It is clear that there is big money to be made from a successful e-commerce website. But with so much competition out there, how do you stand out from the crowd and get those profits rolling in?
We take a look at 10 great tips on how to start an online store that sells.
1. Good Web Design
The first thing that potential customers will see when they visit your site is the web design.
They say don’t judge a book by its cover but that’s exactly what most people do online. If your site looks cheap, then people are unlikely to feel confident in making a purchase through it.
It is possible to design a great website by yourself, but we would always recommend using a professional web designer.
2. Offer Great Shipping
Our expectations about delivery have been changed in recent years.
Thanks to sites like Amazon, people expect deliveries to arrive the next day and without much in the way of postal charges. If you’re going to compete then you need to be able to offer great shipping.
If you can afford it, offering free shipping can be a great way to make your site stand out from the rest.
3. Be Contactable
Trust is a huge part of online retail.
If your potential customers know that they are able to contact the site owner to ask questions or to raise issues, then they are far more likely to be comfortable using the site for purchases.
And there’s no use being contactable if you don’t respond. Offering a fast response to queries builds confidence in you and your site.
4. SEO Optimised Blog Content
There’s no point having a great e-commerce site if no one can find it.
With such a crowded market you need to get your website to appear high up the rankings if you want anyone to be able to discover it. And that means writing a blog with lots of SEO content.
By using keywords that your potential customers are likely to be searching for, a well-written blog that is properly optimised can help your site rise up the rankings and make you more visible. A blog will also help your customers feel like they get to know you a little better.
5. Offer a Range of Payment Options
You can’t make sales if the customers can’t pay for your products.
Make sure that you give them a range of ways to pay so that they can make their own choice. Paypal is the most common payment method, but having that as your only option means that you’re likely to lose some customers.
The more choices you can offer the happier your customers will be.
6. Good Reviews
Reviews are a great way to build confidence in your products.
Shoppers take feedback from other customers very seriously, and a product that has poor reviews, or very few reviews, is unlikely to be a big seller. The difficulty is that shoppers who are happy with their purchase have no real incentive to leave a positive review.
Try to encourage reviews by offering discounts or getting in touch with customers to ask if everything has gone well with their purchase. The more good reviews you can garner, the more you will sell.
7. Be Active on Social Media
Growing your sales is all about making your site as visible as possible.
Having a social media presence for your site online is a great way to start. It means that customers can interact with you on a visible platform that will get seen by others. Make sure you link to your site in your bio information.
You should also consider social media advertising as this can be a really powerful way to drive visits to your site.
8. Strong Online Support
If you’re running an e-commerce business, inevitably there will be problems.
Having a strong online support system for when things do go wrong is vital. Customers will expect to be able to seek support and get a response in a reasonable amount of time. Once again, user experience as compared to other sites is what you will be measured against.
With many sites offering live chat facilities, this is something you should consider. It will let potential customers talk through any concerns and make them more likely to make a purchase.
9. Make Use of Your Information
As more customers make a purchase, you will be building up a database of contacts.
Making use of this information can be a great way to boost sales. Obviously being overly pushy will scare customers away, but offering discounts or providing information about sales to previous customers can bring them back for repeat business.
And the more sales you make the more reach you will have.
10. Mobile Optimised
Mobile is now the most popular way for consumers to visit e-commerce websites.
So if your webpage doesn’t play nicely on mobile you’re closing yourself off to a vast swathe of potential customers. And with such a range of smartphones now, you need to be sure that your site is optimised to work perfectly on every device out there.
Again, this is something that is it possible to do yourself with some research and hard work, but we definitely recommend making use of a professional web design firm when it comes to mobile optimisation.
Now You Know How to Start an Online Store. What Next?
Knowing how to start an online store is only the first step. If you’re ready to make the next steps then we’re here to help.
If you would like to know more about the services we offer or have any other questions then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.