8 Essential Tips For Starting An Online Store↘
Do you have a product that consumers would love? The easiest (and cheapest) way to get your product in front of the right audience is with the creation of an eCommerce store. By doing this, merchants will be able to start selling their products online.
If you’re new to the world of eCommerce, we understand that you’re going to have a lot of questions. Of course, we presume that the main question you’d like answered is how you can start your own eCommerce website?
If you’ve done a little research on the subject before stumbling across our article, you may feel as though the process is going to overwhelm you. Like anything new, there are several things that you will need to learn, but when you’re not sure about anything, we’d say that the biggest nail-biter is when you’re just getting started.
We expect that you’re questioning which platform you should choose for your eCommerce website, not to mention where to find an ideal range of virtual tools for your online business. If these are the kind of thoughts you’re currently pondering over, you have nothing to worry about, because every merchant is in the same boat when it comes to setting up a website for their business.
No matter which category your business and its products fall under, there are certain steps that store owners should take before selling their goods online. So, stick with us, as today’s guide is centred around how to start a successful Shopify store with 8 of our essential tips:
N0.1: Find your Product Market Fit
This is arguably one of the most basic, yet essential tips for any business owner who is looking to take their company online. For an eCommerce store to succeed, merchants will need to ensure that their store offers a product of interest to customers. How can this be achieved? By finding your product market fit of course.
Customers are very smart so if a business began selling a product that they did not have a real drive or passion for or a deep understanding of, that business’ audience would figure this out for themselves. Ultimately, this would result in nothing more than website visitors becoming website bouncers.
Of course, this is a wasted opportunity for merchants to turn browsers into customers. Think about it, the hard part is getting digital users onto your website, but once they are there, you’re going to want to do everything in your power to keep them there until they fulfil their first purchase.
To avoid stopping the progress of your online business before it gets started, our suggestion is to perform a competitor deep dive to get a better understanding of your product and market. Take it from us, this can inform many aspects of how you build your store, which makes it a step worth taking before an online business website is launched.
N0.2: Find the Right Designer and Developer
Even though website building platforms for eCommerce businesses are designed to be simple and intuitive to use, a professional designer and/ or developer can help you give your online store that wow factor.
For instance, platforms such as Shopify can build and customise an entire store for any merchant, but a skilled eCommerce designer and/ or developer can get your store up and running quickly so that you can start selling your goods sooner.
N0.3: Invest in Professional Product Photography
If you’re looking for an outlet where you can show off your products, try presenting them with stunning visuals. Did you know that the quality of product photography is one of the main characteristics that digital users will notice when they visit an online store?
Believe it or not, first appearances can make or break a sale, so we would recommend setting aside a photography budget if your finances allow it.
Additionally, the product imagery captured must highlight and show off a product in the most visually appealing way possible. If you take a look at established eCommerce websites in your industry, you can get a good idea of what the standard of photography is and how many images are typically provided for the customer to look through.
No matter the niche, we would always recommend providing more than one image so that potential customers can scroll through and view the product from different angles.
N0.4: Curate Exciting Product Descriptions
The next tip on the list for those of you who are wondering how to start your own eCommerce website, if you’re not already, start selling your products with compelling product descriptions.
It goes without saying, but product descriptions should be detailed enough to give the customers additional information that cannot be extracted from the high-quality imagery alone. For instance; size, material and scent(s) (if applicable).
It’s worth keeping in mind that the more detailed your product descriptions are, the fewer merchants will have to deal with queries from their customers. Website visitors should be able to read and understand product descriptions with ease, whilst extracting all of the information they need to decide whether they would like to go ahead and purchase the product they are viewing.
Lastly, eCommerce websites that have found success have enforced clear and concise product descriptions, with a consistent tone of voice that remains in keeping with all web copy across the brand.
N0.5: Create a Social Media Campaign
If you’re new to the world of eCommerce, we’d recommend creating a social media campaign before your online store is launched. The purpose of a social media campaign is to tease potential customers so that they can count down to your store’s launch date.
The best social media channels for online stores to utilise for marketing purposes including; Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. Twitter is especially useful for responding to any queries and engaging with customers directly.
With social media campaigns set up and followers in place before an online store goes live, any eCommerce site is bound to receive more traffic once the store has been launched.
N0.6: Build an Email Marketing List
If you want your business to be successful, building an email marketing list should be at the top of your priority list, as this is crucial for online business growth. Email lists allow online retailers to build an audience that they can continually advertise to.
Email lists are built with the collection of customer email addresses by asking customers to sign up to a mailing list. The perks for those wishing to sign up include being the first to know about product announcements, as well as being provided with helpful content and exclusive offers.
If your business has not conducted any form of email marketing beforehand, Klaviyo offers great templates and tools, making the process straightforward for newcomers.
N0.7: Implement a Customer Service Strategy
If you’re wondering what keeps customers coming back to an online store? Above all else, excellent customer service weighs in the balance of whether a website visitor becomes a returning customer. So, we would recommend planning a customer service strategy that you can then go on to implement into your business before you start your own eCommerce website.
Let’s get one thing straight though, we’re not suggesting that your online business will require a full customer service team when you first start because let’s face it, it’s unlikely that new businesses will have the budget for that. Our suggestion is to keep things as simple as possible, for both your business and its customers.
So, make it easy for customers to reach you. Your strategy could be as simple as creating a default email address that digital users can use to reach you, for instance - email@example.com.
Additionally, an online form could be created on the contact page of a website. This is where potential or existing customers can submit their queries to your business. However, being able to receive messages from customers is no longer enough by today’s standards in the eCommerce industry so, be sure to reply to all customers promptly to provide the best customer experience.
N0.8: Create a List of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
When you start your own eCommerce website, it is important to keep an eye on how your store is performing by setting some clear KPIs when your business launches online. KPIs can include; the number of website visitors, sales and repeat customers recorded (on a weekly or monthly basis).
Having a clear idea of the goals that you want to achieve makes it much easier for you to measure the success of your business. If you haven’t hit your goals in the first few weeks, don’t fret. Just keep adjusting and optimising your marketing strategy until you find the formula that works well for your business.
So, that’s a wrap for today’s article. Have you found our tips on how to start your own eCommerce website useful? If you’re actively looking to work with a designer or developer to assist you with how to start a successful Shopify store, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch to get started!