How to create an online store that will sell?

You are ready to sell your products but have only information and images on your hands. How can you create a winning online store in 10 minutes?

An online store, also known as an online showroom, is an online platform or a website where you list your products and enable customers to make orders from them. Besides, an online store usually has other more advanced features, such as filtering products by categories and collections or product characteristics. 

How to create an online store...

From the company’s point of view, two main challenges have to be faced. Firstly, the online store should have a user-friendly structure and be easy to navigate through. In addition, it should be crystal clear how the customers are placing orders and making payments. 

Secondly, an online showroom is a highly visual platform for your business, so the business owner needs to make sure that products have appealing photos that look good together. Moreover, each product should have all the information potentially important for the buyers, for instance, price, material, size, etc.     

This article will tell you how to face both of these challenges so that the online store would become a breath of fresh air for your business. 

How to build an online store that would be easy for navigation? 

Tip 1. Use a side menu for navigation

A navigation sidebar is one of the most frequently used tools for navigation across online showrooms. The main idea is to include the name of the big categories that would group products. Make sure that name is short and is precisely describing products that belong to it. For example, you are selling women’s clothing; the potential categories are skirts, tops, underwear, etc. 

For other businesses, the variety of products may be more expansive. Let imagine that you are selling cloth for men, women, and kids. In this case, the side menu should include parent categories and sub-categories. For instance, you may want to create three main parent categories, women’s, men’s, and kid’s clothing, while each of them will have sub-categories, such as T-shirts, shoes, etc. 

There are many options for organizing your side menu, and there is no one size fits all tip. Try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and see if it’s intuitive for you to search for the product in this category. The better option is to ask your customers what they think and how they would group your products. You may be surprised how creative your audience is. 

Online store navigation

Tip 2. Enable customers to look closer at each product

Usually, an online showroom has two levels: a list of all your products and each product with a detailed description. What to keep in mind when you are creating these levels?

When you are listing all the products together, make sure that they look good together. Some of the design tips for making your online store look fancy you will find in the next section of this article. Here, let’s focus on the structure. You want to have two elements on this level: a photo of the product and its’ price. For most industries, there are the main factors that are influencing the buyers’ purchase decision. However, if you know that there is other highly relevant information for your customers, you may want to include it in the general list of the products. Our suggestion would be to keep it under 3 different product fields, ex. Photo, price, color variants. 

Once the buyer clicks on the product that seems interesting to him, he should receive all the possibly relevant information and get a closer look at the product. This is why we recommend you showcase 2-3 photos of the products from different angles and a couple of products that present how other people are using your product. Besides the general information about the product, it might be a good idea to include testimonials from your customers to prove your words. 

Tip 3. Include a feature to filter your products

Once a client is looking for something specific, it is crucial to make it easy to find, especially if you have a large number of products. A filter feature is one of the most effective ways to enable customers to navigate through your product database quickly. 

There are several types of filer options—the first one when a client selects specific groups based on the product’s characteristics. For example, size has 3 different options: S, M, L; the client is only interested in product size M. So, he would be happy to exclude products out of stock in this size from his search. The second one, type in the search bar. This is a more advanced feature that may help you to improve clients’ on-page experience. However, when you create a product description, keep in mind the key phrases that your clients tend to search for. 

How to make your online store look professional?

Here we will focus on the design part and some best practices to ensure that the showroom looks harmoniously and appealing. 

How to make your online store look professional

Tip 1. High-quality images 

This is the most common advice, but it is one of the most valuable. The safest option is to hire a photographer. If you don’t have enough resources for that, use technology that would allow you to make sure that the image’s resolution is high enough.

If you are taking photos by yourself, make sure you use the proper light. The best time for the photographs is a sunrise, a sunset, or just a cloudy day. You want to avoid sharp shadows, as they are visually distorting a product. 

Tip 2. The unique color scheme for the online store

Select a color scheme that would present your brand. Colors and brand identity are both tightly connected to emotions. Make sure that the selected colors are evoking the needed emotion. For example, yellow is happiness; red is passion. What color is your brand?  

Tip 3. The unique color scheme for the online store

Pick one filter for all your photos. By doing this, you will make your page look consistent and attached to one visual theme. There’s no one-size-fits-all filter, so it’s important you play around and figure out what filter is the best fit for your photo.

Tip 4. Use readable fonts

Not always fancy fonts are a great decision. Among all your online stores, use 1-2 fonts that look good together and do not require additional effort from the buyer to understand what is written there. Remember, the main purpose of the product description is to tell the information, not to look good. Besides, try to use short sentences; it will make the information easier to read.  

How to create an online store?

Now you know all the best practices to keep in mind creating your online store. The question is how to make it. Most of the companies are creating it as a website. The drawback of this choice is that you need to hire at least one person to create it and update it within time. In addition, you will need to pay a hosting fee for the website. As you can see, this option is good for medium-size businesses. But what to do if you don’t have enough resources for that or want to allocate them to the other parts of your business? 

Online store with catalog machine

Catalog Machine is an online platform that allows you to create an online store fast and easily. You won’t need to care about the structure and navigation. It already has all the necessary elements: sidebar with your categories and collections, filter feature, and ability to present a list of products and each product separately. All you are left to do is upload your products to the system and set up the template to create a unique view of your online showroom. 

Catalog Machine offers a free 14-days trial, so you can make sure that this is the right solution for you. Click here to start creating your online store today.