Nov 2nd, 2022
Creating an online store is easier now than ever before. With platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce, and local players like Boutir and Shopline, the prospect of turning your business idea into a reality can happen with a push of a couple buttons (and maybe some coding!). When it comes to running a branded Ecommerce store, it’s important to remember that it takes more than just uploading your products onto a website. Here are 5 tips to help maximize your potential and grow your brand, your revenue, and your online store.
First impressions matter and it’s critical that you make a good one! It’s important to be creative and make sure that your website is visually appealing when users first access your site.
It takes only a split second for users to make a decision whether they’ll continue interacting with your site, so you’ll want to make sure the first thing they see will represent your brand and grab their attention. By building up your brand’s style and core values, this will ensure that customers remember and will want to revisit your site in the future.
Aspects that can discourage users from carrying on their interactions are things like text heavy banners, pixelated or skewed images, or a distracting colour palette. To ensure that your site has a unified look and feel, it’s imperative to have a brand guideline and design brief. This will include things like iterations of your brand logo, brand typography, brand colour palette, as well as general brand information and direction.
Left: Fjallraven, Center: Hunter Boots, Right: North Face
Apart from a visually appealing website, you’ll also want to remember that user experience is important – after all, there’s no point in having a pretty website if the user doesn’t know where to go to shop your products!
When planning your website it’s important to think of how the user will navigate through your website. Most importantly, you want to ensure that users aren’t bouncing directly from the landing page and that they are continuing to browse your site. There’s a multitude of questions you can come up with but some questions you can start thinking about to enhance user experience might be – What will users want to look at first? What important information will users be looking for when shopping your items? What items are you trying to push? How can you keep the user engaged – more visuals and less text?
Some good user experience features we can suggest are items such as homepage banners with call to action buttons, “Filter By” options on your shop pages, product information drop-downs, as well as product suggestions to keep users browsing.
Top: Glossier, Middle: Princess Polly, Bottom: Reformation
With user experience, it’s worth remembering that it’s not a one-off process but a trial and error project. The way that users interact with your site over time will give you a better picture of what you can improve or change to make the site more user friendly. Some tools that you can use to track UIUX performance are platforms like Google Analytics and Hotjar. Additionally, for merchants on Shopify, Shopify also provides reports and analytics that you can use alongside these other platforms.
Left: Aritzia 2020, Right: Aritzia 2017
Just like there are specialist doctors who deal with specific ailments of the body, investing in a dedicated Ecommerce and web development team to look after your online store is essential to running your website.
Every change you make on your online store will require time to plan and execute, which is why it’s important that you have a team who are skilled in handling these changes. Minor changes can have large repercussions on your online store when done incorrectly and can affect your overall site performance and experience. The last thing you want is your customers experiencing an error accessing your website.
In addition to the technical side, you’ll also want to make sure you have a team handling operational needs such as logistics and inventory, payment and transactions, and marketing and branding.
If you did hire an ecommerce agency or web development agency for building the online shop, they should take your daily operation, including changing the website content for marketing campaigns, into consideration. The agency should also give you enough training and guidance to make sure your team can manage the daily operations efficiently. Please keep in mind that at the end of the day, there should be someone who is taking the lead on managing and maintaining the site.
With that in mind, which Ecommerce platform you choose to host your online store will also play a part in the type of maintenance and operations you’ll need. If you’re still trying to figure out which platform to be on, check out our article Boutir, Shopline, Shopify: Which Platform is Better for 2020 and Beyond in Hong Kong?
To conclude, a dedicated ecommerce and web development team is certainly needed, either in-house or outsource. If you need to outsource the ecommerce operation or web development, please contact us.
Time sensitive offers are a great way to convert users into customers. When given discounts, it’s likely that users will convert into customers to benefit from the special offer. Regardless of your method in providing discounts, the main goal is to maximize potential revenue and growing your customer base for remarketing in the future.
Discounts and offers that can be provided can range from welcome discounts to holiday/seasonal discounts and the method of offering them can be different. For example, welcome discounts can be used to convert new users to customers whilst simultaneously collecting emails to build up your customer base.
Holiday and seasonal discounts on the other hand can be offered sitewide to all users, new and returning, to convert and to grow revenue during special periods. When offering any sort of seasonal discount, it’s important to plan and set a sales goal to ensure that you’re making returns on sales. Using historical data of product sales, you can figure out how large of a discount you can offer and even which best selling products are exempt from the discount.
For new users who are unfamiliar with your brand, customer testimonials can be a powerful tool to convert on the fence users into customers. As shopping transitions online and customers are unable to physically interact with your products, having customer testimonials and reviews can boost consumer confidence and brand trustworthiness. Additionally, reviews can help users determine whether the product is right for them and potentially minimize return rates. From a search engine perspective, product reviews that appear on search engines will also help with your sites SEO.
To encourage users to generate feedback and testimonials, it’s important that communication with customers is made promptly. Once they receive their product, this should trigger an email to be sent to ask them to leave a product review. To further incentivise and encourage customers to leave reviews, you can consider using coupons, discounts, or loyalty points in exchange for their feedback.
All in all, despite how easy it may be to create an online store nowadays, there’s more to running an online store than just simply uploading products onto your website. We’ve listed out five suggestions here to consider, but it’s important to remember that it’s all a trial and error process to grow and scale your store.
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