For the past few years, people have become more and more comfortable with the process of shopping online. Now, in 2021, online shopping has become the norm for most people due to the global pandemic restrictions.
With that in mind, 2021 is an ideal time to start your online store. Unfortunately, this means the competition for selling online is higher than ever, so you’ll need all the help you can get to be successful.
This article will give you a head start with some top tips on building a successful online store in 2021.
Simple Tips for Building an Effective Online Store
1.Select a Niche
It can be tempting to go too broad when deciding on the types of products to sell in your store, but this usually proves to be a bad idea. If you go super-broad, you then compete with the likes of Amazon, who sell multiple products in different categories.
A better approach is to think of how you can position yourself as the “go-to” shop for a specific set of products. By building your store around just a single category, you become more of a specialist in the eyes of your customers.
This step takes a large amount of research because you still need to be sure the products you choose to sell will be in demand. Using keyword research tools and checking the best-selling products on Amazon can give you an idea of what products could be in demand.
Google trends can also help check whether a particular type of product is currently trending or has seasonal peaks and troughs.
2. Be Human
No matter what niche you choose, you will likely come up against some competitors with huge reach, advertising budgets, and buying power. In most cases, trying to compete with such big sites on price and selection of products will be a losing battle.
The good news is you will have one significant advantage over them: a personal touch. The big players like Amazon and Alibaba are usually too big to offer a truly personalized experience to their customers.
As a smaller store, you have the chance to inject a more human touch into the shopping experience. Using videos recorded by yourself or staff is a nice way to engage customers. You can also use LiveChat software to be available to answer questions from your store’s visitors.
Finally, being flexible when it comes to customer requests is yet another way of adding a personal touch that those big guys won’t usually do. Overall, your aim is to make shopping with you a more pleasant and less robotic experience.
3. Design your Store to stand Out
There are so many online stores using the same themes, templates, and image styles. None of these stores will ever live long in their customers’ memory, and it can be hard even to tell them apart. As a result, customers simply won’t care which one they purchase from.
To gain an advantage over the competition, you can use branding and design elements to make your store look that bit more impressive than the rest. Using high-quality, attention-grabbing images, a professional logo, and a unique design-scheme will contribute to creating a brand that customers will want to be loyal to.
Don’t worry; you won’t need to spend thousands hiring graphic designers and web developers to get your store looking amazing. There are sites like DepositPhotos where you can grab great images at a low price, you can design your logo with www.logocreator.io, and store builders like Shopify and WordPress make it simple to customize the look of your website.
Just remember that unique designs don’t need to be complicated, so make sure you make the site simple to navigate and intuitive to use.
4. Use SEO and Content Marketing
Search engine optimization is an area where a lot of online stores are sorely lacking. Generally, e-commerce businesses put most of their attention towards getting traffic from paid advertising and social media.
Both paid ads and social are great, but you’re missing out on a large slice of cheap (free once you’ve done the work) and targeted traffic. Organic traffic from Google can bring you a stream of highly-targeted traffic on autopilot once your products and pages rank in the search results.
To take advantage of this kind of traffic, you’ll want to ensure all of your product categories and product pages are optimized for search engines. Including the right keywords, labeling headings properly, and writing helpful content is a good place to start.
Taking things further, you can use content marketing to drive even more traffic to your store by ranking in Google for search terms related to your products.
For example, a DIY store may post an article titled “how to install an electric shower”. This article can then link to any tools or materials required that are for sale in the store. As a bonus, helpful articles build trust and authority with your viewers. People will always be more likely to purchase from somebody they trust and consider an industry-expert.
You will need a lot of patience for SEO tactics to bear fruit as it can take months for a new piece of content to rank highly in Google. On the plus side, the more articles you rank, the easier it becomes for new ones to rank, and you can start to bring in waves of website traffic for free.