much more than just a shopping cart, essentially you will be able to build out your entire content rich web site with using the BigCommerce platform. Important Note: Regardless of what plan you are on, you have full access to all the features and we do not take a percentage of your sales. Talk your consultant for further discussion. Resource(s) 1.) BigCommerce Pricing - https://www.bigcommerce.com/plans.php 2.) BigCommerce Full Feature List - https://www.bigcommerce.com/feature-list.php 3.) BigCommerce Webinars - http://www.bigcommerce.com/webinars.php 4.) BigCommerce Knowledgebase - http://support.bigcommerce.com/
Step 4: Choose A Payment Gateway Once you have decided on a shopping cart you will want to get the ball rolling on a payment gateway. A payment gateway is the service that will actually charge and verify the credit card information (i.e Paypal, Google Checkout, PayLeap, Authorize.net) . The reason why you will want to get the ball rolling on a gateway is because they can take 1-4 weeks to do the appropriate credit checks and build out the gateway. Important Note: Please keep in mind that your selection in Payment Gateway companies will depend on your physical country of residence and to those compatible with BigCommerce. Resource: 1.) BigCommerce Compatible Gateways : https://support.bigcommerce.com/questions/1372
Step 5: Purchase a dedicated SSL certificate After you have chosen a payment gateway you will want to then purchase a dedicated SSL certificate. An SSL certificate is required on all pages where a customer will be entering in sensitive information like credit card details. The SSL creates an extra layer of encryption for the information that is being entered on the page and changes “http” to “https”. BigCommerce supplies you with a shared SSL, however when you click on a page that requires an SSL and you are still using a shared SSL your domain name will temporarily change to a .mybigcommerce sub-domain while you are viewing those pages. Important Note: Since BigCommerce offers a shared certificate, you can hold off on purchasing your own until you have allocated the necessary funds. Discuss this further with your consultant. Resource(s): 1.) http://support.bigcommerce.com/categories/SSL+Certificates/
Phase Two - Determining Your Financial Outline
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By this point you have your idea of what you are going to sell, you know where you are going to get the products, you have completed your business registrations with the government, and you know what software you are going to use to build your Ecommerce site. So the fun part is over and now we need to talk money. It is critical to your success to have a financial outline together. This will assist you in setting your sales goals and set your financial expectations early. Millionaire status will not happen overnight. So with that said, don’t spend money as if you were one. Important Suggestions: Keep your expenses basic Give yourself room to grow with your site - maybe focus on more site customizations when you have gained revenue and instead stick with a template or have a BigCommerce Partner do template modifications or just a professional logo (Note: See your ECommerce Consultant) Focus your product line on products that you know will sell or are hard to find. Its about quality not quantity. There is no need to worry about building an inventory of hundreds of products.
Step 1: Outline Your Basic Cost of Doing Business (Quick Check List)
Basic Total Costs Monthly Annually Business Registration Expenses Total:
ECommerce Site Costs :
1. Domain registration ($9.99-$12.99 per year) 2. Shopping cart software and hosting ($24.95- $299.95 per month) 3. Payment Gateway ($14.95- $29.95 per month + transaction fees) 4. Dedicated SSL certificate ($79.95 per year) 5. (optional but very beneficial)- Custom site design
Additional Costs :
Step 2: Outline Your Sales Goal Plan With your starting costs, you know the money going OUT. Now put together a 12 Sales Goal Action Plan and stay realistic. As example of realistic expectations: ● Month 1- 3: Don’t set any sales expectations. You are building your traffic to your store (See Phase 3A - Marketing). ● Month 4-6: Make your goal to have covered your basic business costs. Use your Marketing Plan, to meet this goal. Break it down. If you need to cover $500 of your basic expenses. Think about how many products you need to sale and how to use your marketing plan to do so. ● Month 6-12: Go For The Gold. Continue to use your marketing initiatives to focus on selling product to make profit. You plan should be more specific financially based on your particular business. Month Sales Goal Actual Monthly Cost Revenue
Phase Three A - Building Your Marketing Plan Build it and they will come.... Don’t count on it. Build your marketing plan to assist in giving your business the best opportunity for success.
