Running a successful online store is a tricky business. There’s so much competition out there, much of it from huge, well-resourced and experienced retailers. But take the time to get things right, and you can give yourself the best opportunity to make a success of things.
Here are our top tips for online retail:
- Know your market – find a niche and exploit it. Even with the millions of online traders already working the market, there will be people who want to buy from you if you can create a connection with them. Take the time to really understand who your customers are, what motivates them to buy and what price point they’re willing to buy at. Then spend your energies talking directly to them.
- Make it easy to buy – we all know that it takes just a split second to decide whether to buy or not. Complicated, difficult-to-read product pages, poor photography and no clear path to buying will put people off. Design your store so that it’s easy to buy. Write your product descriptions so your customers can see themselves using or enjoying your product, and make your pricing clear. Checkout should be a simple process – offer the option to check out as a guest rather than registering and offer a range of simple payment options.
- Keep product titles simple – product titles contribute to search engine optimisation (SEO) which in turn helps Google to list and rank your online retail store. Keep them simple, accurate and in plain English – just as your customers would search for it. Do the same with your product description and you’ll increase your chances of being found and making a sale.
- Always have up-to-date stock – no-one wants to get as far as buying your product only to discover it’s out of stock. They’ll go elsewhere and you’ll never win them back. So you need a reliable stock control system that allows you to re-order well ahead of time so that you don’t run out. This is particularly important if you’re running an online business based on dropshipping or fulfilment by a third party, like Amazon, because your customers could be ordering at any time of the day or night. Make sure all your stock numbers are accurate and properly aligned so that it’s easy to fulfil your orders.
- List everything you have – most customers are browsers, so whilst they’re looking for something particular, they can easily be drawn to the rest of your range. If you don’t list everything you have in stock, you’re missing the potential for sales. Why keep a product out of sight when you could put it in front of thousands of potential buyers? It’s never been more important to make ALL your stock visible online.
- Get your margins right – before you start selling, take the time to understand the maths of your business. Knowing how many sales you need to make and at what price help you to set up your store realistically and work out your margins properly. This needs to include your time, postage and delivery costs, any staff you employ and your overheads.
- Don’t end with the sale – your customer’s journey begins with their order. The way you handle the sale, the delivery updates and any returns or feedback process really cements their relationship with you – and its these elements that encourage them to return for more. Make sure you do everything you can to make the whole customer experience the very best.
- Get help when you need it – you can’t do it all by yourself, and why would you waste your time doing jobs that can be done faster and more efficiently with the right system in place? Give yourself the time to concentrate on strategy, marketing and sales, and leave the back office to competent, effective software that can handle day-to-day tasks for you.
To get a free demo of Modulus, a dedicated software platform for retail stock and sales control, contact us today.