There are few steps to make to start your own online store. First, you should do your research and see if there’s a market for your products. Once you’re sure that there’s a need you can fill, your next step should be creating a plan and outlining the mission, vision, goals, strategies, and timeline of your business. This plan will help you stay on track from start to finish. When all the initial steps are complete, it’s time to delve into the actual creation of your first-ever online store. Before you start, here are some tips to help you along the way.
Create a User-Friendly Website
You need a website to start your first online store. A website is where customers can browse your products, find more details, and place orders. Building a website is easy with an online e-commerce platform that will provide you with the tools to organize your products, process payments, and track orders, so you don’t have to create something from scratch.
These platforms usually offer a variety of packages to suit different business needs. Assess your needs first before purchasing a plan to avoid wasting resources on add-ons that you don’t really need.
Once you’ve found the platform for you, create a website that’s easy to navigate and adaptable to different devices. The website design should depend on your target audience. As a general advice, keep your website simple and user-friendly.
Use Attractive and Actual Product Photos
There’s a part of the human brain, the visual cortex, which processes the information that’s relayed through the optic nerves from the retina. The visual cortex, once it processes the visual stimulus, sends it to the other parts of the brain to assist certain functions, like retaining memory or recalling stored information/memory.
Humans are practically wired to respond to visual cues. It’s why photo- and video-sharing platforms, like Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, are so popular. Nothing attracts attention the way pleasing visuals do. Aside from an attractive yet easy-to-comprehend design, your website should also have professional-looking photos. Customers are more likely to check out a product if they like what they see.
Include Detailed Descriptions
Online shoppers will go to your website expecting to learn more about the product, so don’t disappoint them. Even if online shopping is growing more popular by the day, there’s still that inherent suspicion when buying things on the internet.
Once the professional-looking photo has convinced the customer to check out the product, it’s the job of the product description to further persuade them to buy it. When writing descriptions, be informative, and use correct grammar. For example, if you’re selling preowned shoes, you should include the color, the specific measurements, and the condition of the product. Indicate if the piece has any damage or wear. You’ll gain your customer’s trust by being up-front.
Build Your Brand
Marketing plays a huge role in the success of a business. It’s how you reel in customers/clients to buy your products and patronize your shop. In the past, marketing would need a big budget, so it wasn’t easy for new and small-time businesses to keep with bigger ones. Nowadays, it’s much easier and cheaper to promote your business and to reach out to your target market through the internet. For a new online entrepreneur, social media platforms are valuable tools you can use to start your marketing campaign. Facebook, for example, allows you to create a page as your virtual shop for free.
On your page, you can display your products, interact with customers, and take orders. You can also sell your products in the local community by joining Facebook’s Marketplace.
The digital world offers many ways for budding entrepreneurs to build their brand, but remember that word-of-mouth marketing still remains as the most effective way to promote your business. Fortunately, you can incorporate word of mouth in your digital-marketing strategies. If you don’t know where to start, here’s an infographic about word-of-mouth strategies you can use.
Provide Excellent Customer Experience
As a business, your goal is to amass returning customers and gain new ones. Only then will you be able to consistently earn profit and grow your business. To do this, you need to ensure quality products and excellent customer experience. If you can’t have the best-quality products in the industry, then your best bet is to provide better service than the competition does.
Customer experience plays a key role in convincing shoppers to keep coming back. Between a responsive seller and an unaccommodating one, buyers will always choose the former.
But it doesn’t stop at being responsive. As a business, you need to develop different ways to enhance customer experience. Many businesses use reward strategies, coupled with excellent service, to ensure customer satisfaction and gain customers’ loyalty.
Starting a business is a serious decision. It takes time, money, and energy to launch a shop and make it succeed. Moreover, going into business means you have to be committed to your goals and passionate about your products; otherwise, you won’t be able sustain your motivation and quit before your succeed.
Find a niche that you can be passionate about, and remind yourself all the time why you’re doing what you do. Lastly, remember that you’re not the first person to start their own online store. Learn from the advice of experienced entrepreneurs. Time is too precious to keep repeating the mistakes of others.