Launching your very first eCommerce shop? Congratulations! It’s an exciting moment for sure!
However, it’s not as simple as pressing a “Launch” button and sitting back as you rake in orders and sales. There are plenty of things to consider–and that can get pretty stressful in a hurry!
But you don’t need to worry. Read this list of five best practices for launching an eCommerce shop for the first time to help you get started,. They’re proven to be effective in ensuring a successful opening!
Focus on the user experience.
Think of your website as your physical storefront. If you enter a shop and it’s messy, you’ll likely walk out, right? Take that same attitude with your website. If your customers can’t use it well, they’ll press “X” on their browser.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself when creating your site:
- Is your website easy to navigate and go through? Will customers know where to go when they’re looking for an item?
- Does your website have a search bar in case customers want to find items quickly?
- Can they press a quick checkout button or see the items in their cart easily?
- Do you accept more than one payment method?
- Are product descriptions concise, or are they too long and confusing?
There are many more you can ask yourself, but ultimately, make sure that everyone who visits your website will have a smooth experience. After all, your goal is to make them buy, right? They won’t do that if it feels hard to go through your site.
Use social media.
When planning to launch your eCommerce store, you have to make sure of something: that people already know it exists and what you’re selling! If you don’t have a pre-launch or a pre-sell, there’s no anticipation of the opening of your store. And that might mean no customers for a while, which is something you want to avoid.
The best way to create some anticipation is to tell everyone you know via social media. You can post it on your status, for example. You can also make a Facebook page or an Instagram profile and ask people to like or follow it. That way, people can stay updated when you’re planning to open your store and can be your first customers.
You also don’t have to use ALL social media channels. It will depend on where your target market hangs out. If for example, you’re selling to people who are in their 50s and up, it won’t make sense to make a TikTok account.
Here’s something to note: organic growth via social media can be a bit slow. You might be tempted to immediately dip your hand into paid ads or hire an email marketing agency for eCommerce as soon as you launch. After all, these methods are already proven to have very good conversions.
However, since you’re just launching, it is recommended that you stick with this for now. Once you have made back some of your investment, you can start thinking about paid methods. That way, you save money, and at the same time, you have more data that you can use for better ad and email targeting.
Use appealing images.
Since your shop is online, people won’t be able to touch or experience your products. The next best thing you can do for them is to show them high-quality photos. These will not only draw their eyes but also convince them to buy once they see the quality of the items.
To ensure that you have appealing images, shoot your items against a plain background so that there are no distractions. Shoot as many angles as you can to fully show what it looks like in real life.
And if you’re selling clothes, aside from shooting them against a plain background, try to get a friend–or yourself–to wear them. That will give prospective buyers an idea of how the item will look when worn.
While it is tempting to use third-party images or stock images for your items, it’s not recommended. For one thing, your store won’t stand out. For another, it also indicates a lack of effort on your part–and that might tell your customers that you won’t exert any effort when it comes to serving them.
Test everything before launching.
One more thing that is important to do before you officially launch is to go through your website one last time. That’s to see if everything is working. It’s better that you discover it now and have it fixed ASAP rather than your customers going through it and them not coming back as a result of the bug.
Some important things to test include:
- If your customers can create an account
- If your customer can check out
- If the images are loading
- If they’re receiving emails after placing orders or even making an account
- If you get a notification that customers have ordered an item so you can fulfill the order
These are the factors that will influence if the sale will push through or not. Some bugs can arise later, especially as you change up the website or add more items, but at least these will come AFTER the launch. You won’t have to think about them until much later.
Start small then build from there.
You might be thinking that an eCommerce shop should have as many items as possible when launching, right? That’s to make sure you get a lot of customers who are likely looking for different things.
Well, not exactly. It’s more important that you focus on selling a few things first that have actual product demand. That way, you can create quality content about those products that will convince your customers to buy them.
Plus, in case anything goes wrong with fulfillment, you can easily look for alternatives for a few items. Contrast that to having to find alternatives to a hundred different items that might have different distributors. The second scenario is more stressful, agree?
There are a lot more eCommerce best practices you can apply, but this article is a good starting point already. To sum things up, start small and focus on the things that will affect user experience and sales conversions. When you succeed at those things, that’s the time you can think about expanding and adding more products to your store.
This will ensure that your store will start on the right foot. Happy eCommerce shop launching!
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