Getting into the business of selling retail is never easy, but with the growing popularity of online stores it has become easier. At least, it looks that way if you are looking for the outside. After all, all you need to do is find the right product, make a website and sit back and collect the money, right? If you work in online retail you know that nothing could be further from the truth. It is hard work, many fail and those who succeed do so because they pay attention to what works and what doesn’t.
Getting a customer to the point of sale online can be a long process and it is filled with many pitfalls along the way. But there are a few basics that anyone should know before venturing into the deep waters of online retail. Here are a few that most online retail store owners will agree are important basics when it comes to succeeding online in retail.
Make Your Site Easy to Navigate
There is nothing worse than going onto a site that is selling something you actually want to buy and not being able to figure out how to navigate the site to find the information you want. It might not be that you want to buy right away. You might be on the site because you want to find out who the local distributor is for this product. You might need to know where it is located so you can see the product in person.
But if you cannot find this information easily, you just may give up and look for that product you wanted from someone else. No matter how good you think the product you are selling is, or how popular it is, you need to be sure that your site is clear about what they need and how to find it. The page that is called About Us does tell them just that. The catalog page is not mistaken for a page of information and they know exactly how to order what they want. The web is filled with badly designed websites that will never be a success because the customer can’t navigate them successfully.
Make Your Site Easy on the Eyes
A webstore is working at a disadvantage; your customer can’t touch your product. It has to make up for this shortcoming with great images. Your photos of the product should always be done professionally and with an eye to making them look inviting.
Color and light will play an important role in this. Having a photographer who knows how to shoot products for the web in specific will be key. Don’t underestimated how valuable having great images, a smart design and a website that speaks professionally will help you to sell your products.
Have a Marketing Plan
Finally, even if you have a great site that is easy to navigate and lovely to look at, can potential customers find it? In the same way that a great billboard can help your customers to find you, good marketing online can help you to connect with potential buyers. Have a plan, and make sure it includes social media, email marketing and a bit of community building along the way.