It’s easier than ever to start your own online retail business because you don’t have very big overheads to pay and anybody can get started from home. Unfortunately, this has led to the misconception that it’s easy to start a successful online retail business, and that’s not the case. It’s a hugely competitive market, but some people still have a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality about it. They think that if they have a website and some good products, they’re guaranteed to start making sales. But having a website is one thing, having a website that actually converts is another. If you are going to manage that, these are the 3 aspects that you need to get right.
First off, you need people to visit the website. If nobody is visiting the site in the first place, your chances of finding paying customers are zero. That means that you need to market yourself properly. There are plenty of great online marketing techniques for retail businesses, but when you are starting out, it’s important to watch your budget. So, you probably want to start out with social media and pay-per-click ads because they’re cost effective but they have a big reach.
The most important part of online marketing for any business, but especially a retail business, is SEO. Search engine optimization determines when and where your site appears on Google. Let’s face it, if you are not on the first page then you don’t have much hope and if you are not on the second, your traffic will be nonexistent. That’s why a large portion of your marketing budget should go into SEO services to help boost your rankings. A lot of new business owners read up on these things a little and think that they can handle it themselves but it’s more complicated than you realize. It’s best to just let the professionals handle it for you if you want to see a big traffic increase.
Now that you have traffic coming to your site, you need to convince those people to buy something. The first step here is good navigation because people are not patient when they shop online. If you make it hard for people to find products and the website is overcrowded, they will give up and leave. You need to keep it simple and make sure that you have clear menus and search functions so people can find the right products immediately.
You might think that the battle is won when a customer adds something to their basket but a lot of people change their mind at the last minute. That’s why you need a good checkout service that is quick and easy to get through. If you make people fill out too much information and they have to go through too many steps, they have more time to back out of the sale.
If you can get these 3 aspects right, you should be on your way to building an online retail site that actually converts.