The whole goal of your store is to make a sale right? Ideally you’re going to make so many sales that you start to wonder if your bank account is full.

Hint: Bank accounts don’t get full. 😛

Today we’re going to look at the key points that make your online store awesome and awesome stores make sales.

Establish Trust

First off, your site needs to look trustworthy. Long gone are the days where flashing cat graphics are considered great for a proper online store. Today you need to invest in a good design that looks professional.

You don’t even have to get something desingned custom, purchasing a WordPress theme and having eCommerce added to it is a great way to have a professional looking site on a budget. There is one caveat though, it is possible that others will have a site that looks very similar to yours if they bought the same template.

The theme shops I currently recommend are:

  1. The Theme Foundry
  2. Cr3ativ
  3. Array
  4. StudioPress

Some of those have themes that already support WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads or WP eCommerce but even if the theme doesn’t already support an eCommerce platform they are all built well and will integrate well with an eCommerce platform with the help of a competent developer.

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Make the Sale easy

You’ve established trust and your customers are looking to purchase something from you, now make it easy.

Use as few pages during the checkout process as possible. If your purchases are typically single purchases, send the user directly to checkout when they complete a purchase instead of making them click again to get to the checkout page.

Make your purchase buttons stand out on your page. They should be a different colour from the rest of your site and draw the users attention.

When the user is on the checkout page, only require the information you need. If you don’t need their address because you sell digital goods then don’t require the address fields to be filled out.

An email is way more important than an address anyway since getting someone on your email list increases the chances of them becoming returning customers.

Finally, don’t forget about mobile shoppers. Mobile shopping continues to rise and is likely to keep doing so. If you’re checkout process is hard on a mobile device then it’s quite possible that your potential customers are just going to find somewhere else to make the purchase like Amazon which has a pretty easy mobile checkout process.

Keep in Touch

Once someone has purchased a product it’s time to really kick in to overdrive on your communication with them about their purchase.

Email them a confirmation and any special instructions for the product. Does the product require some processing (maybe you need to build their custom order) email them when it starts and when it’s ready and getting packed for shipping.

Email them when it ships, and use a tracking number so the user can tell where their product is.

Follow up with them via email a few weeks after they’ve received their product. Does it meet their needs? Was the quality as expected? Encourage them to leave a review of the product on your site, maybe even offer a coupon for a future purchase if they leave a review.

For a membership site identify what your long term members have done. Have they filled out their profile, interacted with a group or left a comment? Email your new members at key intervals to encourage them to do the same things and you’re going to retain more of those new members.

You’re customer should feel like they get great hands-on service from you.

Even after they’ve got their product and are happy to it, you need to keep reaching out to them via email. Email converts so much better than any other medium that the others don’t even rank. We’ll talk in a future post about how to run an effective email list.

Now go forth and have an awesome holiday selling season. If you need help building an awesome online store then check out our process and get in touch.

Posted by Curtis McHale

Web developer specializing in membership and ecommerce sites. I like to ride my bicycle.