Whether they’re using a streamlined platform like Shopify or are building their site from scratch, what’s one tip new entrepreneurs won’t want to forget when setting up their online store? Why?
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.
1. Prioritize Your Site’s Performance
When setting up an online store from scratch or by using platforms like Shopify, always prioritize your website’s performance. This means getting the basics right for your site and looking into matters like your load time, navigation, broken links, unoptimized images, code density, content delivery network (CDN) concerns and caching issues. A website with a clunky user experience won’t get you anywhere.
2. Consider Sales Tax Implications
One thing that new entrepreneurs overlook when setting up their first online store is the sales tax implications of selling online. Depending on your products and your customers’ locations, you may be required to collect and remit sales tax. Meet with your CPA to make sure you understand the sales tax laws and nexus rules before starting your online store. It will save you a world of headache.
3. Think About the User Experience
Prioritize the user experience to ensure success. A well-designed UX fosters customer satisfaction and boosts sales by making it easy for shoppers to navigate, find products and complete transactions. Focus on a clean layout, intuitive navigation, responsive design for mobile and fast load times. This can help convert visitors into loyal customers and they can grow their businesses more effectively.
4. Ensure You’re Up to Date on Security and Browser Trends
Be up to date on security and browser trends. If a customer is getting a warning by just accessing your website, you’ve already lost a customer. To make sure your online store is secure, you can take several steps, such as updating your site and plugins on a regular schedule, choosing a reliable hosting provider and implementing an SSL certificate. Once you have a secure site, the sky’s the limit!
5. Include Detailed Product Landing Pages
If you’re in the process of starting your first online store, don’t forget to create detailed product landing pages. On each landing page, include a list of features and benefits. Users need to know how your product or service will improve their lives before they make a purchase, and product pages are by far the easiest way to relay this information.
6. Build an Email List as Soon as Possible
One thing to remember when setting up your online store is that it’s never too early to start building your email list. Create a “coming soon” page as a placeholder on your site until it’s finished. Promote your new brand on social media and ask people to subscribe for the latest updates. You’re far more likely to see sales on day one if you have an email list packed with prospects.
7. Focus on Search Engine Optimization
One tip new entrepreneurs should remember when setting up their online store is prioritizing search engine optimization (SEO) from the beginning. This includes conducting thorough keyword research, optimizing on-page elements such as title tags and meta descriptions and building quality backlinks to the site. Properly optimizing the site for SEO can help increase brand awareness and sales.
8. Implement Practices to Guarantee User Privacy
9. Keep It Simple
Keep things simple, and don’t get carried away with all the bells and whistles at your disposal. Early on, it’s best to focus on getting a functional site live that makes it easy for visitors to find and purchase whatever you’re selling. A simple approach helps eliminate distractions from your site and helps ensure a frictionless shopping experience.
10. Pay Attention to Your ‘Checkout Flow’
When setting up your online store, pay attention to your checkout flow. Most people will leave a website with items in their cart if the checkout process is clunky or missing key features. I suggest including an “always on” shopping cart, a minimal payment form, a progress bar and multiple ways to pay to maximize your conversion rate.
11. Optimize for Mobile
Optimizing for mobile is crucial when setting up an online store. With more and more customers using their mobile devices to browse and shop, it’s important to ensure your website is mobile-friendly and offers a seamless user experience. Failing to do so could lead to a significant loss in potential sales and customers due to frustrations during shopping.