The ultimate checklist for building an eCommerce website

Starting an eCommerce business is incredibly exciting, but it also can get a bit overwhelming with everything that you have to consider. In order to compete with the best of the best, you need to optimize your site and offering to make sure it fits the purpose of what you’re trying to achieve. In order to help you make sure that nothing slips through the cracks, here is a comprehensive checklist you can use to check that you’ve got everything covered:

Dec 15, 2023
March 17, 2021
6 min read

Category Page: 

  • You should have a well-written overall description of your offering.
  • Your product cards should include all the relevant information including the name, price, reviews, etc.
  • You should have a newsletter section to capture leads and feed into your mailing list.
  • Have a good sorting & filtering system for your products.
  • In your footer, make sure that you’ve got all the relevant contact information and relevant links used for SEO purposes.

Product Page:

  • Include breadcrumbs at the top of your pages so that your site is easier to navigate.
  • Include a section for related items at the bottom of each page before the footer.
  • Show the availability of each product to show scarcity and create urgency.
  • Include the relevant shipping and tax calculations on the product pages.
  • Be sure to note any relevant material information if you’ve got a physical product where it makes sense to disclose. Also include sizing information if that’s important.
  • Embed a well-crafted video to display how the product works.
  • Include a currency converter if needed.
  • If a product is sold out, it should display a banner saying so and a newsletter input box so customers can be notified when it is back in stock.
  • There should be sorting and filtering functionality for customer reviews.

Product Descriptions:

  • Craft a short and sweet description for each product with bullets and highlights where appropriate.
  • The full description can be hidden behind a collapsible tab for those who are interested in getting more information.
  • Where possible, include some reviews as this is a great way for potential customers to relate to others. You might want to include location, gender, and age information if you think that will make things more relatable to your target audience.
  • Include item information and specifications.
  • Include an editable field to change purchase quantities.
  • Explain any unique features and what makes your brand stand out from its competitors.
  • Minimize the clutter on these pages as best as possible so that the purchase process is not overwhelming.


  • The checkout process should have as little friction as possible.
  • Include related items which can be upsold based on the items in the cart.
  • Make sure the information is clear and transparent so customers know exactly what they’re getting.
  • Include your cart in the navigation bar, along with a summary of only items in the cart.
  • Thank your customers for their business at the end of the purchasing journey.
  • Guest checkout functionality is important because many customers will leave if they are forced to create yet another account.


  • Include a pop-up with time on site, or exit intent offering a discount if the customer completes a purchase now.
  • Note: Be sure to use pop-ups sparingly. Let your customer browse the site for sometime before bombarding them with pop-ups. We already have a range of annoying things to consent to including cookie policies, live chat, and more. Use pop-ups strategically, thinking carefully about the user experience.
  • You can use banners to draw attention to new products or to popular products that you think might grab the focus of your customer.


  • Include a newsletter section which sends email addresses to your mailing list of choice. Owning your own customer base is incredibly important and allows you to build long-term relationships that can compound over time.
  • Work hard to create good content to share on that newsletter. Don’t spam people.

Social Proof / Testimonials: 

  • Include product-specific reviews that speak to the unique value proposition of each product you’re selling.
  • Also, include company-wide reviews that talk to your overall credibility and customer experience.
  • Show your social networking profiles which connect to your online audiences.
  • Show the logos of companies you work with or popular brands who are your customers and get value from what you provide.
  • Clearly demonstrate which payment methods you can accept.
  • Include any relevant shipping details that might impact on someone’s purchasing decision.
  • List out the perks that you provide.  Why should someone buy from you rather than one of your competitors?

General Functionality:

  • Accessibility is important – make sure your site meets all of today’s standards so it is accessible to as many people as possible.
  • Make sure your site is responsive and works on all browsers and devices.
  • Craft a clear call to action on each page that aims to persuade customers to join your sales funnel.
  • Make sure you’ve got good search functionality on your site to make it easy for your customers to find what they’re looking for. Auto correct and automatic suggestions are also important here.
  • Optimize the search results page as best you can.
  • Having multiple language options is a great addition for international brands.
  • Nurture a regularly updated blog that adds value to your customers and keeps them coming back.
  • Aim for minimalistic design where possible, leveraging white space. Don’t try to cram too much information into limited screen real estate.
  • In the footer, include a link to any relevant legal information, including your privacy policy.
  • Include a FAQ section so that customers can help themselves if they are so inclined.
  • Disclose your returns and exchanges policy clearly so there is no confusion.
  • Think about implementing a wish list option where customers can surf your site and save their favourites.  If you make it shareable, this can be even more powerful.
  • Make sure all your pages load as fast as possible.
  • If you have the infrastructure, include live chat functionality connected to your customer service team.

It’s a lot, I know. But if you get these right, you are well set to build a great online store.

Once you’ve captured your customer, through optimizing all the points above, it’s up to you to maximize that lifetime value by providing the deals, content, giveaways, and service that will nurture that relationship and make them a returning customer. Remember, it’s always easier to get repeat business, than it is to acquire new customers.

With that, we wish you well on your journey and we cannot wait to see what you create! If you’re looking for some professional assistance with your digital experience, be sure to get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

Oh, and one more thing. I made this checklist as a free notion template. Go grab it!