There are millions of online shops these days, from small startups to Fortune 500 companies. What separates a strong and successful online store from a weak one?
Let’s take a look at six hacks that will kick-start your progress.
1. Create a killer website
Investing in a good website is the first and most important part of starting a successful online store. This is where you will make your money so it is key that you invest wisely and put significant effort into creating a really good website.
You could create a website from scratch, but many new online store owners elect to use an eCommerce platform. Why? Because an eCommerce platform has everything you need to create a great-looking, functional store right away.
Here is a list of a few eCommerce platforms that you might want to check out:
They all have their advantages and disadvantages. Some platforms, for example, might charge more per month, and other platforms might offer fewer features. It’s up to you to figure out what you need for your your online store and choose a platform accordingly.
Make sure to use a platform that is user-friendly for you as you will need to run it. And of course, make sure it’s simple for your customers to navigate!
2. Start with unique products
When starting an online shop, it is important to look at your products and ask yourself if what you want to sell actually has a chance to stand out. Will people really want to buy your products?
Don’t choose a market that is saturated and too competitive. The key, in fact, is hacking your way to a successful online store by starting with a product that’s more likely to generate traction.
You want to have something unique and different. You should sell something that you know can stand out from everything else online. When you choose a market that is too competitive, chances are your competitors will undercut you. That will make it harder for you to stand out.
Be creative and come up with products you know people will want and need.
3. Price your products just right
When pricing your products it is important to consider your costs. It is crucial that you price your items just right for your customer as well.
Don’t price your products so cheap that your customers might think your products are of poor quality. And you don’t want to price your items so high that your customers can’t see how your products’ cost match their value.
Price your items in such a way that when your target market sees one of your products and its price, they can see its value for the money and will click the “Add to Cart” button.
4. Start with the end in mind
You don’t need to be a marketing expert to come up with a marketing plan, but it’s good to write down your goals and objectives to keep yourself on track.
Are you trying to hit a certain volume of traffic each month? Do you want to hit a specific sales goal? Write down what you’re aiming for. Research has shown that those who write down their goals achieve more than those who don’t.
I always suggest writing down all the things you need to do to achieve your goals by working backwards. You can always check back to see what works and what doesn’t along the way.
As you go along you will be overloaded with so many things to do to keep your business running, but you want to stay focused on what you are trying to achieve.
5. Tap into already-existing sources of traffic
Are you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram? Being on these social media sites is crucial for your inbound marketing. This is the primary place where your customers follow you to stay up to date with news and new product arrivals.
I suggest you post daily. Remind your customers and followers that you are here and that you have something to offer. Make use of social media to promote your website and your products as well as publish inspirational posts they can relate to.
Also, remember to interact with your followers. Social media is a place where you can get to know your customers better and give them more information about you and your vision for the brand. So if they leave comments or have questions, make sure to reply. Make it a habit to reach out and connect to your followers so they turn into paying customers.
If you get a negative comment or complaint, take care of it immediately and in public so your fans and followers see that you’re even-keeled and trustworthy. Everyone appreciates openness and honesty.
6. Keep tabs on your competitors
The reality of having an online shop is that you will have competitors.
Even if you thought of an idea first, sooner or later someone might come out with something similar to you — especially with the immense number of online shops sprouting up left and right. Keep an eye out for your competitors to see how they run their businesses and to see how they are doing.
Take note of the successful online shops and see the things they do that you can apply to your own business. Study why others are not as successful and make sure to avoid what they do. As you go along, you’ll learn what suits you best and what makes things better for your business. It is important to be flexible as you grow with your business.
Tilt the odds in your favor
So, get started! Now you know some of the factors that separate the bad businesses from the great businesses. It’s up to you to execute now. Deploy the hacks listed above and you’ll be on the right track to running a successful online store.