Major marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay, have strict seller policies. These establishments minimize merchant branding in order to maintain a corresponding image. Sellers who run their own online stores are in a different league. They have complete control over the experiences of their customers. Merchants can use their eCommerce store to directly connect with their customers and encourage purchases, whether it's rearranging product placement or highlighting a store sale.
However, with so much freedom, online store owners may be unsure where to begin curating their shop. Here are our crucial tips for creating a successful online store/eCommerce website to get you started attracting buyers and retaining loyal customers. These strategies explain how buyers experience each element of your online store and how each should be designed to attract buyers and increase sales.
1. Engaging Web Design
It makes no difference if you have the best product in your niche and the best customer service—if your eCommerce website design is poor, your online business presence will suffer. Buyers consider visual appearance to be the most important factor when making a purchase.
You have two options for creating a profitable online store: pay a web designer or learn to code yourself. Alternatively, you can purchase a ready-made template and customize it to your specifications. Fortunately, there are thousands of excellent eCommerce templates available on the internet, all of which have clean designs, simple layouts, and adhere to the most recent web design trends.
Visitors should be captivated by design elements such as using full-width images and avoiding distraction with minimal text. Here are some practical suggestions for improving your web design:
- Your online store can be designed by a professional, or you can use an eCommerce store template.
- The attention of site visitors should be captured by web design. Customers will be more engaged if you use full-width images and little text.
2. An Awesome “About Us” Page
If a visitor navigates to your "About Us" page, it indicates that they are already interested in you and are giving you the opportunity to prove that your product is the best. What you must do is clearly state who you are, what you do, and, most importantly, what you offer to clients. All testimonials, accomplishments, and other forms of social proof are welcome.
On your about page and throughout your website, your contact information should be clear and easy to find. Make sure to include your:
- Contact Email
- Social Media Channels
Too much information on your "About Us" page can be overwhelming for site visitors. Here are some helpful hints for creating your "About Us" page:
- Include basic information about your company, such as contact information, address, and social media accounts, on the page.
- Avoid cramming too much information onto the "About Us" page. With a simple design, you can keep visitors interested.
3. Offer Excellent Online Support
Your customers need to know that you will help if they need it after they make a purchase. Guaranteeing troubleshooting after the sale and consulting before the sale can turn potential buyers into loyal, returning customers.
A live-chat feature that is available 24 hours a day is the most comprehensive and helpful type of support. This tool has the potential to increase your site's overall conversion rate by 10% or more. If you don't have the resources to provide round-the-clock support, you should still offer some kind of service to assist people during working hours.
Here are a few practical suggestions for providing excellent online support:
- Provide assistance at all stages of the purchasing process to encourage new buyers to make their first purchase and returning customers to continue purchasing.
- Make your customer service features, such as a phone number or a chatbox, visible from the homepage so that buyers are aware of them.
4. Make Your Site SEO-Friendly
In order for purchases to occur, your online store must receive traffic. What is the key to generating traffic? Search engine optimization (SEO). Your site is more likely to rank higher in search engine results if you incorporate SEO keywords into your product titles and descriptions. Increased visibility is essential for increasing site visits and conversions. In this process services from a Digital marketing company like iGlobe Solutions can help you.
Here are a few practical suggestions for optimizing your website for search engines:
- Utilize SEO tools to identify keywords with high search volumes and low keyword difficulty for your site to rank.
- Enter the SEO keywords you're thinking about including on your product pages to see what results you'll be competing with. If you get major sites as results, consider changing your term to something less competitive.
5. Build Buyer Trust with Product Reviews
Product reviews and ratings greatly increase your credibility. Because online shoppers cannot meet sellers in person, they must rely on the feedback of other buyers to evaluate merchants. Ratings on product pages save time for customers by quickly displaying what other customers think about the product.
Product reviews are more convincing when there are a lot of them. To encourage more feedback, don't be afraid to ask your customers to leave a review after they've made a purchase. Customers who are pleased with your product are unlikely to leave a review because everything is already fine. Give them a gentle push, and they'll most likely be delighted to tell others about their positive experience.
Here are a few practical suggestions for utilizing product reviews:
- To increase the visibility of the feedback, display the average rating and number of reviews at the top of each product page and at the bottom where you display the content of the reviews.
- Incentivize buyers to leave reviews by providing a small discount after they make a purchase if they leave feedback.
6. Ensure Your Store is Mobile-Responsive
With the increasing use of smartphones for online shopping, merchants must ensure that their site design is mobile-friendly so that buyers can make purchases regardless of the device they're using. Sellers who are technically savvy can check operating system requirements, such as these iOS guidelines, to ensure that their site is responsive. Merchants can also use pre-configured mobile-responsive online store design templates to make their site device-friendly.
Here are a few practical tips for making sure your site is mobile-friendly.
- Vertical designs are preferable to horizontal designs for easier scrolling and viewing of content on phone screens.
- Load your store's mobile responsiveness into a phone and browse through it to look for errors.
7. Track Analytics and Iterate
Online merchants cannot improve their growth strategies unless they track their progress. Using a tool like Google Analytics to track your selling activity and customer behavior is the best way to go. This program provides sellers with detailed information about their stores, such as the percentage of product sales, the number of site page visits, and the number of abandoned shopping carts. By following these instructions, you can easily set up Analytics for your online store.
