How to Build a Successful Retail Website for Your Business
Online shopping becomes more important with each passing year for consumers and for small retail businesses. If you don’t spend some time building a retail website, even just a one-page site describing your business, then you will lose significant market share.
At our referral site, offline business owners often ask us how to build a free retail website, and if they need to hire a team to build the site. In this article, we’ll go through that option and all the others. We’ll also explore all the primary steps you’ll take as you go through the process.
If you’re still not convinced of the impact good retail website design can have, here’s some hard data.
In 2019, Bloom berg reported that the online retail sector grew 14.5% over the previous year. That far outstrips the overall retail sector, which grew by 1.6%. In other words, online is expanding more quickly than anyone could have imagined.
There are hundreds of businesses champing at the bit to enter the online market, but most of them are held back by the perception that they need an e-commerce agency.
Below, we discuss the process on how to build a retail store website without hiring a specialist team.
How to Choose the Best Retail Website Platform
The truth is, there are plenty of tools out there to create your own retail website.
Some of these are open-source. These are free to use but require at least a basic knowledge of coding.
This type of solution also gives you nearly unlimited capacity to customize your online retail shop. Because the entire code base of the software is open and public, you are free to modify it as you see fit.
Other solutions are self-hosted. These tend to be more popular among people who are not as technically savvy. They feature online shop constructors with basic features to guide you through building the e-commerce business, including a shopping cart, payment gateway, product catalog, and so on.
These platforms can get you up and running quickly enough to turn a profit on your first day.
If you are wondering where to begin your website for retail business, we can recommend a solution right now. One of the most popular self-hosted affiliate marketing solution with WordPress plugin is Wealthy Affiliate step by step web solution. It about 85 percent of all retail websites are built with this website hosting solution.
Choosing a Web Host for Your Retail Website
If you decide to build your own retail website, you’ll also need to decide where to host your online business. Website loading speeds are a major factor in customer conversions of a successful online store, so choosing a fast server is extremely important.
In fact, it’s been shown that slowing down a website’s load speed by just one second can lower conversion rates by seven percent. Slowing a site by three seconds or more would likely lead to about a 40% abandonment rate.
Three of the most popular website hosting with high speed loading today are Wealthy Affiliate step by step guide, Cloudflare for expert users, and Amazon for their customers. They load very fast and friendly used by users of all ages. When selecting the right host for your online retail business, pay special attention to their up time and customer service quality.
Choose Your Domain Name
When our clients ask us how much a retail website costs, most of them are only considering the cost of development. However, there are other costs involved in setting up an e-commerce website, including domain registration and web hosting.
If you already have a well-established business with its own brand identity and a recognizable logo, it should be easy for you to find the perfect domain name for your retail website. Try to think of a domain that identifies your business and will be easy for your customers to find.
After a brainstorming session, you should have come up with several options. It’s best to have several variants in mind, since your first choice may already be taken.
Retail Website Design
Another major factor in how to build a small shop and make it successful is website design. Your online shop’s UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) need to be convenient, easy to use, and smoothly guide shoppers through their customer journey. These all becomes handy with Wealthy Affiliate Education Platform. Opening an online shop today, you have billions of themes to choose from, which is great for small businesses looking to save time and money. If you prefer not to develop a custom theme, you’ll still be able to find one that perfectly suits your niche.
Polish Your Call to Action
The Call to Action is a way to encourage your site visitors to take a particular action. A call to action bottom, the most common implementation, is an attention-grabbing design feature that encourages the customer to “Click Here”, “Buy Now”, “Subscribe”, learn more and so on.
It’s a powerful marketing tool, popular with online stores in every niche. Crafting an effective call to action is the first step towards a higher conversation rate. Research shows that websites using Etas in the sidebar increase conversions by up to 1.5%. Placing the call to action button on the home page can improve the conversion rate by up to 25%.
One of the best ways to use the call to action technique is to drive visitors to your contact form. Asking visitors to leave their email address in exchange for information or discounts will help you build your list of sales leads.
Related article on how to drive traffic into your website: Best Paid & Free Traffic Sources-Save Time & Money
Advance SEO work from home Inhancement
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a critical task for every online shop. Without it, your potential customers will never find you on Google.
