Long gone are the days when in order to make money selling something, you had to rent a space, hire a truck to bring products in, arrange them on shelves, hire a vendor, hang welcome signs, worry about cleaning the storefront…you get the picture.
Today, all you have to do is know which buttons to click for your store to appear out of nowhere. Virtual stores are easier to set up, cheaper to run, and less time-consuming. But doesn’t it mean anyone could open one?
Not really. In order to start a successful online store, you need to have a few important skills and follow a bunch of tips. Below, you can find a few.
Even if you have the best products, the most amazing 24/7 customer support, and the quickest shipping, no one will know that if your page loads slowly. No one will come to your store if it looks dull.
So the first thing you have to invest either time or money, or even better both, is the design. Today, you can find numerous free platforms allowing you to set up an e-store. However, opting for freebies only means that you are limiting yourself to default options.
Consider acquiring paid customizable templates as well as professional assistance. If you don’t have the funds, plan to spend many hours every day learning how to design a great website. Be it time, money or both, don’t hesitate to spend it on the design.
Many potential customers don’t buy anything from an e-store without checking out the “about us” page. So once the website is up, spend some time coming up with an excellent story about your store and experience. It’s a cheap yet highly legitimate way of explaining the potential customer why your product is the best.
The “About Us” page can also participate in your marketing efforts, giving you extra content to place keywords for SEO.
It is also a wonderful opportunity to get feedback from the client. Ask them to sign up for a newsletter or leave their comments and suggestions. Remember, all contact information you get from the page must be checked in order to maintain the e-mailing list hygiene for further marketing efforts.
Customer support can make or break your store. You should have a specialist ready to answer all the possible questions 24/7. If it’s impossible to achieve at the first stages, you may want to invest in a high-quality chatbot.
Be ready to deal with the client’s problems immediately. Only quick support can improve the conversion rate. The best way to interact with a customer is to take advantage of the live chat.
No one will take the time to email you to ask questions about products. The customer will simply leave to look for another e-store.
No one will visit your amazing store if you don’t tell people about it. Advertising is the second most important step after creating an outstanding website. Invest in SEO efforts, social media advertising, email marketing, and much more.
All of the above is possible to do on your own, using free or fairly priced marketing tools. If you are on a tight budget, get ready to do some learning.
Since customers can’t visit a real store to see and touch the products, they rely on the reviews of the people who have already done it. Do everything possible to get positive reviews from your existing customers, even if it’s your friends and family to start with.
Make it easy for the clients to leave reviews right after receiving the product. When you are just starting, give the customers an incentive to leave a review. For example, a 10 percent discount on the next purchase.
Starting an e-store requires an immense amount of effort, especially if you are on a tight budget. Do everything right from the first time, and you have all the chances of becoming successful. The above tips can help you along the way.