The competition in the retail business of today is more than fiery and the biggest rivalries can be found online. Even websites that had been trading for years are running into difficulties and they are forced to shut down so a newbie on the scene will have to have their work cut out for them. Any enthusiastic entrepreneur needs to acknowledge the main features his online shopping platform must have in order to succeed in the online retail business. The road to success is by no means easy but if you stick to the following guidelines you stand a huge chance of coming out on top in a relatively short period.

The importance of a good product description

Posting and advertising thousands if items for sale can tedious at times, so people are tempted to cut corners by simplifying the description and the name of the product. For instance, if you are selling an office swivel chair with an adjustable backrest, you could just write “office chair” in the description box. Such a move will significantly decrease the chances of anyone finding the chair either by browsing the office “furniture category” or typing in the type of chair he or she needs in the search box.

You are probably aware of the importance of SEO on Google by now but you ought to know that search optimization is important on online retail websites as well. Let your hand go and imagine you are writing a novel because you are not setting down mere words, but keywords that will help people find your merchandise. Have a talk with the webmaster in order to improve the search box as much as possible.

A picture is worth a thousand words

You can have the longest and the most exhaustive product description possible but it’s not accompanied with great pictures, then you’re products are less likely to sell fast. Human are visual learners and often it is enough for us to the shape of an item like a teapot or a car and we will instantly know what the object in the image is. By posting clear images that are large enough and not blurred, you are ensuring that your marketing message is put across fast. That is why hiring a professional photographer will help a lot not just when it comes to image quality but you will benefit from the uniformity of all images on your website, thus establishing an unmistakable visual identity.


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The call-to-action button in the dead center

An online shopping platform needs to have a well-chosen and a well-positioned call-to-action button or buttons. In most cases, you are going to place the search bar in the center of the page because that is going to be the feature that visitors are immediately going to go for. In addition, you can have an outline of the most popular categories on either side of the homepage so your website can be browsed by desired categories as well.

Proper storage space

A major advantage of online trading is the fact that you don’t need to have a physical location of the store. Of course, you should list all the contact details on the website, including the exact address, phone number, and an e-mail even if you don’t sell offline. This is done for reasons of credibility to assure potential clients that you are not running a scam but that you merely wish to avoid tete-a-tete contact with your clientele (and the tax inspectors).

The fact that you don’t have an actual store doesn’t imply that you are selling mist but items that, by all means, needs to be stored somewhere. Unless you are willing to pay high rental fees, running your own warehouse will require a lot of work that you have to be prepared for. Transporting fragile boxes and crates would be impossible without the right materials handling equipment that you have to own from day one. Even if your beginnings are humble and you are running the online retail operation from your garage or basement, you are still going to have to take great care about logistics.

Simplifying the ordering process

Once a customer settles on a particular item he or she likes and they click “order” or “buy,” you need to ensure that it is all smooth sailing from there.  The button should be large enough to notice immediately and the number of pages that subsequently open should be decreased to a bare minimum. Firstly take the address of shipping and contact info and then allow the client to fill out the necessary information regarding the credit card payment. Any additional info should not be mandatory but optional, such as polls, quizzes or personal preferences. People visiting your online shopping platform need to leave the website happy they have made the purchase in the shortest time possible.

“You might like as well…”

Not burdening your clients with additional shopping options doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t exist. Just take a look at how people passionately collect coupons they receive at supermarkets and you will realize that there are many fervent shoppers out there. For those people who want more from an online shopping experience include links to other product and product categories they might like. You, something like that pop-up: “people who bought this product also liked …” The content on the website should be interlinked and each product should have links leading to similar items. By including these features on the website, customers will get the impression that you care about their preferences and shopping habits.

The final piece of advice we can give you is to update your online presence. If you are passionate about starting your online retail business then you will have no trouble logging in every day to add new items or improve the description of the existing ones. Also, try to be in vogue by starting seasonal sales or offering holiday decorations. In other words, the person opening pages on our shopping platform needs to recognize the dedication and hard work you have put in the success of your enterprise.

Posted by Miley Dowling

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