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3 Key Strategies for a Successful Online Store

96% of consumers have made online purchases in the US alone. 67% of millennials actually prefer to shop online rather than in physical stores, and that trend is on the rise. With stats like these, it doesn’t take a Bill Gates to see that having an online store where customers can buy products, is absolutely essential for any competitive business.

Online stores run the full spectrum from those which sell millions of units, to others which simply crash and burn, pulling entire businesses down into the abyss with them.

So, what’s the difference between an online store which works, and one which doesn’t?

Running a successful store takes knowledge, application, and good timing. Entire books could be written on the subject, but let’s keep things simple. Let’s boil success down into 3 key strategies for a successful online store.

#1 Well Defined Design

We’re talking about layout more than anything else. There’s a lot ot be said about website layouts, but the take-home point is that if customers cannot browse your products with ease, they will go elsewhere. Life can be busy, and you have to respect each customer’s time. A design which is not easy to navigate is only going to annoy, and that’s the last emotion you want associated with your product(s).

A well designed store should:

  • Make perusing your stock intuitive, fast and simple.
  • Use images to showcase your products in a pleasing way.
  • Have concise, accurate, and positive descriptions alongside each product.
  • Make payment as straightforward as possible.
  • Have a mobile version which also achieves all of the above – 72% of consumers want mobile-friendly experiences.

#2 Responsive Interface

We’ve talked about the layout, but just as important is how responsive your store is. If your customers have to wait for your store to load, or for it to process any clicks, it shows a lack of respect for your customers’ time. Are they on a lunch break? Are they on their way to work? Are waiting in a doctor’s office? Just assume that your customers are in a hurry and need to move around your store as seamlessly as possible.

Over at the Daily Egg, Cody Ray Miller calls this the ‘59 second rule’. Based on data from the Nielsen Norman Group, customers tend to leave a website after 59 seconds. This can be because of poor layout, but it can also be due to a slow browsing experience. You have 59 seconds to catch the attention of your visitors, don’t blow all your hard work. Even with a beautiful store, if the browsing experience is slow, you’ll lose out on sales.

#3 Be Genuine

While online shopping tends to be safe and secure, consumers are a wary bunch. With so many stories of online fraud, it’s understandable that your customers will need assurances before they do business with you. If they think that your business is not legitimate or is a scam, they will run for the hills and never buy from you. What your business needs to do is to show that you are genuine, and that their financial details will be safe with you.

In order to build customer trust, your store should:

  • Have a customer care service where customers can easily contact you or your staff.
  • Allow customers to review your site and/or products. Reviews are a great way to promote trust, with 61% of customers reading online reviews before making a purchase.
  • Incorporate safe commerce tools such as Paypal.
  • Ensure that your site looks professional.
  • Support your brand with a highly visible social media campaign. The more people see your brand, the more they will trust it.

Build an Effective Store

There’s much more to building a successful online store, but the above three strategies are a great foundation. If you would like to know more about incorporating a successful online store into your business, contact one of our highly trained design staff, and let us build your Dream Creation.

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