Refining Your Online Store For More Sales
Hello and welcome back to how to sell online. In this lesson we're gonna be talking about refining your online store for more sales. We started this class by talking about the idea that building an online website building an e commerce site is really just about making it as easy as possible for your customers to buy from you. That is our goal here. We are trying to serve our customers in the best way possible. So after you've spent the time to build your site and get it set up, it's really essential that you go back through your site and make sure it's as easy as possible for your customers to buy from you. Because honestly we are super distracted human beings and every opportunity to get distracted to fall away from your website results in a loss of sales. Even if people want to buy from you, they're not going to do it if it is too difficult. So you want to really go through your website and make sure that it is as easy as possible for people to buy. We really want to look at our site...
s from the customer perspective when you've put hours and hours into building your online store, it's really easy to think like it's fine customers are going to get it, but now we have to step away from ourselves as business owners and put our customer hats on and really think about the customer experience and how our site works and functions from their perspective, the first thing that you want to do is check your site in as many browsers and on as many mobile devices as possible. Now most things are going to look similar but it's not always gonna look the same. I do most of my online stuff on a Mac book air and on my phone so everything looks tiny to me. So if you have built your website on a giant desktop and you're like, oh it looks gorgeous. It might look gorgeous to someone who's browsing on tiny devices all the time. So it's really important that you look at different phones, different tablets, different computers doesn't mean that you have to own all of these things. You can ask friends and family to check it out on theirs. But it's really important that you look at it in as many places as possible to see that it's working in all of those. Now, chances are it's going to work on all of them. But does it look good on all those? Are things not obvious or missing? That's a different story. And so we want to check those things. So as you're looking at your e commerce site on different platforms and different browsers, here are some key questions to ask. Does it look good on all those platforms? Right. Does that beautiful banner image that looks so stunning on your desktop work when it's on a tiny phone. Right. Those are really important things to look at. Just does it look good? And then is it easy to find the menu? The search the shopping cart. Sometimes you may find a theme for your site that you love, but when you go to mobile, the navigation kind of gets buried right. Like you end up with a little dots or little hamburger menus, which is that stacked menu that people have to click and it becomes really hard to navigate your site. So you want to make sure it's obvious on all devices that you can find, that customers can find the menu, the search the shopping cart so they can actually check out you want to look for these things. The other thing that you want to consider, which is so important is how many clicks does it take for someone to go from a homepage to a product page? And the answer to this question should be 2-3 max. Someone should be able to go from your homepage and in 12 maybe three clicks, but three is pushing it, they should be on a product page where they can add something to their cart because the more time someone has to click, the less likely that they're going to end up doing the thing you want them to do, which is making a purchase. So make sure that if they're on your home page, they can click and get to a product page pretty darn quickly. You don't want to send them to an info page and then a category page and then a sub category page and then the product page. No, we want to get them into those product pages as quickly as possible. The other thing we want to make sure we're paying attention to is how many clicks does it take for someone to go from a product page to a purchase? So if someone put something from a product page into their cart, how long does it take for them to then make a purchase, Do they have to go through 27 steps? Do they have to click around or figure out where the shopping cart is hiding? Tiny and small? We want to make sure that once they said, hey, I want this and adding it to my cart, it's then really easy to go to purchase. You also want to make sure that something happens when someone adds a product to their cart and then is it clear what the next step is? So when someone adds a product to their cart, we have what's called an add to cart event, something should happen to let someone know that it was successful on my site. When someone adds something to cart, the cart slides out, I've seen them slide from the side, slide from the top. What I love about this kind of setup is that if someone wants to keep browsing, it's easy to do that, but be if they're ready to check out, they've got that button there too. And it's very clear what the next step is. So once someone added something to cart, is it clear what the next step is? Can they seamlessly move to check out? And a lot of platforms give you different options right in Shopify. This is not the only thing that could happen when someone adds to cart, I could select that. They go straight to check out. I could select they go to the cart. You could select that nothing happens. But I wouldn't recommend that. But so you get to look at and decide what's going to happen when someone adds to cart because we want it to be very clear what their next step is. And then if someone is looking for a specific product, is it easy for them to find on your site? This is way more common of a problem than a lot of people realize. So let's say for example that you post an image to instagram. So say I posted this image to instagram of these rings. I can't link to it from instagram. I