Getting Started This section is simply a primer on key concepts and focus points to get you started. Let’s talk about marketing your ecommerce business online. You may be surprised to learn that marketing is not necessarily as time consuming and expensive a process as you might have thought. It’s actually as simple as finding your customer and telling them about you and your product, for the most part. Who is your customer? This is the most vital question you must ask yourself before expanding your business online. If you don’t know to whom you are selling, you will fail to sell your product. Whatever it is that you sell, you must form a mental image of who would buy such a good, and think about what they are looking for. Then, tailor your product descriptions and info pages to catch their attention. We provide the resources with which you can reach out to your clients, but you must focus on how you will involve this person you’ve imagined. How are you communicating with your customer? It’s a two-way street. ● Are you engaging them? Reviews and newsletters/blogs are a great way to foster conversation ● Find out what’s driving their interest! Tools like SurveyMonkey allow you to poll the clients you attract and gain key insight into their buying process ● Facebook, Twitter. A blog. Do you have a list of client contacts? There are free resources such as iContact that allow you to quickly reach your base.
How does your site communicate who you are and what you sell? ● Product descriptions written with search engines and buyers in mind ● About Us section explaining who you are, why you’re a trusted source, and multiple contact methods. Tell customers what to expect from the order process. ● A picture (or video) is worth 1000 words. Are you providing informative and interesting content outside of your descriptions? Try to create media that people will want to share with others. Be creative. Be quirky. Be interesting. How do you drive interest in your company/product? Online ● People buy from those who seem informed and excited about their product. Blog about your product and industry. Say something important and provide value with your message. ● Talk about your business network. Talk to your customers about them and get them to reciprocate. ● Think back links!! (external links to your web site) ● Use social media to create excitement. Give away products to those who drive your Likes or share your media ● Be informed and informative. Create email blasts and blog posts about your product and industry, making you a trusted source instead of another Internet retailer Offline Marketing When starting an ecommerce site, your main thought is probably marketing online. This is great! However, don’t forget to have a plan to market offline - off the internet. After you have identified your client, come up with a plan to reach them in your local community by: ● Participate in Local Events/ Fairs/ Weekend Markets ● Sponsor anything community related ● Participate in Community Benefits (your local chamber of commerce is a great resource for local events, as well as your local business journal) Discuss this out with your ECommerce Consultant, a conversation would bring great ideas. Take that conversation, put together a plan of action, and ACT.
Phase Three B - Set-Up Your Store This phase is logistically set as hree B, however, if you are reading this you may have already created your trial with BigCommerce. Your assigned ECommerce Consultant will be able to discuss this phase in depth with you. Resource: 1.) Getting Started Webinar - http://www.bigcommerce.com/webinars.php
Phase 4 - Continue To Grow Advanced Marketing to grow your ecommerce business SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – At its most basic level, the process of increasing your site’s visibility. This section is meant to provide steps and resources to help you take your online business further. This is not a comprehensive guide (though we link to a couple of them), but simply a list of Search Engine Optimization services and tools that will jump start your ecommerce business. It’s important to recognize SEO first and foremost as a process. There is no magic solution that will get you indexed immediately, rank you highly, and keep you there. Success can’t be guaranteed, but those who succeed followed the information below: 1. Do your research – Start with these primers, as they cover pretty much everything you need to know about SEO in an easy to follow, beginner-focused way ■ Google SEO Beginners Guide: http://bit.ly/o809Kp ■ SEOmoz – Beginners guide: http://mz.cm/hjBXDl ■ Co-Founder Mitch Harper’s 20 proven tips: http://bit.ly/fIFArZ 2. Know your options: SEO is driven both organically (by your content), and proactively (by your wallet). Learn the differences between paid services, and things you can do yourself ■ If you have not gone through all previous sections of this document, including creating a budget from which to draw funds, you are likely not ready to enlist paid services or engage an SEO partner. ■ Things like creating content/descriptions, social media, submitting product feeds and site maps, meta keywords and content, and general administrative things are usually free. With a little research, you can probably do these things yourself. There exist both paid and free services (SEOmoz, Google Analytics, Google Webmaster tools) which you can use to “check your work” ■ Paid services include things like PPC (PayPerClick) campaigns by Google Adwords, which drive interest by essentially selling you views and changing the priority with which search engines like Google rank you. ■ Full SEO paid services and tailoring - There are companies (many of which are partners) who offer all facets of SEO tailoring for your website. 1. If you have begun budgeting for design or a PPC campaign, you might want to take a moment to discuss your strategy and goals with a Big Commerce Consultant for some fresh ideas on the best path to take.
