6 Things You Should Know About Online Store Development

eCommerce Store Development

Ecommerce has opened up opportunities for entrepreneurs that weren’t available just decades ago: nowadays, the best way to sell a product or service is by creating an online store. Yet, while an eCommerce store may indeed be the best way for your goods to reach the masses, it doesn’t mean it’s the easiest. With an online store comes a fair amount of time and effort. Here are six important considerations to keep in mind before embarking on your online retail journey.

6 Things You Should Know About Online Store Development

1. A Great Product or Service Isn’t Enough

If you think your product or service is good enough to “sell itself” – without putting much time or effort into a quality eCommerce store – think again. Shoppers have countless retail options at their fingertips, so you’ll need your website to be crisp, inviting, and easy to navigate. Speed is also crucial: studies show that the average online user will only sit through a load time of 2 seconds at most.

Moreover, developing your store requires an ongoing commitment. It’s not a “set it and forget it” event; rather, it’s a group of continuous activities including customer service and marketing – which brings us to our next point.

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2. Marketing is Non-Negotiable

One pillar of your retail strategy will should be focused on marketing. While it’s easy to overlook its importance, you simply can’t excel in the world of online retail without it. You don’t have to be a marketing expert, but you do need to engage with both prospective and existing customers to keep business rolling in.

As soon as your site is live (and ideally, even before then), you should have social media channels for your business including Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and SnapChat. You should also have a growing list of email subscribers. Thereafter, continue to offer share-worthy, relevant, and useful content. Blogs are a great place to start, but don’t underestimate the power of tools like videos and infographics: four times as many shoppers would prefer to watch videos about products than read up on them, and infographics are liked and shared three times as often as any other type of content online.

3. Mobile Matters More Than You Think

A fundamental aspect of great online shopping is an impeccable mobile experience. It’s estimated that a third of shoppers abandon their shopping carts on websites that aren’t optimized for mobile devices. One quarter of all web searches are now performed via mobile devices, meaning that upwards of 25% of your site traffic will first make its way to your store from mobile searches. Moreover, roughly 40% of mobile device uses access the web on their phones strictly for shopping purchases. Thus, the better you’re able to optimize the shopping experience for mobile users, the more successful your site will be.

4. Customer Service Counts, Too

When developing your eCommerce store, one factor to take into consideration is how you’ll provide customer service for your shoppers. While a phone number (or at the very least, email) will work for most, you might also want to consider a live chat. In some cases, this could help drive sales by giving your shoppers need-to-know information. For instance, if they’re having trouble finding product details, where to enter a coupon code, or have another question regarding the shopping experience, providing instant and accurate information could go a long way in improving customer relations. And, if you’re unsure about whether it’s really necessary, consider this: almost half of shoppers consider live chat a must-have website feature.

5. Shipping Will Be Taken Seriously

As soon as you indicate estimated shipping times, customers are going to expect to receive their items within those windows. Thus, it’s important to err on the side of caution when it comes to shipping, and always be realistic about estimates. This is especially true if you’ll be shipping internationally. Whenever possible, give shoppers the ability to track their packages. This increased visibility can help to drive trust and transparency for your brand.

6. It Comes With a Learning Curve

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, you’ll find that everything from building your actual site to monitoring performance is a learning process. While there are plenty of valuable resources available for useful tips and tricks, your sales strategy and site building experience will be unique to your brand. Thus, your experience as an eCommerce store owner will come with a learning curve. You’ll need to monitor response to various marketing efforts, sales campaigns, and product offerings to see what works best. While there’s quite a bit of trial and error involved, the payoff of increased sales and customer loyalty will be well worth the effort.

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Jessica Hansen

Jessica Hansen

Senior Content Writer