Ecommerce Spot

3 vital things people often forget when building an online shop

3 vital things people often forget when building an online shop

Your online shop is a storefront that is not just available to the people in your area, but is easily accessible to the entire world. It can bring in revenue at little to no upfront cost to you, and the products sold will act as walking advertisements of your business out in the real world. There are a few things to be aware of when designing your own web store, and, if you leave any of them out, it could mean the difference between online shop success and online shop flop. These three things below are vital to start treading the right path to online shop success:

Design to sell

This one may seem a little obvious, but if your store is not well designed, or if customers have a lot of figuring out to when they go to place an order, chances are that you are not getting nearly as many of them to buy from you as you could be. Think of your web store as your store real-life store. Shoppers want a stress free experience. This consists of no chaos, no confusion and no hassles. Don't rush into designing your web store - this needs to be highly considered and functional. Time is money and there simply isn't room for mistakes. Most web store hosts offer some sort of web design program, and there are tutorials all over the internet to help you push the customizability even further. If you aren't comfortable designing your store yourself, though, you can hire a professional web designer, or buy a pre designed theme. Whichever way you go, the design of your page should be creative, eye-catching and pleasant, with straight forward navigation and order placement. Think feng shui. You want your store to have a good "flow", so why not let it flow straight to the shopping cart?

Let's talk money

Next to no one is 100% comfortable with entering their credit card number on the Internet. That said, you, as an independent web store owner, need to prove to your shoppers that you are worthy of their trust. Obviously, you will want to be able to process as many credit and debit card carriers as possible (including Paypal). Open up a merchant account with your store host, in addition to providing non-virtual methods of payment, such as money orders or ordering over the phone. Keeping your customers' information safe is not only beneficial to them, but will make them more likely to do business with you--and recommend you to other customers. Use the best security and encryption program you can find for your store, and make a clear link on your store's page to the privacy/security statement that is readily available for shoppers to read.

Go tell it on the...

Street

You have your own online store and you're a little too excited that there is an "Add to Cart" button right next to your creations, as you should be. What better motivation do you have, then, to spread the word about your beautiful new boutique! Tell everyone you know - do not limit yourself to online marketing, get out and about - hang fliers around your real life store, around town, in other businesses, in college campuses.

Internet

Inevitably, the most important place to promote your web-based storefront is online. Incorporate your store into your website (make sure the web design matches). Use both organic and paid for advertising on engines such as Google and Bing. Promote yourself on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Use blogs and forums to write about your store and your products. If you use Blogger, your host will obviously better connect your content with potential customers' Google searches. If you use Tumblr, post your more unique products as photos, write a little blurb about them in the captions (and link to your store, of course), as Tumblr members have an option to "reblog" content with just a click, an easy stab at viral marketing. Some promoters use both Blogger and Tumblr for their separate set of benefits. Visit forums and within these post products and links, and exciting "be sure to visit!" updates.

The options the Internet provides you with to promote your online store are endless. Be sure to exploit and manipulate these to your advantage.

Sarah writes on behalf of Fluid Branding, producers of high quality Promotional Products. Trust Fluid Branding to supply all of your Promotional items including quality Promotional Mugs.

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