How to Manage a Successful Online Store
In this age of internet marketing and e-commerce, it is wise for a person to take his business online in order to get to the next level. Here are some rules or points he needs to follow in order to manage a successful online store.
Your business website design must be simple. It should not contain all the bells and whistles like flash animation, background music, etc. A user is accessing your website while on the go; the last thing he wants is a slow loading flash video or a blaring audio. Also, keep your e-commerce website design simple and free from clutter. That way, the user will only find what he wants to see, quickly. Apple.com is the best example of a clutter free site.
Always Respond Quickly
When a customer submits an inquiry, you must make it a habit to respond quickly. A lazy response to the customer’s urgent need, whether clothing, accessories or services, is a sure fire was to lose him.
If he orders your product, make sure that an acknowledgment or receipt of the payment has been sent along with the tentative delivery details. If you are on a vacation, then delegate the job of checking your official email to your employee. Also, have a customer support number which is manned during your work hours with a facility to leave voice messages during non-working hours.
Interact with Customers Online
Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can help you build your own community where you can interact with your customers and fans. Fans can also share their experiences about using your product and post it on your social media page. In fact, positive online reviews, especially via social media, can add credibility to your brand and help in word-of-mouth marketing. You can also have a blog where healthy discussions take place regarding your subject of expertise. A blog can also have sharing buttons so that a wider range of people can benefit from the knowledge.
Have Customers Come Back for More
You must keep the company website constantly updated with fresh content. Therefore, it is good to have a dynamic website with a blog which is constantly updated with interesting articles so that visitors keep coming back for more. Also, make sure that the blog has a comments section with Facebook and Twitter sharing buttons.
You can even run offers like 50% off for a day etc. This will create interest and the visitors keep coming back for more. A repeat visit to a website can even result in a sale.
Optimize within Limits
Do not try too hard to optimize your website. Let the content flow naturally and let it be interesting and readable. If you try to stuff keywords into each and everything, the website will be demoted by google as a spam website and your SEO ranking will obviously suffer. Remember, the key to good SEO ranking is good and original content.
Avoid too many Listings
There is a general view that if you submit your links to various directories, then Google will count the number of links that point to your website and give you a good ranking. In fact, this too has changed and become a thing of the past. Google recognizes the web directories as ‘bad neighborhoods’, and if your website is listed in one of those, it will be taken as a spammy website.
Build your Mailing list
Have visitors to your website to sign up for a free E-Book. They should be able to subscribe to it by submitting their name and email. Thus, you can send out newsletters to your subscribers once or twice a month. Take care not to bombard their inbox with more frequent newsletters. Also, have an option for your subscribers to opt out. Thus, you can build a community of subscribers with whom you can interact regarding the latest offers on your products.
However advanced, the technology may get; it still cannot replace the element of ‘a human touch’. Having an online shop is not just about getting orders, counting money and asking the shipping guys to handle the rest. You must have a customer support executive who is, of course, real (not virtual) human being; she must be handling customer calls. Customers may encounter a lot of problems. It could be that your website accepted the payment two times, or probably he ordered two times, or perhaps the product having the wrong color or size got delivered. There are many concerns which a customer support person must resolve. This cannot be done by a robot or any virtual telephone assistant. Once a customer’s concerns are taken care of, then he will definitely speak to his contacts about his positive experience and how the issue was resolved soon by the customer support team. This builds trust which is needed for any business, whether offline or online.
Make your payment method easy. You could opt for an e-commerce solution like Shopify or integrate your site with Paypal. Thus, a successful online store cannot be built overnight. It owes its success to many factors and evolves into a success over a period of time, by following the above tips.
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