Starting a website for e-commerce requires careful planning to ensure success. You could be running the best online ad campaigns and implementing winning social media marketing strategies, but if your website is not optimized to encourage sales, all your efforts will be useless. You are wasting your marketing dollars on campaigns that are not bringing in revenue.
Here are a few tips on how to start your own website and ensure that your site meets your marketing and sales objectives.
Think of Your Target Market
The first thing that you need to consider when you learn how to start a website for e-commerce is your target market. We have said it before, and we could not say it enough - your website should be created with your potential customers in mind. Every single detail, from the contact forms to the checkout buttons and product images will contribute to your customer’s decision to make that purchase. Look at your website the way a user might see it and assess whether or not it is creating a positive experience that is conducive to a sale.
Take a look at this website from Scholar Flip. It’s clear that their target audience is students who are in deep financial need. What they did was emphasize this need and leverage it to their advantage. As you can see in the image above, they have a picture of students as their homepage’s background. They also added the statement “We’re Changing the way Students Pay for College’, which further establishes who their business is for.
When it comes to starting a website for e-commerce, less is more. Minimalist designs are easier on the eye and they are more effective in keeping the focus on your products. They are also considered more trustworthy and reliable than flashier websites. Strip your website content of unnecessary information and adopt more white spaces to keep the design clean. Make sure your call to action is clearly defined.
One of the ecommerce websites that embraced simplicity is Runway Prints. Their online store has a single-scroll structure which makes navigation extremely easy. As an ecommerce website, it applied the basic principles of a minimalist design, from a moving image background to an outstanding color palette and typography.
To build ecommerce sites, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers, This would motivate you to simplify processes in your ecommerce website. Remember that people hate complex websites and they might leave if your site is difficult to understand. Just make your website as simple as possible.
When starting a website for an online store, it’s important to have a consistent schedule for updating your inventory and your content in general. Help your customers know when to come back for new products by uploading your new stock on the same day of the week. The same rule applies when you create blog posts or other content for marketing purposes. A consistent schedule encourages people to keep coming back because they know they will find new content or products on your site. It’s a good strategy to establish customer loyalty.
If you want to practice consistency, take a look at this website from Heaven’s Shakes. Apart from consistency in inventory, you must also focus on making visuals, functions, and content consistent throughout your ecommerce website.
With Strikingly, you can have a free online store where you have absolute control of everything. You can manage your inventory and update them as they change. You can also add products and provide them with relevant and engaging descriptions. You can also tweak the layout and background of your website to make each page match and complement each other.
All these things constitute consistency in an ecommerce website. A free ecommerce builder like Strikingly can help you achieve these things. The best part is, you can even make your ecommerce website consistent even for mobile users.
Start Building Your Audience From Day One
It’s also important to hit the ground running when starting an online store. Build your audience right from the launch. You can start with social media teasers on your products before the actual launch to create interest so that people will be ready to buy as soon as your website is up. Collect email address when the online store is launched and start attracting referral traffic. Promote your content through various channels. This will help you build your customer base and may even lessen your need to spend so much on paid ads. Promote your content through various channels or a countdown.
A great way to establish a loyal following is to link your social media pages to your free online store. By adding these buttons, your customers can easily visit your social media channels so they can stay updated with announcements. You must keep your social media sites regularly updated with relevant and useful content.
Using Strikingly as your ecommerce builder will make this process easy for you. All you have to add is add a new section to your site. Then edit the logo and name of each social media page you add. Remember that you must keep both your ecommerce website and social sites active. Fill each one with stunning images and engaging stories to build rapport with your audience.
Bonus tip: Strikingly has an Audience Section that you can use to manage newsletters to your subscribers. Newsletters are a great way to inform your audience about your business. You can also edit the settings so you can add a personalized message to your email list.
Keep Your Customers Informed
Customers are more than likely to already know about the product they are purchasing before they engage a brand. Be that website that helps them make informed decisions. Get a good understanding of the buyer’s journey and learn how to capture your audience at every stage. Establishing your brand as a reliable source of information is a good way to encourage customers to buy from your brand. They know you’re not just there for the hard-sell. You also want them to know more about what they are buying into.
In addition, a great way to keep your customers informed is by adding a blog section to your ecommerce website. Blogs are a fantastic way to share content in your online store. You may think that blogs are irrelevant to ecommerce sites, but they’re the best way to boost traffic and get better leads. They’re also great for inbound marketing as long as your applying best SEO practices in your content.
To get started, you can hire experienced writers to write content for you. You may also get SEO specialists to study keyword density in your content. By doing this, you can analyze how well your blogs are performing on the web.
Blogging can be any type of story, but since you’re running an ecommerce website, it’s best to make your content informative. You write blogs about your featured products, how to use them, and other instructional content.
Image taken from Strikingly product.
Strikingly is a great free ecommerce website builder perfect for small retailers who want to start an online store without spending too much. It’s packed with various website templates, functions, features, and tools that users can definitely enjoy. To make things even better, it’s also optimized for mobile users. Strikingly does all the work for you!
If you’re planning to launch an ecommerce website, all you have to do is create a Strikingly account for free. Start by creating a new site, selecting your template, adding sections, and applying changes, before publishing. Don’t forget to apply the practices that we talked about in this blog. You can enjoy a wide array of features for free, but if you want to truly unlock your ecommerce website’s potential, considering upgrading to a Pro account. We promise you won’t regret it!