Here are three ways you can keep your online store at the top of its game:
Thoughtful Website Design
- If you’re running an online-only company, your website’s homepage is the virtual storefront that greets both new and returning customers to your business. Make sure you’re putting your best foot forward with a clean, professional looking website. Whether you’re building your own website, or working with a professional designer, make sure your online store reflects the spirit of your business through the design and copy.
- If you’re selling physical items, make sure you have high quality, up-to-date photos of your current products for customers to look at while they’re shopping. You’ll also want to give your customers the best experience possible while shopping with you, so offering multiple payment options, shipping options, and being responsive to inbound comments from customers will keep them happy and give them an experience that parallels their shopping experiences on major websites. If your online store complements a physical store, remember to keep your business’ information up-to-date on the website. By having a contact page on your website, you’ll give your customers a very easy, clear way to reach you. If you haven’t done it already – consider getting your business set up with a domain-based email address that matches your website as consumers are nine times more likely to do business with you if you have a customized email address!
- With mobile commerce accounting for almost one-third of all U.S. e-commerce (Internet Retailer), it’s vital that you think about your company’s mobile strategy. Having your online store up-to-date is critical since consumers have access to the vast information on the Internet at their fingertips, so making sure your online store is easily accessible via mobile can make all the difference for customers. Mobile responsiveness is a key component of any successful e-commerce business today. In addition to having a professional looking website, small businesses should ensure that their site can adapt to different mobile screen sizes without disrupting valuable content, and can load quickly for customers on the go. It’s no longer enough to let big companies focus on mobile, and understanding what your customers are looking for in a mobile shopping experience and delivering it effectively will keep them coming back for more.
Supplement with Social Activity
- Running a small business is a tough job, and maintaining an active social media presence may seem like just another channel to maintain, it can actually be a vital tool for your business. If you’re just getting started, take the time to do some research on different social networks and start by setting up your first account with the channel you think would be most valuable to your business. Generally speaking, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram are good starting points for generating social activity for e-commerce stores, but remember each platform is different and it is important to familiarize yourself with the best practices of each channel to create engagement and increase followers. This will also give you another opportunity to have direct conversations with your customer base. It’s important to remember to not only engage with the positive comments, but if you see any negative feedback, acknowledge the customer’s comments and use them to improve your business.