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7 steps on how to create an effective online store

7 steps on how to create an effective online store

It is clear that each company wants to sell as many of its products or services as possible. This is where e-commerce services that have been in demand can help you, but due to the pandemic, many places have already become mandatory.

What is e-commerce?

E-commerce is the sale of goods and services on the Internet, which provides an opportunity to expand its customer base around the world, thus achieving higher sales. The features of online stores allow you not only to disclose your products and/or services to buyers, but also as a place where you can manage marketing, payment processing, customer database, product accounting, reviews and much more.

Business types and their relationship to e-commerce

Mostly all online stores fall into one of the following categories of marketing transactions:

  1. B2B (business to business) is an online store where a company sells its product or service to other companies, for example, an online store offers specialized goods to hotel chains. (The transaction takes place between 2 companies that offer goods or services necessary for the existence of the other company's activities, for example, specialized goods are offered to hotel chains.)
  2. B2C (business to consumer). This type of relationship exists between the business and the consumer. Companies can offer both goods (for example, children's sunglasses) and services (for example, the creation of training plans) to individual consumers.
  3. C2C (consumer to consumer). In this case, the online store represents the role of an intermediary, that is, consumers can exchange goods among themselves. One example is eBay, where you, as a consumer, can sell your TV to another consumer.
  4. C2B (consumer to business). Here a transaction is made between the consumer and the company. For example, a food blogger gives a review on his blog about a restaurant that he really liked.

Design differences between B2B and B2C online stores

Consumer intent

Shoppers in the B2B sector usually leisurely study online stores, because they want to get information (reviews, offers, product demonstrations) in order to understand what you offer and whether you can be trusted.

In the B2C model, the opposite is true – buyers tend to be impulsive, therefore, elements that attract attention are needed, for example, "buy now" buttons or videos, images of product demonstrations.

User experience

Both B2B and B2C online stores should be modern, elegant and suitable for mobile devices. They must also correspond to different assessments, such as Google Page Speed Insight .

It is important for B2B customers to understand that they can trust you and this can be achieved with high-quality and serious information. As much as this type of customer leisurely researches your store, it would be necessary to use different ways to keep these people in the online store as long as possible, rather than inviting them to buy.

Purchase process

B2B shoppers need confidence from your brand, which can be achieved with quality content, reviews, and maybe even webinars, which also means that there will be many more links in these online stores.

In the process of B2C shopping, as a rule, there are 1 person who buys the lowest priced goods, but despite this, buyers still check reviews.

Step 1 – Ensure a high level of security 

  • Update your online store when needed;
  • Comply with GDPR requirements (e.g. data protection regulation) ;
  • Use secure and effective passwords;
  • Take protective measures against hacker attacks;
  • Implement 2-step authentication.

Step 2- Ensure responsiveness

It is important that your online store is also adapted for mobile devices, so here are a couple of recommendations on how to make your page responsive to mobile devices:

  • Optimize image loading;
  • Use responsive design that adapts to the dimensions of the device;
  • Limit or turn off pop-ups ;
  • Adjust the buttons according to the small screens (44px smallest);
  • Compress files or minimize codes.

Step 3 – Maintain simplicity and beauty

When creating an online store, it can be tempting to add a lot of images and large blocks of text, but it must be said that in e-commerce everything should be kept simple.

This means:

  • There should be transparent content. It has been found that 80% of users only easily review texts, so all content, for example, should be sectioned into several parts or by point of plan. You can also make videos if you need to explain a lot of content.
  • Use high-quality photos. With images, consumers remember much more information than without. 
  • Flat design. Flat design is a design style that uses simple two-dimensional elements and bright colors. This one will not only attract the attention of shoppers, but will also load on mobile devices much faster.
  • Psychology of color. Colors greatly affect both people's emotions and their preferences, so if there are restrictions on the place of the text – use the psychology of color to your advantage. A great example is blue – it creates a sense of trust that can help improve conversion.

Step 4 – Make branding one of your priorities 

It's important to show why you're different from your competitors. As only 1 in 3 consumers trust the companies they shop in, it's important to show off your branding elements in online stores to show that you're real and trustworthy, so add to your online stores:

  • Logo;
  • Your specific font;
  • Constant aesthetics or image filter;
  • The debilitating color scheme.

Step 5 – Make the shopping process easier

  • Add a purchase process report bar. Shoppers may be impatient, but the progress bar will show them how easily and quickly an order can be fulfilled.
  • Limit the fields that can be filled in. Buyers should not fill in more than 8 fields at checkout.
  • Use a secure payment processing processor.
  • Add multiple payment options. For example, ApplePay, PayPal or Google Pay, so that shoppers don't have to enter their credit card details. 
  • Provide the opportunity to shop without registering. 

Step 6 – Create user-friendly navigation

It is important that your navigation is easy to understand if you want buyers not to run away from you. Therefore, include:

  • Appropriate product categories;
  • Product filters to facilitate search;
  • An easy-to-find search window.

Step 7 – Use user data and feedback to make improvements

After the successful launch of the online store, the work does not stop, if you want to keep existing customers and get new ones, you should continue to follow the recommendations and feedback from users in order to understand what improvements need to be made.