Top 10 Things to Remember When Setting Up Your Own Ecommerce Site
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So you’ve decided you want to set up your own online shop. Good idea! E-commerce is one of the biggest industries today, and if you work hard and think smart, you can find yourself earning money while you sleep. Before getting started, quite apart from the intricacies of deciding how to sell, you need to know how you want your site to look and function. The success of your website, after all, is going to be critical to the success of your business. That’s why we have compiled a list of the top 10 things you need to remember when creating your online shop.
Getting Started is the Hardest Part
When it comes to any business, getting off the ground is always the hardest part. You have a great idea, but how to make it a reality? When it comes to e-commerce, your website is going to be your lifeline. Whether you employ a web design company to create a custom platform for you or use a one-click service to set up, design and host your online shop, there are a number of features it will require in order to perform at an optimal level.
1. Basic SEO
To make your website rank well on Google, it needs to be readable by the search engine. This means that all of your pages need to be categorized logically. Use H1s to indicate the critical topic on a page: if it’s a category page, the H1 ought to be the name of that category, and if it’s a product page it should denote the product on offer. You will also want to optimize your text content – but more on that later.
2. Great Images
It’s obvious really, but with e-commerce, the image is the closest a customer can get to your product. The picture has to be enough for them to convert: high quality, informative pictures from multiple angles are the minimum you should really be looking to have. Depending on the kind of product(s) you are selling, you could even include a video or 360-degree images to give a better sense of it.
3. Engaging and Informative Content
The content you include on your website needs to serve multiple functions: it needs to sell your products, company, and it should be SEO optimized. For your products, offer information that people will need to know: weight, dimensions, color, and fabric. And don’t forget the price! To not be punished by Google, all of your copy will need to be unique and not taken from any other online source. Try to use a consistent text length and include keywords for each item.
4. Wishlist or Save for Later Option
Whether we are waiting for payday or a friend’s opinion, there are various reasons why we aren’t always ready to commit to purchase immediately. By offering customers the option to quickly save items for follow-up at a future date, you are increasing the chances of a later conversion and not a lost opportunity.
5. Shipping and Returns Policy
People are not such fools that they will blindly purchase items without any clue about what to do in the event it isn’t suitable. Make this information easy to find and understand: be upfront about your policies and don’t try to hide behind the small print. This only serves to disappoint and anger customers, in the long run damaging your company reputation.
User-generated content gives your company credibility and trust. It is okay if not all reviews are five stars (the majority ought to be positive), but having real-life examples of people who have used and enjoyed your products is incredibly talented to have on your page. This kind of positive affirmation can make all the difference between a conversion or not.
7. Social Media Integration
Including links to share on Facebook and other social media sites continue to help with the effort to promote engagement with your brand. Moreover, social media can boost conversion rates significantly. We explain in greater depth in this article the various ways you can use social media more effectively.
8. Various Payment Methods
Clearly show the different payment options customers have: this doesn’t have to be a significant feature, but it is an essential make-or-break factor in creating conversions. If you are having trouble securing a direct dominant payment type, PayPal is a widely used and trusted gateway.
9. Site Security
In this day and age, every site should have a Secure Sockets Layer certificate. This can easily be recognized by the small padlock at the left-hand side of the URL in your browser and means the connection is completely secure. There are various reasons why this is essential for any e-commerce site, the primary being that customers must be assured of their online security when entering bank details anywhere on your site.
10. Clear and Easy to find Info About Your Company
It might seem irrelevant to you, but for a customer being able to find and access your necessary company information is part of building trust in you. If it ever looks as though you are hiding any part of your company details, it could arouse suspicion in people. For ease, try to just create one page where you give an engaging and informative account of your business history and all relevant contact details.
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