It has never been easier to sell products online than today. The initial investment is fairly low, setting up a store can be done in less than 30 minutes and there are countless potential products to sell. That’s why so many people test this business model and many of them manage to make a whole lot of money with it. If you want to learn how you can sell more online, too, check out these clever e-commerce tips that teach you how to make the most out of your online shop.
Learn how you can make up to $95.000 a month (!) with a dropshipping business on Shopify.
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E-commerce Tips That Sell
One of the most popular e-commerce platforms is Shopify. It is very affordable and super easy to set up an online store and manage it, even for absolute beginners. Since I can highly recommend Shopify from my own experience, the following tips are based on it. However, I tried to keep them as general as possible.
Head over to Shopify to get your free 14-day trial period today!
1. Focus on one Niche
It’s easier to focus on a certain niche and become an expert in that area than to offer each and everything you can find. People are more willing to pay higher prices if they believe you know what you are doing.
For example, if you want to sell an expensive watch, it looks way better next to other pieces of jewelry, instead of right next to furniture, books, or kids’ toys.
Extra Tip: Check out this post on how to find profitable dropshipping products to get a better understanding of what type of products work best.
2. Define Your Desired Customer
Before you touch anything, sit down and think about your ideal customer. Think about the age range, interests, financial situation, dreams, and what motivates them to purchase. Write down all of those characteristics.
This avatar will help you to design your products and your storefront. It will help you to write content for your online store and is necessary to come up with effective marketing campaigns.
3. Find Right Partners
If you source your products from another retailer or manufacturer, make sure they are delivering high-quality products only. The same goes for your shipping partners. They need to be absolutely reliable and fast. Customers don’t appreciate waiting for their orders for weeks.
In case your customers have any problems, either with the products or the delivery, they will blame it on you. You are responsible for all involved processes. If partners don’t perform the way they are supposed to, let them go and find new ones. This is absolutely crucial for your business.
4. Build a Pre-Launch Email List
Before you launch your online store, make sure you will have a decent audience to present it to. For instance, you could create a landing page or use social media to generate an email list of people who are interested in your products.
You can use the time before launch to get your audience excited about your products, share ideas with them, and keep them updated about the development process. You could even let them be part of the process and ask them for feedback on certain details, like the packaging.
This will make your early adopters feel special. In the best case, influencers are willing to recommend your store as soon as it goes live.
If you have no idea how to start a pre-launch list, check out how Harry`s, a men’s grooming brand, managed to gather almost 100,000 email addresses in only one week.
5. Simplify Your Design
I know you want to give your everything. You have tons of information and design ideas and there are so many fancy plugins and addons available on Shopify and other platforms. But this can easily lead to an information overflow and confusion.
Do yourself and your customers a favor and keep it as simple as possible. Your online store should be clear, straightforward, and easy to navigate.
6. Share Your Story
Especially, when you have a unique or new product, people want to know who is behind it. Don’t be shy to tell about your story, your vision, why you sell the product, and what it means to you.
Showing your face and personality sets you apart from your competitors and makes you human. Your customers get the chance to identify with you and are more likely to trust you.
7. Give Your Online Store a Personality
Again, find ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors and become unique. Create an online store (or even better a brand) that visitors won’t forget. Something that sticks to their head and that they automatically connect when they think about the product.
When you sell products that are very similar to what everybody else is selling, your store personality can make a difference.
8. Use High-Quality Pictures
Blurred images, messy backgrounds, or bad lighting look unprofessional. The visual appeal is so so important!
If that’s something you need to improve, go and hire a photographer with experience in commercial/product photography. If you don’t want to make that investment right now, at least learn how to do professional photos yourself. Shopify has a great guide for product photography.
Extra Tip: If you have 360° views of your products or videos of them, even better!
9. Selling Descriptions
Boring or super short product descriptions don’t sell. No surprise here. Make sure you give potential customers all the information they are looking for. Even if something seems to be obvious to you, write it down. The more details, the more chances are to convince a visitor to buy the product.
However, make sure you are not giving 5 pages of block text. Use bulleted and numbered lists to make it easy to skim through. Make sure your product descriptions are written in a positive, selling tone.
If you don’t know how to do so, check out this guide by Oberlo. Alternatively, you could also hire a professional copywriter to help you out.
10. Master SEO
If people google your products, you have to be on page number one of the search results. Page number 7 just won’t do.
Even if you are brilliant in social media and manage to drive traffic from there to your online store. You need to perform well in search engines, too.
You can either learn how to improve your Shopify SEO with the brilliant tips Giles of Whole Design Studios has for you, or hire a professional SEO manager to improve your store.
11. Integrate a Blog
Talking about search engines again:
Having a beautiful store with great product descriptions and stunning images is absolutely necessary. But there is more you can do in terms of content.
If you publish regular blog posts, you can drive a ton of traffic via SEO to your store. For instance, you could write about innovative features, give tips on how to use certain products, or compare two similar items. This will bring people to your store who are still in the stage of information gathering. If your article and store are convincing, they might end up buying straight away or at least come back for more information.
12. Sharing Buttons
This tip might sound very simple. However, it is super effective. Make sure you have big social sharing buttons on your product pages. People love to share great experiences and ideas with friends and family.
Make it easy for them by inserting appealing visuals and call-to-actions, for example: “Like this awesome fitness watch? Do us a favor and share it with your friends!”.
