In this day and age of technology and the online, digital world, doing business has changed significantly. The last decade has seen the explosion of online businesses and stores, selling to a solely online business. In fact, research has shown that almost 25% of the entire global population will be shopping online by the end of 2019. That is 1.92 billion people making online purchases worldwide. eCommerce will, by the end of this year, make up for 13.7% of total retail sales worldwide!
But growth continues to be exponential. It is estimated that by 2040, over 90% of people will be shopping online and all companies, no matter how big or small will be conducting some kind of business online.
So, how do you make sure that you are part of this global retail boom? It is easier than you think, especially if you already have your big idea that you want to take to the marketplace. Not only do you have to not worry about the costs associated with building a brick and mortar store to sell your goods or services, but you can target huge audiences that you might never have been able to before. Here are some top ideas on how to get started with your online store!
Create a Simple Yet Effective Site
The first thing you need to look at when kickstarting your business is naturally your website. There are a number of elements that you need to keep in mind when creating a site that will appeal to a mass audience.
Keep your site as simple as possible. Choose a memorable, yet simple name to call your site so that it doesn’t get lost in the flood of online pages and brands that people need to remember. Go through you site carefully from the customers perspective. Analyze the entry pages and the flow from one page to the next. Make sure that the customer can get to your product pages in the shortest possible time, and then from there to the checkout page.
examineStudies have shown that if a page takes longer than three seconds to load, you will experience a high drop off rate. It is vital, therefore to make sure that each page loads swiftly and that you can move on to the next pages simply.
Also take time to scrutinize each page. Fonts, colours, images, banners and CTA’s need to be tested frequently. Images are key here, especially in your product pages. You need to ensure that your products are accurately represented by the images on the site. If you need guidance on how to load the perfect image, or ensure that the image is immaculate, there are plenty of frequently asked questions about photo retouching that can guide you to loading the perfect images.
It’s All In The Content
They say that content is king, and we couldn’t agree more. Content on your site is in fact, multi-purpose. Firstly, it helps your ranking on Google, and secondly, it pulls in new visitors to your site and converts them to loyal fans.
First, the content that appears on your pages is key for SEO rankings. Google regularly scrapes your site in order for the site to be ranked in search. This means that you need to ensure that you have enough content on each page for Google to find. Keywords are the main ingredient here. You need to research what keywords are mostly searched for in your industry and make sure that they appear on each page several times. So, if you are a pet food store for example, words like dog food, cat food, buy dog food online etc. will be some of the most searched for terms.
You need to create savvy ways of including these in the content in order to not only make an interesting read for the customer, but to make sure you get a high ranking when possible customers search those terms.
Interesting and educational content will also resonate with your visitor, and convert them into sals and loyal fans. If they know that your blog contains vital information that they can use in day to day life, they will become repeat visitors and most likely customers.
Convert Visitors To Sales Through Personalization
Let’s go into what was mentioned above. Connecting with your customer happens on multi-levels and you need to keep testing content and additions to your site to see what works. As mentioned, blog content is key to attracting your customer to become regular readers, but it is up to banners and CTA’s to convert them.
Let’s look at the pet food store example. Posts like “How Do I Know If My Dog Is Eating the Right Food?” or “What Are Healthy Treats For My Cat?” are the type of educational posts that animal lovers will lap up. It is that savvy little CTA advertising the right food that will make them actually click through to the product page. Remember, if you have a special on something, or a flash sale, a well-timed post about the product can increase sales exponentially.
However, don’t just stop there. Make sure that all communication and engagement with your customer is brand-centric and sales based. You need to carry your message out throughout all engagement with your client, from social media posts all the way through to the direct mail communication with them. Add in content, images and videos as much as you can to keep your customers attention.
For example, add a video email signature in the weekly mailer newsletters can add that personal touch that you are looking for to convert your customer. Whether it be advertising a sale, or a brand new product on your shelves, it is a bit of extra content that you can reach out and convert your customer. Make sure that you AB test everything before you start including it in your strategy. Test which CTA’s get the most clicks, ensure that your banners don’t increase your bounce rate, and make sure that your mailers are converting more and more customers each week.
It is essential to keep the customer and the customer journey in mind when you start off your new venture. Make sure you keep going through your site like a customer and keep the pages fresh and simple. Content strategies are your best option to keep attracting customers to your site, so it is wise to merge these strategies with your marketing. Lastly, consider what you would like as a customer and keep that at the forefront of your mind when you create your strategy.