We are frequently approached by business owners who already have an established high street store and are looking to build a complimentary online business. The skills and activities that made your bricks and mortar retail store a success are not necessarily the things that will determine success for you in the online world of eCommerce. Sure, some areas will directly transfer over, but there are many new areas to be considered.
So, what are the essentials that you need to build a successful online store?
Click! It’s not only mouse clicks that count. Just as physical merchandising is crucial for a bricks and mortar store, original high-quality photography will make your online store standout from the crowd and helps to reflect your brand and products. You’ll need a mix of product imagery and general imagery for the relevant areas around your site. Great photography helps to build trust with your customers and can mean the difference between a completed checkout and an abandoned cart.
There’s a great post here on how to best approach the challenge of taking great product photography for your eCommerce store.
- Responsive Design
With almost 40% of all online shopping completed over mobile devices, and over 80% of product research performed on mobile, it is essential that your eCommerce store can provide a great viewing experience to all your customers regardless of whether they are viewing it on mobile, tablet, or desktop. Shopify allows you to build a beautifully responsive store allowing all your customers browse and buy from your store from any device.
The overall look and feel of your online store should reflect your own brand, the range of products you are selling and also be flexible enough to be adaptable to your needs as you build your business online. The range of professionally designed and supported themes for Shopify store owners is hugely impressive. Spend some time browsing the various options here and take note of your favourite online stores that you like the look and feel of. We can help match these to the best Shopify themes available.
A little word that means a lot. Metadata refers to the all the information relating to the products that you want to sell on your online store. The more details the better as this will help you categorise, merchandise, promote, cross-sell and up-sell your product range. It is usually straighforward to get a data export from your existing instore systems, and Shopify makes it easy to import these into your online store.
It’s worthwhile giving some thought to who in your company will be responsible for managing your new eCommerce store when it is up and running. Shopify makes the day-to-day running of the store really simple, but there will always be tasks to do such as product promotions, new blog posts, outbound marketing mailings, new products to be added, online advertising etc. It’s best to get whoever in your team will be responsible for this when the store is trading to be involved at the very start of the project as this helps engagement and ownership and ultimately sets you up for success.
If you’d like to discuss how to build your new online store, or upgrade your existing one, please contact us here – we’d love to hear from you!