Today’s businesses need to have an online store to keep up with growing customer demands. To help with this, there are software solutions that provide tools and services to create an online store, often with minimal effort.
Some of the platforms that specialize in e-commerce include Shopify and Magento. There are other tools that you can use as well, such as Weebly. If you have a content site like WordPress, you could consider using e-commerce plugins while starting off. However, there are some factors to consider when you’re considering an online venture. Understand your requirements and find out what you need from a service before you invest in one.
We bring to you a list of things you should factor in before and while you create an online store. Online store building takes a lot of time and effort to pull off perfectly.
Survey Your (Potential) Customers
Who are your customers? What is their age group? What are they looking for? What search keywords do they use to get to your site? Why will they use your website? What devices do they use to access your website? Map out the different profiles of customers that you plan to sell to.
Do some customer surveys. Then you can outline a plan to create a targeted and well thought out e-commerce website that resonates well with your target audience. Analyze your existing competition to see what has been working for them. You might already be late to this party!
This is where you’ll need to figure out whether to go for a hosted domain or a custom option. Good domain names speak and can have greater recall amongst customers. So make sure your domain name is unique and reflects what your site is about.
Research for domain names on the web. Check out synonyms for your business area. Do you have a brand name that you want to promote? See if it suits your website the best. When you find a name that best suits what you’re selling, grab it immediately. Chances are that it could become unavailable or very expensive to buy in case someone else buys it. These domains could help in your search engine optimisation later on.
This is crucial to get right to ensure your online store indeed stays accessible online. If you are expecting a lot of traffic from ad campaigns, social media and search engines, your hosting provider needs to be able to guarantee website uptime.
Does your hosting provider have a good control panel on offer? What are the terms and conditions of your subscription? Do they offer an upgrade to private servers? Customer support options? These are some other things to check with your hosting provider.
You will have to get your logo in place, along with your brand identity to help create a custom look and feel for your online store, even if you’re using a template. Choose your color scheme, fonts and typography. This is where your brand identity comes into play so set your brand guidelines in place.
Building a website is tough work—whether you want to build one yourself or hire professionals for it. Although you don’t have to hire a professional to build your website. You can always use website builders on a subscription basis, like Weebly, Squarespace, and more. These sites have award-winning templates that you could easily configure to help you get started.
The backbone of your website is the content you have on it. It has to be presented in the right way so that you can attract customers.
Your content and writing style needs to be unique and interesting. Pay close attention to keywords and keyword research, both for ads and for search engine optimization. Think about the average reader when you write copy. Make sure your language is simple and easy to understand. Which call-to-actions work the best?
Content can range from interesting blogs to descriptions of products that you want to sell. The more engaging and relevant the content, the more your customers will flock to you through social media and search engines.
If your website is confusing and difficult to navigate, it becomes a serious drawback for your business. Make sure your website provides your customers with what they’re looking for within a few clicks.
You need to create a user-interface that is friendly and interactive. Make sure your website is being maintained and upgraded in routine intervals. In case, there are loading issues or broken links, fix them immediately. How capable is the search function on your store?
Use sitemaps and remove unnecessary under-performing pages that increase loading time. This will help in improving the performance of your website.
With enough care and dedication, you can create an online store for yourself that your customers enjoy shopping on and will recommend to others. Good luck!