Resource(s): Below are some partners and resources that can be put to use to take full advantage of your organic search potential: 1.) http://www.bigcommerce.com/ecommerce-website-design.php - Consult Your Ecommerce Consultant
2.) Google Webmaster Tools – http://www.google.com/webmasters/ 3.) Google Analytics - http://www.google.com/analytics/ 4.) This article will tie a lot of the information about sitepmaps and adwords together - https://support.bigcommerce.com/questions/1142/ What+do+I+need+to+do+to+get+my+site+showing+up+within+Google%3F
Conclusion Once you have your site established and your are acting on your initial plans, continue to learn and grow your business. The plain truth is, success doesn't happen overnight. Building your success road map is time well invested. You'll be glad you did.
CALL MODEL SAMPLE The following call model sample is intended a work flow for qualifying and handling the work flow those clients who meet the qualifying lead criteria: Sample Conversation: “Thank you for calling BigCommerce. Tell me a little about why you’re calling today. Do you have an ecommerce business currently, or just products that you want to sell?” YES – Continue with the call Action: Proceed to discuss Phase 1 : Step 1 NO – “Not a problem. You should know, however, that we do not provide products, and we tend to see a higher percentage of people give up a month or two in when they do not have a clearly defined business or idea for one. Let’s give you some time to get some products, then reconvene when you have them.” Action: 1.) Create Lead, not entered 2.) If Entered, change status to Working UnQualified 3.) Create a New Task for a follow-up call
Phase 1 : Step 1 YES – “Ok, excellent. I know you have a lot of questions, and I want to provide resources and answers for you, but first let’s put you on the road to success. I’m sure you are evaluating several providers at the moment, but I want to provide you with some information that will help quickly establish your business regardless of who you choose. It’s the difference between us and everyone else. We want to invest in you as you invest in us. I’m going to provide you with a document that outlines the important things for those new to ecommerce in simple steps. Let’s start with the basics of Step 1.” Do you have: Defined Structure, Biz name, Tax ID, State Revenue Agency, Licenses and Permits? YES – Continue with the call Action: Proceed to discuss Phase 1 : Step 2 Note: If the client does not have a trial, create one for them NO – “I don’t want you to feel in over your head. Now might be the time to take care of these things if you haven’t already. Don’t feel worried. I’m about to email you a checklist of things you need to do regardless of your web presence. I’ll still answer any questions, but let’s hold off on most evaluation of it until you’ve completed Step 1 so that we’ll have something to build around.” If the client already has some or all of this, it’s a great time to talk about purchasing a domain name. If not, wait until they do, then continue to Step 2. Action: 1.) Create Lead, not entered 2.) If Entered, change status to Working UnQualified 3.) Send Phase 1 : Step 1 Action Plan and Information 4.) Create a New Task for a follow-up call Phase 1 : Step 2 “I’m so excited that you have the beginnings of your ecommerce business covered, and we can move on to Step 2. At this point, if you haven’t already, lets go ahead and sign up for a trial of our software. Action: Sign up for trial for the potential client Do you have a domain purchased? NO – “I need you to look over some of the information that I’ve sent you regarding domains before we press on. It’ll be important for you to have a domain for your business as the most basic step of building a web presence. Check Whois now to see if what you want to use is available. “ Action: 1.) Send Step 2 Action Plan and Information 2.) Create a New Task for a scheduled follow-up call for Phase 1 :Step 2 - 5 YES – “Excellent! You have everything you need to start evaluating ecommerce solutions in full. I’ll show you how easy it is to attach your new domain and get started building.” Action: 1.) Send Phase 1: Step 3-5 Action Plan and Information 2.) Send Getting Started Screencast or have them go to the Webinar 3.) Create a New Task for a scheduled follow-up call for Phase 1: Step 3-5 Phase 2 and Beyond “We’ve hit the point where you’re going to have to start putting some skin in the game and make some decisions about the services you’re going to use. While we’ve covered what Big Commerce is able to provide for you, you’re about to have to consider not only signing up for the paid plan, but purchasing your SSL and Payment Gateway, as well as building a financial plan that you will follow over the next months. I’m going to send you some information about these next steps, but suffice to say we have to make some decisions. What, if any, roadblocks do you have regarding setting up your store and choosing an
