If you are thinking of opening an online store or trying to manage one, then congratulations because you have joined the ranks of more than 650,000 retailers who are doing the exact same thing. With shoppers having so many different options, it can be difficult to do things better than your competitors. Here are some tips to help you succeed in running your online business.
Have an Reliable, Safe, and Memorable Website that Converts
Your website is your storefront, so it needs to look professional. Just like customers in a brick-and-mortar store, if your customers cannot find what they are looking for, they will leave. Therefore, use a great design with an easy navigation system to make all your products and your policies easy to find.
Creating a website that stands out in the customer's mind often starts with choosing a URL that is memorable. You also need to have the latest security in place so that your customers know they can trust you to handle their financial details securely. Getting professional help is often a great way to set up an online store and keep it operating smoothly.
Use a Reliable Host
Your website needs to live on a reliable host. After all, your potential customers cannot get to your business if your website is down. Your host also plays an important role in how fast your website loads. Mobile customers are often unwilling to wait longer than three seconds for your website to load. Consider the type of hosting that suits your needs and your budget the best while giving you the customization features that you need. If you have someone build your website for you, they may be able to help you with this.
Have a Reliable Inventory and a Quick Shipping Process
It does not take a rocket scientist to connect the dots—a larger inventory means more sales, and when you have more sales, that means more profits for you. Make a concerted effort to stock as many products as possible in order so you can give your customers more choice and decrease the likelihood of their leaving your site to go browse somewhere else.
It is also important to stock well-known products and brands that your customers already trust, as this will make them more likely to click "Add to Cart". So if your store sells vision products, make sure to stock top brands like Acuvue, Optima, PureVision, and Proclear. If your store focuses on natural health, you will need brands like, Nature's Sunshine, Nature's Way, and Doterra. A little market research early on can make a huge difference!
Of course, that means you need a way to deal with this enormous inventory, and we don't recommend keeping it in your house unless you enjoy tripping over boxes. You will need to take a look at the process used to order new products to keep a constant supply on hand. Poorly managed stock can quickly overtake your home or office.
All business owners need a secure and accessible place to store their inventory. Many end up paying top dollar for warehouse or office space that could be used for other purposes. Finding a cost-effective storage solution is imperative for business success. Delayed shipments frustrate customers, cutting into your good reviews.
Offer Top-Notch Customer Support
Even when you are doing everything right, you will have customers who need help placing their orders or whose orders get lost in shipping. Make sure that you offer top-notch customer support through many different channels. You need to interact with your customers on social media, offer phone support, and give them a way to email you.
This helps you to form an online community composed of your advocates. Most people turn to Google when looking for a new product or service, so customer reviews are a powerful tool for online businesses. By providing great customer service, you encourage those customers to leave great reviews.
Operating an online storefront is hard work, yet almost 5 percent of the largest sites on the internet are online storefronts. By following these tips and applying yourself every day to making your business be its best, you can be one of them.