Business owners take note, this one is for you. Have you ever consider to create an online store? If not, you should.
According to the eMarketer forecast, in 2022, retail e-commerce sales will surpass, globally, $5 trillion, representing more than a fifth of all retail sales. This new shopping paradigm has been establishing itself for a few years now, but its growth was catapulted as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this day and age, the power of e-commerce is unquestionable.
Every retail business that wants to grow and establish itself on the market, should look at e-commerce as a key element for commercial success. But having an online store is not enough, it’s fundamental to guarantee that it is well-built, thought-out, and provides a good user experience that actually converts into sales.
Step by step to create an online store
To bring your business to life and create an online store, these are the first steps to do it:
1. Define your brand
This one might sound redundant, but creating a strong brand is essential to creating a strong e-commerce business. The way that a brand communicates has a great impact on people, and that might convert (or not) into sales. A brand should not only be visually appealing but also transmit the company’s values, vision and goals. The products and/or services should be elevated and treated with care, highlighting their relevance in the market.
Companies should look for what makes them distinguishable, what sets them apart, and explore that whole potential, in order to create a well-rounded brand that, eventually, the public will recognize, and most importantly, trust.
2. Choose an e-commerce platform
An e-commerce builder is software that provides tools for building unique online stores.
There are lots of different platforms to choose from. Each company has their specific needs and limitations and should have that in mind while choosing the platform, but even though lots of different platforms have been developed for this purpose, not many are as powerful as Shopify.
3. Get a domain
This simple step is crucial in providing credibility to any store. Domains can be acquired directly through the platform that is being used to build e-commerce or can be purchased separately and linked later on.
Either way, you choose to do it, getting a domain and a personalized URL is a key element of a successful online presence.
4. Create your online store
This final stage is when the online store will, finally, be brought to life.
The company should be mindful while designing the interfaces and establishing a workflow that will affect the customers’ experience and shape their perception of the brand. They should be careful with the images that are uploaded to illustrate the product, since they can make it or break it, in the decision-making process of the buyer.
The store’s features should respond to the brand’s necessities and goals, as well as the plug-ins that can help improve the workflow either for the clients or in the back office.
This is, surely, one complex process that should be done attentively and based on data and knowledge. That’s why a multidisciplinary team, that envelops expertise in tech, design, marketing and business, will help to achieve the goal of creating a profitable successful online store. But, as said before, one of the best solutions to answer all the needs of an e-commerce business is Shopify.
So why should companies choose Shopify to build their online stores?
1. Security and reliability
E-commerce stores deal with private customer information, such as credit card details, addresses and other personal details on your customers’ lives.
People are rightfully getting more aware of the potential dangers of sharing private information online, and using a well-known platform will provide a sense of security and trust to the customer. SSL certificates can be enabled to encrypt data and pass it through a secure connection, and PCI compliance (required when you deal with credit cards) is also taken care of automatically.
2. Fast, seamless experience
Being a fully-hosted e-commerce solution, Shopify will take care of all server maintenance and upgrades to keep your store and shopping cart available at all times.
This self-accountability is also reflected in ensuring fast loading times that are notorious. Your customer will be provided with a seamless, fast experience.
3. SEO & Marketing tools
One of the features that attract more people to Shopify is the SEO tools they provide. These tools will allow your website to rank higher on search engines, so more people can find your business. They also provide access to advanced analytics that will help the marketing team to better address campaign strategies to the brand’s client.
In the app store, there is an assortment of marketing tools to respond to everyone’s marketing needs, including social media integration and their icons, product review, email marketing or discount codes.
4. Customer support
Shopify’s customer support is available 24 hours, 7 days a week – via email, phone or webchat. They provide a fairly instant response to all questions and issues that a business might come across.
5. Customisable and mobile ready
There are hundreds of themes, both free and paid, to choose from to start an online store. They are all modern and optimized to give customers a great shopping experience, but there’s always the choice to edit the code to make the website reflect even more the brand’s personality.
All the themes are also mobile-ready, which is a great feature, considering the current shopping habits. Nowadays mobile is largely driving the e-commerce growth, as shown by data released by Statista that shows that mobile will be representing about 73% of all e-commerce sales. That being said, is of the utmost importance, to provide an excellent user experience not only on desktop but also on mobile.
6. Easy checkout
A smooth checkout process is essential to making sales in e-commerce.
People tend to live very fast-paced lives, and will quickly quit the shopping process if any of the steps get frustrating or confusing. Shopify has developed its unique checkout workflow to offer a fast, friction-free checkout experience.
There are also more than one hundred payment gateway plug-ins that can respond to each specific e-commerce need, regarding payment methods and currencies.
Keeping up is vital!
The digital ecosystem is ever-changing and incredibly demanding. Sometimes it can get quite overwhelming for business owners to keep up with all the requirements of such a volatile medium that it is, the internet.
Softwares like Shopify exist to help businesses grow. They create tools and solutions that can fit the various needs, from a small business that started as a hobby, to a multinational corporation. Businesses can only benefit from partnering with strong service providers that can help maintain their businesses, and even better, grow.