could tag a product, but we're gonna set that aside for a second. Let's say I didn't tag the product and someone is like you, I really like that ring. If they go to your site, if they go to my site, can they find that thing easily? Especially if they don't know what you call it, right? If I just had things that were sorted on my website by collection that's called the contra collection, but someone might not know that or they might think, I think that's contra but then they click on it and all they see are necklaces. So by giving them an option to search, have rings in the dropdown category or even to search rings, it's gonna make it easier for them to find a product. The same thing is true. If you have a bricks and mortar store, say someone is in your store, they looked at something, they really liked it before. Whatever reason they didn't buy that day. Maybe their kid was hungry and cranky and tired. Maybe they were hungry and cranky and tired. They left your store, they didn't buy it. But suddenly that are at home on your on your website going really liked that thing. Can they find it? Can they find it? If all they can do is describe it, how will they be able to search for it? Can they look at different categories? Can they enter different search terms? Really making sure that if someone falls in love with your product outside of your website, it is easy for them to then find it on your website. It can be really helpful to have a friend or a few walk through this process as well. Like I said, we're spending a lot of time building our online stores and it is really easy to get like bogged down in the details. Tunnel Vision, can't see the forest for the trees, all that good stuff. And so it can be helpful to have a friend walk through this process or an employee, someone that you trust to say, hey, I just tried to buy a thing on your site and it was a hot mess. Like we need to fix this. So the more people, you could have take a look at your site from the customer perspective, the easier it is to improve what you're doing. Alright? So your final action step is to walk through the customer journey from home page to product page to check out on as many devices as possible and make any changes to make the experience easier. Do you have to eliminate some steps so that there's less clicking. Do you have to add that add to cart event? You have to make it really clear how someone checks out what they need to do. The more you can go through and refine your website, the more likely it is that someone is actually going to make a purchase and that's the whole goal, right? Yes. The goal is to get someone to make a purchase. But ultimately it's to make your customers lives easier and your website is just another tool to do that. All right. So we covered a lot in this class and you may be wondering what's next. So so far you learn what makes a good e commerce website, You figured out which platform is right for you. We looked at the key parts of your online store. We talked about how to handle shipping and fulfillment and I promise you it's not as scary as you might think it is. And we talked about how to refine your online store for more sales. So if you've gone through and you've put in the work then your online store is ready to launch and this is where the good stuff happens once your website is launched. And remember doesn't have to be perfect. We're just trying to get out there. It's time to tell everyone about your store, email your list, email your friends and family posted on social media. Guess what? More than once. It may take people a little while to realize that they can suddenly shop on your website. If you run a bricks and mortar store announced that in your store, put it on the receipt, whatever you can do, shout it from the rooftops, don't just expect that because you set up your online store and that you've got your e commerce ready to go that people will show up and start buying. You need to let people know that your website is ready to buy and just remember that your website should always be evolving. It's not a static product. This is something that you can work with and improve over time. But don't wait until it's perfect to launch, get it out there and let it start making you money because even just having a bare bones e commerce site is going to make your customers lives so much easier than not having one at all. So thank you so much for joining me in how to sell online. I've really appreciated sharing this information with you. I'm Megan Almond. You can connect with me at Megan Almond on social media or on my websites, designing an M B A dot com and artists and profit makers dot com. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey.
The global pandemic accelerated the transformation to e-commerce by at least 3-5 years. In other words, if you haven’t been selling your products or services online you were likely hit hard by the lockdown. Maybe you scrambled to launch your online store and you are struggling with ad hoc solutions that aren’t really working for you or your customers.
In this class, you will learn how to get your online store up and running using the tools and technology you already have at your disposal. Megan will cover strategies to help your customers go from passive browsing to excitedly purchase your products.
This class includes:
- Choosing your platform
- How to handle shipping fulfillment and inventory
- The essential elements every eCommerce website needs
- How to improve sales conversion
ABOUT YOUR INSTRUCTOR:
Megan Auman is a designer, metalsmith, educator, and entrepreneur who has built a multi-faceted business around her passion for great design and sustainable business. Her eponymous jewelry line is sold in stores across the US and online. Her designs have been featured in Design Sponge, Better Homes and Gardens, Cooking Light, and more. In 2009, Megan founded Designing an MBA to help designers and makers develop their business skills. Since then, she has created a number of successful e-courses, including Marketing for Makers, Wholesale Academy, and Do/Teach. She is a frequent speaker on pricing, wholesale, and business thinking for creatives.