If you have a website for your business, you may have an untapped treasure chest at your disposal. Even if you don’t make large amounts of money on your website, you can be bringing in something. If you’ve been considering opening up your business to online sales, or maybe you already are but are wondering if your online store is all that it could be, take a look at the following tips on how to make your online store a success.
Get a Website
If you don’t have a website and you think social media is enough, you might want to think again. Several businesses have had their social media pages/accounts shut down for no determinable reason. Even if your website is a one-page landing page for your business, at least you have something that is entirely yours, and that your customers will know where to find you.
Design for Experience
While some people don’t mind digging through the clutter to find a great deal, most people prefer shopping in well-lit stores, with wide aisles, and organized shelves. The same principle translates to the online world as well. A cluttered website, with different fonts and pixilated or stretched images, will do nothing to help you sell your products. You want a beautiful, open design that is mobile-friendly and appealing.
If you don’t have the know-how to set this up yourself, turn to a professional. When you are selling online, your website may be the only glimpse a potential shopper gets of your business. If your online shop is not well organized and appealing, this might reflect the same impression on your business.
Make It Easy
When you are selecting a shopping cart plug-in (if you are using a WordPress site) or an e-commerce platform, ensure that the one you choose is easy for your customers to use. Abandonment of an e-commerce shopping cart is not rare (depending on the study you view, it’s generally between 55-75%). People are impatient. If you make it hard, they will not stay.
Use an e-commerce platform that allows for product suggestions. “If you liked this, you might also like this,” or “Customers who bought that also bought this.” The power of suggestion is extraordinary in increasing sales.
Allow Guest Purchases
While you have a fantastic business, and it’s hard to believe not everyone wants to be a member of your site, you should allow for customers to make purchases as a guest without holding their information for the future.
Do your best when writing your copy for that page that you give them an incentive and the reason it’s easier to create an account, but ultimately leave it up to them. You would be surprised how many people return and wish they had set something up the first time, which causes them to create an account down the line.
Give Them a Little Something to Remember You By
A nice touch is to give your Internet shoppers a little something to remember your company. While all customers have a choice, Internet shoppers have a world of options–literally. They can shop the globe, so you need to find a way to stand out.
Some companies send “thank you for your purchase emails” with a discount coupon code, while others place a little something special in the box (like a gift or even a hand-written note). Whatever the bonus you choose, staying at the forefront of their mind will bring them back again and again.
Monetizing your website can be a steady course of action in these turbulent times. While Alberta is near the second stage of opening businesses at the moment of this writing, it is possible businesses will be closed again if case numbers escalate. If that happens, having the ability to sell products or services virtually can be the difference in you having a stream of revenue or not.
If you are looking for professional help setting up your website, browse our member directory and support #ShopLocalSHPK.