Running your own online store can be hard work. Whether you’re just starting out or are already an established retailer, there are always challenges to face. There’s no denying it can sometimes be an uphill battle. However, it’s also incredibly rewarding to build your own business from the ground up, and it’s important not to be disheartened by slow growth or other setbacks. Persistence is key in e-commerce, and the methods and tools available to assist you with the promotion and management of your store are constantly evolving. Here are a few tips to attract customers to your store and generate more sales:
Have a strong social media presence
Being present on social media is absolutely vital for any online business. It allows you to share updates on your store, promote products, and engage with customers. These days, it is almost expected for businesses to be contactable through social media, so it’s important to be on a range of networks to improve your relationship with your customers. Social media also allows you to keep an eye on what your customers are saying about you online and gives you the opportunity to respond to any feedback. For online retailers, the most important networks to have a presence on are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you have a young target audience, you should also consider setting up Snapchat and TikTok. For the business side of things, LinkedIn is useful as it allows you to connect with other brands and potential collaborators.
Effective web design
If your store has its own website, it’s crucial to make the most of this through good web design. You want your website to be eye-catching yet not too in-your-face. Avoid too many ads, popups, or auto-play videos as this can be off-putting for customers. Your site should also be clearly laid out and easy to navigate, with your products arranged into simple, logical categories. Consistency is also key, and you should make sure your color scheme and font are the same throughout your site and that important information like your brand name and contact information is on every page.
Get feedback from customers
Customers are the lifeforce of any business, particularly retail. To help improve your service and attract new customers, try to get as much feedback as you can from any existing customers you have. This will help you to figure out what’s working and what isn’t. Are they happy with their purchases? Did they find your store easy to navigate? Are there any new products they’d like to see? Asking questions such as these could provide you with invaluable insight into your customer base. It’s important to strike a balance between your own vision for your store and what your customers want. There are many ways you can get feedback, such as email surveys, star ratings, or by talking to customers directly through social media. Keep a note of what comments or issues come up the most and try to act on these.
Use an efficient delivery service
Online shoppers expect fast, tracked delivery. In order to compete with big retailers, you should offer efficient delivery options. Large carriers are currently strained due to increased demand from the holiday season and COVID-19, which could lead to your customers’ packages being delayed. Although this may seem like it is beyond your control, a survey of 2,000 consumers found that retailers, rather than carriers, are blamed for late or damaged deliveries. Last mile delivery companies are a reliable choice for your delivery needs, as they use technology that helps their drivers optimize their delivery routes to prevent delays from traffic or roadworks. They also provide real-time tracking to both you and your customers. Using a service such as this means you can effectively manage, or even completely avoid, common delivery issues, such as lost or delayed packages, which will give your store a trustworthy and reliable reputation.
Start a blog
A blog can be a great way of keeping your customers up to date on the latest deals your store has to offer. You can also write posts that suggest tips and tricks related to your products. For example, if you sell clothing, why not write a quick post with some winter outfit ideas featuring your products? Blogs are a great way of engaging with your existing customers and if you’re lucky, your blog might get shared on social media or linked to by other stores, which could bring new customers to your site. You could also consider some personal posts. People like to hear about the person behind the business, so posts that tell your story, such as how you started your business and what inspires you, are a great way of engaging with your customers.
Make sure your store is mobile-friendly
As an online retailer, you need to ensure your store is optimized for mobile users. Shopping on your smartphone is incredibly common these days, so you need to make sure your store is as easy as possible to navigate on a mobile. Use your own phone to check how your store looks to mobile shoppers. Does all of the content fit on the screen? Are the navigation buttons easy to find and use? Do all of the pictures load quickly? If a mobile shopper goes to your store and finds it slow and hard to navigate, they’re likely to click off and go somewhere else, so it’s vital to make sure your website is optimized for mobile users.
Write engaging product descriptions
When writing your product descriptions, you need to strike a balance between being informative and persuasive. You shouldn’t be too dry by simply listing all of the product's features, as this is likely to lose people’s attention. You should also avoid grandiose, unsupported claims about your product. Give an honest, brief description that highlights your product’s best features. Describe the benefits and uses of your product and suggest problems it may solve for the customer.