If you spend enough time and energy on your SEO, your site will rise to the top page of Google for important keywords related to your niche. This doesn’t just help buyers find your site; it also increases the trust they place in your business.
A recent survey showed that top-ranked website for any given keyword on Google has an average click through rate (CTR) of 36.4%. The second-place site’s CTR is only 12.5%.
One of the best things you can to do to enhance your SEO is publishing relevant content on your website. Articles, info graphics, and videos that your potential customers might be searching for will attract visitors just as surely as direct links to products. Doing these consistently will always take the rate of visitors to your website higher.
Select a Convenient Payment Gateway
Visitors to your online store should enjoy a smooth, fast, and simple journey, from their first visit to the checkout screen.
One common hurdle in that journey is the payment process. Try to make it as easy as possible for customers to pay for their purchases. If they experience any frustration or obstacles during checkout, they’re likely to simply abandon their cart and go elsewhere, depriving you of a sale. Obviously, this affects your bottom line.
There are many payment gateways from which to choose. Some self-hosted e-commerce platforms, like Shopify, offer built-in payment processors. This is the easiest option for online store owners without much technical background.
The most popular payment gateways today are PayPal, Dwolla, WePay, and Google Wallet. We recommend investigating all of them and making the best choice for your market and business model.
Offer Refunds and Returns
Although it might be inconvenient for you, launching an online store without a refund and return policy is a tactical error. Among other things, it might be illegal. Before launching your shop, learn about the relevant laws in your country, and how they relate to your business. However, if you choose to be as an affiliate marketer, you don’t need to set any of the above as you will not be responsible for refunds. The product owners do the refunds and you are always entitled to your commissions.
Marketing and Promotion
After you’ve double-checked your website features, from the home page to the checkout process, it’s time to attract your target audience.
There are many marketing channels available to get customer to your site, but the most popular are e-mail marketing, pay-per-click (PPC), and content marketing.
We recommend trying as many channels as you can, to find out what works and doesn’t work in your niche. Building a strong marketing strategy means using multiple channels regularly.
Here are some tips on what you can expect from each of the major channels.
E-mail marketing is ideally suited to retaining your existing clients. Use it to keep them informed about news, announcements, sales, and new products.
PPC is a great way to drive more traffic, meaning new prospective buyers, to your store. Typically, you will create a special landing page for each campaign, sending your paid ads to a page that directly answers the needs of people clicking the ad.
Content marketing is a long-term strategy that will help you build a strong, lasting relationship with your customers. There are dozens of types of content you might provide to your visitors, including but not limited to
- YouTube videos
- Blog posts
I recommend paying per click marketing, especially after it’s been shown to attract three times as many leads as traditional marketing, while costing 62% less.
Be Innovative, Be Simple, Be Responsive
More and more consumers do their shopping on mobile devices. It’s important to accommodate this when creating your online store.
The best way is by using a technique called responsive design, which allows the same site to display properly on screens of any size, from a desktop PC down to a smartphone.
If you are interviewing e-commerce agencies for your website needs, be sure to emphasize that you need a responsive design. The customer journey shouldn’t be any less convenient just because the customer is using a mobile device.
On the other hand, integrating all the latest features, bells, and whistles is less important. A clean, simple website that’s easy to use and gets across the information will be more effective and bring in more profit than one that’s overloaded with extra features.
Remember, the main purpose of an online store is to help a customer find the store, find their product, and buy it, as simply and intuitively as possible. Anything that doesn’t directly serve that journey is beside the point.
Know Your Audience
As you design your online shop, always be aware of your target audience. Different demographics, in general, have different preferences. For examples, millennial often like when a product page features plenty of photos, videos, and reviews. They enjoy bright colors and eye-catching design.
If your target market is seniors, take a more traditional approach in crafting your web design.
As we mentioned above, be sure to utilize responsive design. This lets your customers use your store from their mobile devices, tablets, and laptops. These Can all be accomplished through Wealthy Affiliate Education Platform and Tools.
We hope this article gave you the understanding of how to set up a retail website.
Thank you for reading my reviews, if you do have any questions about this type of traffic, or you have any other questions relating to website creation and building or selling on online though to affiliate marketing, please leave them below and I will be more than happy helping you out!
John J J