These days you can buy just about anything in an online store from make-up to car parts (Yep, you guessed it , there really is an OnlineCarParts.co.uk !) But if you’re setting up your own online store, here are the most important features you’ll need to consider:
Whether you’re selling make-up, car parts or anything else, if nobody knows it’s there then you won’t have any customers! Every online store owner needs a clear plan of how they will get visitors to the store not just occasionally, but consistently every day.
There are many ways of doing this including search engine optimization and social media as well as paid methods such as Google Adwords or Facebook Advertising.
Having a professional image is essential if people are to trust you with their credit cards, but that’s just one of the benefits of branding. These days you need to have a presence in multiple places online including Facebook and twitter. Having a consistent brand across all of these ‘properties’ allows your followers to recognise you and feel at home with you wherever they meet you.
If your look and style is professional and consistent, then that builds confidence and you’re much more likely to get sales.
Don’t just get customers, get fans
Which would you prefer? People who just buy your products or raving fans who love what you do and can’t wait to tell their friends about you? Fortunately, with tools like blogs and social media platforms you can build and army of fans. Use creative campaigns to tell the story behind your brand, what’s new and what’s in the pipeline. Don’t just tell them what you do, tell them (and show them) why you do it. Share insider secrets and what you’re planning next.
Once you have visitors and customers, encourage them to return by emailing them regular updates and offers. After all, it’s easier to sell to someone who already knows and likes your brand than someone who has never heard of it before.
Use your URL
Have a URL that’s memorable and easy to spell, then make sure it’s in all your printed material as well as being on your emails signatures, social media profiles and anywhere else people can find you online.
Test, test, test
Once you’ve got potential customers to your store, you need to make sure they are converting into sales. You need to be continually testing you prices, products, copy and everything else about your store to increase your conversion rate. In order to do this you’ll need to collect data, so make sure you set up Google Analytics as soon as you can.
It’s got to be mobile
A responsive website is no longer an option. That’s a website that looks good on any device, mobile, laptop or desktop. According to online store platofrm provider Shopify (in this Econsultancy post) , one third of sales came from mobile devices in 2014.
So there you have it – now it’s time to start your own online store!