Industry Insights

Top 9 Tips for Starting and Running an E-Commerce Store

By: Charlotte Couch
Jan 19, 2021 • 6 min read

Top 9 Tips for Starting and Running an E-Commerce Store

E-commerce is bigger and more successful than ever before. Hearing success stories about people opening their own online stores and becoming their own bosses sounds enticing. But is it too good to be true?

Like any other career pursuit, opening an e-commerce store is hard work. You need to invest time in research and planning. If you’ve always been curious about what it takes to open an e-commerce site, this blog post is for you! Read on to learn the top 9 best practices for starting and running an e-commerce store. 

person using iMac

1. Focus on Something You’re Passionate About

This might seem like a bit of a cliché or even a no-brainer, but you should make sure your e-commerce business is geared toward something you are truly passionate about. Whether knitting has always been your thing or you have discovered a fun new way to bake, you can channel that passion into a lucrative business.

Running an e-commerce business isn’t easy. And there might be times when you feel like giving up. Your passion for your product will be what helps you keep going and ultimately find success.

2. Use a Premium Web Hosting Platform For Your E-Commerce Store

There are dozens of web hosting platforms available for housing your e-commerce site. The most popular platforms include:

  •     Shopify
  •     BigCommerce
  •     Volusion
  •     Wix eCommerce
  •     Squarespace

If you’re new to building and managing websites, you’ll probably like Wix eCommerce the best, as it’s the most user-friendly out of the above options. Shopify is also popular among stores that have a large product offering. Dropshippers also prefer using Shopify.

woman sitting on brown wooden chair while using silver laptop computer in room

3. Remember the User Experience

As an e-commerce store, the entire customer experience lives online. This means you need to heavily invest in your website experience both on a laptop and through a mobile device. For instance, your site needs to be responsive to different screen sizes. Not only does it improve the user experience, but it also helps with SEO efforts.

You’ll want to keep your design clean and focused. Don’t overwhelm your visitors with an abundance of photos and graphics. There needs to be enough breathing room on each page so your visitors can understand your products and determine whether they are worth purchasing. An organized navigation bar and clear CTAs will also play instrumental roles in your company’s conversion rates.

4. Test Everything

Before launching your site, you will need to test its:

  •     Speed
  •     Responsiveness
  •     Navigation
  •     URLs
  •     Grammar
  •     Title tags/metadata
  •     Third-party integrations
  •     Server stability

The last thing you need to deal with is a website crash or faulty shopping cart page when you launch! So just make sure you’ve dotted your eyes and crossed your t’s with a quick test of the above features.

e-commerce store

5. Craft a Social Media Strategy

Your e-commerce site could offer the most innovative products or feature the most stunning design ever created, but it won’t bring you much money if people don’t know about it. That’s why you’ll need to develop a solid social media plan to help get the word out about your business.

If you aren’t familiar with paid and organic social media, we recommend taking some quick courses. The Facebook Blueprint Certification program will teach you everything you need to know about managing paid ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. The Google Ads certification can teach you how to build successful Google Search campaigns, which will also be essential for your business.  

6. Invest Time and Effort in SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) a marketing technique used to increase traffic to a website through organic search traffic. When people Google something, they typically only look through the first page of results. The higher a page ranks for a specific search term, the more clicks it will get. In the long run, this can help increase your sales rate.  

As an e-commerce site, you will want to try to rank for certain keywords. To do so, you need to optimize your site so that search engines can successfully crawl through and index it. To do this, businesses will:

  •     Write keyword-optimized title tags and meta descriptions.
  •     Regularly publish blog posts to help them rank higher for certain keywords.
  •     Add alt text to images.
  •     Add a Google My Business listing if they have a physical storefront in addition to their online store.

e-commerce store

7. Write Blog Posts For Your E-Commerce Store

In the previous point, we briefly touched upon blog posts. Not only are blog posts great for optimizing your site’s SEO, but they can also help you gain new customers. For instance, if you sell spa items like soaps or perfumes, you can write articles on self-care tips or blog posts offering advice on preparing for a successful year.

The first time a visitor stumbles upon your site, they might not purchase something. It might take a couple of visits before they make that desired conversion. But adding interesting and informative blog posts can help visitors keep coming back to your site. The more they become familiar with your brand, the more likely they will become loyal customers.

8. Encourage People to Subscribe to Your Newsletter

Building a large email list can help you turn one-time purchasers into loyal customers. Most businesses reel visitors in by offering a discount code to new buyers when they visit the website. You can also collect more subscribers during the checkout process when you ask for your customers’ emails.

e-commerce store

9. Establish Trust With Your Visitors

As a new start-up, you don’t have the benefit of enjoying a well-established brand reputation. New visitors are still getting to know your business and products. To help instill trust in these potential customers, you should add trust badges, press coverage, reviews, contact information, and an FAQ page on your website.

Reading reviews by other companies and customers can help assure visitors that you are a legitimate business. If they have any questions, they can either contact you directly or visit your FAQ page. Like any other endeavor, you will experience setbacks and challenges. But following these best practices can help set you up for success!

Have you ever considered opening an e-commerce store? What would you want to sell? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below!

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