As time goes on, you can find more and more online stores created by venturesome people. Having your own e-commerce business is still a great idea, however, you need to offer a unique service. Do not be just one in a million.
You have to make sure that you provide an outstanding service with high-quality, unique products, and with a good CS (customer service). There are many steps you will have to take if you want to have a great online Shopify store where people are willing to buy what they need because it really seems like it worth purchasing there. Make others satisfied, make them come back again and be a fan, make sure that everyone will feel the need to visit your store at the first sight—for example through a promotion or someone’s advice.
Let’s see what are those factors you have to care about to run a top-notch online business.
- If your visitors are insecure, they won’t buy!
- How can you have an online store that people find appealing?
- Why should people visit your store instead of others’?
This statement tells almost everything about this topic. First of all, you need to make people visit your store somehow. How can you do it? Nowadays the most common ways to get visitors from are the social media sites and Google. As for the latter, you will need good SEO and such reputation to be shown among the first few search results. Do not feel lost on social media platforms, with great content and hashtags, followers together with visitors will both get to like your pages.
You need to do marketing right. Create engaging images and use captivating lines so that your effort can convert. Briefly, you can bring traffic by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest posts, promotion content on these platforms, you have to do Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and get visitors with paid search ads. Think about Google AdWords or Facebook Ads. You can work with influencers too, but take care of who you choose, make sure it will worth to cooperate.
Attract people with marketing
However, after you set up your online Shopify store, you are not ready. You can’t just sit back and wait for your deserved income. The hardest days are just coming because you have to get sales somehow, you have to get people to know about your shop and products. Do marketing. However, you have to take care because bad marketing can ruin your business easily.
Everyone knows how important the positive first impression is, especially in the online world. People tend to judge a website—so the company too—in a matter of seconds, that’s why you have to make sure that you use a neat design, provide good products and discounts, moreover, maintain demanding advertisement.
Let’s consider why do people want to buy products online. There are three main reasons: most of the items are cheaper than in physical stores, it’s more comfortable to just sit, click and purchase, and people can choose from a wide selection of products. Moreover, why would these potential customers want to buy from you? We are elaborating on this in the followings.
Your brand or online store has to communicate your uniqueness towards your target audience. Before starting to sell, you have to cogitate that who the products you want to sell would suit the best. It’s better if you have a more focused target than just leaping into the ocean without knowing what you are doing and what you should expect. After deciding on your likely best selling product and target audience, you need to find out what your message is and consider why your service is different and better than others’. Have you ever heard about the USP (Unique Selling Proposition)? Briefly, it means that you need to have a quality that makes you outstanding, by which people will remember you, feel trust in your business. You need to have an aim you want to reach and a message that will help you to sell. Compare yourself with your competitors, offer different and better products, service. You can communicate your uniqueness with marketing efforts (ads, free promotion ways, design, products).
This is an example of a brand promise. Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
And also communicate the benefits of the certain products too with a few words.
Note that your domain name also has to be appealing that refers to your service.
There are many elements of how you can avoid making people feel insecure. We can talk about the topics of design, customer support, warranty, products, shipping, crucial information. Let’s see in details.
Have a neat design
The design has an effect on one of our most important sensory organs, the eyesight. It’s not just about the colors and structure you use on your website but the name, product itself, packaging, marketing materials, social media activity are matters too. You have to find your own style people can remember you from later.
Your website’s design is the cover of your book
Online merchants have to go for a happy medium with the design. Do not set a too simple appearance but also do not be plaguy with many vibrant colors and crappy imagery. Your site has to reflect your professionalism and reliability too. It’s an element that helps you convert, it has an effect on the actual purchasing.
The lack of mobile-friendly solutions is really disadvantageous nowadays because people spend a lot of time on their smartphone and use it for those processes they do with a laptop at other times. Having a responsive design creates a better user experience on mobile and on computer too.
