If you’ve been considering opening up your business to online sales, or maybe you already are but are wondering if your online store is all that it could be, take a look at the following tips on how to make your online store a success.
Design for Experience
While there are some people who don’t mind digging through clutter to find a great deal, most people prefer shopping in well-lit stores, with wide aisles, and organized shelves/racks. This translates to the online world as well. A cluttered website, with disparate fonts and pixilated or stretched images will do nothing to help you sell your products. You want a nice, open design, that’s mobile-friendly and appealing to look at.
If you don’t have the know-how to set this up yourself, turn to a professional. When you are selling online, your website may be the only glimpse a potential shopper gets of your business. If your website is not organized in an appealing way your business will look slapped together too.
Make It Easy
When you are selecting a shopping cart plug-in (if you’re using a WordPress site) or an e-commerce platform, ensure that the one you select is easy for your customers to use. Abandonment of an e-commerce shopping cart is not rare (depending on the study you view it’s generally between 55-75%. People are impatient. If you make it hard, they won’t stay.
Use an e-commerce platform that allows for product suggestions. “If you liked this you might also like this,” or “Customers who bought that, also bought this.” The power of suggestion is extraordinary in increasing sales.
Use an Abandonment Reminder
Since the rate of shopping cart abandonment is high, if they’ve provided their email (another tip is to make sure it’s one of the first things you ask for when creating an account), make sure you use a reminder message like “It looks like you still have items in your shopping cart.” This brings potential customers back to your site where you want them.
Some companies offer discounts to return, which is a nice touch. However know that if you do, you are conditioning your customers to place something in their basket, walk away, wait for your discount code vie email, and then order.
Allow Guest Purchases
While you have an amazing business, and it’s hard to believe not everyone wants to be a member of your site, you should allow for customers to make purchases as a guest without holding their information for the future.
Do your best when writing your copy for that page that you give them an incentive and the reason it’s easier to create an account, but ultimately leave it up to them. You’d be surprised how many people return and wish they had set something up the first time, which causes them to do it down the line.
Give Them a Little Something to Remember You By
A nice touch is to give your Internet shoppers a little something to remember you by. While all customers have a choice, Internet shoppers have a world of choices–literally. They can shop the globe, so you need to find a way to stand out.
Some companies send “thank you for your purchase emails” with a discount coupon code, while others place a little something special in the box (like a gift or even a hand-written note). Whatever the added bonus you choose, staying in the forefront of their mind will bring them back again and again.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and Memberclicks. She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.