How to run a successful online store
If you’ve ever wanted to start your own business, now is the best time to do it. Especially when the ecommerce market is on the rise. If you wish to launch a successful online store there are several essential details you need to know.
In this article, we have covered some tips on how to run a successful online store. Here you will, hopefully, find the answers to all your questions and see how to properly develop your business.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to start an online business?
- 2 Essential aspects of an online store
- 3 1. Visually appealing website design
- 4 2. An informative “About Us” page
- 5 3. High-class customer support
- 6 4. Convenient payment methods and free shipping
- 7 5. Active social media pages
- 8 6. Blog
- 9 7. SEO-friendly website elements
- 10 8. Mobile optimization
- 11 9. Competitors analysis
- 12 10. Return policy
- 13 Creating an online store
How to start an online business?
First things first, you have to set the right foundation and think through your business plan. This is a necessary step in order to understand what kind of business you are going to establish. Don’t be frightened by this, all you need to do is answer a few questions, such as:
Why do you want to start this type of business?
Is there an opening you can fill in the market?
What are you going to sell?
How does your product help resolve your customers’ needs?
Who is your target audience?
Why should consumers choose your product?
How much are you willing to spend to set up your business?
How will you promote your products?
Your business plan will be formulated depending on how you answered these questions.
Essential aspects of an online store
When thinking about how to run a successful online store there are many crucial factors you should consider.
1. Visually appealing website design
According to various studies, the majority of online shoppers (about 90%) consider the appearance of the store to be the most important factor upon making a purchase. So, in essence, you can have the best possible product available and top-class customer service, but if your store design does not match the tone, then your online business is going to fail.
The element design of your store should correspond to the latest trends. It should captivate the attention of the visitors as soon as they come to your store.
2. An informative “About Us” page
Here you will formulate your mission statement. This will express the idea of your business to your customers and help you establish a relationship with them. This is the page where you need to clearly evaluate what kind of business you are, what you do, and what kind of services you offer.
You should also mention any kind of accolades your store has earned, as well as share any positive feedback and social proof. Place your contact information, such as:
- Contact email
- Social media accounts
- Online support information
Don’t write too much information though, as it can be overwhelming and might cause visitors to lose interest.
3. High-class customer support
Your visitors should be informed that in case of any misunderstandings or unexpected problems you are always easy to contact. Providing consultation will surely help your customers feel more confident and comfortable. Your long-term goal is to turn them into loyal customers that will return for future purchases.
The most effective way to accomplish this is to introduce live chats. Of course, not many can afford a 24/7 customer service. So, incorporate a tool that will allow customers to leave their queries on which you could contact them later.
4. Convenient payment methods and free shipping
No online store can function properly without a payment gateway. You should incorporate all the popular payment options so that your customers won’t experience any trouble when making a purchase.
Many online shoppers are attracted by the idea of free shipping. Something about it makes customers return for additional purchases. What you can do to make sure that the customers know about this feature is to highlight throughout your store that you offer free shipping.
Set the option for personal account creation in your online store. This will allow your clients to save their payment and shipping details, and they won’t have to worry about entering them every time they buy something new from your store. Also, you can incorporate loyalty programs in which you can provide special offers.
Social media platforms will play a huge role in your marketing campaigns. Millions of people use social media every day and if you choose not to advertise this way, then you risk losing countless potential customers.
Through the most popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter you can connect with people in creative and fun ways. The key here is to find your target audience that will be interested in your products or services.
A well thought through blog that is also SEO-friendly is important for any online entrepreneur. A blog creates an opportunity to attract more traffic to your online store. It’s a sort of means to manipulate the search engines. By using related SEO keywords in your articles, you get more likely to rank higher in search engine results, thus attracting more potential customers.
Don’t forget that your blog posts actually have to relate to your online business or niche, be informative, and well written.
Content that you publish in your blog can serve as a sort of stepping stone to create and polish the relationship with your customers.
Here are some topics you can cover in your articles:
- Personal experience
- Products you can recommend
- Tips about your niche
- Your store’s history
7. SEO-friendly website elements
Following the previous statement, don’t just stop on your blog: optimize your whole store for search engines.
Search engine optimization is the key to generating more traffic. More traffic means more purchases. How exactly do you generate more traffic? By integrating SEO keywords into the titles and descriptions of your products and various sections of your site, you will optimize your store, which will make it rank higher in search results.
8. Mobile optimization
Over a third of all online purchases were made via phone over the course of last year. According to numerous experts, their percentage is going to increase to almost half of all purchases. So, it is important for you not to neglect mobile users and ensure your store optimization allows them to make seamless purchases. To take full advantage of mobile users, your online store has to be fully functional and easily accessible from all devices.
9. Competitors analysis
Once in a while, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at your competitors and analyze what they’re doing as their strategies could also work for you. Online shoppers, first and foremost, look for what satisfies their needs. To keep buyers attracted to your store, you have to provide them with the best shopping experience and present them with the hottest offers. Whether that’s low prices, or special discounts, or free shipping – it is all up to you.
By figuring out what makes your competitors’ stores more advantageous, you will determine what you need to do to attract new and bring back old customers.
10. Return policy
Considering buying a product online, people are often indecisive about making a purchase. That is why it is important to offer refunds and money-back guarantee policies.
Customers can’t physically touch the product and try it on before purchase. All they can rely on is a picture, a product description, and maybe some reviews. And that still isn’t enough. Knowing that they can return the purchased product if it hasn’t matched their expectations or if it has any defects, your customers will be sure that you care about them, and will be more likely to form a loyal customer base.
Creating an online store
It is up to you whether to create an online store from scratch or buy a ready solution. Of course, to create one yourself, you need to have a certain set of skills to make sure that all of its components are operating properly. You can find many ecommerce platforms to use as a foundation for your online store, such as AliDropship, Shopify, Bigcommerce, etc. Each of these platforms offers unique ecommerce solutions to your business.
Let’s take a look at AliDropship, for example. One of its multiple offerings is the creation and customization of your store. The AliDropship team focuses on major components of launching a successful online business such as niche research, unique design, a domain name, creating social media accounts, incorporating popular gateways, and much more. For a one-time payment, AliDropship client receives a ready-to-operate ecommerce website along with lifelong updates and numerous extra performance boosters.. Also, the team is always a click of a button away, so if you experience any troubles, they will be right there to help you.
Rounding it all up, how to run a successful online business? Of course, it’s not going to be a walk in the park. However, by following the mentioned tips you will have an understanding of how to run an online store. Remember to implement new strategies and ideas, so your store can always look fresh and innovative. Listen to your customers’ needs and apply it to your business.
Hopefully, you found this article helpful and the provided information will be useful to you in the establishment of your online business.