Your site is better not be overcrowded with a lot of content in one place, and with a structure that is hard to follow. Do not use too small or too big font size, be reader-friendly in this case too. Visitors don’t like when there are a lot of pop-ups and ads on a website, so make sure you won’t annoy them with many of these if you want them to buy from your online store and not click on the X in the top right corner immediately. If the appearance becomes self-serving and beauty goes at the expense of well-functioning, then it does not help but hinder your business goal.
Double-check whether the page loading time is as quick as possible, it also depends on the design, the image resolution, and on the image size you use.
Create cool product pages
Include all the necessary product information on these pages, make sure that people know everything about the certain items.
If the product’s page has only the name and the price of an item and nothing else, it won’t encourage customers. Show as many details as possible: exact name, sizes, colors, utility, features, delivery time, warranty. It would be also beneficial if you could upload photos of the products that you got from previous buyers. Place a short description about the manufacturer too, if it’s possible. The whole product page has to be easy to see through, you have to use headlines in the product’s description so that you can make it reader-friendly, don’t forget about good grammar, that’s very important to have. You can also create submenus. It’s also beneficial if you give an option to buyers to write an opinion. By the way, submenus like Description, Details, Reviews, and anything necessary like these. Include social media links with small logos on product pages so that people can share with their friends what they find impressive in your store. I would also recommend you to set a rating scale on the product page, it makes customers confident about buying, it helps them. Make neat product pages.
Find a niche
You can sell anything online. It’s a never-ending list. There are some basic product ideas like clothing, electronics, bag, jewelry, and you can also think about more specific markets. The most important thing is to find a niche. So even if you are selling products in one of the common fields, you can find a unique niche, because everything depends on the location, customers, quality, exclusivity etc. However, do not sell items that are out of fashion, no longer trendy. And be different than others.
Sell products that people need. It’s better to not get them from marketplaces like eBay or Amazon because everyone sells items from there. People can find those products everywhere, it’s not unique at all. You won’t be special, you can’t get a lot of income. Also, people will recognize that those are from the marketplaces, so they will go there, and just simply buy what they want for a lower price. And they are right.
Check others’ techniques
Do not be afraid of it. It’s a natural process that every merchant does. What you need to do is simple. Just go to your potential competitors’ sites and check what products they have, how their website, social media page looks like, what the shipping costs are, whether they provide any extra services or have good customer service, for example. If you really into this, you can order a small product from any of them and then there’s a chance to see what supplier they work with—but it’s not a hundred percent sure that you will get to know it. If you do this, you can also check their products’ quality, the packaging, real shipping time and so on.
Every purchase is about emotions
Try to have an effect on emotions. Purchases are about this in real and virtual life too. When you are walking down the street and stop at a pretty shop-window, you do it because you see something amazing. When you are spending time in a store, there are a lot of things that have an effect on you and you don’t even know about it. Think about good-looking posters, tables, worthwhile discounts, music etc. It’s good if people can attach emotions, experiences to your service. As for an online store, you can use appealing, incentive texts, aesthetic imagery, irresistible discounts that don’t last for too long. There has to be a sense of urgency. Make people feel inspired, draw their attention, persuade them about something. It’s the best if visitors start to feel they need something from you. Attach stories.
Set good pricing
Astonishingly low prices and exaggerated discounts can cause a significant damage to your brand, online store. You have to set prices that will convert, you will have a good income, but it’s a cost that people still want to get products at. Check your competitors. There are many methods that can help you to play a pretty game with the prices.
Incite customers to leave a feedback
Make customers tell their opinion about your service. They can do it on your web store, in the comment section on a product page, or they can do it on your social media profiles. It’s good for you and for future visitors too. On the one hand, in this way you get to know what people think about your business and you can make changes on anything if needed. On the other hand, those who will be interested in buying products from you can read these reviews and can make sure that it’s true that you guarantee high-quality items, fast delivery, good customer service, and you are reliable. Let people tell their opinion and do not act like a company that is afraid to listen to what others think of it.
