Making your Online Store Stand Out from the Crowd
You’ve created your online store, taken some amazing photos of your products and activated an appropriate payment platform. Congratulations, you are up and running! Now you just need to sit back and wait for the customers to come pouring in, right?
Well, yes in an ideal world – but…..with the explosion of growth within the ecommerce world you still need to make your store stand out from the crowd, grab your customer’s attention, hold it and keep them returning for more.
Don’t just give up if you don’t understand SEO – you can increase your website traffic volume with these handy tips to ensure your online store is ahead of it’s competitors.
1. Make your site clear & simple to use
When a customer first reaches your site it should be painfully obvious what you sell. Use a clean and professional template design that is simple in it’s message. Don’t allow the customer to be distracted by countless and un-needed information. Show your most popular and best selling products first as a way to draw people in to start exploring your site. Consider using a ‘carousel’ picture collage so that they can easily scroll through the images and see what’s on offer.
2. It’s the little extras…that make a big difference
Free shipping, great returns policy (or free returns over a certain purchase value), a toll free number – making use of incentives to attract users is a great way to encourage loyalty. If you are able to offer these great advantages make sure you shout about them loud and clear on your homepage! Use large bold text for your contact number and make information simple to understand. If you are able to – calculate shipping costs before the checkout basket as one of the major sources of ‘abandoned baskets’ in the ecommerce world, is customers getting a nasty ‘shipping price’ shock when they reach checkout stage!.
3. Testimonials and Reviews
Many companies shy away from reviews but they can be a clear indicator to a customer of your credibility and people love to feel that a product or service has been trialled by others first. One great idea is to take one of your glowing references and put somewhere obvious on your homepage. If you can accompany this with a picture it re-enforces the fact that real people trust and use your products and services. Customer reviews are trusted 12 times more that marketing by a company – so let your clients do the talking! Just ensure they are real and valid reviews because the fake ones will always eventually bring your credibility down.
4. Daily Deals and Other Discounts
What customer doesn’t love a discount or special offer price? Ensure you correctly calculate your profit margins to see how much discount you are able to offer or even provide a loyalty program that keeps your customers coming back for more. Daily deals are another hugely popular idea. By selling a limited quantity of products for a short amount of time you can generate new interest and increase your client base. Once you have drawn them in – invite them to preview your other products.
5. Make a connection
Create content so fantastic that customers don’t even realise that you are selling to them! Try to re-think your site as a content site that happens to sell products, talk to your customers as you would a friend and engage them so that they keep coming back for more. In much the same way that a blog works – people will link to your site and your store will grow organically. Make sure if you do this that you do update the content regularly to keep interest piqued. If you can demonstrate that you are passionate about your products and give tips and ideas on ways to use them, such as a demonstration video or a pinboard using your products, it adds more value to your site.
6. Build links
This may seem like an obvious one – but be sure that you utilise every available avenue to direct traffic to your site. Regular email newsletters that you send to customers must have an easy link for them to follow through to your store. Make use of every social platform that you use and add links to all content to increase traffic. Get into people’s heads by commenting on local news sites, relevant blog sites and consumer forums and also link these to your site. Do everything you can to create traffic and then convert them to customers.
7. And last but not least…..Social Media
This deserves a whole article on it’s own (to follow shortly) but the basics are:
- Find the best channels for your product. You do not need to be on every social media platform but some will be more relevant to your product or service than others. Target your desired age group etc and work on this first.
- Engage the users – help them, answer their questions or comments and let them see that you are a real person as well as an expert around your product space.
- Post regularly – don’t let them forget you; keep reminding them why they need your products and to keep returning to your website. Ensure that what you say is relevant and useful and not just because you must – this could have a reverse effect!
Start putting these tips into practice and let’s give your online store some ‘X Factor’!!