What makes a good online store successful?

A good online store requires good management, products that people are interested in, clear information, and excellent accessibility in order to be successful. Read here why many people stop their business, why people do not want to buy online, and what you can do to meet the needs of your potential customers in order to have a successful webshop.

What makes a good online store successful? - MarsConnects

Thousands of businesses cease within the first three months of establishment

We can frequently read about businesses that discontinue their activities. Thousands already cease within the first three months of establishment. Of the businesses (online and brick and mortar) that did not continue in 2021, more than 75 percent of them were small business owners. In particular, consulting firms and eateries, such as restaurants, snack bars and ice cream parlors, decided to call it a day. No doubt the Covid regulations contributed to this situation.

Why do online businesses stop?

Undoubtedly, among the group of starters and SMB entrepreneurs who have stopped their online business, there are some who have really pulled out all the stops to set up a good webshop or a successful website.
However, there are also many people who think that running an online store or website is easy. They start a webshop and expect to make profits in a short time. The fact that many entrepreneurs quit after just a few months, proves that it is not that simple.

A business needs time, dedication and a strategic marketing plan

From my experience as an SEO-er, I know that these are often people that want a web store at the lowest possible cost and have no strategy in place. They then posts their products on Facebook and Instagram and expect to get very busy with sales. After a few weeks they start to wonder why they are not selling well. The realization starts to dawn on them that starting a web store takes more effort and time. They start to wonder: how do I get customers? How does someone know that my webshop is online? Why don’t people buy my products?

In reality, it is quite difficult to set up a good online store and it is even more difficult to get customers and to become successful. Unless you have a great product that is in demand and has little competition.

Only the perseveres (some of whom are my clients), manage to expand their customer base and make a profit from their online business. 

Why people don't want to order from some online shops

By conducting some research, it is easy to find out why some people do not buy online at all or are not satisfied when they did order from an online store. A few aspects as illustration:

  • Not being able to see, feel and try on products in advance.
  • Not being able to chose delivery times.
  • Having to pay for delivery costs.
  • Having doubts about the quality of the product.
  • Would prefer to go to a local, physical store to do their shopping.
  • Having questions like:
    • Will you get what you order?
    • Can the product be returned?
    • What about the security of my data?
    • What are the warranty terms?
    • Can the company be called or do they respond to email messages if there are questions?

A good online store eliminates these questions and doubts on their pages.

Mind that you can’t please everyone and there will always be people who have something negatively to say about your product or service, but you can always do your best to be as clear and sincere as possible. This will also get you the right customers!

Requirements of a good online store

For a good web store it is important that you:

  • Are very clear about your product and what people can expect of it.
  • Deliver what you offer (no replacement products).
  • Deliver within the time frame that you have promised (with the reservation of timely delivery by the shipping companies, especially around holidays).
  • Are clear about the return conditions and the associated postal charges.
  • Communicate what your service will be if the product is damaged or does not match the description on your website.
  • Be clear about the delivery costs ( they don’t have to be free, unless you calculate it into the product prices).
  • Be clear about the guarantee: the conditions and the period.
  • Ensure that your customers’ data is safe.
    Ensure that you are easy to reach and respond quickly to messages from your audience and/or customers.
  • Add information about yourself or a link to a social media platform so you can be verified.

In short: clear information and easy accessibility form the basis for your online store. This has become even more important since the enormous growth of webshops that rake in money through fraud and then disappear. So make sure you show that you are a serious entrepreneur who is reliable.

Manage your webshop like a physical business

For most online shops, if you want to make it successful, you have to manage it like a physical store. It is necessary that you spend time and attention to:

  • market research
  • (SEO) strategy
  • presentation
  • customer service
  • stock management
  • quality control
  • PR & branding
  • marketing
  • personnel management
  • administration
  • analyze what your visitors do in your online shop

Be realistic with your expectations

By conducting a market research before you start, you learn to explore the environment in which your competitors are active and where your target groups can be found. It will also gives you insight into the opportunities you have to make your shop stand out.

Be realistic with your expectations and see if it is really possible to compete with your products and prices with large online stores or the online stores that have been around longer and are doing just fine.

You can compete, but then you need a feature of your product or service that you will do better than your competitors. The time frame is also important: do you want to end up in the top 10 of Google next week (using ads) or do you have a rock-solid SEO strategy that will get you into the top 10 more slowly, but steadily, with multiple product pages?

The top 10 position in Google does not guarantee you the right customers

Remember that it is more important for your shop to get (loyal) customers who buy and are satisfied with your service than to be in the top 10. You can get a lot of visitors, but if they are not interested in buying, your CTR (click through rate) will not go up. A higher click through rate indicates real interest in your product and the chance for more sales. And that is what you need to be successful with your online shop!

If you need an SEO-professional to have your online store SEO proof, or if you need help to get more  publicity and customers, please contact me. Together we can work on your online business to make it successful!

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