8 Things you need for a great online store

May 2, 2021 in News



8 Things you need for a great online store

A functioning and aesthetically pleasing website is a really great way to measure how well an online business is performing. Now, there are plenty of online stores that could use improvement and still get sales for a number of reasons. There is enough documented information to show that those websites are pounding away at posts and audience engagement everyday, but without any paid marketing or advertisements, it’s all manual.

Side note: I have spent years building a business before realizing I was living the life of a freelancer. Nothing against the freelancers, consultants, and side-hustlers because it’s exciting work, but the goal of this article is to help entrepreneurs that want to grow and scale their business with the aid of a website. The early stages of creating a brand message, managing finances and cash flow, as well as marketing can be tough. That is why having a functioning and aesthetically pleasing website is important to getting results online. Results that come from autonomous features and backend processes that allow you to focus on the daily business tasks. Let’s continue!

Functionality
It goes without saying, but a functioning website means that the website is live with information and content that is clear and responsive which means the website works well on any device, whether it be desktop, laptop, or tablet. All hyperlinks should work and send visitors where you want them to go and not to another website, unless you are aware. While it’s common to find one or two dead links on any website, working with a professional website advisor will minimize that chance greatly. Seamless forms, page transitions and call to action sections that request information from visitors are important especially when it comes to purchasing. Do not wait until someone complains about the website. The shopping cart process is a challenging area to edit depending on the checkout service you use. But rest assured that if you test the entire process, it will be difficult to detect any issues with sales relating to the website. Very often when I work with clients that already have a website but are struggling to acquire sales, they are always surprised to find out that the purchasing process was problematic which often results in ghost visitors or a high drop off rate.

Aesthetics

I have purchased products from websites that were not great looking, but that was purely to support someone or wanting to try a product that displayed well on another platform, like social media. But regardless of that fact, I have not and will not purchase more than once from a website that is not up to par. Why? Because it shows me that the business owner is not serious about growing and scaling their business which is primarily who I enjoy spending money with.

Which boils down to being trustworthy. Every portion of a well-designed and aesthetically pleasing website shows visitors how much you care about the business and want to secure their purchases. Once that level of trust and professionalism is established, it carries over to product/service experience. Making sure all information is up to date and accurate always delivers on a promise about the business and it’s offerings. Plenty of colorful and well-sized images for visitors to view and that tells a story is captivating to potential customers. Relevant images are a must and videos do even better on the web, but using images taken with a smartphone or just copied and pasted from a google search is not the right move. Dress it up and give it style, but stay on par with your brand message.

Too many entrepreneurs including myself have taken terms and conditions, privacy policy, and support and contact information for granted, but having this information in clear concise and readily available to viewers is crucial for long term success. Additionally, if you have certified business affiliations(Better Business Bureau as an example), please make sure it’s visible. Legitimate merchant services for checkout (not just a cash app link).

The right language and word Usage placed in the right spot, coupled with the right image, is the sweet spot of conversion on a website. Unless you specialize in writing, marketing, or design, I will always refer you to working with a professional website advisor that comes with professional proofreading services like what we do at Just Right Technology. Building a business and working with professionals creates a quality process and positive results that the customer is expecting to experience. The last obvious point on this topic of aesthetics is the overall design and color choices for the website. This can honestly take some time and some trial and error if you do not have a branding kit but under the care of a professional, the choices can be researched, tested and validated across the industry.

In this environment of online tools and editors, I do not doubt that any entrepreneur could learn how to plan, design, and execute a business website independently, but doing it well and with quality results requires a trusted professional or small team.

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