What draws you to the idea of owning an online business? Whether you are after freedom, autonomy, or just plain sick of your commute, opening a successful online store can completely change your life.
However, in order to achieve success, there are some basics you need to get right.
Here are some practical tips that can help your online store idea find success.
1 – Invest in web design
One of the first challenges you will face as an online store owner is earning your customer’s trust. Far too many sites exist with the sole purpose of scamming people out of their money. And until you have garnered brand partnerships and customer reviews, you’ll have very little you can offer in order to prove you’ll actually deliver what you promise. You’ll have to hope you find brave customers who are willing to take a leap of faith.
There are, however, some things you can do to help customers take that risk. One of them is to invest in beautiful and responsive web design. That can be a large upfront cost, but quality web design will stay fresh for a long time.
On top of that, users are more trusting of sites that feel like they were built with quality. An ancient-looking site filled with broken links will have potential customers running for the hills.
2 – Get a writer involved
Speaking of first impressions, you’ll want to make sure the copywriting in your site is pristine as well. Your homepage, about us page, and your social media content should be easy to read and free of typos.
Feel free to write a lot of that content yourself, especially if you have a specific tone you hope to hit with your writing. But once you are done, have a writer or editor look it over and improve the overall text. Quality writing helps build trust with customers.
3 – Get good product photos
Quality photos, graphics, and images in general all help a store page stand out and look legitimate. This won’t necessarily cost a lot of money upfront — plenty of stock image websites make their libraries available for a monthly subscription. And if you are taking product pictures yourself, look for budget smartphones that can deliver quality photography. There are options that will do the job well until you can hire a professional.
4 – Invest in payment options
Offering a wide array of payment options for customers is now easier than ever. And the effort of doing so pays off, especially when you are starting out. When faced with an unknown store, customers will often feel more comfortable paying through a third-party provider like PayPal, rather than imputing their credit card information directly into your site.
5 – Run a blog
Your best friend when advertising your store is an SEO-optimized blog. Make it useful and informative. And if you are still deciding what type of store to open, choosing the niche of your blog first may help. Social media advertising also works, but these days, SEO is the main driver of traffic for many businesses.
You can also jumpstart your store plans by buying an already successful online business, which is something you can do on platforms like Exchange Marketplace. However, bear in mind that buying websites from strangers has its risks.
Whether you want to start from scratch with a new venture, or get a running start by buying an already up and running business, be sure to remember my 5 tips to make your online store successful.