How to start an online store the right way according to the top dogs in the business

 2016-08-12 02:47 PM by
How to start an online store the right way according to the top dogs in the business

Are you tired of relying on your store’s four walls to attract your clientele? Do you want to open your digital doors to a wider potential customer base? If your answer to both these questions is yes, then you’re ready to put your store online, where it’ll always be open to help customers 24/7. Building an online retail store requires diligence, a level-head and the right tools to help you stand out. After reading this blog, you’ll be equipped with the right skills on how to start an online store according to others who’re clearly doing it right.

How to start an online store right


To get your customer’s attention and keep it, you need to provide an online service that’s focused on them. According to Bryan Eisenberg, founder and CMO at IdealSpot, customers are busier than ever and want a fast solution with limited commitment attached to an offer. Currently, shopping online is very impersonal, customers crave an online interaction that takes their preferences into account. Customers have to sort through a lot of product pages, with little guidance. Using sales associates is a way of bridging the gap between online web visitors and the online store experience.


Loyalty programmes are another great way to earn the trust of your online customers. They’re also a great way of obtaining personal information about your customers shopping habits. According to the African Business Review, “We are beginning to find that customers are willing to share personal information, if this leads to the evolution of a personalised shopping experience.” The most important thing to keep in mind is that online customers should feel in control at all times. Customers want to feel safe online and not only ensure that their personal details are being taken care of, but their financial information as well.


How to start an online store using the same principles as these online retail top dogs


Online stores allow web hosts to seamlessly manage aspects of their online business, all in one place. Depending on the tools you’ve available your online store will help you stay organised and focus on selling better online. But what do the top dogs of retail do to provide a better user experience to online customers?


  • The second you arrive on Spree’s website a Call to Action (CTA) pops up, offering you a R100 voucher and asking you to sign up to their newsletter. If you shop online Spree will also give you a 20% discount on selected men’s and women's attire.
  • Edgars’ first CTA leads you to their red hanger sale They also allow website visitors, while they happen to be online, to check their Edgars card reward points. A YouTube clip of their latest advert is nearby because they know adding videos on your website is a great way to give users a personlised experience.
  • Etsy owe their success to their wide reach and the fact that their products are featured almost everywhere on the internet. The more items you have listed, the easier it’ll be for people to find you. Start with the products you have, even if it’s a single unit. Your online business goal will then be to add more products later on. To help you out, look at what others are doing that sell similar products. This will give you a good idea of where to start and what to work towards.


Etsy also displays their online reliability on their website to reassure clients that they handle and protect every transaction themselves. One of Sage Online Tools’ clients Ingie.G Stationery displays their Sage Pay logo on their website to give their shoppers peace of mind, knowing they can shop in confidence.


Important aspects an ecommerce website builder needs


Online customers don’t have the luxury of being able to physically see, touch or smell your products. That’s why appealing photos, web design and product descriptions are so important. The overall look and feel of your website gives customers an indication of your level of professionalism. And your photos and product descriptions allows customers to connect with your product on a deeper level. All of these aspects need to do the selling for you and if something is out of balance it could affect your conversion rate.


Placing a live social media feed on your homepage is another great way for you to connect with customers. It turns you from being just another face in the crowd to making your brand more personal and something your customers can relate to.

If you want to learn more about how to start an online store, we’re here to help.  Try our free 30-day website trial and learn more about our ecommerce website builder.