What makes some online stores more successful than others?
There are a huge number of online stores now out there selling anything and everything that you could possibly want to buy. Online shopping has become an extremely convenient way to obtain goods and services and is a growing industry with all big retailers offering the option to buy online(marketplace) and many independent businesses doing the same(eCommerce Websites). There are opportunities to make money by opening up an online shop, but at the same time, there are risks. If you are thinking about trying to make a career out of running an online store, you should first make sure you do your research. What better way to figure out the route to success than by looking at the successes and failures of those that have gone before you!
So what is it exactly that makes some online stores so successful, when others fall at the first hurdle? Read on to discover some top tips and advice to ensure that your online business thrives.
Designing your online storefront is perhaps one of the most important steps to consider before opening an online shop. Great storefronts come in all shapes and sizes and the most important thing to think about is who your customer is and what they would like to see. This, of course, all depends on the product that you are selling, the online storefront to a shop selling handmade candles and luxury soaps, for example, is likely to look very different to one selling tools and electrical goods, but both need equal amounts of careful consideration. Remember the homepage is your opening gambit, it is the face of your company, what impression do you want to make? Customers need to arrive at your page and understand exactly what you are selling and how to buy it, make it easy for them so that they come away feeling as though they have had a positive user experience.
Have clear and concise category pages. If you have an online shop you are likely to be selling different products or at least different versions of the same product. In which case you need categories to separate them out and make it easy for buyers to see which option they want. The most successful online stores have clear categories which are inviting and interesting to customers.
Remember much of the appeal of online shopping is its convenience and convenience equals speed. Make browsing a pleasure, have fantastic photos clicked with professional photography which shows off your products in the best light, and appealing product descriptions which make your products seem irresistible, but also make it easy for customers to buy quickly. Have quick views, add to cart options and one-click to buy options if you can. The less long-winded and drawn out the process is, the fewer time customers have to reconsider - this is great for you particularly if it is an impulse purchase! Having an easy payment process and several different payment options will also put you at an advantage. Customers will feel frustrated if they want to buy your product and work their way through the buying and payment process only to realize at the end you don’t accept their card type. Be as flexible as you can be and offer customers a choice and you will see your business flourish.
Successful online stores stand out because they are all about customer care, and it can be the downfall of an online store if its online reputation turns negative. Product reviews help your online store. Look after your customers, have special offers and discounts, and most importantly communicate with them well. Most issues can be resolved to a customer's satisfaction if you are willing to address them. Several bad reviews are all it takes for potential customers to feel you are not trustworthy, and if that happens no matter how lovely, good value and high quality your products are, they simply will not buy.