Consider These Key Factors When Opening An Online Store

It doesn’t matter whether you are a large business owner, or a student trying to make a little extra money online, the essentials to creating an online store are the same. Considering you are competing against other online giants, such as Amazon and eBay, as well as the local high street, you do need to put some effort into making your virtual store stand out from the competition. You then need to have some business sense, even if you operating out of your bedroom.

These are the key areas you need to focus on.

Be unique

Check out the competition. Selling a product that EVERYBODY else seems to be selling could be a bad idea. However, you can still differentiate the same product by offering competitive prices and special offers that aren’t available elsewhere. Either that or sell something that nobody else is, though admittedly, this is easier said than done!

Focus on your website

Retail owners understand the power of eye candy to attract visitors to their store. The same applies online, and your website needs to attractive and user-friendly to any would-be customers. You could play it safe by using a readily made storefront with a platform such as Shopify, or you may prefer to tailor your needs through hiring a professional web designer. Click here for the latter. If you are going it alone, use hi-res photos, and ensure your site works across a range of devices, including smartphones and tablets before going live.

Scale down before scaling up

Whether you are buying in particular products to sell, or hand-crafting something you think the consumer will love, don’t spend all your money on something that you may struggle to sell. You want to make a profit, not a loss, so scale down your efforts until you know your product is going to make an impact on the consumer. Hint: sell on Amazon before committing to your store, as this will indicate how popular your product is, and will give you a little experience in selling.

Have a range of payment methods

Cybercrime is something that is at the forefront of many customer’s minds, so don’t assume everybody will be happy to hand over their bank account details. There are other ways payments can be made, such as through Paypal, but explore a range of options to make buying easier and safer for the customer.

Look for popular search terms

Your site needs to identifiable on search engines, so play around on Google etc. and see what terms other companies are using to rate higher on search rankings. Then use these keywords in your site’s titles and descriptions, adding in specific terms to improve your position. With the number of online sellers out there, the effective use of SEO will ensure you don’t get lost on the crowded battlefield.

Set clear policies

You need to give as much information as you can on your website, such as shipping, returns and refunds, and delivery turnarounds. These policies need to work well for both you and the customer, so be practical, while perhaps offering a better policy than your nearest competitor.

Keep customers coming back

It’s great when somebody buys from you, but you need to find ways to get them to buy from you again. There are some useful ideas here to get you started, but remember, the way you conduct your business is key. Customer service is everything, so be mindful of the way you behave and respond to customers. Take care of them, and they will take care of you.

Bottom line

Look at each point on our list and continue your research online. You can make a lucrative business online, but as with any store, you do need to work hard to stay open. Good luck!

1 comment

Dusan Vukadinovic said...

I agree with you how the eventual success of an online store depends on several factors but probably the single most important factor will be where and how it is indexed in the various search engines.