Although many brick-and-mortar franchises have seen better days, online shopping has become more popular than ever. No matter what type of item you wish to purchase, odds are you can find it with a few simple clicks. Now that anything and everything can be bought over the web, many budding store proprietors have elected to take their respective businesses online. In addition to having far fewer overhead costs, taking your store online dramatically increases the number of customers you’re able to serve. However, with such an abundance of competition, directing patrons to your establishment can be an uphill battle. Online store owners looking for effective ways to entice consumers will be well-served by the following tips.
1. Prioritize Convenience
When crafting online stores, many people make the mistake of prioritizing form over function. That is, they place more importance on the site’s aesthetics than its user-friendliness. While proprietors should certainly strive to create visually appealing websites, a store’s outward appearance should never take precedence over its functionality. No matter how stunning your store looks, it’s essentially worthless if patrons are unable to peruse your inventory and make purchases in a timely manner. As such, you should make a point of offering convenient drop-down menus, search bars and other features that take the hassle out of shopping. You should also incorporate online shopping cart software that’s designed to streamline the checkout process.
2. Optimize Your Store for Mobile Devices
No ecommerce website or online store that hopes to succeed in the digital age should be without mobile optimization. Since the majority of worldwide web traffic now comes from smart phones and other mobile devices, it’s absolutely imperative that your store offer a flawless mobile shopping experience. Studies have found that a sizeable majority of impulse purchases are made from smart phones, so failing to optimize your store is tantamount to throwing away money. Fortunately, companies like Web.com and 1ShoppingCart make mobile optimization a breeze, even for the most inexperienced web design novice.
3. Maintain an Active Social Media Presence
Staying active on social media can result in heightened awareness for your brand and increased visitor numbers. This entails creating accounts for your store on social media mainstays like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Once your various accounts have been activated, make a point of posting one to four updates per account each day. Any more than that stands to annoy your followers, while any less may cause them to grow bored. Furthermore, use every available opportunity to interact with your followers and address any questions sent your way in a timely manner.
Operating a successful online store requires a fair amount of time, energy and hard work. While it’s true that online businesses typically require less upkeep and maintenance than their brick-and-mortar contemporaries, running them is no walk in the park. Regardless of what your store sells, there’s a good chance it faces steady competition from all directions. To ensure that your store has a fighting chance, remember to prioritize function over form, optimize your site for mobile devices and remain active across the social media landscape.