It only takes a few hours to set up an ecommerce site. But running an ecommerce store so that it’s successful and profitable rarely comes so quickly or easily.
So, in this article we’re going to cover 10 success tips to help you get your ecommerce store off the ground and making money.
1. Design for Simplicity
A good ecommerce site has a simple design. If there are too many design elements, they’ll distract your visitors. This is especially the case with design elements that take time to load. Your site’s design should be clear and simple.
2. A Smooth Shopping Experience
The process of buying from your ecommerce store should be smooth and easy. Don’t make your visitors enter a great deal of information or register before they can buy. Everything you require your buyers to do is a potential barrier that keeps them from buying.
3. Listen to Your Customers
Watch analytics (yes, you need to time to analyze) and seek customer feedback. Pay attention to how they behave on your site and what they think about it. Make adjustments accordingly so that the experience will be smoother and more satisfying for them.
4. Offer Good, Personal Customer Service
What’s often lacking online is good customer service. You can stand out among your competitors if you offer stellar support for your customers. Give them a number of ways to reach you and respond as quickly as possible. Make sure your customers are happy with the experience of buying from you.
Theresa’s Tip: Think like Tony Hsieh of Zappos. He encourages employees to go above and beyond traditional customer service. This simple concept is the reason 75% of their customers are repeat buyers.
5. Product Images and Descriptions
For the products you sell, separate them into categories so that they’re easy to find. Add a search function as well so that customers can find the products they’re looking for.
Each product should have a good, clear image, a description and a price. Remember that online, customers can’t pick up and examine products closely, so you need to present as much information as possible.
6. Make Shipping Easy
If possible, offer free shipping. Online shoppers love sites that offer free shipping. If you have to charge shipping, use a shopping cart system that calculates that charge as the customer shops, rather than one that only gives a total at the end. This way, they can see exactly how much they’ll have to spend as they shop.
Theresa’s Tip: If you offer free shipping, make it sound exciting. Try advertising something like, “Shipping is On Us!”
7. Use Your Site to Sell
Be proactive in marketing your site. Don’t expect to open it and have a flood of traffic. Your site should be used to sell your products and not just take orders. Use SEO, social media, promotions and other methods to bring people to your website ready to buy.
8. Set Yourself Apart…Most Crucial When Running an Ecommerce Store
Research your competitors and offer something special they don’t have. It could be selection or a line of products that’s very narrowly tailored to a certain segment of the market. Try to choose something unique that you can be the best at doing.
Theresa’s Tip: You’re selling an experience, as well as a product. Give your customers an AWESOME experience and not only will they return, they’ll also bring their friends.
9. Become a Publisher
Start publishing content and using it to market your ecommerce store. This is called content marketing. It’s where a business creates articles, blog posts, videos, images or other types of digital content that informs and helps people solve problems. Through this content, the business builds a relationship with its audience.
10. Keep Growing
Set up your business so that it has room to grow. Make your site’s processes scalable. Even when business is going well, always look for new products, markets or marketing strategies that can enable this growth.
Even though it takes only a few hours to set up an ecommerce site, success rarely comes so quickly or easily. Your sales will increase over time as your site gains exposure and as you learn how to better market it.
Running an ecommerce store is a long-game. Commit to your site for the long-term, keep looking for ways to provide a great customer experience and don’t give up until it’s making you money!
Do you run an ecommerce store? What has been your biggest challenge and what do you love about this business model?
Your success is my business!