With more and more people taking to buying products online there is no doubt that ecommerce is the way to go if your business must succeed in these times.
For example, in a recent study the Center for Retail Research reported E-commerce as the fastest growing retail market in Europe and North America.
From the research, online sales in the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Poland and Spain grew from £132.05 bn in 2014 to £156.67 bn in 2015 – a +18.6% increase!
Furthermore, the study showed that online sales are expected to reach the £182.80 bn mark in 2016 and £215.38 bn in 2017. Now, one interesting point about these figures is that they relate only to retail spending, which is defined as sales of merchandise to the final consumer, excluding cooked food, restaurants, automobiles and vehicle fuel!
This is indeed a great incentive for any wise business person to start an online store as launching an online store is an excellent way of getting a share of that money. You could decide to build an online store in addition to your brick-and-mortar store or, if you so desire, build an online store and rely mainly on online sales alone.
Whatever the route you decide on you can easily grow your business to become something successful. However, you must remember that there is a lot of competition out there. If you want to make a name for your business, you have to differentiate your store from the rest. You should focus on making it better than many of the cheap online stores you might have seen online. It doesn’t matter whether you're selling your own products or someone else's, you need to stand out and get noticed.
To help you get started on building and growing your online store here are some industry-tested tips. Use these to make your online store better than your competition.
How to Make Your Online Store Better Than All the Rest
1. Get a Professional Design
Many people will choose a website builder that they can learn to use themselves. It makes sense, as it's often cheap and they don't need any technical knowledge. However, these tools can be limited in both functionality and design. If you want a unique website, you should look for a professional designer. They can create you a website that has useful features for you and your customers, and looks great too.
They can also build you a store that you can manage yourself, without having to have a designer or developer on board all the time. It might be a little pricier, but it's worth it.
2. Focus on Usability
When people visit an online store, they want buying a product to be easy. The process shouldn't take them a long time or be confusing. A website that they can use without too much fuss and gives them what they need is essential.
At a basic level, you should start with your store's load speed. If it takes a long time to load anything, customers will quickly give up and go somewhere else.
Customers also want to be able to find out as much as they can about your products. Providing functions such as zooming in on images or even just a search option will help them get what they want.
3. Make Sure You Look Trustworthy
One of the risks of shopping online is falling for an untrustworthy site. Customers are handing over their personal details to someone, from their address to their credit card number. As well as ensuring that you are a trustworthy business, you have to present your store as one that can be trusted.
There are several ways you can do this, starting with having a good website design. It's difficult to trust a poorly designed site, riddled with grammatical errors. You can also ensure you have security measures in place to protect your business and your customers. Display your certificates to show people your site is safe.
4. Unique Content
If you sell other people's products, don't just use stock images and descriptions. Your site won't stand out for SEO purposes or to your customers. Make sure that your content fits your brand. Try to provide a range of content too, perhaps including videos or rotating images of your products.
As a business I’m sure you don’t want to miss out in the huge growth of online shopping that we are witnessing today. But to take advantage of these trends you simply need to position your online store to stand out from the rest. You have to go beyond standard templates. Creating your store from scratch with the help of professionals is a sure way to stand out.
Use these tips today and you will see great success from your online store.