Five things to keep in mind while setting up an online store

The pandemic has led many small business owners to explore digital tools. However, building a digital presence requires more than a website.
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The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has paved the way for digitalisation more than ever. The pandemic, coupled with lockdown restrictions, has compelled consumers to shop online instead of visiting physical stores.

As a result, small entrepreneurs/shop owners could not bear the negative consequences of the pandemic and saw the sharpest decline in their businesses. Owing to the lack of an online business model in the pandemic-driven era, several merchants and businesses like grocery stores, restaurants, salons, etc., have witnessed the biggest downturn in their operations.

In such challenging times, these businesses have no other choice but to transform their brick-and-mortar businesses into digital stores. As ecommerce has numerous offerings of earning tons of revenues, many companies are willing to adapt the shift to sustain and meet the ever-evolving consumer demand.

However, setting up an online store can be exciting and immensely daunting. The whole process is much more than just launching a website with a few products. From sourcing to shipping, there are many areas on an ecommerce platform that requires special knowledge and attention for being successful.

Here’s a roundup of 5 essential things to keep in mind while setting up an online store.

Using high-quality product images and descriptions

When businesses consider e-commerce websites as their online showrooms, all product images are like their salespeople and reflect the real representation of the product. Therefore, every product image needs to be of high quality with a pure white background, as they are instantly appealing to the eyes of the consumers browsing the website.

Businesses should also include high-resolution images that do not contain confusing additional objects.

Moreover, website owners should allow the consumers to zoom in and out on a product image without compromising on the image quality. Ideally, the image should not showcase anything apart from the product to be sold and should contain realistic colours and smooth edges.

If edited images are being incorporated into the website, businesses may end up getting refund requests for primary reasons like ‘item not as described.’

Besides prioritising product images, product descriptions are an important aspect of an e-commerce business that needs to be crisp and detailed for catalogue creation. If written aptly, product descriptions showcase the product's features, usage, and benefits to the consumers, thereby influencing them to purchase the product.

Sorting catalogue/store categories

Categories like ‘Best-selling products,’ ‘Must try items,’ ‘Best recommended items,’ etc., help consumers attain a sneak peek of the most demanding products by other consumers. Hence, segregating products in the aforementioned categories will drive consumers to make purchase decisions that will help garner more sales.

Setting up multiple payment options

Undoubtedly, no online store can exist without offering multiple payment options on the check out like Net banking, Google Pay, Paytm, UPI, Cash on Delivery, etc.

Today, businesses should try to integrate as many payment options as possible so that online shoppers are left with no options to abandon their purchases at the last minute.

Hence, by setting up numerous payment gateways, brands can increase their conversion rates, ensure lesser abandoned carts, enhance customer satisfaction and brand credibility, and guarantee a hassle-free shopping experience.

Incorporating in-store banners

In-store banners display offers coupon codes and discounts for specific items to attract more customers. These banners appearing on the homepage of the e-commerce platform are immensely appealing that compel shoppers to view different offers provided by several brands on occasions like Valentine’s Day, Diwali, Christmas, New Year, etc.

Leveraging automation tools

Automation tools help automate businesses ranging from order acceptance, catalogue display, payments, marketing to promotions. For integrating automation into the business operations, merchants can take the assistance of leading digital platforms that help digitise offline store-based businesses of all sizes.

These digital platforms effectively help merchants automate their business via messenger bots that showcase product catalogues, accept orders, send invoices, take payments, and follow-ups with no human supervision.

These platforms also help businesses offer a seamless experience to consumers by generating QR codes that can be pasted at physical stores and transferred online to get orders and payments done.

They even manage the businesses' social media through Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp to maximise their reach and capture potential customers.

Summing up

Online stores undoubtedly provide the merchants with complete autonomy to enhance consumers’ shopping experience. They can accomplish more conversions if they know the proper way to craft all the aforementioned strategies, including handling abandoned cart recovery, sending reminders to customers, follow-ups, etc.

By following the elements outlined in this guide, merchants can perceive consumer behaviour, tastes, and preferences by using analytics and pixel tracking, aligning with them to serve better.

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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