If you’re new to the world of online stores, you might just be in luck. Starting a store from the ground up, although it may seem stressful, is actually a lot easier when armed with the proper tools. One of the most powerful tools currently available to business owners hoping to tap into the eCommerce space is eCommerce website builders. Let’s talk for a minute about what they are.
These online store builders are similar to traditional website builders but designed with a number of specific eCommerce-centric features that enable store owners to sell their product to a more global market.
The platforms typically use a drag-and-drop-style editor and drastically reduce the stress involved in moving your store online. The key is, however, finding a quality builder. You will know when you locate the perfect online store builder, as it will give you access to some or all these five key features:
- Informative Product Descriptions
- Secure Payment Options
- Product Reviews
- Guest Checkout
- A Mobile Site
Now that you know what to look out for, let’s talk about how to choose an online store builder, and the features to be on the lookout for.
Informative Product Descriptions
Since customers rely heavily on product descriptions on online stores, it is important to have concise and informative descriptions written. You should also edit every available field in your product description, as this can assist when an advanced search is performed in your store.
What I mean is, think like a customer when designing your site and planning its contents. Ask yourself key questions that someone wanting to make a purchase would ask in order to ensure the product page they’re visiting is where they would like to spend their money.
Making a sale could be the difference between having a clearly-written product description and one that is simply all over the place and incomprehensible.
As you write product descriptions, think to yourself, if I were to buy my products, what questions would I ask before purchasing? You should then, list the questions and begin formulating articulate answers to them. Potential questions may include:
- Is there a size guide available to help customers understand the size of their purchase?
- Is there a discount or rebate code available?
- What is included in the purchase price?
- Where is the product shipping from?
- What is the quality of the product?
- Are there reviews available?
- What is the return policy?
- Is the website secure?
These are all important questions that should be answered in product descriptions to provide the most amount of information for potential customers. This seemingly small element can also assist in terms of SEO.
Secure Payment Options
If you’ve chosen an online store builder that accepts credit card payments, chances are, it processes payments through its own native payment processing system or through secure payment gateways like PayPal or Stripe. Other forms of secure pay include:
- Cryptocurrency Payments
- Google Pay
- Amazon Pay
- Apple Pay
A characteristic of a sophisticated payment gateway is that it should also accept most or all major credit cards, and the online store builder you choose should proudly display a message that secure payments are accepted.
In some cases, this is a feature that you can turn off and on, although I highly recommend keeping it on to let customers know that you take their security seriously. With each method of payment you accept, you should be aware there may be processing fees. It is best to check for applicable fees associated with payment processing.
If you are selling a quality product that you believe in and have consistently received great customer feedback — there is value in including real customer reviews on your online store.
Not to mention, if potential customers see good or even fair product reviews, the chances of them making a purchase will increase. Depending on the online store builder you choose, you can actually enable/disable this feature.
Have you ever been to an awesome website with great products but simply can’t make a purchase without going through the time-consuming and annoying process of creating an account?
Enable the option to ‘Checkout as Guest’ and increase online sales conversions. This removes one level of complexity from the online purchase process. In many cases, customers are skeptical when making online purchases unless they’ve gone through all of the motions, like checking your store for reviews, reading off-site reviews and checking for secure payment options.
Mobile Responsive Capabilities
Online store builders like WixStores offer the option to edit the mobile version of your site. There’s nothing else more annoying than having to zoom in while using your mobile device, as it takes away from the mobile eCommerce experience altogether.
You should be able to edit elements such as the background, scrolling, hidden elements and the overall page layout. This is of course if your site is not already mobile responsive.
A number of online store builders actually come with access to dozens of mobile responsive templates and require no editing to your mobile site, whatsoever. Having a mobile site actually ensures a seamless experience for shoppers on the device they spend most of their time with.
Deciding to take your business online is a big step in potentially increasing revenue, qualified leads and other important conversion metrics. So, take the time when deciding on a great builder and ensure that it includes most, if not all of the features listed above.
This will help contribute to an overall better shopping experience for current and future customers.
About the Author: Marc Dane is the SEO & Content Manager at WebCreate.io – a knowledge hub for small business owners looking to build a presence online. The site offers website builder reviews and comparisons, guides for building a website and resources on related tools, platforms and more.