The ways people view media and use the internet are still changing rapidly.
When the internet was still young, marketers would, for instance, use flashing lights and pop-up windows to grab the attention of the user. If anyone was to use the same tactics in the 2020s, they would probably be disappointed: people have learned to sidestep everything that feels abundant and annoying, and they don’t like using sites that aren’t handy enough.
So what is a good online store made of in 2020?
Pictures Draw You In, User Experience Makes You Stay
The easiest way to get the customer’s attention is by using an impressive picture. That’s why all the big and succesful online stores use pictures of professional quality on their sites and stores. A store with unappealing or ambiguous images is likely to lose against competitors.
It only takes a few seconds to make a first impression, and that is what the pictures are for. After that, it is all down to user experience: do customers find what they are looking for easily, and is shopping a fun experience for them?
You could say that professional pictures are used to turn any web surfer into a potential customer, and a solid user experience turns potential customers into regulars.
Use Images Taken by a Professional
The visual element of any online store is now more important than ever. People pay attention to long texts and large headlines less and less.
Quality pictures that grab a person’s attention and set up an ambience are nowadays a requirement for success. Because so few online entrepreneurs have experience in photography, taking them by yourself is probably not a good idea. Naturally, you can for instance add pictures of your storage location to your company description or post everyday pictures on social media, but the most prominent images you should get from professional photographers.
If possible, you should also hire a professional photographer to take your product pictures. If the store doesn’t manufacture its own products, top-quality product pictures may be available also through the importer.
Fortunately, since the demand for professional pictures has risen greatly in the recent years, such photos are now easy to get. There are plenty of photographers posting their work online at reasonable prices and plenty of pictures to choose from.
Think About Your Store from the Customer’s Point of View
How do customers use your store, and what does using it feel like? Can they find what they are looking for? Is shopping fun, or is the payment process too heavy and annoying?
When you consider these things, what you are thinking about is often referred to as UX, user experience. Things like user-friendliness and fast loading times are directly linked with a better user experience.
An online entrepreneur may very well run into problems that are similar to those faced every day by brick-and-mortar store owners. For instance, the placement of the products, whether on the shelf of a physical store or on the page of an online one, has a great effect on how many of them are sold. It is also not enough to have the products on display; you should always give thorough and accurate information about the products to make the customer feel more confident about making the purchase.
Improving the user experience means that the owner of the store has to anticipate the needs of the customers and, more than anything, make buying easy for them. Where is the customer’s eye drawn, when he or she comes to the main page? What is he or she most likely looking for? Where should you place any adverts for maximum effectiveness?
Naturally, it is impossible to fully forecast customer behavior. Every person is unique, and their wants and needs are different. Still, you should think about what most customers, on average, want to do in your store and what you should offer them. The point of improving UX is developing the store so that as many customers as possible will think that shopping in your store is fun.