So, you’ve decided to discover all the benefits of the internet environment by creating an online store. And, oh boy, we’re eager to tell you that this may be the best decision of your life! Going online can bring your business to the new level, expand your clients base, help you scale on the market, extremely raise your profits and so much more.
In 2020 – the age of online communication and not talking to each other in real life – online shopping is becoming more and more attractive to people all over the world. Just look at the numbers!
These statistics show stable growth in online sales from 2017 up to 2024. And if this isn’t a proof of this industry stability than what is?
So let’s just stop with all the numbers and go to the juice. We’re giving you a short guide on how to be successful with your brand new technical solution for an online store.
Take Care of a Good Software Solution for Your Online Store
This is an important thing that you have to consider when going online. It’s not only about “good looking websites”, we’re talking about the choice between custom and off-the-shelf solutions. You have to operate with both cons and pros of both solutions to make the right decision.
One of the main aspects why entrepreneurs choose one or another solution is cost and time spent on its implementation. If you decide to work with low-code or off-the-shelf solutions, you can deploy your online store right that instant and start selling on the internet. But at the same time, you have a great possibility that this solution will be not as cheap in the long run, as it was in the beginning. Off-the-shelf solutions can have limited functionality and you’ll need to pay for additional features or monthly fees. Besides, your ready-made online store may have a lot of free functionality that you don’t need at all and won’t use ever!
If we’re talking about custom software, this will cost you more at the very beginning and take more time to develop, deploy, and implement it in your business workflow. But nonetheless, custom software solutions may be the only thing that will grant you the opportunity of scaling your business on the market, enhancing your profits and the client’s base. With this, your online store will have an ultimate competitive advantage in the form of software that fully meets your needs, business goals, and client’s requirements.
Remember About Your Business Strategy When Creating an Online Store
We hope that you chose the custom software, but even if you didn’t you need to remember that for going digital on A+ your software has to fit in the business goals and needs. This is important since any technology adoption, doesn’t matter how complex it is, will define further effectiveness of your software and your business as a whole.
Yes, it is relevant for software of any kind as we’ve said before. But there are some differences in online store development, especially if you want it to be successful.
Try to go back in time to how it was in the beginning when you first decided that you need to go online. Remember why you wanted to start this business, what is (and what was) the market situation, and what you can do to enhance your website success. Recall the base of your business strategy: what the goals, main advantages, and plans for the future are.
It is not always about marketing (we’ll talk about it a bit later), but about whether the website fits your needs. If your online store has quick delivery and order processing as an advantage – consider adding a feature for tracking orders to the website. If you’re planning to wholesale add a possibility to make a list of desired goods.
Remember about just how much you can change your business by adding one little feature that can improve its effectiveness or, on the contrary, make it lower. A lot of registration forms to fill, the need to verify data on every step, inconvenient payment methods… All these things are a must if you want to scare your customers away forever.
Include Unique Features Into Your Online Store
We’re talking not only about unique specifications of your business. Of course, they’re affecting your competitive edge but graphs about your successful solutions from your business presentation won’t impress anyone on the internet. What will, though, are the things your website is capable of. With this in mind, you may consider adding innovative technologies into the custom software (if you’ve chosen it), and take a closer look at the benefits that innovative technologies (ML, AI, blockchain), gamification, augmented reality, and other interesting trends in the marketplace segment can provide.
Let’s look at it through a more practical example: from MassMedia Group experience as a software development company we can tell you about the project we worked on recently. It was an interesting niche marketplace that works in the car-selling industry. They had it all: outstanding slogan, thoughtful logo, and domain – everything and even a bit more. But the real advantage was an artificial intelligence implemented into the software. This technology pulled up all the necessary information about the product based on its serial number.
AI helped them simplify the search engine, allowed the client to see all the necessary information about the selected purchase and make their work with the online store much more quick.
If we’re talking about augmented reality then a really good example will be Sephora – a well-known online store for cosmetics. With this technology they let their clients try on make-up right in the application.
Such things can become a bonus in the competitive race. Most important thing: take it seriously and with a little drop of your creativity. Then your online store will be one of the top, no doubt.
Develop a Marketing Strategy for Promoting Your Online Store
It is as important for your online store success as a business strategy, so let’s start from the beginning. The target audience is your first step. It is crucial if you want to outstand the competitors, if you know who your audience is you will be able to conduct successful promo campaigns, sales, and make the scaling and promoting of your online store quicker.
If you’re targeting a certain group of people it’ll be easier for you to understand how to form a design of your future online store in the first place. But we’ll talk about design in a minute, and for now, let’s get back to the marketing itself.
Remember that marketing strategy should change with technology implementation as well as the business strategy. Pay attention to online advertising! For maximum effectiveness of your internet and social media marketing create good content and
Make Your Online Store Well-Designed
Just two fair and really important points.
First: design must be smooth. The most trending solutions today are pop and minimalistic design but if your audience doesn’t really care about it then maybe consider using soft lines and colors on your online store.
Second: pay attention to the colors you use. You need to use more of your corporate colors, yes, but remember that they can affect your audience and their perception of your online store. For example, red will make you seem more confident and blue will accent your reliability and build the customers’ trust.
And to more obvious things: your site’s design must be easy to use, fast and smooth. Don’t do extra – try to keep it simple and memorable. Don’t write everything – better show everything. Your clients won’t read all about your lifestyle and success story, but they’d gladly watch a video. And remember that the photos of your products must be your forte if you have an online store.
Find a Reliable Technical Partner for Online Store Development
It doesn’t matter if you chose off-the-shelf or custom solution – your software provider must be a person you can rely on. Working with a technical partner and without a certain level of technical background behind you, having confidence in their actions is a must. This will help you cut costs on the features you don’t need and excess unneeded works.
And if you’ll find a technical partner who is ready to provide you with both technical and business expertise – you won a jackpot! Cooperation with them will help you build a clear understanding of what should be in your software, and what you don’t exactly need to put in there. A reliable technical partner will be committed to your project, hence, will provide you with better and more quality solutions, find the most needed in your software features, and make your online store more beneficial in general. Besides, they will help you analyse the market and your competitors so you can be on your toes at all times.
Post-release evolution can also affect the quality of your online store development since you’ll be able to grow and better your online store considering market changes. So don’t delay and go check what possibilities for software improvements you can get from cooperation with a reliable technical partner.
Now when you know how to develop your perfect online store and lead it to success, there is nothing but a tiny little thing remaining: the start of work. With these simple tips you already have a chance for success and it will multiply with each of your working decisions.
So go and reach for the stars making even the boldest dreams of yours come true!
online shopping concept -DepositPhotos