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Online Store

Turning Your Blog into an Online Store

Blogging is a great way to share your ideas, knowledge and experiences for the world to see. It’s a fantastic way to build a personality around a brand or product as well. But part of creating a brand is having a marketable product. Whether that product is something you have created yourself or something you review on your site, using software like Amazon’s ecommerce platform makes it easier than ever.

If you’re looking to sell your products, whether they’re materials reflecting your brand, your book, handmade goods, etc., here’s a breakdown of what you need to make your online store successful.

Necessary Features

  1. Search Box: It’s important to make it as easy as possible for customers to find what they’re looking for on your site. A search box allows them to quickly refine results.
  2. Featured Products: You can attract visitors’ attention to specific products by featuring photos and information about them on your home page.
  3. Tip: You can push multiple products by showcasing them in a slide show, so customers don’t have to click through each one.
  4. Related Products: Up-sell by showing customers what others bought with the products they’re interested in.
  5. Product Photos and Zoom: Online shopping is a different experience than going to a physical store, because the only way to judge a product’s quality is to look at it. It’s crucial to display quality photos that viewers can zoom in on to see details of your products.
  6. Customer Login: To make it easier for return-customers to check out, allow them to create usernames and passwords so they don’t have to enter their information every time.
  7. Privacy and Return Policies: Customers will gain peace of mind about the reliability of buying from your store if they can read your policy of protecting their personal and financial privacy. Also, if you offer a return policy for your products, they are more likely to buy in times of indecisiveness.
  8. Payment System: Obviously you need a gateway to receive payment, so it’s important to show icons of accepted means of payment, and a clear checkout section (like a shopping cart). You should also send a confirmation/receipt to the customer’s email.
  9. Social Media Links: You’ll get more traffic on your site if you have a presence in social media, so show customers where you can be found and encourage them to “Like” your page.

Customer Perspective

It might help you to look at your store through the eyes of the customer, and focus on the things they want in a shopping experience. These are some things that online shoppers like to see.

 

  1. Design/Easy Navigation: It’s inconvenient to have to click all over the site to find one product they’re looking for, so organize your products in an easy-to-find design. Pick a theme or design that really creates a good balance between design and ease of use. There are plenty of free website templates out there, so don’t settle, pick one that meets your needs.
  2. Easy Checkout: The same goes for checking out. Minimize the number of steps buyers have to go through to make their purchase so they don’t change their minds out of frustration.
  3. Contact Information: If a shopper has a question or issue, they need access to someone who can help. A good way to offer help is to display contact information or an online chat.
  4. Now you have everything you need to start making those sales!

 

Image © rangizzz – Fotolia.com

Rob Toledo resides in the great Pacific Northwest -- A lover of all things dog, sarcasm and the great outdoors, he shops almost exclusively at Thrift Stores. He currently runs Chess Club as well as thebestofnetflix.com and streamingfruit.com

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Alardologin November 19, 2013, 5:44 am

    Indeed, it is fitting as it is, we are in the online world that makes us have to innovate, innovate where competitors we do not see the opportunities that

    greetings successful

  • daphne September 14, 2013, 2:21 am

    Simply, a panoramic view. Thanks Rob. I just want to backup a point or two here. If everything is in place except the quality, all hard works turn futile. Product quality is the king of any blog to turn a visitor into a loyal customer. Secondly, customers get attracted to a site if there are diverse payments especially, direct localpay option where customers can directly pay to concerned retailer. This works good especially in giant e-malls like Amazon, ebay and Tripleclicks.

  • Googma Sansar
    Twitter:
    March 10, 2013, 12:25 pm

    Hi Rob ! Thank your for your sucess blogging ideas. Your ideas are innovative and i would like to appreciate.

  • Sylvia March 3, 2013, 10:18 pm

    Great article! I set up my online store to be simple and easy to navigate but now the SEO software i use dings my site in comparison to others because I have less words on most of the pages. One thing I have learned in getting product reviews from other bloggers is the best judge of a blogger’s influence isn’t the number of subscribers but the amount of comments on their blog. Glad I found your site- checking out some other posts now.

  • Larry James
    Twitter:
    February 3, 2013, 9:54 pm

    I think that the layout and design of your ecommerce website plays a part in whether your customers buys from you or not. Your website must look professional, function properly, and be optimized for the search engines. The tips you mentioned are good points to help boost the sales of your on-line store.
    Larry James recently posted..Five Reasons You Need A Simple Design For Your BlogMy Profile

    • Rob
      Twitter:
      February 4, 2013, 2:28 pm

      Absolutely — Great point. Trust is an absolute key in turning visitors into conversions

  • Robert
    Twitter:
    February 3, 2013, 8:57 pm

    I am always looking for advices to help me establish my online store and thanks to you with this killer article, things are much easier for me.

    However, I am still confused between opening an online store and sell products directly or just simple become a gallery with affiliate links. As you may know, there are a lot of tasks involved in selling products directly (the goods, support, delivery…). I love to hear advice from you :)
    Robert recently posted..18+ Non-Profit WordPress Themes You Shouldn’t MissMy Profile

    • Rob
      Twitter:
      February 4, 2013, 2:23 pm

      Hey Robert (great name =) ) –

      Glad you liked it — you raise a good question about the differences between those three “selling things online” type services — I think that would make a great post and will get working on it and post my advice here.

      Best,

      Rob

  • Sue Neal January 5, 2013, 2:17 pm

    Hi Rob,

    I’ve only just discovered this site, thanks to a fellow blogger – and boy, am I glad I’ve found it!

    This post is very timely for me, as I intend to start monetizing my blog over the next few months – I’ll probably start by promoting some products as an affiliate, rather than selling directly from the site, but a lot of these tips are still pertinent. The links you’ve provided are very helpful, too – many thanks!

    Sue (fellow lover of all things on four legs that go ‘woof’)
    Sue Neal recently posted..Become a Better Writer in 2013: Two New Year Resolutions to Make it HappenMy Profile

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