Turning Your Blog into an Online Store
Author: Rob Toledo posted in Blogging
on 2013-01-03 13:00:00
Blogging is a great way to share your ideas, knowledge and experiences for the world to see. It’s a fantastic way to build a personality around a brand or product as well. But part of creating a brand is having a marketable product. Whether that product is something you have created yourself or something you review on your site, using software like Amazon’s ecommerce platform makes it easier than ever.
If you’re looking to sell your products, whether they’re materials reflecting your brand, your book, handmade goods, etc., here’s a breakdown of what you need to make your online store successful.
- Search Box: It’s important to make it as easy as possible for customers to find what they’re looking for on your site. A search box allows them to quickly refine results.
- Featured Products: You can attract visitors’ attention to specific products by featuring photos and information about them on your home page.
- Tip: You can push multiple products by showcasing them in a slide show, so customers don’t have to click through each one.
- Related Products: Up-sell by showing customers what others bought with the products they’re interested in.
- Product Photos and Zoom: Online shopping is a different experience than going to a physical store, because the only way to judge a product’s quality is to look at it. It’s crucial to display quality photos that viewers can zoom in on to see details of your products.
- Customer Login: To make it easier for return-customers to check out, allow them to create usernames and passwords so they don’t have to enter their information every time.
- Privacy and Return Policies: Customers will gain peace of mind about the reliability of buying from your store if they can read your policy of protecting their personal and financial privacy. Also, if you offer a return policy for your products, they are more likely to buy in times of indecisiveness.
- Payment System: Obviously you need a gateway to receive payment, so it’s important to show icons of accepted means of payment, and a clear checkout section (like a shopping cart). You should also send a confirmation/receipt to the customer’s email.
- Social Media Links: You’ll get more traffic on your site if you have a presence in social media, so show customers where you can be found and encourage them to “Like” your page.
It might help you to look at your store through the eyes of the customer, and focus on the things they want in a shopping experience. These are some things that online shoppers like to see.
- Design/Easy Navigation: It’s inconvenient to have to click all over the site to find one product they’re looking for, so organize your products in an easy-to-find design. Pick a theme or design that really creates a good balance between design and ease of use. There are plenty of free website templatesout there, so don’t settle, pick one that meets your needs.
- Easy Checkout: The same goes for checking out. Minimize the number of steps buyers have to go through to make their purchase so they don’t change their minds out of frustration.
- Contact Information: If a shopper has a question or issue, they need access to someone who can help. A good way to offer help is to display contact information or an online chat.
- Now you have everything you need to start making those sales!
Image © rangizzz – Fotolia.com