How to Start a Successful Online Store in 2021
Going to the mall used to be one of society’s most favourite pastimes. Malls were great places to go and hang out and relax and most importantly, buy stuff on sale. Every single goods and consumables were offered in vast varieties, making shopping a great deal of fun.
However, now with the advent of the internet, gone are the days when customers solely purchase goods at physical stores. Online stores do not offer the same sense of camaraderie and friendship a mall used to offer, but what it does offer is much better.
Insanely low prices and great deals that are way below the expected price, and best of all, everything is shipped right to a customer’s doorstep.
In fact, online stores are so popular and such in high demand, that there are currently more stores online than there are physical stores around the world. For sellers, they can work from the comfort of their own home, and even earn a very comfortable passive income.
However, the road leading up to this is in no way easy, in fact, many established sellers can agree that it was a difficult slog to get to where they are today.
However, these established sellers were the pioneers of the eCommerce industry. They entered the market when it was fresh, and paved the way for their predecessors. Nowadays, thanks to their efforts, there are a ton of ways for budding online shop owners to earn their keep and even thrive for success.
Have a business plan
One of the most important aspects of having a successful business is of course, having a solid business plan. As the quote goes, those that fail to plan, are planning to fail. Having a business plan means you are not venturing into the dark, hoping to strike gold.
You are equipping yourself with all the necessary tools and torches, and even a map that will ultimately lead you to your gold safely and soundly.
The most important things a business plan must have is to have a vision of the future of your online store. Such as your long-term goals, your target income, your ideal audience, and finally, actionable ways you are going to achieve those goals.
One of the most important things you can do is to make sure you have done market analysis before even launching your store. This is important because you need to establish whether or not your product is actually even needed, because the last thing you want is products that don’t sell.
More importantly, this analysis will help to determine your target audience, and if they can afford the product.
All of these things are interlinked, but the most important is deciding what your target audience will be, as this will influence the design and aesthetics of the store, as well as the tone that is used for any blogs or articles written.
The target audience will also influence any marketing that you undertake, and different demographics respond to different forms of marketing. Younger audiences prefer organic marketing and are driven away by direct advertising, so knowing your audience is important to creating a business plan.
An easy-to-use design
Having an easy-to-use simplistic design is incredibly important to make your online store successful. Customers are more drawn to simplistic yet eye-catching designs rather than stores that are either boring or too cluttered. The trick is finding a nice balance.
When creating or redesigning your online store, the best thing you can do is to look at it from a customer’s perspective. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine what they like and dislike from your site. Take an objective stance and think of how to rectify any of their concerns to perfect your website for their tastes.
Another great way to enhance the users experience is to provide them with accurate and needed knowledge of the product or service they want. This is because when customers visit an online store, they usually have a problem to be solved or a specific product in mind, and they want to know if your store has what they need. For example, if you have a computer store, a customer will want to know the exact details for a part if they are building their own computer, and if they can’t find it, they will visit another store.
Of course, do not forget to take mobile users into consideration, and ensure that your website is completely mobile optimized.
Use holiday-related themes and sales
Aside from having special sales to hook in new customers, you could have holiday-related themes. This means there can be special sales on items that relate to a certain holiday, or even on the holiday-related products themselves.
For new store owners who aren’t sure where to go to find these themes, there are many resources available online from sites like Socital, with various themes available for any holiday, at any time of the year. Tying in your products with the holidays is a great way to increase sales.
In fact, most marketing experts heavily utilize holidays to their advantage by targeting specific demographics, and advertising certain products on certain days. For example, Black Friday sales would typically advertise more towards parents as they would benefit the most from the increased savings, as well as Year End sales.
Most marketing campaigns revolve around holidays as it draws more people’s attention to purchase your goods and services. Another great reason for doing this is to increase brand awareness because it makes advertising on whichever holiday it is, much more relevant.
People usually have a day off from work on most holidays, and if you have been marketing and advertising for that holiday in mind, you might find that those customers will browse your store for a gift they might need in their free time.
Analytics is one of the most useful tools to ensure your online store’s success. A masterful use of analytics gives you a quantifiable way to measure your success, in comparison to your competitors.
Furthermore, analytics can also prove to be extremely useful when used to create and redesign your store. As you are able to see which pages are most visited and which are not being viewed, monitor which items are the top sellers and which are at the bottom of the barrel, and even which page causes people to promptly leave. You can even look at how long a customer stays on your website, and which page they stayed on the most.
This information will allow you to remove the pages that aren’t really being viewed, or even the products themselves, which will help greatly in optimization. It will also allow you to display the top sellers on the home page as a recommendation to increase sales, or even allow you to display recommended products from a selection of the most popular. More importantly, it will allow you to establish what it is about pages that are causing people to leave to ensure that it doesn’t happen again in the future.
Armed with this info, you can redesign your website to optimally keep customer’s attention and ultimately make your online store massively successful.