Appropriate time at the check-out step
When your customers put every product they need into their carts, it’s time for them to proceed to the check-out page. It’ the best if this process is not too long, and you only ask for the necessary information. Do not set many steps and pages, because until people don’t make the deal and click on the final Buy button they can change their minds.
Have the best customer service
This is the substance of a good business—and not just for online stores. A good CS is a part of branding. People can share their opinion about you freely on online platforms, that’s why it’s indispensable to communicate with customers in the way that they can feel they are important, you are always ready to help them, and you don’t betray them. If you act with them in the wrong way and not answer their questions, you can lose a lot of potential buyers.
Here we give 8 reasons why potential customers should visit your store and buy from you instead of your competitors’. No matter if you sell women clothing like many others, you can be unique, it can worth buying from you. It not only depends on the product but on the location, customers, quality, exclusivity, and your whole service too.
One thing you need to remember is that you have to encourage return visits. Just think about your own behavior when you are visiting an online store, maybe you have the same habits that many other have nowadays. This is the fact that when someone is going to an e-store, they probably won’t buy on their first visit. They are just surfing from site to site, and even if they find the one they decide to buy from, they leave the place at first and just plan to buy at another time. You have to provide a positive user experience to make them come back. To reach this goal, you have to consider our advice mentioned above and below.
1. The customer is the first
As you are managing an online store, and the main aim of a shop is to sell more, you have to care a lot about those who buy products from you, the customers. There are many ways how you can make them truly think that your service is reliable, and they can have a good bargain there. Consider our tips and get fans with clever methods.
Make sure that people can get in contact with you with any of their questions, complaints. Provide an e-mail address, social media links, or even a phone number too. Check your messages more times a day, and have your phone always around you. Be kind to people. Sometimes it can be hard to not lose your patience, but having a business with customers is always like this. You have to face a lot of questions, but just live for the customers and make a good time from it. Be respectful. If you want to make your job easier, create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) menu where visitors can find information about every important topic people are always interested in, answer their questions beforehand. Another good thing you can do is to feature a live chat on your site where anyone can get in touch with you immediately without any hustle. Last thing for now: create a blog where you write about the usage of your products and every topic connecting to your service.
Having an excellent customer service can be a key to have a good business.
2. Reliable e-commerce platform
It’s important to use a reliable e-commerce platform so that you and your customers can make sure that they can trust you and that everything will go well with the orders. We recommend you to give a try to Shopify that is one of the biggest e-com platforms. Shopify, by the way, works with the biggest companies like Red Bull or Tesla but next to the big companies there are a lot of smaller ones too—think about those who run their online store from their bedroom.
Using Shopify means that there won’t be any problems with the checkouts, you can use many applications that can make you sell more and can help you with everything so that things can go well and your site would be fine. They provide a secure and speedy service too that is beneficial for you and for the customers.
3. Unique and quality products
Find a niche. This means that your target audience, location is having a lack from a certain product and you are willing to satisfy people’s needs. How can you get new product ideas? Where to find quality suppliers? Well, you can look for ideas on what to sell by sitting down thinking about your own needs or ask your acquaintances, check what products are trending now and make smart decisions. You have to keep your eyes open. Work on a field that is close to you. As for the suppliers, you can find drop shipper, wholesaler directories online, you can use the Syncee Supplier Exchange, you can go to forums or Facebook groups to ask for company recommendations, you can attend trade shows, you can check your competitors.
Do you know drop shipping? Many people use this e-commerce model but nowadays many think that it’s dead now. It’s not. The success only depends on how you do your business. What about remote warehousing? This is the new way of drop shipping, it is the mixture of the standard wholesale business model and the standard drop shipping. But let’s just stay with drop shipping. The most important thing if you want to have successes and a prominent income, in the long run, you have to avoid getting products from marketplaces like eBay or Amazon. You should work with reliable local suppliers. The quality of the products is way better in this way and you don’t sell items like everyone else does, your store can be unique with interesting content. Working with a local supplier also means that the delivery time is shorter, the prices are lower, you get and you can provide a good warranty. From marketplaces, it’s very typical that people get cheap quality products that don’t worth money. But with a real, local wholesaler or manufacturer, the items have more quality and they are unique for sure.
