10 Useful Tips for Starting an Online Store

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10 Useful Tips for Starting an Online Store

These days more and more people are trying to explore the digital realm for business opportunities, and hence online stores are becoming more common than brick and mortar stores.

You may think that starting an online store is a lot easier and profitable than establishing a physical storefront. You don’t have to worry about paying monthly rents and utility bills on top of investing in the products you are going to sell, plus you can reach millions of people globally sitting in the comforts of your home.

Undoubtedly, the appeal of starting an online store is just too good to pass. But as with any other business, you need to have a strong business plan and plenty of knowledge about how things work online to make profits. Mentioned below are some tried and tested e-commerce tips to help you from beginning to end.

  1. Find a niche & test the waters

This day and age, one can sell anything and everything online. But not all products are conducive to sell online as it can become difficult to drive sales when the customers cannot see the product.

While exploring your options consider what product you want to sell carefully. Try to find something highly original but with a general appeal.

Once you have determined the product, you will need to evaluate the niche and size up the competition to create a successful online store.

You can test the waters before taking the plunge by selling your products on a small scale like social media or eBay. This will give you a pretty good idea of who is buying your products, what customers are ready to pay and how you can improve.

  1. Build your website

When it comes to creating the website, it’s important that you choose the platform carefully. You can get a web developer to build your site from scratch or opt for a hosted platform if you want to avoid any contact with code.

We suggest you go for a secure and robust platform that offers room for customization and scalability. WordPress and Shopify are popular platforms that can get you up and running in no time at a very reasonable cost.

You must carefully assess the benefits and limitation of the service you choose because if anything goes wrong with the website in future, your sales will suffer.

  1. Make the Ordering Process Simple & Secure

Process of placing the order should be a breeze for the customers if you want the sales to go smoothly and ensure that the buyers come back for more.

Amazon is a great example when it comes to offering an effortless checkout to the customers. All you need to do is add to product to the cart, if you are a registered user your personal details will be already available on the site; just click a few buttons and voila! Purchase is complete. It cannot get any easier than that.

Make navigation easy for the customers and only create a two or three step checkout process to enhance the user experience.

  1. Pay attention to SEO

You will not be able to get traffic and make sales until and unless you are able to create a web presence. Therefore, paying attention to SEO should be your prime focus after your website is operative.

Search engines use specific parameters to index a site and rank it in its search results. These parameters include fast loading speed, user experience, clear coding, XML sitemap and navigation etc. Until and unless these parameters are fulfilled and the site isn’t completely optimized, your customers won’t be able to find you.

  1. Create informative and attractive product descriptions and add images

Since the customers cannot see the products in person while shopping online, it’s important that you offer as much information on the product as possible.

Write high quality product descriptions with complete and authentic information about the product so that the customers know what they are purchasing. Also add attractive and high res images to provide a visual stimulation.

  1. Market

Along with optimizing the site to make it search-engine friendly, you will also need to pay attention to marketing for bringing visitors to the site, engaging them and converting them into sales.

Creating attractive landing pages, starting a blog, staying active on social media are some of the ways to attract customers to the site. Running a newsletter is also an important tool for boosting sales.

Offering incentives, special discounts from time to time or free giveaways through newsletter is a surefire e-commerce tip that will bring you a lot of leads and sales.

shopping items bought sa 2016

Effective Measure 2016 SA E-Commerce Report

source: Effective Measures

  1. Upsell

Advertising similar products right before the customer checks out is a growingly popular trend these days. Needless to say it is very effective as well in promoting sales and increasing profits as by showing products similar to the ones your customer has added in his cart, you can encourage him to consider more options.

All these above mentioned tips will help you in successfully starting an online business so make sure you add this article to your bookmarks.

If you’re looking to find out more about starting your own e-commerce store, contact Digital Consulting for advice and solutions.

 

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