ecommerce platform? Are you ready to upgrade today? NO – Roadblocks functionality related: Work through, possibly conference in Tech, and resolve immediately if possible NO – Roadblocks: Design related: “I definitely understand your hesitation to proceed with a design you’re not 100% satisfied with, but this is actually the least important factor at this juncture.” Discuss importance of continuous design for SEO, the timeframe for professional design work, and introduce a free MADWIRE mockup. “You don’t get to start moving into a business space without purchasing/leasing the space first” YES – “Excellent! You’re taking your first steps toward a successful ecommerce business. Let’s get you upgraded so that you can spend some quality time going over the next phases, which are more timeintensive and goal-centered. This will give you time to work and leverage tech support as you build out your store. I’ll be on hand now for any of the business and ecommerce questions you may still have, and if you need help setting up additional stores in the future, but now that you’re a part of the Big Commerce Team, you can rout all functionality questions directly to tech support. This will help us focus on building your business while you and tech build your store.
Email Template Model
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Once it has been determined the potential call meets the requirements to qualify for the Ecommerce Recipe Scheduled, they will be moved of the standard email cadence and receive the following scheduled emails in addition to personalized conversation follow up emails: Email 1 : Conversation with “Insert Consultant Name” - Welcome Welcome “ Insert” It was a pleasure speaking with you today. I would like to personally welcome you to BigCommerce. I'll be your ECommerce Consultant during your trial period. Ultimately, it is my job to make your life easier so that you can get your site live and start making sales. Per our conversation, these are our next few steps: 1.) Review the attached document for your next few steps in this process. 2.) Watch the entire 40 min Getting Started webinar 3.) Lets touch base on XX/XX @ XX am/pm to review and move forward My Hours Of Operation: Monday - Friday 9 AM - 7 PM CST ph: xxx.xxx.xxxx The following links will be helpful as you orient yourself with our platform: Knowledge Base Training Videos Features List Webinars Transferring Your Domain Thank you! ______________________________________________________________________________
Email 2 : Important Notice - Account Update - 14 DAY: Note: To be sent if call on day 14 not held Hi “Insert Name”, It’s been a pleasure working with you and I look forward to continuing to assist you. Your BigCommerce trial store is expiring tomorrow. Have you made a decision concerning the BigCommerce solution? If so, you can upgrade to a plan directly from your control panel. If not, contact me and we can discuss any barriers you're facing. Please remember that a trial store is deleted soon after it expires. As such, please give me a call and we discuss your options if you're still considering whether BigCommerce is right for you. As always, I look forward to speaking with you. Call me directly if you have questions: xxx.xxx.xxxx Thank you! ______________________________________________________________________________ Email 3: Final Notice - Account Update - 15 DAY: Note: To be sent if call on day 14 not held Hi “Insert Name” Upgrade your trial today and we can move on the next steps of setting your ecommerce business. Your BigCommerce trial store is expiring at the end of the day. If you made a decision to upgrade, you may do so directly from your control panel. If not, we should discuss your options and any feedback you may have before your BigCommerce trial store is deleted. Please give me a call at your earliest opportunity. As always, I look forward to speaking with you. Call me directly at xxx.xxx.xxxx. Thank you! ______________________________________________________________________________ Email 4: Your Account - Lets Move Forward Note: Clients that have upgraded Thank you for upgrading and moving forward with BigCommerce. You now have direct access to technical support to assist you with any questions or issues regarding setting up your store. Per our conversation, please review the following documents. These are the next phases of moving forward with your business sucessfully. I will follow-up with you on our scheduled time XX-XX-XX at XX:XX am/pm to discuss. Thank you!
Call Model Diagram The following diagram is intended to walk through the process for the initial call: *