Ensure Your Store Has a True Point of Difference
With so many other eCommerce stores for shoppers to pay attention to, ensure that yours stands out in some clear way. You want it to have a genuine point of difference so that people are intrigued and drawn in. Think about your unique selling proposition (USP) – that is, the thing that your venture does or offers that no others do.
For example, it might be that you sell products that can’t be found elsewhere, target a specific buyer type that others ignore, have really distinctive branding, or your customer service is unusually excellent. There’s no right or wrong with where this point of difference comes in, but make sure your online store has one.
Focus on Effective Design
Of course, there’s no point getting people interested in your business idea if they arrive at your website and find it unprofessional or hard to use. Focus on having the most effective design possible. It should be mobile-friendly, so it works across devices since so many people shop via tablets and smartphones these days. It should have user-friendly navigation that makes it evident to people how to easily move about from page to page and find what they’re looking for.
You want to have fast-loading pages and plenty of information but enough white space left on each page that your site doesn’t look cluttered and unappealing. Use an easy-to-read font in a decent size, so people don’t have to squint to read the text, and break up long paragraphs into short ones interspersed with plenty of subheadings and bullet points and the like. These days shoppers are in a hurry and scan content to see if it has the pertinent info they’re after, so avoid big blocks of text and make pages quick to scan.
Ensure you provide plenty of images, videos, and product descriptions about your wares so people can feel confident about what they’re buying. Plus, make checkouts simple and avoid making people have to fill in too many details to complete their order. Also, keep your company branding consistent throughout the website.
Make Multiple Payment Options Available
Another element of intelligent website design is giving shoppers plenty of payment options. People expect to be able to choose the payment type that suits their needs at that particular time, such as via credit or debit cards (including American Express and Diners), BPAY, direct deposit, digital checks, gift cards, loyalty points, and so on.
It’s also wise to avoid setting up the payment process so people get transferred off-site to input their credit card or other details. It’s best to integrate payment systems right on your own website as consumers are wary of being scanned. They’re often uncomfortable with suddenly ending up on another site to finalize payment.
You can help build trust on your site by displaying logos and membership details. For instance, show logos of the well-known SSL certificate and payment provider system you use, plus membership in business, charitable, or sustainability-based programs such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or 1% for the Planet.
Keep a Close Eye on Working Capital Management
Your business can only thrive if you keep a close eye on financial fundamentals like working capital management. There’s no point growing your online store quickly if you can’t keep the doors open because you run out of cash flow to pay bills and retain suppliers or ship goods, etc.
Happily, tech tools can help you budget, track expenses, update accounting software, handle payroll, and much more. Utilize software programs to ensure you can always tell at a glance what your company’s cash flow position looks like at any time and to get alerts when bills or loan payments are due.
If you have a period of the year that’s much busier than others, such as the festive season, look into getting short-term finance to cover larger inventory orders and staffing needs for a time. Don’t leave this until the last minute, though. Be proactive about planning for busier times and always keep some cash in reserve for leaner parts of the year.
There are undoubtedly many elements to consider and juggle when running an eCommerce website, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed. However, if you are strategic about what you do and follow the tips above, you’re sure to see soon venture to thrive.