You don’t find many startup ideas as straightforward as an online store. Well, not in theory at least! It follows a pretty basic business model of selling products online for people to order. You stock the products in a warehouse or your garage, then ship them off as the orders come in. If you’re looking to launch a successful startup in 2020, this is probably the best idea you’ll find. Especially if you already have your products ready to sell!
The internet is massive and knows no bounds. So, you will be in direct competition with hundreds, maybe even thousands of other online stores. This doesn’t just include small businesses, but massive corporations as well. It’s still highly possible to make a lot of sales and generate loads of customers. The key lies in your online store. How good is yours compared to the others out there? An excellent store appeals to customers and can set you apart from others.
Naturally, the main thing to think about is the user experience – which is the same as any other website. If users don’t enjoy their time on your site, they’ll leave. Now, we could go into detail on all the different ways you should design an online store. However, this guide will focus on some of the smaller tweaks and additions that some business owners don’t even consider. By adding these to your online store, you can improve the way it looks, functions, and appeals to customers.
More product images.
You should have some images of your products listed on the online store. It’s far too common for businesses to only have one or two images of a product. Even worse, the images are just stock photos of a product, rather than showing the real thing in action. So, your first port of call is to update your photo library by adding more product images.
The trick is to have images that display the products from all different angles. You should also show the products in real life, rather than just on a blank background. For clothing items, display them on actual models. For other things, show them in comparison to other physical objects. As an example, imagine you’re selling a reusable water bottle. Display pictures of it on a desk or in someone’s hand so users can see the size comparison.
All of these additional images provide more information for consumers. When a consumer is informed, they’re more likely to make a purchase. They’ll feel confident that your product is what they’re looking for, and you’ll secure a sale!
Go onto any online store for a big company, and you’ll spot a few trends. One of the biggest ones is the idea of providing suggestions for users. For instance, head to Amazon, and you will see two different types of suggestions. One will be based on your previous buying or browsing history on the site. The other will be based on what other customers have bought. You should adopt both types of suggestions on your online store, and here’s why.
You see, suggestions point your web traffic in the direction of other products. They might buy a pair of shoes, then you have a product suggestion below for some socks. Suddenly, they realize they’ll need some new socks to go with the shoes, so an extra purchase is made. Suggestions like this are more built around common-sense pairing some products with others and data from previous customers. If you know loads of people buy two items together, you can suggest them under the product listings.
The other type of suggestion – based on previous browsing data – only works if someone has visited your site before. It’s built around cookies, and you basically look at what they bought/browsed, then offer similar products. You cater to their tastes, further increasing the chances of a sale being made.
A smart search bar.
It should go without saying that your online store needs a search bar. This is the easiest way for a consumer to find what they’re after. Instead of navigating through different menus and filtering the products, they can type the exact word into a bar. If you don’t already have one of these, you need to get it ASAP, as it is vital for the UX.
Furthermore, you can improve your current search bar by upgrading to a smarter one. Nowadays, you can take advantage of AI search technology to make life even easier for consumers. Here, when they start typing, you automatically provide product suggestions based on what they’ve typed. It’s like when you do a Google search, and it predicts what you want to look for. This is pretty much the aim, and it can have a couple of benefits.
Firstly, it may speed up the searching process – which always helps. Secondly, it might show consumers different products that they didn’t know you had. So, while they look for one thing, the predictive search might show them another. Again, this offers the chance to make an extra sale or to sell more products in one go.
Show off your trust signals.
What are tust signals? Simply put, they are signs on your website that display why people should trust your business. You’ll find many different trust signals on lots of different websites, all of which play a role in convincing people to buy from you. A couple of common ones include Verified by Visa, Norton Secured, and a Money-Back Guarantee. All of these things tell a consumer that your website is safe and secure, and that they can trust your business.
Add trust signals to your site and make sure people see them. Another key trust signal is a testimonial or some reviews. Put these on your site to further show people that your business can be trusted and provides top-quality products.
These four tweaks are quite minor in the grand scheme of things. You won’t be forced to restructure and redesign your entire online store! Instead, make a few little changes to have a big impact on your target market. In turn, this can influence more sales and catapult you to the next level.