A lot goes into opening and maintaining a successful e-commerce store. Launching your website is about mapping out a solid business strategy, as well as offering your user the best possible experience that keeps them coming back for more.

Many people open their own e-commerce store… and many are not successful. So what could be holding your e-commerce store back from being more successful? Here are the 7 things that your e-commerce store can’t afford to do without – use them wisely to increase sales and boost user experience:

  1. Social Media Profiles
  2. Interactive Chat
  3. Professional Design & Branding
  4. Exciting Blog Content
  5. A Strong Value Proposition
  6. Great Product Photos
  7. Relentless Testing

1. Social Media Profiles

Well-run and thought-out social media platforms are crucial to a successful e-commerce business. Not only is social media necessary for getting your name and products out there, but it is where you will find a good chunk of your customers. Use social media wisely throughout your online store and keep your social platforms lively with content and engagement.

  • Take the time to get your social media branding consistent and keep your followers up to date with the latest news and products from your store. Intersperse this with user-friendly content and entertainment.
  • Run giveaways to promote your store and increase your following.
  • Engage with your customers and audience on social media and respond to their comments to show that you are dedicated and ready to help them with whatever they need. This will improve relationships and yield loyal customers.
  • Monitor your social media and use social media analytics to see how well you are performing and where you could improve. It is a very good idea to monitor your Twitter handle and Facebook username so you can see what others are saying about you. If you find a disgruntled customer on social media, comment and help to solve the issue. If you find a happy customer, let them know that you care about their custom.
  • Online communities is a great to find influential customers who can be very useful for advertising your products online and boosting sales.

2. Interactive Chat Features

As an e-commerce store, you lose the ability to engage and talk to your customers face-to-face. Every e-commerce store needs to have a live chat feature to help customers if they get stuck or have any questions while browsing your website.

Remember, you want to assist your customer to get to their end goal quickly (purchase). By using interactive chat, you are helping the customer get to their end goal quickly. This will give your customers a better shopping experience. Find out how other e-commerce companies are putting their customers first.

  • Don’t go overboard – there is nothing worse than a website live chat feature that will not go away. Make sure to get that balance of being obvious so the customer can see it, but not so obvious that it kills their experience of your site.

3. Professional Design & Branding

Make sure you have a carefully designed website that not only looks amazing, but is simple for the customer to use. Decide on the layout and how you want your site to look before you even get onto physically designing the website – always plan your store out customer-first.

  • Designing a beautiful website for your e-commerce store can take a long while if you are designing it yourself. That time is probably better spent elsewhere like on your business strategy, or advertising and marketing. Assign the project to a capable web designer or web team for a safe pair of hands.
  • On a startup budget? Design your online store through a platform like Shopify to make designing your website quick and easy and keep set-up costs low. Seek advice on how to use the service and purchase a premium template to which you can add your own branding.

4. Exciting Blog Content

Every single e-commerce site should own a blog that is well updated and that features relevant content. Blogging can increase visitors to your site significantly – just remember to publish often and keep customers engaged.

  • Use your blog to update customers on the next big product or offer. Don’t forget to provide informational content about some of your products to help people post-purchase.
  • Plan out a seasonal editorial content calendar to help you meet strategic sales goals.
  • Try and keep your content related to your niche, but show a bit more personality in your blog writing so that your customers can form a relationship with you.

5. A Strong Value Proposition

Find innovative ways to show your customers how valuable your products are to them, and how your products will help your customers.

  • What makes your products better than your competitors? Why should they buy from you and not them? Outline these key reasons throughout your store and provide plenty of supporting evidence in the form of testimonials and reviews.
  • Use brand storytelling and humor to set you apart from the competition.
  • Keep your value proposition at the forefront when making any design or copy changes – keep asking yourself, am I adding more value? What will my users take away from this?

6. Great Product Photos

Your customers can’t pick up, feel, or try the item that you are selling. So you need to make it as easy as possible for your customers to fall in love with your products.

  • Use detailed, clear and professional looking photos for your site and have a varied selection for your customers to browse through. This will give them a better idea of what your product looks like and how it will fit into their life.
  • Optimize your product images for SEO and give people the option to share product imagery on social media.

7. Relentless Testing

No matter how successful your e-commerce store is, never stop testing new ideas and ways to improve features on your site.

Testing your store on a regular basis will enhance user experience and keep your e-commerce store looking fresh and up-to-date.

  • Always look for new ways to improve your site to make it successful. Invest in A/B testing as part of a conversion rate optimization strategy to help you measure the key components and features of your store.
  • Always look for clues and insight in user behavior and data – use this to help you build a better customer experience.

Making your e-commerce site successful is not only about the number of sales you make but about increasing traffic to your website and getting your name and brand out there. Learn from the mistakes that others have made to ensure your e-commerce company is as successful as it can possibly be.

What else can an e-commerce store not afford to be without? Let us know in the comments below or Tweet us!