Mobile devices like tablets and smartphones have greatly changed the shopping process and the path to purchase. These days, you can buy anything from a pizza to your own private island right from the comfort of your favorite chair. Due to this simplicity, new online shops are constantly popping up that cater to different customer segments.
It seems so easy to set up an online shop; just combine a domain, good hosting, content management system and theme, and you’re all set. Online stores can be cheaper to run and manage than a brick and mortar. After all, you don’t have to worry about overhead costs like rent.
But in reality it’s quite hard to create a good online store, and it’s even harder to make it successful and user-friendly. Below are useful tips that will guide you through to becoming a successful online store owner.
Create an Engaging Homepage
Think of your homepage as the face of your company. It tells your customers the products and services that you offer. Your customers don’t always have the time to figure out what you’re selling so the homepage has to clearly state that.
Be concise and direct in conveying the most important info to your customers (it will also be useful in a variety of other situations). Don’t tell the customer when your business was found or how many sales managers you have, save that info for the ‘About Us’ page. A good homepage also links to the categories to ease site navigation and make user experience seamless. There may also be banners with special offers and promotions.
Sometimes you also need to place contacts or even an online chat to answer all customer questions quickly. Live chats have the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel with 73 percent, so you should consider using it for your store.
Make the Most Out of Category Pages
Category pages are comparable to the shelves you find in a physical store. This provides you with a chance to show your customers what you have to offer. It’s always a good idea to place pictures, a short description of your products, the price, a small section for review counts, and an ‘Add to Cart’ option under each product indicated in your category pages.
You can also add sorting options (by bestsellers, reviews count, price, newest, etc.) or ajax scroll. If you decide to go for sorting, make sure you set all the canonicals and navigational tags properly. If you choose infinite scroll for your categories, remember to comply with Google guidelines since they can be quite strict about this.
Fine Tune Your Product Page
A customer navigates through your site to land on a product page. His intention is to find something interesting and to eventually make a purchase. The final decision greatly depends on the quality and quantity of information you provide but it doesn’t mean you should write a 1000-word description (save the words for a user guide or even a blog post about the product). Your goal is to show all the relevant info as quickly as possible, so it should be organized in a user-friendly manner.
Use a Tracking & Analyzing Tool
Don’t stop with just marketing your products and services. As an owner of an online store, it’s important to know if your business is doing well or not. The easiest way to get that info is to set up your Google Analytics. This will help you track key performance indicators so that you’ll know which aspects of your online store needs to be strengthened.
So, is it worth all the effort?
In just the past few years, the eCommerce space has developed by such leaps and bounds that online retailers now have countless tools at their disposal to streamline the process for consumers, allowing them to remain competitive in the face of a wildly growing industry. It’s a tremendous tool that more eCommerce businesses should be utilizing to strengthen their products reach. Therefore the simple answer is yes. Your store is like a sprout; you should take care of it, water it and nourish it. One day your hard work will result in a flourishing tree which will bear fruits regularly!
Here’s more tips on how you can make your online store successful in a short period, watch this short video and you’ll be amazed at how you can actually curate an online store which is aligned with key buyers’ wants and motivations to give you an edge over less mindful competitors.