The emergence of online stores is linked to the purchase of products via the Internet. In the age of digitalization, this is a trendy and cost-effective way to buy, both for consumers and entrepreneurs.
The online store provides different payment methods, making it easier for consumers to decide on this type of purchase quickly.
Online Store: Benefits
Online shopping offers benefits such as product visibility, description, the ability to analyze the item several times before finally performing the purchase process –which is ultimately quite simple. The payment process is also simple because there is no waiting or staying at the cash register, which is a great time saver for today’s people.
However, if online shopping was the only suitable method of selling, there would be no more physical stores with goods. The reason these still exist is straightforward, and it concerns the impossibility of presenting the item in the way that a person would experience it oneself.
Online Store: Disadvantages
No matter how good the image depicting an item is, even today, errors like wrong color, size, or some other wrongly-presented element occur in an era of countless image editing tools. Everyone’s goal is to make the image of a product as high-quality as possible.
However, sometimes it does not correspond to what the person gets after completing the purchase process. Whoever bought through AliExpress (we take them only as an example, not as a rule) had at least one such case.
Although the seller’s rating will describe the quality of the goods, the photo is essential not only by the photo. We encourage all entrepreneurs in that sense and emphasize that it is good to have quality images of products and work hard to get them.
However, the general rule is that the photo must not be better than the product, while its function is to present the product in as realistic a light as possible.
Images with a pleasant ambiance, good lighting, warm colors, and similar background elements sell the product much better. That’s because the product is brought to life by the shadows, tinting, and contrast, which is the photo’s goal.
Online Shopping Methods
The next thing to consider is the methods of online shopping, which mainly depend on the type of services. We distinguish the following ways:
- B2C (business to consumer) means that the process within the online store takes place between the service provider and the customer.
- B2B (business to business), in which online trade takes place between two entrepreneurs.
- B2B2C (business to business to client) means that online trade takes place either between two entrepreneurs or between a customer and an entrepreneur. Still, in this way, there is also an intermediary. This third method originated as a combination of B2C and B2B approaches and today is the most common in modern online stores.
- C2B (consumer to business) is an online store. Still, the buyer asks the seller for a specific service or product, stating his requirements (for example, the budget for buying a particular product or service).
- C2C (consumer to consumer) is an online auction-like trade, which takes place between two users.
- B2A (business to administration), whose basic business segment is the execution of financial transactions between entrepreneurs, can be companies and numerous government institutions.
- C2A (consumer to administration) refers to all the necessary transactions that an individual has with various government agencies.
- B2E (business to employee), which is intended primarily for employees within a particular company.
Basic Elements of an Online Store
To create your online store, it is essential first to choose an adequate domain. When choosing a domain, one should think in the direction of differentiating from the competition.
You should also consider the following criteria. The domain name should be memorable, preferably short in form, sufficiently representative of the product in question, and well adapted to what you are selling.
Although they can be effective when it comes to marketing, Contradictory names can be penalized by Google from the aspect of optimization (SEO). Too many keywords in a domain, even though explaining what you are selling, can create a problem in other areas of marketing.
So, if you sell moisturizers, the domain should not be called footwear.com, nor should it be too long, such as moisturizers-deodorants-cosmetics.com.
WooCommerce Online Platform
WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin. It provides users with many options, including a control panel (admin), so that the user can quickly check the status and progress of his e-commerce store.
This platform offers a more extensive selection of payments, such as PayPal, checks, cash on delivery. A Woo Invoice also allows you to generate a general payment slip, especially popular in underdeveloped markets.
The theme is one of the essential elements of an online store because that is what the users will see when they visit the store. The theme should be as clear and easy to use as possible. Customizable themes with multiple menus allow the vendor to arrange theme elements to meet the criteria of simplicity and clarity.
The simplicity of online shopping is reflected, among other things, in the selectivity of steps that narrow the shopping process, starting from adding the product to the cart to paying for it.
When a customer opts for certain products, the following pages/sections should be narrowly focused only on the process when he wants to buy a product. If a person wants to buy a product, there is no need to show him additional products to buy.
Customer attention should be limited to payment steps, not search steps. Upon completion of the purchase, it is possible to offer the option to return to the product search, but not in payment, entering addresses, or adding other information.
A significant factor in online shopping is leaving personal data to the seller, whether the information is related to the address, phone number, or payment card code.
Numerous plugins enhance the security of WordPress and online stores. Some of the better-known plugins are Wordfence, iThemes Security, and All In One WP Security & Firewall.
The speed and the loading time of the site determine whether and how long most people will stay in the online store. Customers find everything over 3 seconds to load as slow, so statistics say that more than 53% of visitors leave the site without looking at the content if the page is opening longer than that time.
This is another reason why, in addition to quality content, it is crucial to monitor the site’s speed because a person will not even reach quality content if you don’t enable him the speed of navigating the site. It is similar with products. The slower the online store, the less likely a person is to shop at that store.
Product Presentation and Online Marketing
Plugins like MailChimp and Sendinblue allow you to stay in touch with potential customers or people who have already bought from you by offering them the ability to receive various notifications about promotions and other offers on the site via email.
Another option is using tools similar to the two we just mentioned above, which serve the same purpose but can be found outside of the WordPress platform, such as VerticalResponse.
It will provide multiple customization options and hundreds of templates for your email marketing at a competitive price. At the same time, by tracking the movements of potential customers on the site and connecting with Facebook, you can further increase sales since this social network (with an adequately created campaign) can direct them to your store.
Data backup is a vital element of an online store because it allows the seller to save the data of his customers that he has collected so far. In case of any external attacks that can even shut down the site, backup is an essential element of a vital online store.
Plugins that help make this process easier and more automated are: BackupBuddy, UpdraftPlus, and BackUpWordPress.
Lately, creating an online store has become quite simplified, but it is still at the extent that it requires a higher level of expertise and detailed knowledge of these elements.
So, if you are not from a niche that deals with this, numerous agencies have many years of experience creating online stores. In the context of the operation of stores, they always offer quality and functional solutions.
So, start googling.