Building an eCommerce business is not an easy task- you have to manage inventory, create a well-converting store, get targeted traffic to your store and manage customer support and complaints.
All this can be quite overwhelming, especially if you’re starting out on your own, but when you break it into small chunks it can become more manageable and the learning curve becomes less steep.
In this article, I am going to focus on one specific task- creating a converting store. AND I am going to do it in only ONE DAY.
The initial creation of your store is such a small task in the face of all you have to do in your business, and yet I see so many people spending weeks trying to get things just right.
While I get the desire for perfection, you have to realize and accept that in the beginning, you are not going to be as good as you want to be, but the only way to get there is by getting started.
Figure out the Minimum Bar of Excellence
As I mentioned, you will not be perfect when you are just starting out, but you do need to make sure your store is good enough to actually drive sales and conversions.
So you need to figure out what the minimum bar of excellence is that you need to adhere to in order to get customers to trust you, and actually want to buy from you.
There are a few things that you need to consider when looking at your store and trying to figure out if people would actually buy from it:
- Trust- is your store trustworthy, or does it look like a scam?
- Product- are your products looking good and inviting, is there anything special about them that customers can’t find in other places?
- Comfort- how easy and comfortable is using your store and making a purchase from you? Make sure you’re not making your customers work hard
5 Steps to Creating a Converting Store in One Day
1. Design and Copy
There are a lot of different experiments and optimization efforts you could use to make sure your website’s design and copy are perfectly optimized for conversions- but these are not realistic or needed when you are just starting out.
To convert, your design and copy need to be coherent and follow basic design principles- the people visiting your store should get the impression that it represents a legitimate brand that they can trust rather than a scam.
And nothing says “SCAM” more than a half-arsed website, with messy colors and a grammarly inconsistent copy.
So to make things easy, here are 3 things to get you started with a good looking store:
- Colors- do quick research on the biggest stores in your niche; what colors are they using? These are colors customers in the niche are familiar with, so use a similar color palette, making sure to focus on 1-2 main colors, so the website is not busy
- Text- make sure your website copy is free of errors and that your basic grammar is correct. If your store is in English but you are not a native speaker, use a free tool like Grammarly to re-check your text and let a native speaker go through your copy when it’s ready- still not passing as trustworthy? Consider hiring someone to help you out
- Trust Shopify- Shopify’s free themes are good enough for 99% of stores starting out, and have been created by people who know eCommerce. Work within your chosen theme’s boundaries instead of trying to break them- when you grow and gain more experience, you can start getting into the more advanced things.
Time estimation: 2-4 hours
Whether you are dropshipping or selling your own products, you want to make sure the products in your store make visitors want to buy, and have enough of a verity that you have some options for users to scroll through.
Product selection- choose a small number of “pillar-products” that are the main attractors in your store- these are the products you think people would get excited about. Add to each pillar product a few cheaper complementary products that you can use for upselling.
A good example would be a store selling travel supply- their pillar items might be large luggage or a luggage set, and smaller complimentary items could be a lock, a suitcase cover or a carrion bag.
Product images- these images need to be clear, high-resolution, with no random supplier branding on them.
Make sure you get high-quality pictures of your products to put in your store. Even if you are dropshipping, you can probably find some high-quality images of your products; and if you are selling your own products, you can use a very minimal set up to take very good pictures with your phone.
Remember, we are focusing on a minimum bar of excellence here, so while you don’t want to spend too much time and money booking a studio and getting your pictures professionally taken, you also don’t want to just take low-quality pictures that don’t actually show your products at their best.
Time estimation: 3-4 hours
3. Social Proof and UGC
Social proof and user-generated content are two of your best tools to get your potential customers to trust you as a legitimate brand.
There are a lot of types of user-generated content that you can use on your store- reviews, testimonials, Instagram feeds, etc. But when you are first starting out and you need to focus on one thing that would have the largest impact, I recommend focusing on setting up product reviews.
Focus on your pillar products
Instead of wasting time getting reviews to your entire store when you are just starting out, focus on reviews for the pillar products that we talked about in the previous point. You will have plenty of time to import reviews to the rest of your store once you are up and running.
The pillar products are the ones that you are going to send your customers to through advertising, they will essentially be landing pages, so you want to make sure that each one of them has enough reviews that visitors can actually scroll through and see different opinions about each product.
In Shopify, adding product reviews and user-generated content is very easy with the use of third-party apps. Using an app like Loox allows you to add reviews to your products and even import reviews from AliExpress, so you can get started with reviews from the get-go.
Here are some guidelines for adding reviews to your store:
- Focus on reviews with photos
- Have a healthy balance of good and not so good reviews, showing only five-star reviews makes them seem suspicious
- Make sure to replay to the less-than-perfect reviews to show that you are always taking care of things to ensure customer satisfaction
Time estimation: 1-2 hours
4. Live On-Site Support
Support is not only important for post-purchase customer satisfaction, it is also an important element in conversion rate optimization, and a must for a starting store wanting to increase consumers’ trust.
There are a few different forms of support and contact options you can provide:
- Live chat support
- Phone number
- Contact us form
- Email and/or social media links
- Live call widget
None of these contradict each other, and should all probably be used in different areas of your website, but one of the most popular options is a live chat widget, which makes sense considering 44% of shoppers found chat to be important in making decisions.
Just as with product reviews, adding live support to your website is incredibly easy in Shopify- you can set up an easy Facebook live chat with a bot like Chatfuel, or even use a dedicated app like EasyCall to set up a live click to call widget and provide on-site voice support.
So when focusing on giving on-site support to your customers, the best way to do that is with a live support widget, which follows your customers around and allows them to reach your support center easily, with a click.
Time estimation: 0.5-1 hours
5. Follow Up
The biggest misconception new merchants have about conversion rate is that it begins when a customer reaches your store and ends when he leaves.
In truth, conversion rate optimization starts with attracting the right people to your store (which we will not talk about in the scope of this article), and ends long after they leave.
You need to take into account that most people seeing your store for the first time will most likely not buy, and might forget about you entirely after a day or two.
How do you fight this? With off-site follow-ups!
Your job is to make sure that customers are reminded of you and of the products they showed interest in while visiting your store, so they have the opportunity to decide to buy. In order to be able to follow-up on your customers hours and days after they left your store, you have to collect their details while they are still on-site.
What are the tools to help you follow up on your customers?
- Pixels and tracking codes- Facebook pixel and Google Analytics are the most important 2. They allow you to later retarget visitors with customized ads.
- Use an app to collect subscribers in different communication channels:
- Email marketing
- Push notifications
- SMS marketing
- Messenger subscribers
When you use an app, each communications channel can take only a few minutes to set up, but if that feels overwhelming at first, you can focus on one or two and set up the rest later on.
The one thing you can’t skip is setting up the Facebook pixel and Google Analytics codes- these are your investments for marketing in the future.
Time estimation: 1-3 hours
As you can see, setting up your first store can be divided into small, manageable tasks that can all be completed in one day’s work.
To be honest, it’s not important that you actually set everything up in one day, it’s more than ok if you need more time to research and learn the technical part of things. What I tried to show you in this article is that setting up your store doesn’t have to be a long and complex process.
You can take a day to complete each step if completing them in one day feels unreasonable, but don’t forget to focus on your minimum bar of excellence, and not on creating the perfect store.