Analyze your selling metrics on a regular basis to gain long-term insights into how to engage customers more effectively and encourage more purchases. Merchants who need assistance setting up Analytics or are unsure how to generate data-driven insights should contact a Digital Marketing Company.
Here are a few practical tips for using Google Analytics to track and iterate on seller activity:
- Enable the "enhanced eCommerce tracking" feature when configuring Analytics for your store to gain a wealth of information about your sellers' activity.
- Create Google Analytics Segments to gain data-driven insights into your key buyer groups.
8. Build Your Outreach List
Growing your business entails more than just reaching out to customers; you must also reach out to individuals in your industry who can assist you in reaching more buyers within your target audience. Networking with the right groups enables merchants to generate product buzz and broaden their reach in order to reach as many customers as possible. Sellers should consider contacting:
Traditional Reporters — writers for publications specializing in your industry who can create content about your products
Industry Bloggers — writers who create content for blogs that are specific to your industry and feature products similar to yours.
Social Media Influencers — people who have a large number of followers on social media and make comments about your industry.
Similar Entrepreneurs — like-minded business owners who work in your industry and are familiar with your products.
These four groups can quickly spread the word about your product, so reaching out to network and share why you might be valuable to work with is worthwhile. Here are a few practical suggestions for growing your outreach list:
- Use tools like Buzzsumo to identify industry influencers to whom you can reach out.
- Organize the people you want to contact into specialized categories, such as their number of followers or likelihood of responding.
9. Use Ready-to-Go Storefront Tools
Merchants without a coding background should consider using software such as Shopify or Wordpress to set up their online stores. These programs include built-in store templates, allowing sellers to easily customize their sites without any programming or graphic design knowledge.
Shopify enables sellers to easily customize the design of their online store. Here are a few practical hints for utilizing ready-to-use storefront tools:
- Make certain that the design of your chosen template corresponds to the personalities of your key buyers and your brand image. Software, such as Shopify and BigCommerce, will typically make suggestions about which types of businesses are best suited for each design.
- Consider the cost of a graphic designer when purchasing a Shopify theme or other software template. A designer will be more expensive than almost all templates, but knowing the cost difference will help you determine the value of the template.
10. Keep an Eye on the Competition
Customers search online stores for the best shopping experiences and the lowest prices. To keep buyers interested in their store, merchants should identify shops that are similar to their own and compare them. Are these stores' return policies 60-day or 30-day? Is shipping free or only available for a fee?
Understanding what makes competitors more advantageous enables sellers to determine what aspects of their business need to change in order to keep returning customers loyal and attract new buyers. Here are a few practical suggestions for evaluating your competition:
- Look for similar products on major marketplaces, not just other online stores. Amazon and eBay are excellent indicators of competitive pricing for your products and industry. To attract more buyers, use their prices as a guideline for your own.
- Consider the design of your competitors' websites as well as their product offerings. Take note of how it may be more user-friendly than your store and how it may be attracting customers.
11. Encourage Social Sharing
Organic social media, word-of-mouth marketing can help your eCommerce business grow. Public discussions of your brand and products on social media channels serve as social proof — the psychological phenomenon in which people believe that the behavior of others reflects their own. Because online buyers cannot see your products in person, they rely on what other customers have to say about your company on Facebook to decide whether or not to make a purchase.
Start a campaign that encourages sharing on social media to generate buzz about your product. A brand, for example, may offer customers an entry into a contest if they leave a comment on a social media post or tag a friend. Merchants should also encourage social sharing by providing easy access to their social media channels on their websites.
Services like Social Media Management and Social Media Marketing from experts like iGlobe Solutions can make an impact. Here are a few practical suggestions for increasing social sharing:
- Don't restrict social sharing to buyers only! Contact other brands with whom you've collaborated and encourage them to share information about your company or tag your brand in their social media content.
- Don't break the sharing chain. If your brand is mentioned on social media, try to keep the conversation going by retweeting or commenting beneath the post.
12. Advantage of Email Marketing
Email marketing is a simple way for merchants to connect with their customers. Merchants can send targeted messages to buyer segments that address each group's specific needs. Email marketing, by appealing to buyers' interests, is a powerful tool for increasing sales and revenue.
To get started, you'll need to collect buyers' emails and ensure that they agree to receive messages from you. There are numerous opportunities to ask buyers whether they want to receive email notifications, such as during the checkout process or in a pop-up window while browsing.
Not every buyer will agree to sign up for your email list, but those who do will be eager buyers who are enthusiastic about your brand and will most likely respond well to your email marketing. Here are a few practical email marketing tips:
- Use an email marketing tool, such as Campaign Monitor, to track the success of your messages, such as how many times they were opened and which links were most frequently clicked.
- Using email marketing software, you can track which customers unsubscribe from your email list. Try to deduce why they may have unsubscribed using other information from their buyer profile and how you can use that knowledge to prevent future cancellations.
Curate Your Shop to Increase Conversions
Online stores give merchants complete control over the experiences of their customers. Instead of adhering to the policies of a marketplace, a seller can create their own online shop with their own terms to shape their buyers' product interactions.
Merchants who have this level of control as online store owners can encourage more conversions if they understand how to craft each element of their store. By implementing the strategies outlined in this guide, merchants can become more aware of how customers perceive each storage element and use that knowledge to design their store. Curating an online store to align with key buyers' desires and motivations gives sellers an advantage over less conscientious competitors.