It seems that many people are interested in opening their own online store. And, in setting about in trying to figure out exactly what is required in order to do so, they set their sights on trying to gather as much information as possible regarding the steps they must take to get an online store up and running. They research hosting options, online store software, payment processing options, etc. Then, of course, they either become overwhelmed in learning everything that goes into creating an online store and simply give up — deciding that opening an online store is beyond their skills or abilities, or not worth the time or trouble — or, they begin in on the steps that are needed to be taken to make their new online store functional.
A fraction of those people, who began with an interest in starting an online store, will actually see it through to completion and end up with a live, functioning online store, ready to begin selling their products over the internet. However, a surprising number of these people will come to find themselves with a fully functioning online store that is just not attracting traffic, or buyers. The reason, most often, is that these new online store owners focused pretty much the entirety of their intention on learning how to just get their online store functional and they completely neglected other aspects of actually operating an online store which are positively crucial to an online store’s success.
It’s not enough to just publish a functioning eCommerce website to the internet — if you do that, and nothing but that, your online store wont attract buyers, and it wont make sales. And, of course, if it’s not making sales, then you might as well have not started it all. Along with learning how to create an online store, it’s crucial that the hopeful online store owner educates themselves as to how to effectively operate a profitable online store. After all, your business is not creating online stores, your business is selling goods or services. The online store is merely the method you chose in which to do so. If you want your business to be in creating online stores, then you shouldn’t be creating your own online store; you should be hiring yourself out to those who want their own online store but lack the ability to create one themselves and have the means and the will to pay someone else to do it for them.
Your business is in selling products, and that should be how you think of it. Don’t think in terms of “How do I create a successful online store?” Instead, think in terms of “How do I successfully sell the products I’m offering to online customers?” The fact that an online store is the specific means through which you sell is of little importance.
When someone finds themselves in the position of having done extensive research into how to go about opening an online store, following through on what they’ve learned, and then actually producing a functional eCommerce website that just isn’t making sales and they don’t know why, there’s a number of common mistakes they will usually have made. The most common of these are the following:
1 – They neglected to populate their online store with enticing and informative product reviews. In the world of online shopping customers can not examine for themselves the product they’re interested in purchasing. They can’t touch it, see it directly, smell it, spin it around and examine it from all angles, etc. They can’t hold it in their own hands. When purchasing items, people want as much information as they can get about a product before they’ll make a purchase. They want to be reassured that they will not suffer buyers remorse once forking over their hard earned money for a product. In the real world, connecting to the product itself by having it right in front of you is usually enough to fulfill this need. In the world eCommerce, however, the product is entirely virtual until it arrives at their door. Providing reviews of the products available is essential. It substitutes for the person’s inability to directly connect with the product before the time of purchase — when they’re making their decision on whether or not to buy.
2 – They provide shoddily written, poor descriptions of their products. Customers require confidence before they’ll spend. They require some measure of confidence in the product and in the seller. If they’re having any difficulty in understanding exactly what the product is, then they’re having difficulty in forming confidence that the acquisition of the product will satisfy their needs or wants. Make sure your product descriptions are precise, easy to read, and sufficiently robust when it comes to accurately describing the product being offered.
3 – They neglect to provide contact information, or make it difficult too locate. As I said above, customers require confidence before they’ll buy — not just in the product, but in the seller as well. People do not want to be ripped off. They need to know that if they’re unsatisfied with their purchase their money will not be lost. If it appears to them that the seller will not be easy to contact should there be problems, they’ll assess the risk as being too high. An online store in which contact info. is not readily apparent appears suspicious — it appears to the customer as though the operators are specifically trying to be difficult to reach for a reason. It appears to the customer as though the operators are actually expecting there to be problems with the purchase. Conversely, however, when it appears to your customers that your business is easily reachable and that you’re going out of your way to make yourself available to them, it appears, instead, that you’re not expecting problems with their purchase, and that if there does happen to be any, then contacting you in order to resolve the issue will not be a difficult task.
So, make sure that you haven’t made those three common mistakes in creating your own online store. And, if you haven’t, turn your attention then to how you’re going to promote your online store, driving potential customers to it, and converting those potential customers into paying customers.
Launch a press release announcing your new online store — look around the internet for affordable means for doing so. There are even some services that will allow you to do this for free. And, while the old adage “you get what you pay for” holds true, using a free press release service is not entirely ineffective. Also, investigate all the available options for online marketing, such as: Social media marketing, article marketing, using free classified ads websites, posting to message forums, list building, holding giveaways and contests, e-mail marketing, using PPC advertising, and others. Also, be sure to look into effective methods you can use for offline marketing and promotions as well.
You’ve done your research into getting an online store up and running, right? Now you need to do your research into how to actually operate your sales business in order to best ensure that your online store becomes profitable.