ELLE MCCANN

GUEST WRITER
Owner, Curious Themes

Elle McCann has been listed as a Shopify Expert for four years and in that time has built over 100+ Shopify stores. She loves working with small business owners either one-on-one or through one of her online courses to help turn their website into a Conversion Machine!

There are so many wonderful eCommerce platforms now that help you launch your online store without having any coding experience. This is wonderful for entrepreneurs just starting out because it lets you go with the more affordable DIY option and get your store launched quickly.

There are some big factors though in determining your store’s success online, and it’s more important than just focusing on the products you are selling. These factors are related to mistakes I see SO many online stores make and it costs them money. If you set your store up with these in mind, you will be on the road to success and gain some raving fans along the way.

So without further ado, the top three things are:

#1 Making your Copy Resonate with your Potential Customers

This is a key element that you MUST think about when creating your online store. So many business owners create their store and simply just describe their products and services without ever highlighting why their potential customer needs it. Instead of just writing out the product specs, write about who your product is for and what pain points it solves. You need to really get into the mind of your ideal customer here and write your copy to them specifically. You want them to read your website and ad copy, and have an “Aha” moment because your product hits their pain points.

Action Step

Research more about your ideal customer or create a survey for your current audience to get a better understanding of their lives, hopes, dreams, and what pain points keep them up at night. It’s also helpful to discover where they like to hang out online and which brands they like to connect with so that you can better target them with your paid advertising.

#2 Design for your Customers & NOT for you

Very rarely is the small business owner the perfect ideal customer for their products, however, when working one-on-one with business owners to design their online store they will make decisions based on their own opinions. You need to keep in mind when designing your online store that the point is to make it attractive to your potential customers and design it with conversions in mind. Follow the same advice as above for figuring out who your ideal customer is, use social media to talk to them, and get their feedback on your website design. While everyone’s design tastes are different, if you see a large number of your potential customers disliking or getting confused by something, then it is time to re-evaluate! Also, it is helpful to take a look at the websites of other companies in your industry. You can identify trends and also discover ways to make your website stand out.

Action Step

Don’t forget to also highlight your email newsletter or lead magnet that you created prominently on your site. Even though you have an eCommerce store you also want to focus on getting people signed up for your email newsletter. By doing this it gives you direct access to your ideal customer so you can get them more familiar with your brand, products and upcoming promotions.

#3 Don’t Overuse Discount Codes!!!

When you overuse discount codes you are training your customers to not pay full price on products from your shop. I see so many businesses both big and small use discount codes to increase engagement. They have a discount code for an email newsletter sign up, abandoned cart email, thanks for ordering email, and then run sales with discount codes almost weekly. When you overuse discount codes like this your customers will get used to searching online for a discount code first before they purchase from you… even if they were willing to pay full price originally! I recommend saving discount codes for special occasions and use other promotional tactics like “Buy One Get One” and product upsells to promote new products in your store.

Action Step

Plan out your year in advance by printing out a calendar to plan all of your promotions throughout the year. Think through which ones you will use a discount code for and how you can vary your different types of promotions to keep engagement high. Having an online store is a great way to increase your profits and gain more visibility for your brand. The key is to make sure you are always thinking of your ideal customer and their experience in using your site, and how you want to educate them more about your products. 

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