The past few decades have seen incredible changes in the world of business ownership and self-marketing, with those looking to promote their services now having to do so across multiple different platforms.
It doesn’t help that each of these platforms actually has its own language, which makes its methodology and best practices unique from those around it. From attractive store layouts to well-optimized UX designs, businesses are expected to keep their customers interested in many ways; however, this raises a particular question:
What really attracts customers to an online store?
It’s a surprisingly pressing and difficult question to answer, especially now, at a time in history when more people are using online shopping than ever before, yet polls still suggest a high level of distrust in the e-commerce to its very foundations.
So today we’re going to take a look at what makes an online store appealing to customers and what you can do to improve yours.
Stay away from stock models whenever possible
Since virtually every business under the sun expects to have a complete online presence encapsulating their services, many businesses simply create websites for the sake of having them.
This usually means using basic templates that make setting up a store relatively easy and affordable. However, while templates like this are usable for many practical purposes, they can cause problems when you’re running an online store.
It all comes down to the idea of customer trust, something that a completely unchanged template site is unlikely to spark in the minds of those who visit it.
Imagine, if you will, the idea of walking into a completely unstyled storefront with products you don’t recognize stacked haphazardly in generic jars with a price on them and very little explanation of what they are. .
Would you feel like you’re getting a high-quality luxury product from a brand that doesn’t seem to believe in its own vision enough to try to evoke it?
Melodramatic prose aside, there are a lot of things that can be done to turn a basic site into something much more desirable. By working with a trusted web development company, you can start shaping your website into something completely unique to you and what your business offers.
By doing so, you not only stand out from the competition in a way that will stick in the minds of visitors, but you also show that you are an online business with an identity, and it goes a long way in building trust. .
Pay attention to your product photography
There are some industrial products that can get away with using photography with little effort due to their purely utilitarian nature. However, for most stores, you’ll need a way to win customers with your images.
After all, even if you know how fantastic your products are, a customer appearing in your store for the first time doesn’t have that luxury, and given that the internet is a vast ocean of industry competition, it’s unlikely you are given the benefit of the doubt by too many people.
Remember the old cliché, “the first bite is with the eye”. Far from being just an old saying, let alone a particular mental image, it is simply a fact that people’s understanding of the value of something is likely to be an aesthetic judgment first. So if you’re trying to get people to invest in you, you have to invest in yourself first and make sure that when people look at your products, you’re giving them something they’re excited about.
Create a detailed and insightful shipping page
If you’re a site that ships orders to people, one of the most anxiety-inducing things you can do is be opaque about your shipping. People will have a much harder time getting their money back to you if they feel like they might not get anything back in the foreseeable future.
So while you don’t have to go into detail, do what you can to allay any concerns by simply explaining what your customers can generally expect from your process. It’s a small thing that can have a big impact and actually leads to a bigger point.
Speak to your customers through your web copy
While it’s easy for many businesses to use their web copy purely for SEO purposes or purely for utility purposes, having engaging or even just digestible content on your site will make all the difference in this regard. about the people around you. .
Words are how we interact with each other, and they allow a customer to develop an almost unconscious understanding of who you are as a business beyond your products.
In industries where competition is fierce, it’s often a website’s copy and images that will be the deciding factor, sometimes even more than price.
So look at your competitors, think about how you want to be perceived, and do what you can to connect with your customers on a more personal level. This can mean trying to understand the need your products might fill for them, or even just a well-written explanation of who you are and why your products are great.
Standing out and attracting customers as a business is by no means an easy thing. It’s a process, and it can take time to find your footing with what works for you. However, it’s definitely a worthwhile process, and if you can find a way to make your site resonate with your audience, you’ll definitely see the benefits.