For entrepreneurs and small business owners, having an online store is an essential part of a business. Because of technology and the shift from traditional to digital or online shopping, web shops are becoming a vital part of every entrepreneur’s website. In a recent survey from Fortune, they found that shoppers now make 51% of their purchases online, compared to 48% in 2015 and 47% in 2014. Just imagine how that increased this year!
Building Your Online Store
Now, establishing your online store is not that hard. If you know the basics, you can get your online store running in no time. However, creating a successful online store is another story. It takes much more time and effort. Also, if you’re thinking that there’s a secret formula, let me tell you: there isn’t. Building a successful online store takes a lot of planning, determination and an analytical mind.
Creating A Successful Online Store
If you think you’ve got what it takes to build a successful online store, here are some tips we came up with to help you all the way your journey.
Before you actually dive into your online business, do a lot of research. Know your niche, see your competition and study your product or services thoroughly. You should also know what to do or how you can setup your site and that whole process. (You can also check out AppSumo’s Sumocon 2017 and learn from real life successful entrepreneurs.)
After you’ve done your research, start planning. Prepare all the things you need like your website, products/services you’ll sell, promotional materials, storage, shipping and all that. Then, lay it out plan your next steps and if possible set a timetable (this will keep you on track and monitor your progress).
So, you’re done planning. The next step is to build your online store. There are a lot of sites that make this process easier, take Shopify for example. However, if you really know what you’re doing, then you start from scratch.
If you have a budget, hire people. Hire employees who are better than you, people who are good at their craft. Not only it will make your site better whether it’s on the technical side or even an assistant. It will also free up some of your time which can be used in more productive tasks like coming up with new products.
Test It Out
Before you make your online store public, test it out. Make sure that everything is running smoothly from your website to check out and shipping or delivering products. Do a couple of mock order and see if everything is working.
Know Your Brand
Know your brand – who’s your target audience? Demographics? Define your unique selling proposition. Focus on your branding – make custom packaging (if you have a tangible product), promote your brand on various channels.
Do Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool. If you use it correctly, it can do wonders for your brand. Set up a Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter. Make sure you publish content that your audience will find valuable or entertaining. Therefore, actively promote your online store, as well as your products.
Check for Improvements
There’s always room for improvement so regularly check your online store if there’s anything you can enhance. Update your plugins (if you’re using WordPress), see if the store is easily accessible. Continuously improving and making sure it’s secured is one of the keys to a successful online store.
Conduct regular sales. Give discount codes for returning customer. In addition, you can also do contest through your social media. This way, they’ll have a reason to come back.
Interact with your Customers
Hear your customers out. Ask for their suggestions and feedback regarding your website. Talk to your customers – see how they like your product/services. Provide excellent customer service.
And that’s how you create a successful online store. Do you have any additional tips? Leave them in a comment below.