5 Keys to Creating a Successful Online Shop
It is apparent that e-commerce looks very promising for retail businesses, with the percentage of purchases being made by consumers growing steadily year after year. In fact, a recent survey by comScore shows that in 2014, 47% of consumer purchases were made online. The following year, this number increased to 48%; and in 2016, 51%.
If you are planning to set up an online store or improve the performance of an existing e-commerce site, there are five things that need to be present: impressive web design, professional looking images, stress-free navigation, relevant blogs, and fast website speed. Let’s look at each of these in more detail.
Impressive Web Design
Web design plays a very important role in keeping your customers engaged. For first time visitors, it only takes about 50 milliseconds for users to decide if they like your site or not, which is why it is essential that your website’s design and layout create a great first impression.
Professional Looking Images
As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Clean, professionally taken, high-resolution images are necessary to effectively convince your customers that what you are selling online are going to be worth their money. It is best to keep the background clean, using solid neutral colors like black, gray, or black. Enable zooming so your customers can view the details of the item and provide product photos from all angles.
Fast Website Speed
Online consumers have an average attention span of 8 seconds, so it is crucial that your website is fast. All it takes is one click to exit your website and your potential sale for that customer is over. One way to ensure that your online store performs well is using load balancing, which spreads internet traffic across multiple servers with an even load distribution. As an online store’s traffic fluctuates, a cloud load balancer automatically adjusts the number of web servers, routing traffic away from Internet traffic jams to meet the site’s current needs, maximizing speed and user experience.
Unlike in retail shops, there is no sales staff to provide immediate assistance when a customer cannot find what they are looking for. Easy, stress-free navigation gives customers a positive online shopping experience and will make them visit your website again and even share this with their friends. Adding specific categories – such as What’s New, Sale, and Promotions as well as intuitive categorization of your stock – will make it easier and faster for customers to see the offers that they intend to buy.
Maintaining a blog section will keep customers interested in your website and even share your content on social media, reaching more people that could turn into actual customers. Post relevant blogs three to four times a week, sharing tips and quality information that would add value to your readers. There is no standard length for blogs, but it is always best to keep them focused on the topic, adding a few examples and images, and providing links to your sources so the readers can verify the information you shared.
Selling is a difficult skill to master, but by applying these five elements into your online store, you will be able to effectively attract your target audience and eventually convert them into actual, loyal customers.