The 10 things every online store should take care of

We'll give you some advice on how to make your online store more successful
There are many aspects behind the success of an online store, most notably the products being sold and the pricing policy applied. However, in order to stimulate sales in an e-commerce setting, it is not enough to just have low prices: you also need a complete business strategy. Here we will extract 10 key points regarding a strategy of this type, all of which can be found as common denominators at some of the most successful e-commerce sites in existence today.
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1. Provide as much information as possible, in an organized way

Even though online sales figures have continued to grow during recent years, there are still many potential customers who have not yet taken the plunge into shopping online because they still feel uncertain about the process. For this reason, one of the first measures that any online store should take is to ensure that all the necessary information is available for the store's customers. It is also important for this information to be accessible and well-organized, but without so much of it that the user feels overwhelmed. In other words, try to offer just the right information at just the right time.

2.- Know your customers

When customers make their first purchase at your online store, they will provide personal details. These are essential for building up your customer database: place of residence, products of interest, spending habits, form of payment used, etc. All of this information, and much more, will be very useful when the time comes to adapt your online store to the tastes and needs of its customers. For example, if you observe that your customers spend an average of €100 at your e-commerce site, and also that one specific line of products is especially popular compared to all the rest, you can adapt your pricing policy and product selection to those two realities.

3. Personalize the customer experience as much as possible

This idea is directly related to the previous one: the more you know your customers, the more you can personalize their shopping experience. This concept can be applied, for example, when offering them featured products that are related to their most recent purchase. If your customers can already see products of interest at first glance as soon as they enter your online store, you will be saving them time while also "tempting" them to make a new purchase.

4. Use support from email marketing

Personalizing user experience by making use of personal details provided by customers is the beginning of a successful email marketing strategy. This does not mean flooding your customers with emails every day about the latest special offers at your online store. For example, you could send out a monthly or twice-monthly newsletter with information of interest for your customers, presented in a way that maximizes the chance of the message being opened. These newsletters can also include special offers, discount coupons, and recommended products that you know your customers will be interested in based upon their previous purchases.

5. Make it easy for customers to pay by offering multiple options

Today's most successful e-commerce sites simplify the purchasing process as much as possible, which includes making electronic payment very easy. One way to do this is to offer a variety of payment options. Although in Spain the credit card is currently the preferred payment method among consumers who shop online, you should also make platforms such as PayPal available to your customers, as well as the classic COD option.

6. Make delivery simple

These days, e-commerce sites compete to offer the fastest delivery times. And although there is no doubt that a product's reception time is an important factor, the ease with which a customer can select a delivery method and enter a delivery address is important too. For example, there are delivery services that will leave packages at a shop close to a customer's address, facilitating their reception in cases where there may be long periods of time when nobody is at home to receive a package.

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7. Analyze your site's user-friendliness

As part of your strategy to make the user purchasing experience as simple as possible, you must also pay attention to the technical side of your online store. From page-loading speeds to adaptability to multiple formats such as smart phones and tablets, technical aspects such as these are fundamental for ensuring that once you have successfully captured your customer's attention, they do not soon end up somewhere else after being frustrated by poor web design.

8. Devote some work to your presence on social networks

For online stores, social networks are a natural medium for communication and advertising. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more: each of these social networks can be used to attract new customers. However, in order to achieve this you have to do more than just add links to your social network pages once in a while with your store's latest new products or special offers. Marketing via the social networks can be highly effective, but only if you dedicate enough time and follow a clear strategy.

9. Know your data

When it comes to focusing on continuous improvement, it is essential to analyze all the data generated by your online store. Where are your site's visitors coming from? What types of devices are they using? At what point during the purchase process are they deciding to leave? What items are being looked at the most? Knowing the answers to these questions, and many others, can give you plenty of clues about ways to continue with gradual improvement of your online store.

10. Learn from the experts

As a final piece of advice, whether you are creating an online store or just trying to improve the one you already have, you should always keep an eye on what the big brands are doing. You can find all of the key aspects described above in this article at the major e-commerce sites, which gives you an opportunity to see how they have been implemented there and how you could adapt the approaches used to your own online store.

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