13. Make it Mobile Friendly
It is absolutely necessary that your online shop is responsive. That means it looks equally nice on desktops, phones, and tablets. Around 50% of your future customers will check out your shop on their mobile devices. If it looks odd, they won’t be bothered to buy something, let alone check it again on their desktops.
Luckily, many Shopify templates are already responsive so you don’t have to do anything. Still, make sure to test your shop on different devices and see if everything looks right.
14. Test Your Shop
And that brings us to the next e-commerce tip:
Nothing screams “unprofessional” more than bugs somewhere on your page. Malfunctions will scare your annoyed potential customers away and can cause bad reviews. That’s the last thing you want.
Test every single link and every single button before you go live with your online store and schedule regular tests afterward to make sure your shop operates smoothly.
15. Have a Marketing Plan
If no one finds your store, you are not going to sell anything. That’s why it is important to create a professional marketing plan with reasonable goals.
That can include social media promotions, email marketing campaigns, online ads, giveaway events, or whichever methods reach many of your potential customers.
Also, don’t be afraid to invest (your profits) in marketing campaigns. If done correctly, it will definitely pay off.
16. Align Your Marketing Campaigns with Your Inventory
You have to make sure that all of your processes are coordinated. If you run a big marketing campaign that will very likely give you a huge traffic boost, make sure you have enough products in the store to be able to deal with the increased orders.
Nothing worse than losing potential customers because products are out of stock and they don’t want to wait until there are new ones available. Make sure the different processes in your business align with each other.
17. Be Active on Social Media
Hardly any online store survives today without being active on social media. You don’t need to be on every single platform. Pick two or three that work best for your products and potential customers and focus on them. Be responsive and reply to comments and messages.
For instance, Pinterest is great to drive traffic to your website. Facebook is brilliant to build community or raise brand awareness. And with Shopify, you can now easily tag your products directly on Instagram posts and thus, make them shoppable.
18. Be Present
If a customer stumbles upon your Shopify store by accident and has never heard of it before and google doesn’t list a single entry when looking for your name, they might be wondering if you are legit or a scam.
Get yourself out there. Try to get featured on popular blogs or in online magazines. Get your products shared and reviewed on social media, and answer questions on Quora. The more positive stuff people find about you online, the more they trust you.
19. Customer Service
Bad customer service can drive potential buyers away, stop existing ones from buying again, and even cause negative reviews.
How long does it take for you to reply to your customer’s emails? Do you offer live chats or callbacks? Can customers reach you on social media? How about office hours?
Your business might be online but your customers are still human. Make sure to have professional, friendly, and all in all amazing customer service in place.
Extra Tip: In case you want to hire a remote worker for your customer support tasks, check out the linked post to learn the best steps on how to do so.
20. Don’t Forget About Existing Customers
Yes, new customers are important to grow your business. But don’t make the mistake and forget about your existing ones. After all, they are responsible for 65% of your sales. If they like your shop, products, and the experience they have had with you, they are more likely to buy again and recommend you to others.
To keep them happy, you could, for example, send them personalized emails, hand out freebies with their purchase, stick a handwritten note to it or send a birthday email with a discount code for their next purchase.
Be creative and build a relationship. Make them feel special.
21. Listen to Your Customers
Every shop is different and can attract a different group of customers. Even when all trends and market researches tell you to stop selling a certain product and focus on a different one, don’t listen to it unconditionally.
They are important, don’t get me wrong. But you know your customers best. Listen to their feedback, analyze your own past sales and marketing strategies, and see what works best for your shop and your customers.
Upselling is a genius strategy that can increase your profits big time. This sales technique can be used for upgrades, add-ons, or more expensive products.
If your customer buys a fancy teapot, offer him matching drinking glasses or teabags with a new flavor, as well. That can also go along with a discount if he opts for the recommended additional product.
23. Constantly Improve Your Shop
You have probably spent ages on your design, your texts, and your functionalities. Now that it’s finally live and you are happy with it, all you want to do is sit back and relax.
I hate saying it, but there is ALWAYS room for development. Improve your SEO, update photos, look for ways to simplify navigation, analyze your sales, and promote the products that sell best on your homepage. Don’t stand still!
24. Track Your Results
If you don’t measure your results, you won’t be able to improve or find weak spots. Track where your traffic comes from, and which marketing strategies work well and which don’t. Adjust your campaigns accordingly.
Note what products your customers return often and see if you should stop selling them. What products are particularly popular? Promote them even more!
Are there any devices that perform significantly worse than before? Maybe there is a bug in the smartphone version of your shop that you weren’t aware of.
Track all of those numbers and see how they can help you to improve your online store.
25. Invest Money
Unfortunately, it’s true: You have to invest money if you want to make money. While today you surely don’t have to invest as much as you used to do to get your business off the ground, you will eventually reach a point where you can’t grow any further without investments.
That could be a customized theme for your shop, (Facebook) ads, a professional copywriter or SEO expert, a product photographer, or premium plugins. There are many ways to invest in your online shop in order to bring it to the next level.
Sell More Online With These Tips
As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your online store. Although, literally anyone can start an e-commerce business today with little investment; not everyone will be successful with it.
Only the ones that are persistent and constantly try to find new ways to improve their shop will be able to make good money with it. But once you have the hang of it, your potential earnings are sheer endless.
Ready to start your own online store, too? Head over to Shopify and get your 14-day trial (completely free!) right now!
Pssst…If you need help setting up your first online store, check out this guide for complete beginners.