Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a small affiliate commission, at no extra cost to you. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.
If you have an online store, then you want it to be as successful as possible and sell the maximum number of products possible. However, doing so can difficult if you don’t know how. This guide should get you turn our online store into a success.
Clear and Easy To Use Design
When you are building your online store, it needs to be clear and easy to use. If you fail at this hurdle, then people are extremely unlikely to buy anything from you even if you are offering the best products in the world. Customers want an easy, stress-free shopping experience, and if your website and store don’t provide that, then they will go elsewhere. There are a lot of templates to use, but one way to succeed is to find a peer in your industry or similar industry who is doing really well and emulate their design. You might need it to be as complex or to include everything that they have, but it is a great place to start from. At its core, your store should have your products sorted into categories, allow customers to filter and reorder products and for them to easily add and remove items from their shopping basket. If you start from there, everything you add and change afterward will improve the service you offer.
Nobody is going to buy your items from your online store if they don’t know that you exist. This is where marketing becomes so important. You need to have a presence on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and, if you have the budget for it, run a promotional campaign to help you gain followers and likes. This will convert into clicks and visits to your website and online store. You also need to think about whether you should have advertising banners or if you should have AdWords in your marketing campaign.
Both of these can be great ways to get people through to your site and turn them from potential customers into actual customers. Another idea is, if you are having trouble moving a specific product then you could run a promotion on those specific items. Offering them at a percentage off or having a multi-buy deal makes people more likely to purchase them. While you might not make as much profit at least, you are making something, and you have sold the product. Creating an effective marketing campaign will go a long way towards making your online store a success.
People need a reason to buy from your store rather than somewhere else. That might be that you provide a product that nobody else does, you have the most competitive prices, or you might offer something else entirely. However, it is important that you have something that sets you apart from everyone else. You don’t need to sell entirely unique products and nothing else, but when you are building your online store think about why people should choose you over someone else. If you can’t think of a reason, then you need to work on making a reason.
Payment options are critical. Once a person is at the stage where they are ready to make a purchase, the easiest way to lose that customer is through poor payment options. You need to have as many as possible including major debit and credit card companies. Adding things like BitCoin and PayPal give people more options to pay and they will be grateful for it. Depending on what type of store or site you have, you might want a high-risk merchant account for payments. This means will allow your customers to use their credit and debit cards for payments if you offer what the banks consider to be high-risk products and services. Overall though, having as many payment options as possible will only serve to increase the number of purchases on your store.
You want your products to come up in search engine results, and this means using SEO (search engine optimization). This means using keywords and naming products sensibly. If you have a description for every product that includes the name of that product a few times, it is far more likely to come up in a Google Search than if you just have the name of the product and nothing more. If you are struggling with SEO, then there are tonnes of websites out there that provide specific advice on how to use it. Failing that, you might want to hire a freelance writer to craft SEO rich text for each of your products.
Analytics allow you understand who is buying your products. This will inform your marketing campaign and perhaps give you an idea of which products are likely to sell in the future. They are worth having, and if you analyze them, then you will get a lot of useful information. If you know the time of year when people purchase fewer products, then you can run a promotion campaign during that period. If you know how people arrive on your site, then you know which types of advertising are effective and which you are wasting money on. If you can use your analytic data cleverly, then you can learn a lot about your customers and maybe even understand why people visit your store and don’t buy anything.
Be More Than Just An Online Store
It takes more than just a storefront to be successful on the internet. You need to have a social media presence and build relationships with your customers. You should also run a blog on your website that relates to the industry you work in. This will help two-fold. It will show people what kind of company you are and give them useful information and it will also show up in search engine results and push new customers to your store. Both of these are important. You need to think about your stores brand and focus on creating something that people like and not just a store without any personality.