eCommerce Store Blueprint: How to Build and Grow a Profitable Online Store

Have you decided to take the plunge and join the world of eCommerce? Well, you are not alone, and you have certainly picked a good time to join. The digital world is rapidly expanding, and thousands of new online tools and resources are being developed and evolving to cope with the eCommerce boom. 

Luckily for you, you have entered at the right time. The industry as a whole has been expanding intensely over the last decade, and that is not expected to slow at any time. In fact, with the COVID-19 pandemic, online stores saw a phenomenal boost in sales, with most comparing the lockdown and isolation periods to Black Friday. 

But, how do you kick off your new online business and then grow it into an empire? We took a look at some of the key factors you need to consider and what you need to integrate to make a successful site. 

From the birth of the site to getting it in front of the right audience, here are a few guidelines for you to become a success.

Design a Customer-Friendly Website 

The very first thing that you need to do as a new eCommerce store is to create a website that is not only going to attract visitors but will convert them into paying customers. Planning the design and layout of your website is absolutely key. 

You need to think of the User Experience while developing your site. Consider using BigCommerce development services to help you design some custom features on your site that will heighten the UX and streamline the customer journey. The pages need to be navigable and well-structured for the customer to easily move from landing pages to product and then check out. 

It is also important for the site to load quickly. The longer it takes, the more your SEO rankings drop and the more likely your customer is to bounce. Take a look at your images as a rule of thumb. They do need to be high-quality and high-resolution, but if you compress them, your site will load much faster.

Spend Some Time on That Content 

The next thing that you need to pay attention to is your content. By this we mean all content on your landing pages, in your blogs, going out in your paid ads, and going out on social media. 

Content is the key pillar in digital marketing and works in two ways. 

Firstly, it boosts your SEO rankings. Google regularly scrapes sites to pick up where that site needs to be ranked in the search pages. It will pick up keywords that appear regularly and rank the site according to them. 

Do some research into trending keywords and what your competitors are using to create your site content. Make sure, however, that you do not stuff your content with keywords. Google picks up on this, as well as duplication and your site will just suffer. Keep in mind that organic and simple is the best.

The second aspect of content is the marketing value it has for customer loyalty. Customers buy from brands that they trust, and if you are continually putting out informative, educational, empowering content that your customer can learn from, they will begin to trust you and buy from you. 

Get this content out through emails, social media and through affiliates, and you will start seeing traffic start coming to your site.

Pay Attention to the Little Things on the Site

When you are building and reworking your site, pay attention to what your customer is looking at and clicking on. What do we mean by this? Well, not only are things like high-quality images and great content important but so are things like your CTAs, pop-ups and forms.

CTAs for example, don’t seem like they should be a huge deal, but there is a bit of a science to them! You will need to try out different colors, test copy on them and maneuver them on the page to see where they work best. 

CTAs are high conversion elements of your site, so you need to make sure they catch the visitors’ attention, encourage them to click and actually have an interest in them. 

In the same breath, you need to look at your pop-ups. As much as there is a fierce debate about pop-ups across the internet, and even though they are hated, they are highly functional and useful. Pop-ups encourage your visitor to subscribe or take the next step in the sales funnel. So, make them eye-catching, but not intrusive.

Test Absolutely Everything 

One of the key ingredients to your site’s success is to continuously test everything that you do. 

There are a number of free or very affordable online tools for you to measure what is happening on your site and to make adjustments where necessary. 

Google Analytics allows you to monitor the traffic, where it is coming from, where it is going, how visitors are behaving and where they drop off. This way you can measure the success of your latest Facebook ad, or your blog article that you sent out in your email. 

Hotjar is also a great tool to use to see exactly how people behave on your site. How much further below the fold do they go? Which buttons do they click on? How much of the copy do they read? You can monitor this and see how to work with the layout of the site to optimize it for even higher conversions. 

Lastly, A/B test everything. If you are adding something to your site or making an amendment, try out two options to see what gets more traffic and more clicks. Even something as little as the color of the CTA. It might take a bit of time to get it right, but you can rest assured that your site is fully optimized for conversions. 

Wrapping Up

The rule of thumb that you need to keep in mind is to create a site that you would buy from. Look at your site from a customer’s perspective and create a customer journey that will surprise and delight them. Make it as simple and informative as possible, and ensure that your brand is carried throughout the whole journey to really capture your customer’s attention. 

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