8 Characteristics Of A Profitable Online Store
Ecommerce, or electronic commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet. Every business with an online store that can take payments and fulfill orders is an eCommerce.
There is a lot to consider when setting up and managing a highly profitable store
Below are 10 characteristics of a successful online store:
1. A memorable brand and domain name
Your brand name and domain name should be the same (or obviously similar).
For example, if your brand name is Found, and found.com domain is already taken, then your domain could be wearefound.com, or befound.com – whatever makes sense to you.
A domain name is what people will use to find your website online, so it’s important to choose one that is easy to remember and spell.
Ideally, it should be short and catchy, but it also needs to be relevant to your business. For example, if you sell shoes, a good domain name would be something like “www.shoestore.com”.
However, keep in mind that many good domain names are already taken, so you may need to get creative.
The best way to find a good domain name is to use a tool like Google Domains or GoDaddy. These tools will help you find available domain names that are similar to the ones you’re interested in.
Just be sure to check if the domain name is available in the country you’re targeting so people from other countries can still find your website.
And once you have a good domain name, be sure to buy it, so no one else can use it.
2. Invest in beautiful web design
Your website is effectively your marketing and sales teams all rolled into one – it needs to actively sell your business.
The internet is now the biggest and most competitive marketplace in the world, and your website is one of your most valuable sales and marketing tools.
But it’s not just about having a website; it’s having the right website.
A solid website solidifies the perception of your brand, projecting your values and sales messages.
The majority of businesses hire web design services to attract customers and make the customer experience (UX) as smooth as possible.
The web design agency will make sure your website is fast-loading and easy to navigate to ensure your visitors have a frustration-free experience. They also have a design eye for the following:
1. Correct use of white space.
2. Usage of images (wisely).
3. Include well-designed and written headlines and copy
4. Keep your website pages consistent in style and colour
5. Be responsive and mobile-friendly.
3. Secure and reliable web hosting
Getting a domain name is only half the battle. You will also need to have a reliable web host.
A web host stores your website’s files and makes them accessible to people who visit your domain name.
There are many different web hosting companies out there, so it’s important to do your research and choose one that offers the features you need at a price you can afford.
For example, if you plan on selling products on your WordPress website, and want to use WooCommerce, you’ll need to find a web host that supports WordPress and has the appropriate server requirements for WooCommerce.
Some of the best WooCommerce hosting providers will also offer state-of-the-art security and performance features so your website can run smoothly and safely.
So, before you even start building your website, be sure to find a good web hosting company that can meet your needs.
4. A secure payment processor
Many eCommerce platforms like Shopify have a secure built-in payment processor, so you don’t have to worry about it.
But if you are building a website from scratch, you need to find an online payment processor that can accept payments from your customers.
Choose a payment processor that offers fraud protection, and encrypted transactions so your customers’ information is safe.
If you also plan to sell offline in North America, then North American Bancard makes it easy to handle credit card processing and merchant services both in-store and online. Find out how credit card merchant services work.
And finally, be sure to choose the one that charges reasonable transaction fees. If you are only starting, you may want to consider using a payment processor that doesn’t charge any monthly fees so you can save some money while you are getting your business off the ground.
5. Easy checkout process
The checkout process is often one of the most important parts of an online store.
That’s when the actual sales happen, and also where many sales drop off.
Almost 70% of shoppers abandon their carts and a majority will never return to complete their purchase.
That’s an immense opportunity loss.
Make checkout as smooth and easy as possible.
Be sure to offer a variety of payment options so your customers can choose the one that works best for them.
Additionally, you should provide clear instructions and directions so your customers know exactly what they need to do (and how long will it take) to complete the sale.
Here’s what you can do to unlock your highest revenue potential:
• Present an exit offer with a promo code to shoppers who have attempted to leave the cart or checkout pages at the moment it occurs
• Send an immediate recovery email if the person ignores the exit offer
• Try to get your whole checkout on 1 page
• Don’t confuse a customer with too many choices and buttons (this adds to decision fatigue)
• Offer a discount or free shipping (cart abandonment often has to do with price or shipping)
Read more about overlooked ways to increase eCommerce sales here.
6. Helpful product descriptions
Your product description needs to accomplish 2 things:
a) show how well the product fits the needs of the customer
b) sell the product by showcasing the benefits to the user
The buyer is not necessarily interested in the mundane features of the product. Instead, they want to know how it can benefit them.
A product feature is a factual statement about the product that provides technical information. A product benefit, on the other hand, tells how the product can improve the buyer’s life.
NB! Include customer reviews on your product pages, as this will ensure that users stay on your website and don’t turn to 3rd party review sites.
7. Automated order fulfillment
Order fulfilment is the process of capturing payments, packing, shipping orders, and handling returns.
Your eCommerce order fulfillment process plays a pivotal role in the success of your growing eCommerce business because it affects both the customer experience and the effectiveness of your operations.
If you’re still fulfilling orders manually, see if you can find an easier and smoother way to do it.
Automation of order fulfillment is at the core of business growth.
By integrating and automating your order fulfilment process, you’ll minimise fulfilment errors, generate automated invoices, send automated customer reminders, and email sequences to ensure customer satisfaction and repeat sales.
Third-party/outsourced order fulfillment companies can also store your inventory.
Having a streamlined process will save time while allowing you to focus more on business growth and expansion.
8. High-quality product photography
High-quality product images are key to selling online.
Make sure to photograph your products in plenty of natural light at all the right angles using a professional camera (not a phone).
The more customers see your product, the more likely they are to buy it there and then without any additional questions.
Your goal is to minimise answering customer emails and have plenty of information on product pages.