If you’re thinking about starting an online store, now is the best time to do it – it is estimated that by 2040, 95% of all purchases will be through eCommerce. However, while setting up an eCommerce is quite straightforward, making it successful is not.
There are about 12-24 million eCommerce sites across the globe, with more and more being created every day. This means that the competition is fierce, and you will have to work hard in order to avoid being one of the 90% of eCommerce start-ups that fail within the first 120 days.Here are 6 areas you need to be aware of before launching your online #store. Click To Tweet
Choose The Right eCommerce Platform
Take some time to research the options available. In order to find the one that best suits your needs, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are the themes flexible?
- Is there room to grow your website?
- Will the site work on all devices?
- What’s the support like?
- Can support agents be easily reached in case of an issue?
One way to make sure your business stands out from the crowd is to choose an eCommerce platform that helps you showcase your products in the best light possible and provide an outstanding customer experience.
One such platform is WooCommerce which, on top of its own features, can be further enhanced using the right plugins. Of course, different plugins serve different purposes and you will have to pick the ones that suit your site the best. Our honest recommendations are the following two plugins:
WooCommerce Table Rate Shipping – PRO – Using this plugin, you can calculate shipping based on a number of factors such as destination, weight, item quantity, and cart total. It’s very popular due to the fact that it allows you to create advanced shipping rules and use shipping classes to make these rules more fine-grained. Regarding shipping methods, with this plugin, you can name them uniquely, hide them, import/export them, and force them to be used. Lastly, a very special feature that makes this plugin stand out is the one for restricting shipping to logged-in users only.
WooCommerce Order Export – PRO – With the help of this plugin, pro and beginner WooCommerce store owners can export order and other data easily. The exports can be automatic/scheduled and sent through FTP or to your inbox. The columns in the exports can be reordered so the exports look exactly how you imagined. Plus, this plugin will remember which orders have already been exported and allow you to apply filters so you get nothing but the data you really want.
Protect Your Business
Your shopfront may be virtual, but you are still liable for the products you sell. Business disagreements and mistakes can be costly without the right professional liability insurance.
Purchasing professional liability insurance for small businesses is a great way to ensure that your business is protected by covering any compensation due, along with defense costs if there is a claim against you. In addition, it pays to keep your store up and running and helps you move on quickly, avoiding confrontations with customers and protecting your reputation. You can learn more about this by visiting Petra Insurance Brokers.
Research Your Competitors
Check out how your main competitors communicate with their audience, what marketing strategies they’re using, and what their websites look like.
Use their weak spots to offer something that will help you differentiate yourself. For instance, if your competitors have high shipping costs, you should consider making yours lower.
Research is fundamental in order to understand the market and customer behavior.
Have A Solid Marketing Strategy
Once you have chosen the products you want to sell, be sure to take some time to create an effective marketing strategy that will help you build brand awareness, drive customer loyalty, and eventually boost your sales.
Start by defining your target audience – are you trying to sell to the older generation or teenagers? Are your products more likely to be bought by women or men? Once you know your target customers, you’ll be able to tailor your marketing strategy accordingly.
You can use eCommerce marketing tools to promote your online store. You can also rely on email marketing and social media in order to put your products in front of the customers who are most likely to buy them.
If you have a Shopify store, trust badges Shopify can also help.
Visuals Are Everything
Brick-and-mortar stores have one significant advantage over online retailers – customers have the opportunity to view products in person, touch them, and try them on. The right visuals can help close the gap between a product and the way you represent it online.
Make sure your images showcase your products in the best way possible and demonstrate how they can be used in real life. Great images, along with high-quality video tutorials will engage your audience and drive traffic to your eCommerce website. Infographics are another innovative way to deliver information in an easy-to-remember way.
Take Advantage Of SEO
If you want to generate leads and boost sales, you will certainly need a well-written home page, an ‘About Us’ page, product descriptions, and even a blog.
SEO is an important element that will maximize the effect of your copy and help your rank higher in search engines like Google. In order to use SEO to your advantage, you need to identify the keywords you want to rank for and distribute them throughout your written content.
In addition, make sure to keep your content informative, accurate, and regularly updated.
Avoid duplicating content on different pages and instead, write unique product descriptions for each product.
You should also consider adding product reviews using a review and rating widget. This will give search engine bots something new to crawl while at the same time providing social proof and convincing new customers to make a purchase.
Success doesn’t come overnight so you should be prepared to work hard for it. These tips, along with your dedication and a few tweaks to your eCommerce site along the way, will make sure you have a solid foundation to build upon over time.