You just have to ask the suppliers for a data feed file so that you can import products into your Shopify store with it and just so you can keep your online store’s virtual stock up-to-date with this constantly updated file URL you get.
4. Up-to-date products
There’s no worse incidence than when a customer orders a product and you have to send them a message that the chosen item is out of stock at that moment, or they just see the not in stock symbol. Especially when the prices are not right, you have to face many letters of complaint. What if this happens all the time with you? Probably this is because you don’t use a product sourcing application, you are trying to do these processes manually and maybe you also don’t work with the best supplier. If the customer meets this problem many times, you can be sure that they will turn away from you and you will lose them with their friends who could be potential customers too.
Having your virtual inventory up-to-date is everything. Using a good product managing application can save you time and money and you can have more customers, so more purchases too. If you do automated product management, you can have more products because you don’t have to update all of them manually all day from the source file you get from your supplier. If you have a wide range of item selection, you have more potential customers.
With Syncee, you don’t have to worry about your products not being managed well. You can schedule updates. You won’t lose customers, fans, and purchases. In the app, an upsert function is also available which means new products will be imported and those ones that are already in your store will be updated.
5. Reliable service
Customers have to see immediately that you provide a reliable service when they get to your online store. It is made up of many things.
- have an ever-helpful customer service
- provide good warranty
- recommend additional products when people put anything in their cart
- read customers’ mind
- make sure that everything is going well with the purchases and check out process, work with reliable companies
- have quality products
- work with quality suppliers so that everything can go well with the orders
- make sure that visitors can reach every important information easily
- always send the products to buyers in time
- provide contact addresses
- tell people that if there’s something wrong with the product they’ve ordered, they can send it back to you
- do not send people too many newsletters, do not bother them needlessly (if you want to look nice, send “I’m on my way” e-mails as for the product orders)
6. Good prices
Well, this is a factor that is probably the most obvious to talk about when we are telling reasons why should people visit your site instead of others’. However, the price is not everything. Too low prices can also make people feel suspicious and they could turn away. This is the same with too much and too high discount rates. Your prices should suit the quality of your products. Don’t set it too high, don’t set it too low. Be unique in the market of your target location so that you wouldn’t have many competitors. But if you have any, you have to make sure that people won’t find a better price and offering elsewhere. Customers are constantly searching for the best deals. Do not be greedy, do not set too high margins for your own good, because if you do, no one will buy from you.
7. Easy-to-use website
Make your website user-friendly. You can convert this way. It’s like going to a neat house, which makes you feel more comfortable than going to a place that stinks and has everything unarranged. If your site looks pretty, people will want to spend more time browsing on it.
If the navigation on your website is too complicated, the visitors will feel lost. Create a site where customers can buy from you as easy as possible. Don’t hide important information, don’t create a lot of submenus that are impossible to find on the first try. Also, do not put a lot of content on one page, because that confuses the brain.
Have a responsive design. This is something that makes people think you are something out of this world. If you use responsive web design you will be cool and user-friendly. Having this means that the structure of your website conforms to your devices and the size of the window on the screen when you set it smaller or bigger. Care about being legible on each device, and you optimize well. You can make people’s lives easier with this, even if it seems like a little thing.
Your site should also load quickly, use high-quality but not too high-resolution and large size images.
The content on your site has to be easy to digest.
8. Fast delivery
If customers have a choice, they choose an online store that grants a fast delivery. It’s not the best condition if anyone has to wait weeks or even a month until they get the ordered package. You can avoid it if you work with a local supplier. The time limit as for the delivery time is somewhere around 3-5 days. But the fewer the better.
If you have any further recommendations for fellow entrepreneurs, feel free to share it in the comment section here below.
Content manager and e-commerce adviser at Syncee. Her passion is strong for e-commerce novelties, online stores, and Shopify. She is committed to helping others succeed by her writings.