I want all my clients to love their online store as much as a physical storefront. Their site should be beautiful, easy-to-manage, and reflect the same feeling as their brick-and-mortar shop. All of my online store tips grow from this mindset.
My Top Online Store Tips
If I can concentrate my advice down to a few key tips, I suggest creating a solid inventory management strategy, investing in your listings, and promoting your store on a quarterly schedule. These practical ideas allow you to get attractive, eyecatching content into your store website on a regular schedule.
That’s important to keep your customers engaged and grow your visibility in the cluttered online shopping environment.
Strategize Your Inventory
Pick products where you can create a listing that can stay up for months. Create the listing with variations for size, color, etc. You’ll need to write a general description and take photos of all the different colors, sizes, and variations that you offer. Then, manage the stock within that listing.
There are two main benefits of this strategy. First, you save time on creating your product listings because you’re using it for several variations and keeping it up for a longer period of time. Second, you give search engines, social media, and your customers a chance to organically find your listings.
Invest in Listings
Using the strategy above, you can invest in better photos, keyword optimization, social media promotions, ads, etc. This gives your store a chance to actually carve out a niche and become “known” for certain products — boosting your overall visibility.
For example, every listing should feature professional photography, with several angles of the product. They should be typical product listing photos on an easy-to-view background. Ideally, you’ll also feature images that are suitable for social sharing. Think of these as staged, lifestyle images that show your product in use. These encourage pinning on Pinterest and reposting on social channels (creating more backlinks for you).
The description should contain both the basic information (size, color, origin, etc.) and text that allows you to optimize for search engines. Think of keyword saturation, appropriate internal links, etc.
Plan Your Promotions Quarterly
I encourage my clients to think of their inventory in terms of seasons. Plan to drop new inventory as a “collection” in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Customers naturally gravitate toward change during these times and expect stores to follow that cycle.
Since you are updating your inventory by season, you can also release promotions to promote that new inventory. Every 3 months, you can refresh your listings with new products, create supporting marketing materials, and boost your visibility with ad spend. For small businesses, this is a manageable time frame both in terms of time and expense.