Must haves in an Australian ecommerce store

Must haves in an Australian ecommerce store

If you’re setting up an Australian ecommerce store, there are a number of must-haves that you should make sure that you don’t overlook. Australian consumers are shopping online at an ever-increasing rate, and whilst research shows many would prefer to shop online with an Australian retailer the selection and policies of many existing stores is not yet always enough to convince them to shop here instead of overseas.

So, if you want to compete against the leading stores (in Australia and overseas) with the big budgets and the big brands, you need a point of difference for your store, and fantastic ecommerce features relevant to Australian business – to make managing and promoting your store as easy as possible.

Ecommerce Checklist

Here is a quick checklist of things that you need to consider when setting up your store and choosing your online shop software provider


  • Why would a fickle Australian consumer choose your store to buy from versus shopping online from an international competitor?
  • What is the point of difference for your store? That is, what makes you different, special, and most of all memorable in the minds and hearts of your target customers? To answer this you need to understand the “P”s of marketing relative to your competitors: your product mix, your pricing, your promotional mix, the place you are selling (online only versus a mix), your positioning (how you market your business and product range relative to your competitors and how you present your business to the world), your packaging when you manufacture and send out your items, and your people/service that you present.


  • Will your store stand out from existing competitors (and the new ones who follow you into the market)? In a competitive market we strongly recommend you consider a  custom design or at a minimum something personalised to your business colours and graphics

Ease of use

  • How much time will you spend setting up your store for Australia (or are these things already done for you)? Do you get ATO compliant invoices? Australian currency “out of the box”? Australian spelling in customer messages and errors? Australian date formats set up for you?
  • How much time will you use finding your way around the system and using it? Are the menus in the admin area intuitive?
  • Are the basic tasks of the admin area easy to find and use?
  • Do you have ways of restricting what contractors can see if you need to give them a log in to your system? Can you set/reset their passwords at any time?
  • Do you get an unlimited number of staff logins?
  • Can you set/reset customer passwords?
  • What kind of support do you get? Can you get help in weekends and on public holidays for example? Is the support team based in Australia so they are familiar with the unique needs of Australian businesses?
  • What kinds of reporting/statistics do you have? Can you set up your own store reports?

Mobile Support

  • Mobile is becoming an essential way to market your business for all industries (even wholesale) and mobile support for your store should be an essential feature to consider.


  • What promotional tools does your cart give you? Can you cross sell products? Can you offer two for one specials? Can you offer free shipping?
  • What features does the shopping cart offer for search engine optimisation (“SEO”)?
  • How will you keep track of how well you are doing with your search engine marketing efforts once your site is up and running?
  • What kind of social marketing tools are available – can your site visitors like your products on Facebook and read your tweets on Twitter for example? Does the cart have Google +1 support? Pinterest?
  • Does the cart software have a good email marketing campaign component built in? Building a dialogue with your subscribers and customers on an ongoing basis is an increasingly important part of managing an online store. And it’s cost effective too.

Domain and emails

  • Can you have your own domain name?
  • Can you set up emails on your domain name? Can you have an unlimited number of emails?


  • Do you get an unlimited number of products on all packages?
  • Can your product catalogue be put into maintenance mode if you need to temporarily close the store front to edit something?
  • Can you temporarily or permanently turn off the shopping cart features if you wish to just showcase your product catalogue?
  • Is it easy to set up product variations and options? e.g. colours and sizes
  • Can you add additional images to your products simply and easily?

Payments and Shipping

  • Does your shopping cart support the Australian shipping and payment methods that you wish to use?
  • Do they charge you extra for those or are they built-in options?


  • Is the system you are using hosted in a secure environment? Does the provider get audited quaterly or better by an approved security vendor? (Compliance with these rules – called “PCI DSS Compliance” – is a mandatory requirement of Visa and MasterCard (and the banks) for accepting credit cards online)
  • What will it cost you to encrypt the checkout of your store using SSL? Is there a free period for the SSL certificate? What is the renewal price?
  • Does the provider NOT store credit card “CVV” numbers – the three digit numbers on the back of credit cards (this is a big no-no and if your provider allows you to do this and you have it turned on you are violating security compliance rules and the terms of service of your merchant provider – don’t ever do this!)
  • What measures does the cart/hosting provider take to keep your store safe?
  • What kind of backup processes does your cart/hosting provider have in place to recover your site in the event of a disaster?

This list is not exhaustive but a good list of the main things that you should make sure you consider when setting up your online store and choosing a cart provider.

Ozcart Ecommerce

Ozcart has been in business since 2006 and is an online, hosted shopping cart that you can use for your current or new online store. We offer so many features for the same low price. In fact, we are addicted to adding new ones to ensure that we remain one of the best choices for a shopping cart.

No Comments

Post A Comment