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What do you need to know before launching an eCommerce store?

by William Beel

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As with any online business, the first thing you need is a great website, but that’s not where you stop. There are plenty of other little things you need to do that can make or break your store and result in lost customers. In no particular order:

1) Add social media links prominently throughout the site

The number one reason why people shop on Amazon is that they know it’s nearly impossible to screw up their purchase by selecting the wrong thing. That doesn’t that there aren’t plenty of other reasons to buy there, but the first reason is always going to be that they trust Amazon.

The fear of screwing up an order on your store is what holds people off from buying anything at all. Customers are less likely to spend their money if they’re unsure about how things work, and they may also be afraid of leaving your store and losing their cart. The last thing you want is unhappy customers, so make sure you provide ways for them to contact you in case something goes wrong with their purchase.

2) Take advantage of social proof

You don’t have a huge brand name behind your site, so you must make your website do as much work as possible for you. Your best bet here may be to put up testimonials and media coverage your store has received. Depending on how much content you want to have, you can do it on a dedicated page or the About Us section.

3) Promote their social presence prominently

If you do things right, people could start mentioning your site all over the place, and then you’ll have an excellent opportunity to use this social proof as well. Make it easy for them, though, by either including links or using something like AddThis buttons that they can add to their website to help spread the word about your site. These little things encourage them to promote your site, too, since they’ve already got a stake in its success. Check RemoteDBA.com for help. 

4) Let customers pay with their preferred currency

Most people want to feel like they’re getting the best deal, which is why many people prefer to shop locally. Unfortunately, this isn’t realistic with eCommerce since you have to have your store available in as many currencies as possible.

Some customers are happy paying extra to use their preferred currency. So it’s worth adding a feature that’ll show them how much of a premium they’ll be paying upfront rather than expecting them to figure it out themselves (in which case they may never go through with it).

5) Add an FAQ page and support email address prominently on every page

Most people don’t know what questions they have until after they’ve already gone through all of the trouble of figuring things out for themselves. That makes it essential for you to have a good FAQ page and contact information available at all times.

6) Keep shipping costs transparent and straightforward

Most people won’t be too happy if they’re getting charged extra eCommerce store for the privilege of having their order delivered in under 2-3 weeks as opposed to 4-6, especially when those numbers are pulled out of nowhere. Make yourself look better by making your shipping policies as transparent and straightforward as possible so that there’s no room for error here.

7) Allow customers to save their shopping carts between visits

It might sound like a nice feature, eCommerce store but it’s pretty important since you don’t want people adding things to their cart one day only to discover that they can’t find what they added when they come back later that week. It’s also a good idea to allow people to save their log-in information, so they don’t have to re-enter all of their info every time they return.

8) Make it easier for them to contact you

Although you want customers to reach out if they need help eCommerce store, some people will never give up trying to figure things out on their own before giving up and going elsewhere. So you need to show your contact information prominently and make sure that there aren’t any unnecessary roadblocks in the way before someone gets in touch with you (such as requiring a captcha before showing your phone number).

9) Provide multiple ways to pay eCommerce store

The last thing you want is for potential customers to feel like your store is making it hard on them in some way or another. One of these common-sense things is allowing people as many ways as possible to pay for their purchases (such as credit cards, PayPal, etc.). Of course, you also need to make sure that you have a reasonable conversion rate on every one of these third-party payment options so that they’re coming back later and telling other people about their experiences with your store.

10) Filter search results by category and price

For most stores, filtering search results by category and price will give customers precisely what they want without making them hunt through all of your listings manually. You don’t need to have all of the subcategories turned on by default, but giving people the ability to narrow down their search like this is always a good idea.

11) Show shipment status details for every product

If you’ve ever shopped around online, then chances are pretty good eCommerce store that at some point in time, you had something delivered, and it wasn’t exactly what you were expecting it to be. Most companies will try to fix things as quickly as possible (if they’re responsible), but having a shipment status page for your store means that customers can see exactly where their order is in the process and how soon they can expect it to arrive. Plus, if there’s an issue with one of your products getting delayed or lost in transit, you want to give people the ability to see this ASAP (so that they don’t hold back payment or leave negative product reviews).

12) Don’t be afraid to ask for customer feedback

Like with every other aspect of your store, getting feedback from customers can help you improve as time goes on. Not only does it allow you a second set of eyes on things, but it also gives more experienced eCommerce business owners valuable tips about how they could do certain things better. So don’t hesitate to reach out and get some additional insight whenever you feel that your store could use improvements in one way or another.

And that’s about all of them! Well, perhaps we should add one more because there’s always room for one last thing.

13) Work to earn the trust of your customers

This point is so important that we wrote an entire article dedicated to it in the past (so check that out if you want a more extensive breakdown of this idea). As you may already know, having happy and loyal customers will take you a long way as far as business is concerned because word-of-mouth advertising is still the best form there is. From providing helpful customer support to making things right when problems arise (if they ever do), doing all of these things consistently will make people come back again later on down the road. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, though; just start small with some simple steps and build upon those over time. Another Option is to provide easy delivery options to your end customers. Stowfly, a network of shops and stores that offers out-of-home delivery options as well. Orders are safely received and handed over to your end customers avoiding the problems of missed deliveries and missing packages USPS.

And there you have it! Hopefully, all of these tips will help your eCommerce store grow and improve daily, not to mention that they may help you avoid some potential pitfalls along the way. Granted, some are more important than others, so don’t worry too much about every single one of them if you can’t accomplish everything at once, okay? All we’re saying is that doing things this way makes sense for most businesses, so try to follow the advice given here as best as possible.  

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