As many of you are using this time to move your store online, or improve your online store, here are some helpful tips that I’ve learned over the years, and over the many online stores our team has brought to life. Following these tips will be sure to send you in the right direction to successfully move your store online!
Use good, enticing photos
Images are how users browse your store’s products. Without question they should be high quality photos of your products. Make sure you are also following these guidelines:
- Take your photos in a well lit space, with lots of natural light.
- Your products should be in front of a clean, simple background, like white, pastels, or, no background at all
- Use more then one image per product, showing it off from different angles or in use in different ways
- Show off the product in use. For example, if your product is dog clothes, show a dog wearing the clothes. If the product is a hummus dip, show the dip on a cracker. This gives a true to life experience and helps the shopper get a feel for how the product should be used.
Images should also be uniform across all your products. This means you should take your photos on a similar background, with similar lighting for all your products. This will allow customizers to compare products on the same level, while keeping your online store looking clean and organized.
Make sure you have a product quick view
Leaving out the “quick view” of your products is an online store miss that I see over and over again.
Product quick view gives your shoppers quick access to the product preview, allowing them to add the product to their cart with one easy click, without reloading the page. This helps shoppers compare a bunch of products at once, and will make their shopping experience quicker, easier and smoother!
Well organized product categories
Call them collections, call them categories, call them sections, whatever you call them, your product categories should be well thought out and mimic a shopping journey you expect your user to take.
Organizing your products for your shoppers will really increase the ease at which your shoppers find what they are looking for.
I am sure you already have an organization system to track inventory. Put that aside, and instead, come at this from your shoppers point of view. Your products should be categorized and easy to find for them!
Product variations should be connected to each other
Are you selling the same shirt in 5 colours? The same breadsticks in 5 flavours? Your shopper should be able to select their colour, flavour and / or other variation of choice from the product view or even product quick view. This will help your shopper get a better experience and help them find what they are looking for faster.
Provide popular payment providers and offer more than one way to pay
There’s nothing worse than getting ready to purchase a product online only to get to checkout and realize your payment provider is not accepted!
Make sure you are providing popular payment providers, like accepting all major credit cards, and consider offering a second form of payment just in case. Credit cards and Paypal are 2 common payment options to offer.
I personally, have tried to purchase something online, where, for whatever reason, my credit card didn’t work, and, because it was the only option available, the store lost my sale. Offering Paypal, or another common form of payment would have kept me a happy shopper.
Offer free shipping
Paying for shipping from a shopper’s perspective can really dissuade a shopper from taking the plunge and making the purchase. They’ve already talked themselves into buying from your site, and made it through to the checkout – don’t surprise your customers with a shipping fee.
Maintaining a steady cost from product page to checkout increases a customer’s likelihood to follow through with the purchase.
Of course, someone has to pay for shipping, but instead of charging shipping to your customer at the end of their shopping experience, factor shipping into the operation, strategy, and pricing of your products.
Offering your customers to “spend $50 and get free shipping”, will push them to spend more to hit the free shipping target and will help you cover the costs of getting the product to them.
Don’t forget to market your free shipping so customers can get as excited about it as you!
Have an abandoned cart strategy
More than 70% of shoppers will abandon cart at checkout. An abandoned cart means your shoppers added products to their cart, and given you their email, but didn’t quite push purchase.
You now have your abandoned cart shoppers’ email addresses, and can use this as a marketing opportunity. These shoppers had intent to purchase. They were so close to taking the plunge that with a little push, they could easily be convinced to pull the trigger.
This could be as easy as sending a “Did you forget something” email to your customer with easy access to their abandoned cart to remind them to purchase. Or, take it a step further, and offer them a discount off their cart price that expires in 24 hours. This will entice them further to take action and to do it in a timely manner.
We know taking your brick and mortar store online can be a huge undertaking, but we are here to help! We want to make sure you’re doing this properly, strategically and smart. Contact us to see how we can help you successfully launch your online store!