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8 ways to ensure your Online Store is a success

Online store flat illustrationNowadays creating an online store is straightforward, the challenging part is making the store successful. With more than 90% of all Internet business start-ups ending in failure within the first 120 days, it’s important to understand the challenges you’ll face as an online store owner, so your store is one of the success stories.

1. Choose the right niche
Before creating an online store, it’s important to do your research. You may have an idea of what you want to sell online, but you should also consider who you’re be selling to, how crowded your market is and who your main competitors are. You could also run a low cost advertising campaign to a pre-launch landing page to see if there is a demand for the product you’re selling.

This kind of analysis pre launch will pay dividends as it will help you understand whether there is demand for what you’re selling, before you invest your time (and money) in setting up an online store. If you find there is a demand for your products, then you’re on the right path to creating a successful ecommerce website, but it’s important to create a unique value proposition for your store to help set yourself apart from your competition.

2. Create a good website
A successful online store has to be part of a good looking website. Luckily, with Yola it’s easy to create a full-featured online store that integrates seamlessly with your website.

There are many factors that make a good website, from easy navigation to strong clear messaging. An extremely important thing to consider is how it looks on a mobile device. A good website should accommodate all web visitors, no matter what device they’re using to visit you with. That means it should render well for people viewing on a phone or a tablet.

3. Take great product photos
Although your products may be fantastic, it’s really important that they look fantastic on your ecommerce website. Successful online stores use great imagery, so website visitors get a real feel for the product that’s being sold. If you think about your favorite ecommerce store, they probably use multiple images per product, taken from a range of angles – close up, in packaging, maybe even in a lifestyle setting. It’s important to invest time in taking great product shots so your customers feel confident in what they’re buying without actually seeing it in person. If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to check out this post where show you how to take pro-quality photos for just $12.

4. Pay attention to security
Security of your online store can play a huge factor in how successful your store is. Your customers need to know that their credit card details are secure if they pay online via your ecommerce store, and that fraud risk is low. Therefore, it’s important that the checkout pages of your online store use “https” rather than “http,” as it means the pages transmitting card details are secure, and it will instill trust in your customers.

Points of assurance, such as a SSL or VeriSign security seal, can be used if your store follow good security practices, to assure your customers that your store is secure.

5. Offer a variety of payment options
A successful online store is one that converts well. Having a wide range of payment options available to customers will give them one less reason to abandon their purchase.

In the US or UK, credit cards or Paypal are standard ways of paying online. If you plan to sell to other countries, then it’s important to do your research into the types of payment methods that are the norm within that area. For example, Boletos are a regularly used payment method in Brazil, so if you’re targeting the Brazilian market it’s worth considering having that payment option available.

6. Develop a social media presence
Building a community around your online store is critical for its success, and a great way is through social media. A social media presence will help you to spread the word about your store while keeping your business at the forefront of your customers (and potential customers’) minds until they are ready to purchase.

Additionally, a social media presence makes your brand approachable and can do wonders for the positioning of your brand. Customers will look at how you deal with customers publicly on social media and assess whether you’re a credible business, and if they want to buy from you.

7. Drive quality web traffic
Driving quality web traffic to your website is massively important if you want your online store to be successful. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a paid search campaign.

Paid Search allows you to advertise on search engines such as Google and Bing. Your ads will display when customers search for the keywords that you identify as important. As well as this, you can set your ads to only display to searchers located in a specific country or even town, which helps you to be targeted and only drive web traffic that is likely to be profitable for you.

8. Take notice of customers
Finally, for your online store to be successful it’s important to take notice and listen to your customers. Looking at what your customers are doing when they reach your website can give you insight into how your website is performing. This can be done by viewing the site statistics for your website. For example, your site statistics can show you what sites are referring traffic to you, and also see which referring sites are sending traffic that converts. Taking notice of this kind of data about your customers can help you to make better business decisions and increase the likelihood of your store being a success.

Quantitative data isn’t the only way to understand your customers. Actually speaking to your customers will also give you huge insight. Customer feedback can be invaluable, and can help to shape the decisions you make about your online store, to make it more successful.

These are 8 ways to ensure your Online Store is a success, let us know how many you’re doing by commenting below.