6+1 tips for a well-functioning eCommerce store
Online trading, no matter where you live is here and provides business opportunities. You may think that an eCommerce shop’s operation might be easy for anyone. This may be partly true, but if you want to do it effectively you have to dig deeper into the subject.
First of all, retailers can be divided into two main groups: those who have both online and offline stores and those who only sell online.
Now we’ll take a look at the criteria of the latter.
1. Communicate the appropriate way!
The first thing is that you have to find the appropriate tone for your communication. Depending on the type of products you want to sell you must be careful not to be overconfident, nor to take liberties. It depends on your target audience, your market, or the nature of your products/services.
You decide the distance between you and your future clients and you have to stick with this decision and from there you can start to build your brand identity!
On the other hand, the site’s structure also reflects your motivation and focus areas. If you’re a true e-marketer, you might want to show your top selling products from the moment someone enters your site.
However, if you want to build an emotional connection between you and your target group, a different approach might be more appropriate.
For example, Farer does not have a single price tag on the front page. Instead, they’ve put a video there with information about GMT Automatics. Only then does the product description follow. This is a good solution for much more user-centric communication.
The classical eCommerce approach is as follows: the first thing you see when you arrive to the site is a banner with an offer or with an offer and a USP.
Even bigger players like eBay have such a design. Both approaches are professional and can be eye-catching, it simply comes down to which one of them fits your business better.
2. Everybody has an opinion
Devising and developing ways for your customers to get in touch with you on your website is an excellent way of establishing the first connection. That can be a simple “message me” box on your site. Easy to create and works fine if you put it on all your important pages.
Another important factor is providing the opportunity to comment on your products through reviews that can be seen by any visitor. Thereby you can get useful ideas and at the same time you are transparent and open to interaction and communication which presents a positive image for your customers.
Every user’s opinion is relevant — mainly because it shapes the opinions of other potential customers — so we have to thank the original writer of any review.
Today most marketing software is capable of doing so, and even if it’s an automatic message, that’s already a nice gesture. Don’t worry about negative opinions but try to learn from them and always give a polite answer. If your users see changes based on their feedback, they will honor them with respect… and purchases.
3. Be present!
If you are present on social media, draw customers’ attention to it and collect followers, likes, and comments. You can offer a registration to your webpage or a newsletter subscription. In this case, it is also important to thank them in advance for their trust.
Social media is one of the most important ways to get in touch with your community and target audience. This means that you should definitely be there and interact with them.
Note: if you decide to do so, do it from your heart and don’t use your Facebook or Twitter page as a company newsfeed. Use it to communicate and chat with them. Be a person, not a company!
Since 2014, influencer marketing has shown it can give a real boost to your social results as people want to digest content on social media and they want to get it from authoritative people they already like and follow.
These people are the ones who can change the game in social media for any business. For an eCommerce site, they can give that extra 10% to the sales column just because of the fact that your customers put their trust into real people, not into brands.
4. Create content to create engagement
Perhaps the most important thing if you are running a website is to generate your own content. This will be how you can show your professionalism, passion and personal involvement in your business. Coherent published content matters — coherent with the products you want to sell but it does not necessarily need a close connection. Closely relevant content should be part of it as well (in the interests of brand building and SEO). Be aware, though, that if you only create content concerning your business, it won’t attract any new visitors. Content creation should target the needs of your visitors, not yours.
For example, if you’re selling lawn mowers, you should create content about gardening, and how to take care of your grass. Easy, just step back and see the bigger picture!
Note: Pay attention to grammar and a style appropriate to the overall “personality” of your whole business.
5. The mighty design to rule them all
Obviously, nobody denies that colors affect us. They affect our mood and the way we feel, and thus affects our decisions. Cold colors create more of a reserved picture of you. Fewer emotions, more professionalism. This can be a good strategy for professional services, where you have to give an impression of pure perfectionism.
Warm colors will make you feel comfortable, warm colors create a closer connection with your visitors.
That’s why lawyers usually use black & white — clean and individual professionalism; Coca-Cola uses red — exciting and passionate, an energized person’s message or BP uses green — to show the that the company is peaceful and cares about health and the environment — sort of a“zen brand”.
Choose from these colors and see if any of them matches you, or have a look at some others to get inspired:
For more colors, we suggest you visit Tony Allen’s post here.
6. A well-built online store means more satisfied customers
As our own experience shows, it’s important to us that the physical business space where we enter is clean, orderly and systematic. The same should apply to your e-store. A logically designed site where the potential customer easily finds everything about the products makes a good impression on them and provides relevant data for us about the behavior of the visitors.
Also, it will fit the requirements of the semantic web marking it easier to analyze and navigate around your site, not just for your customers, but even for the machines at the metadata level (or even in a language that can only be read by machines like RDF — but that’ll be another story).
So a logically built and continuously managed website can work miracles for both the visitors, who’ll find everything faster on your site; and for the machines to make your site structured and easy to crawl.
+1 TIP — FAQ
FAQs can be a really good source of sales and engagement as the page itself usually gets a good portion of the website’s total traffic. This way, FAQs need to be among those pages we track and analyze regularly.
Normally, FAQs get a good amount of traffic. From here visitors will either exit if they have found their answer, or they’ll just simply go back to the previous page they were browsing.
If you use your FAQ section wisely and you create unique content for that page, you’ll have an interactive, engaging page with useful content. You can use your FAQ as a broad navigational panel for your customers where they just take a look at the table of contents and can see what they want to read.
What if the FAQ is more like a series of blog post with interaction, even passion where you answer the questions?
After reading something like that they are more likely to follow your brand somewhere and they’re more likely to establish emotional contact with your brand. So FAQs can be a Jackpot for online stores.
All in all, if you want a stable, well-performing website, you have to look at it from your customer’s point of view and write for machines too. Challenging, but worth the resources you have to put into it and in the end you will have your own perfect eCommerce store!
Originally published at www.yusp.com.