Once your online store is up and running, the challenge now is getting visitors to the site, and ultimately getting them to become customers.
An online store is a more than just a method of generating an additional stream of revenue for your brick and mortar store, it is a representation of your business, its quality, and is therefore crucial to make sure it is set up for success.
Below are 5 general guidelines and tips to follow that make for successful online stores:
Sadly to say, people do judge books by their covers. A recent study has shown that you only have 2 seconds to make a good impression on your website visitors before they decide to stay or leave your page. This means that design is the most important element, and not only for your online store, but for every page on your website. Your online store needs to look visually appealing to keep your visitors on site and engage them enough to want to buy. A poorly configured page will make or break the success of your online store; after-all, you only have a couple of seconds to impress.
Here is a great example of Spyder’s online store:
Spyder has kept a clean, organized page by using appropriate product categories and by using attractive high quality visuals. By also adding social buttons and their blog at the top and bottom of their pages they have incorporated all of the important features of a successful online store and are therefore a great example to follow.
2. Easy Store Navigation
If you’re still on this page, then that shows you just how important design is. If you can keep your customers on your site, the next step is making your navigation as easy as possible. In-store rules still apply for online stores – no one likes to jump through hoops and tip toe around to get to where they want to go. One of the easiest ways to lose a customer is to make things they are looking for difficult to find. Keep your navigation organized and simple to follow by using search options, filters and categories. The whole point of online shopping is for convenience so make the process easy for your customers.
3. Quality Product Images & Descriptions
Once your customers have found themselves to your product section, nows the time to really sell. Remember that people aren’t physically in your store and don’t have the ability to touch, inspect or try out your products, so your images must be of the highest quality.
To go along with your amazing, captivating images, you will need to generate compelling product descriptions. Product descriptions break down product dimensions, features, colours, etc to help customers visualize the product. The product descriptions will act as your online sales associates to try and convince customers to purchase, ease them of their doubts, help them visualize themselves with it, and to ultimately part ways with their hard earned money.
Here is a great example of how Natural Force Nutrition lays out their products, includes a detailed description, shows reviews, and maps out the pricing in an effective way to entice the customer by providing them with all the needed information:
4. Easy Payment Process
No one likes going through pages of products and all of the decision making, just to come to a confusing and painful payment process. The final step of your sales process has to be the easiest, as it is the point where people are becoming your customers, and investing in you and your business.
When setting up your payments page some things to keep in mind are:
- Have multiple payment methods
- Keep your branding the same
- Don’t ask for too much information or use too many required fields
- Keep it clean and simple
- Reassure customers of security and shipping information
Here’s a simple, yet effective checkout page done by Bellroy where they managed to keep the payment process all on one page (which is not done enough) and only asked for the necessary information to keep customer frustration and problems down to a minimum.
5. Add Social Elements
Social media is a powerful tool that can help your business at all stages of the buying process.
Integrating social media into your online store will:
- Increase your exposure
- Allow customers to talk about your brand, share reviews, and visit your social media pages
- Attract them to your online store by advertising on your active platforms
There is still more you can do than just adding social media buttons and links to your page. Another important element you can add to your online store is sharing links or little snippets of your latest blogs and company events. This will help establish a more personal connection with your customers and increase the traffic among your other website pages.
Want to learn more about Online Stores? Download our free “Online Stores – The Complete Guide” eBook here: