Ask someone to think of an online shopping facility and we bet you any money they’ll say “Amazon”. Okay, maybe some of them will say eBay. But we very much doubt they’re going to give you the name of another store.
This article isn’t a “how-to” for starting an online store. It assumes you’ve already found your niche and already have a hosting spot with e-commerce features. This article is about making your online store stand out.
Achieve premium user experience
Many independent online stores had a web designer create the visuals of their website. But how the website looks isn’t everything. While a web designer will have user experience in mind, there are many designers out there who specialise in user experience.
A UX (user experience) design is so distinct that it is actually its own discipline. People don’t always just do “web and UX design” – you can hire a web designer and a UX designer. Both are extremely important for an online store. If you only had a standard web designer look at your website, you might want to look into some UX testing. If the results aren’t what you want, hire a UX developer to work their magic.
Make sure your branding is widespread
Online marketing is something people go on about a lot. And, obviously, spreading the word online is extremely important. But here’s something unique about online stores. You are actually sending physical products to people. They are giving you their address and allowing you to send them something. Sure, you need to make sure the item arrives fast and in perfect condition, and yes, that will help them remember you. But is that everything?
Get unique, branded shipping boxes and carton boxes for postage and packaging. If you’ve got an amazing logo for your website, make sure it’s there on the box when they receive it! I’m assuming you’ve ordered something from Amazon in your lifetime. You wait and and wait, then all of a sudden you see that Amazon packaging. Your heart skips a beat. It’s that micro-moment that you want to instill in your customers. They should see your logo and connate it with joy!
Maintain a personality
I’ll refer to online marketing again here. The Internet is stuffed full of articles about social media presences and SEO. Well, don’t ignore these! They’re very important. People often dismiss this arena when it comes to maintaining an online store. Why does an online store need friendly banter with others? If we have good products at good prices, they’ll come to us!
We refer again to the point of this article: making your website unique and memorable. Social media and blogging are tactics you can use to do this. When your website stays in the minds of others, it will be the first port of call when they want to shop for something you’re selling. Look at this interaction between a customer and UK retailer Argos over Twitter in 2014. That is priceless personality and media attention! Keep a Twitter page going and make sure it’s humourous. You should also consider keeping a blog on your store’s page. A blog allows you room to show off more of that humour and personality – as well as speak highly of some of your products!