Where are the holes in our commerce plan?

4 replies
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Brand new Warrior Forum member.

We are launching a new commerce website. We would welcome your thoughts insight and ideas. Thanks!

CastleGate sells high-end and custom knives, as well as other hunting sports and outdoor sports products. So far we have only brokered private sales of high dollar value collections and investment grade items. We are in the process of launching a commerce site for the first time.

I will share our thoughts in the hopes of getting some advice from the experts on Warrior Forum.

We are currently thinking of using the following eCommerce "architecture" based on leading SaaS solutions. What are we missing?

Commerce Platform Big Commerce

Storefronts our own
Amazon ... maybe
Marketing platform eCommerce Marketing 360 (integrates with BC)

Social Media Marketing Facebook
Instagram ?

Inventory Management Inventory Source (Integrates with BC)

Accounting Quickbooks Integrates with BC)

Other plug ins PayPal, payment gateway, SSL certificate (BC)
Shipping and labeling ???

Website analytics, user analytics, subscriber management, email marketing, etc

Logo and brand image complete
eCommerce architecture Should we hire someone?
Site design and integration RFP sending to Big Commerce partner and eLance ***
*** sorry freelance
Hosting SaaS vendor hosted...
Ongoing Administration
Suggestions on how to handle this across many platforms
#architecture #commerce #holes #plan #strategy
  • Profile picture of the author realdude
    Sounds like a very thorough and well thought out program. Just some thoughts:

    1. Since you have a high end product you probably want to maintain a level of exclusivity (read higher prices). Ebay and Amazon may not be the best place to sell as they are viewed as a discount stores. People go there for lower pricing.

    2. You could set up your store and offer your products through one of the affiliate marketplaces like Commission Junction and maintain a higher value perception.

    3. Another option is the Sears, Craftsman, Lands End group. Sears - Online & In-Store Shopping: Appliances, Clothing & More You can sell your products there and gain good visibility. Everyone wants your products in their market.

    4. There is always the more direct, tried and true marketing such as Google Shopping, The Find and dozens of marketing apps available in the BC store.

    5. Finally, with BC I don't think you need a SSL for credit card processing. That is part of what you're paying for.

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  • Profile picture of the author SmallRevolution
    CastleGate, I'm not sure if you are creating a kind of to-do list? It's a rough looking plan but you seem to be covering many of the bases required.

    Bigcommerce is a good platform. We use it for our own stores and have done for many years.

    Using social media won't be enough to drive traffic in to your store. Having another platform such as eBay and Amazon can certainly help, although it's against the ToS for Amazon specifically.

    Your "ongoing administration" could be a entire plan/list unto itself.

    You might find a few more ideas in this list - Ultimate A-to-Z Checklist For Building Your Dream Store

    I hope that that helps.

    Founder of SmallRevolution.com
    Build your own online store, step by step.

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  • Profile picture of the author serpyre
    Your product would be classed as niche, which means a low revenue per employee, the platform becomes less critical. Marketing is standard 8% of revenue (Amazon is 4%), this is the breakdown for your marketing budget and time https://www.custora.com/pulse/channel. IT is 5% of online revenue, consulting 30% of that, Platform 20% and hosting 20%, employee costs 15% of total revenue, Amazon gross profit margins are 30%.

    The time/cost to a balanced revenue ie. return on investment, is to extrapolate implementation time/cost which is 5% to 100% which is your business revenue stream.
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  • Profile picture of the author tgpros
    Your plan is good - not perfect, but better than 99% of ecommerce plans I see.

    For inventory management, I can highly recommend Linnworks. It ties together all of our main shopping channels nicely (Amazon, eBay, Shopify, etc.) and ensures that we never oversell on stock. When you're selling across so many channels, something like Linnworks is a necessity, in my opinion.
    Last month I turned over $57,646 on one of my Shopify web stores. Read my honest "warts n' all" review of the Shopify platform click here now!
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