Building a successful online store may seem like a difficult task for any small business, especially if you’re not an ecommerce expert. There are countless little decisions you have to make, and without the experience, you may be lost among the myriad of opportunities.
But don’t worry: we’ve compiled a list of seven essential tips that will help you build a successful online store. Once you’ve chosen your ecommerce software (if you need a hand with that, read out blog post Top 6 Ecommerce Platforms for Small Businesses), keep these seven tips in mind when building your store.
1. Elegant Design
If you’re using a template for your store, make sure to choose a simple and functional, yet beautiful design. More is often less: don’t cram your storefront with buttons, content, or pictures.
Think of your store as a conversation. When a prospective customer lands on your page, they want to get on with the conversation (buy a product, ask for help, learn about the deal of the day, etc) as fast as possible. If you help them get to the things they’re interested in quickly, you’ll have a satisfied and returning customer.
If you help them get to the things they’re interested in quickly, you’ll have a satisfied and returning customer
When choosing your design, make sure it’s appropriate for cell phones and tablets as well. And another thing: don’t be mysterious. Let your customers know immediately what your store is all about. Confusing images or a lack of a clear value proposition (why should people buy products from you and not your competitors) will drive prospective customers away.
2. Good Quality Images and Meaningful Descriptions
Including images is always a good idea. However, make sure the pictures are high-quality and create a desire in your customers to own the product. As a rule of thumb, showing a product in action (like a dress worn by a person, or a toy children are playing with) is generally better than showing it passively in a case.
Shape your product description according to your product. For example, electronic devices may need more specifications than garments. The style of your text should engage your customers and compel them to buy your products. Consider adding product comparisons to help your customers make up their minds.
3. Offer Support
An effective way to draw customers in is offering them online support throughout the selling process, including after-sales services like troubleshooting. A live-chat feature on your website will help ease your customers’ minds about buying from you. If you can’t afford to run a live-chat, make sure to display your contact information where customers can reach you if they need support.
4. Build Trust
In the anonymous world of ecommerce, trust is essential. If your customers don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you. Luckily, there are several proven ways to build trust online with prospective customers.
Include an About Us section where you briefly describe your business. Similarly, consider running a blog with topics that engage your customers and showcase your products.
Add customer testimonials about your shop and your products. In addition, create a section linking to other businesses you’re working with. Interestingly, highlighting your partners will build trust with your customers as well.
5. SEO Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the best way to get your store noticed by search engines, and in turn, by customers. Find out what keywords your customers use when looking for products you sell, and use these in your product descriptions, blog articles, or any other content you have. And don’t forget about meta descriptions and tags. Most out of the box ecommerce platforms will make these easy to update. This way, your online store will be among the first things that pop up on your customers’ screen.
6. Social Media Presence
Social media platforms have an increasing role in ecommerce, both by influencing potential customers and providing an online marketplace to make purchases. Make sure your small business is present on the platforms your customers use.
Word-of-mouth travels fast, and an effective social media presence can serve as an advertising platform as well as a great tool to build trust
Post your blog articles, current deals, or interesting tidbits on social media and get your customers to share your content. Word-of-mouth travels fast, and an effective social media presence can serve as an advertising platform as well as a great tool to build trust. Killing two birds with one stone, right?
7. Payment options
The payment options you offer can easily become a deal-breaker. Make sure to include all popular online payment options to prevent your customers from abandoning their shopping cart.
If you provide your customers with the ease and convenience of online payments, why not treat your international suppliers similarly?
International transfers can be a frustrating experience. Waiting around for banks, not knowing when your transfer arrives and how much money you’ll actually get can deter any small business from working internationally.
This is where Veem comes in, offering international payments with a click of your mouse.
Using unique multi-rail technology, Veem creates a direct connection between you and your business partner. We cut out the middlemen: your transfer won’t travel through many institutions to reach its destination. This means that there are no hidden fees, and no unexpected delays.
Both you and your business partner can track payments every step of the way. And to top it all, Veem offers competitive foreign exchange rates and charges no wire fees.
Sign up for a free Veem account and enjoy hassle-free international transfers.