When thinking of “online store” or “eCommerce,” sites like Amazon.com and images of glitter and cash stacks come to mind. Well, at least for some people. For the rest of us, an eCommerce store can seem like an intimidating venture, with questions of how to get started and how to keep it from failing. Here are our tips on how to start and cultivate a successful online store. Who knows? Glitter and stacks of cash could be your future.
Have a Business Plan
Yes, we think “business plan” sounds all official and boring, but creating one is not as difficult as you might think. You’ve probably already subconsciously created one! However, really knowing your plan can help you design all aspects of your eCommerce site. Questions to ask yourself include: What are you selling? Who are you selling to? What does your target audience need? How does your shop offer the solution to their needs? Who are your competitors? How do you differ?
These questions can help you develop a strategy to plan the layout of your site, prepare your advertising materials, and build a brand for your store.
Think Like Your Customer
Now that you know who your target customer is, it’s time to get inside their head. What would be the most logical way to display your products from a consumer’s viewpoint? Putting those plungers next to the lip balms might not be the best choice. Categorize similar product styles together, and consider putting complementary items side by side to potentially increase your sales. Above all, make your product page easy to navigate so customers can find what they’re looking for.
No One Likes a Sketchy Display
The look of your product display is arguably the most important aspect of an online store. A good look will assure your potential customers of the quality and legitimacy of your shop. Use attractive, high resolution images that can clearly show colours, materials, or relative size. Add detailed descriptions that can help potential customers trust that they’re making an informed purchase! Remember that you want your products to make a good first impression. If you ever catch yourself uttering the phrase (or any variation of): “this picture is good enough for now,” chances are, it’s not.
Give it Away!
Entice your customers to make a purchase with great promos. Buy 1 Get 1 Free, a free item with purchase, or free shipping are great offers that can tempt your customers to the checkout.
KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)
As you pay attention to the look, quality, and advertising methods of your eCommerce shop, never forget the importance of keeping your site simple and easy to navigate. It would be useless if your site looks amazingly attractive, but your customers can’t find their way to the checkout! Also, put your shipping cost and return policy information in an easy-to-find spot to settle uneasy potential customers.
These are a few tips that focus on the branding and usability of your eCommerce site. We’ll be coming out with more tips on how to promote your online store, so check back soon!