So you have decided to build your online store to put your products within reach of as many customers as possible. Congratulations! But what do you do so that your platform becomes a performing online store and retains its visitors and quickly generates sales? What are the best practices so that your online business is effective? Here are ten strategies that will favour your success! Text: Diane Stehlé1
- Good ergonomics
A good user experience (what we call “UX Design” in web jargon) is essential for success to increase the conversion and retention rates of your customers. It involves knowing the habits and needs of your target in order to develop intuitive navigation. Your customers have to be able to find the right information easily in order to place an order.
- With this in mind, avoid overloading your pages by creating subcategories. The more information you have on one page, the faster your prospects will leave.
- Also place call-to-action buttons at strategic locations on the site, including on the home page.
- Your site obviously has to have a responsive design, that is, able to adjust itself to various media such as mobiles and tablets.
2. A clean look
High quality images and a detailed description of products will hold the attention of your visitors. A good description will also favour search engine optimization. Also remember to make a zoom function available to users to enlarge the products offered.
3. An efficient search engine
Your future customers have to be able to quickly find the products they are interested in. In addition to having categories and subcategories, provide search filters (by ascending and descending price, theme, brand, etc.). A search engine that can make suggestions can also be an asset.
4. Facilitate the buying action
The requirement to register before placing an order is one of the major brakes to the act of buying.
- Offer a “guest mode” to finalize the purchase with a simple email and some basic information, without having to create a customer account.
- Offer several payment methods.
- Place links to the general conditions of sale as well as to the return and refund policies.
5. A clear return and refund policy
The return and refund policy page deserves special attention. If a customer knows that in the event of a problem he will be able to exchange an item or get a refund, he will take action more quickly. Be transparent and clear. It is your brand’s credibility.
6. Attractive delivery costs
Shipping charges that are too high can be a major obstacle to buying. Offer affordable prices and tangible benefits that will influence the buying decision: fast delivery, order tracking, etc.
7. FAQ and live chat
Put an FAQ on your site that covers the most frequently asked questions. Also invest in an online chat so users get instant answers to their questions. This will help avoid them leaving your site. In addition, this function will help keep your phone lines free.
8. User reviews
Many consumers review the comments left by other users before making their purchase. So offer your customers the opportunity to leave a review or note with each product purchased. And don’t be afraid of negative feedback: if you have good quality products, most reviews will be positive.
9. Newsletter and loyalty program
Invite your customers to sign up for a newsletter. This will keep you in touch with them while informing them of new products, current promotions and private sales. Also set up a loyalty program to reward customers who buy regularly from your site.
10. Promote sharing on social media
How about some free advertising? Let people share your products on social media. This will increase traffic to your online shop with no effort. https://www.jobs.ca/10-tips-to-promote-your-online-store/
These ten practices are a sneak preview of what you can do on your site to make it a performing online store. There are many more. Professionals will be able to help you. Investing in your site’s development strategy may seem costly to you at first, but it can still pay off quickly. And it’s better to have a shop that is well thought out from the outset than a poorly done site that does not evolve and prevents you from achieving your objectives.