eCommerce takes an awful lot of off site due to the general nature of it having little onsite content but an eCommerce site can rank provided you have the patience because it is going to take some time. Without a doubt you are going to need your own private network of PR sites… not one that has other sites but one that you either buy or build on your own.
Putting big boy links in place is a good start and you’ll want to continue to build them as you move along.
Keep all your links in an excel file or something so you have them and be sure to blast the tar out of them with all you can and if you have the finances I would be looking at a second tier PR network as well. I would not go a third tier with PR sites but I would do a second one for sure as that will certainly help in ranking an eCommerce site as they are usually in competitive niches.
Social signals are going to be real important so set yourself up with a service or a tool that will do that for you. Don’t let some clown hit you with a zillion at once but make them look natural and drip feed them over the course of time and continue to do that and very slowly increase the velocity and have some peaks and some valleys in your activity as that is also natural and in all of this be sure that your inner pages are getting action from all your off site.
Set up a LARGE Web 2.0 structure also for another first tier of back links and for a long term large site I make them large… several hundred large over a period of time and not your typical one page 500 word deal either. Make it over a period of time, link to all your inner pages, use long tailed keywords, naked urls, generic keywords, etc for each back link and have several posts on each of your Web 2.0s and some with no links at all to give the Web 2.0s some realistic looks and also it will boost the strength of the Web 2.0s some.
Of course you want to hit those with second tier and some with third tier backlinks over time and do that more than once as well. One blast to them is going to look
contrived in Google’s eyes eventually and you want to drip index the links also.
Onsite be sure you name the images buying KWs and use the opportunity in the caption box, alternative box and description to give Google more to appreciate on the site. Do not leave those areas blank ever as they will make a difference long term.
For your categories do the same… make sure that you describe the category and don’t do it in less than 600 words and make it even longer if you can. Throw in some buying KWs in the category but do not stuff it at all… you want a very broad description with a couple of buying KWs and you want those pages to index in the search engines as well. Category pages can and do get traffic and can set the stage to convert for you as you usually have to pre-sell when you have a product site and even if it was just a PPC site it is still a strong pre-sell as the more authority you have onsite for the visitor the more likely they will purchase or even click an ad.
Typically product descriptions are short on an eCommerce site and that is why you need the images to tell a story but you do want to have a description that is original from others. I’m aware that many eCommerce sites have the same verbiage for each product taken from Amazon or eBay but if you have a unique one you are better off; especially if you are competing with them. I’m not enough of a fool to think that my copy-writing is stronger than Amazon so that is not the goal but I am creative enough to put something together that is unique but says the same or similar. I also understand that there are only so many ways to say, “Good Ford Truck”, and so is Google so some over lapping is going to happen.
Hopefully some of that is going to help you get that ranked… I want to stress that you want to do a lot of inner page backlinking as many people fail to do that when they are building and ranking an eCommerce site and it makes their backlink infrastructure look lopsided and you do not want that.