5 Steps to Building an Ecommerce Store That Actually Sells
Online shopping has boomed in a big way. Last year, retail Ecommerce sales amounted to approximately $4.9 trillion worldwide – and that figure is expected to grow by 50% over the next four years.
If you’re already managing an Ecommerce website or hoping to start one, you’re probably considering how you’ll take advantage of this wave. Now’s a great time to jump on the bandwagon, but be careful.
For your Ecommerce website to succeed, you’ll need to give it a strategic, surefire launch. Otherwise, you risk pouring money into the site without garnering sufficient sales to turn a profit.
At Inbound Studio, we’ve seen countless Ecommerce stores, and we know what it takes to build a successful site. Here are five crucial steps to creating a store that actually sells.
1. Start with a Solid Foundation
We like to tell people that successful Ecommerce stores always start with rock-solid foundations. There are certain building blocks that can make or break your site, and it’s essential to identify your core blocks upfront.
If you want your Ecommerce store to have a great foundation, start by learning:
- What you’re selling
- Who your target audience is
- What your overall business goals are
Even the prettiest, trendiest websites out there won’t sell if they aren’t rooted in these concepts. Everything from your domain name to your store theme should reflect your brand messaging, so don’t make any moves until you’ve identified your core building blocks.
2. Prioritize Search Engine Optimization
Many Ecommerce store owners make the mistake of focusing on search engine optimization (SEO) after their website is already built and launched. The truth is, if you want to generate long-term revenue and traffic, this should be a priority from day one.
Some general SEO rules to incorporate in your online store:
- Conduct and incorporate keyword research
- Use optimized meta titles and descriptions
- Include main and LSI keywords in product descriptions
- Add valuable internal and external links
This just barely scratches the tip of Ecommerce SEO, but it’s a great starting place for anyone launching their store. For more information, feel free to reach out to our team.
Why should you focus on SEO early on? Well, if you don’t, online searchers and shoppers might not even find your website through Google. Poor search engine visibility can seriously damage your sales, especially if your Ecommerce brand is just finding its footing.
3. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
By the year 2024, it’s estimated that almost half (42%) of Ecommerce sales will be conducted on mobile devices. People are increasingly shopping on their smartphones and tablets, and your store should account for that.
Shoppers don’t just need to be able to find your store on their phones – they need to have an enjoyable, positive experience interacting with the mobile site. So, how do you cultivate that kind of experience?
- Discarding bothersome pop-ups
- Creating a super easy-to-navigate menu
- Including a smart search function
- Ensuring all text is readable (even on small screens)
- Optimizing images/videos for mobile viewing
- Accepting mobile pay options (Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.)
Above all, mobile shoppers are looking for convenience. If you want to snag buyers on their smartphones and tablets, you need to make it simple for them to find what they’re looking for and hit “purchase.”
If you fail to account for mobile shoppers, there are up to 5.22 billion customers you might not reach – and that’s a devastating amount of potential revenue to lose.
4. Create Compelling, Authentic Content
You’re probably thinking, “Content? What does that have to do with selling products?”
Trust us – what you say on your website matters. Managing an Ecommerce website is all about marketing your brand effectively, and content is one of (if not the) most influential elements of your marketing strategy.
Content on Ecommerce stores should be:
- And accurate
When we say “content,” we’re not just talking about the words on your homepage or the product descriptions. We’re talking about creating blog posts, slogans, social media posts, and more.
Your content is often your customers’ introduction to your business, so you need to make a strong first impression. Incorporate the right keywords so that people can find the content, then write messages that accurately and genuinely reflect your brand.
Don’t forget to include calls to action throughout your content to encourage visitors to take the next step. Whether it’s signing up for your newsletter or actually making a purchase, you want people to act.
5. Invest in the Site’s Security
Lastly, managing an Ecommerce website today also means accounting for the latest security threats. Cybercrimes are on the rise like never before, and unfortunately, many online merchants are woefully unprepared for the risks they face.
According to The Global Ecommerce Security Report 2022 from Webscale, some of the major security challenges for merchants in 2021 were:
- A lack of automation in threat management
- An absence of real-time threat monitoring and analysis
- A focus on detection and mitigation, rather than prevention
Furthermore, it’s estimated that only about 43% of businesses feel financially prepared to face a cyberattack in 2022. When you’re building an Ecommerce store, you likely can’t afford the financial hit of a serious breach – so prepare your website in advance.
Start by focusing on your customers’ personal and financial information. If you want people to buy from you, they need to trust that you’re protecting them. Invest in an SSL certificate and secure payment gateway that solidifies their faith.
We also recommend making your website PCI-compliant. The “Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard” is a set of requirements that ensures you are processing, storing, and/or transmitting credit card information securely. Consumers will be pleased to know you’re taking their financial safety seriously.
Ultimately, building an Ecommerce store that actually sells is all about finding and earning the right customers from square one. If you can promise them a store that’s easy to use, offers real value, and will protect their data, you’re off to a great start.
Need Help Managing Your Ecommerce Website?
We know just how overwhelming running an online store can be. Fortunately, we’re experts when it comes to everything from BigCommerce to Shopify development. You don’t have to tackle all of these steps alone – Inbound Studio is here to help.
Contact us online to learn more about our website design and development services. We’ll walk you through the process of creating and maintaining an Ecommerce website that thrives.