5 Easy Things You Can Do to Supercharge Your Online Store

supercharge-your-online-store

If you’re looking to improve your online store but aren’t sure where to start, then look no further because today I’ve got 4 easy things you can put in place that will seriously supercharge your ecommerce offering.

When it comes to running an online store, there are two major things to consider: the nuts and bolts – like what hosting provider you’re going to use {seriously guys, use Siteground!} or how many page views your website is getting {check out this guide on analytics} – and the customer service side of ecommerce – how much do customers trust your business and how likely are they to spend their hard earned money.

People often focus on the nuts and bolts side of ecommerce because it’s straightforward. You either have a really swish website, or you don’t. You can accept credit cards, or you can’t. Your shop is full of amazing products, or it isn’t. But if you’re just focussing on this side of ecommerce you’re missing out on a mega-trick.

From a customer service point of view, there are a few basics that are important to get in place if you want to run a smooth operation. Luckily, getting these fundamentals in place is not only easy, but it also pretty much guarantees you’re in a crazy good position to have a wildly successful online store.

Price right

You might have the most amazing product in the world {literally} but if your pricing isn’t right, customers won’t bite. Guys, buyers are fickle. Seriously. If your price is too high, they won’t buy. It’s natural to always want to pay less for something.

But if your prices are too low they won’t buy either. Why? Because the perceived value of your products will be too low. With low prices you devalue all of your hard work and customers will think you don’t take yourself seriously – and neither will they. #truthhurts

I could write 100 posts on pricing alone but the general rule of thumb is that the more unique your offering is the more you can charge. The easiest way to be unique is to provide a really reliable and well considered product with stellar branding.

Be transparent

When you’re buying something online, you most likely won’t have been able to see the product in real life. You can’t pick it up, check the quality and make sure you like the colour. Therefore, it’s the online sellers responsibility to make sure your customers know exactly what they’re getting.

For the customer, this means having crystal clear photographs that clearly represent the product, as well as dimensions and specific details. It also means outlining what the customer can expect from you as a seller. How long will it take to dispatch the order? What does shipping cost and what method is it going to be shipped? What’s your return policy? What if a product is broken during transit?

Not only will providing transparent information make your business appear more trustworthy, it will also cut down on the number of customer service related emails that you’ll receive.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Whether with your husband, best friend, business acquaintance or a customer, communication is the backbone of any relationship. I’ve found that almost any business-related problem that I’ve had is the result of poor communication.

Let’s say you have a really big wholesale order. You promised the buyer that the order would arrive within 3 weeks, however an unexpected delay has popped up and there’s no way you’re going to meet that deadline. You now have two options. You can either ignore the fact that you’re going to be late and not say anything to the buyer. You could even ignore their emails entirely until you’ve sorted out the cause of the delay your end. Or you could send a very polite and informative email to the buyer explaining what the holdup is and providing a new estimated delivery time, along with a promise to keep them updated whenever you have more information.

Now which option do you think will have better results? Obviously the one where you inform that buyer that you’re running late! It might be a bit more uncomfortable but it will make the buyer feel reassured. Most people just want to know what’s going on.

During any transaction I always send 3 key emails:

1. A personalised receipt once an order is placed

This helps build post-purchase excitement and engagement while providing reassurance to a buyer that the payment was completed and you will be fulfilling their order. You can even throw in some cheeky cross sells, upsells or promotions to increase your sales. For customer sales I use Receiptful. For wholesale buyers I use Wave.

2. A dispatch notification email once an order has shipped.

You’d want to know when your order was going to arrive, right? Well a dispatch notification allows buyers to get a rough estimate of when an order will arrive based on the delivery method and if need be, arrange for someone to be in to collect the package.

3. A follow-up email

Follow-up emails are a great time to gather feedback and testimonials and to build long-term relationships with buyers {return sales ftw}.

All of three of these emails types can be automated so you don’t need to think about sending them. For email automation try Convertkit or one of Mailchimp’s paid plans.

Be better than the competition

Odds are your buyer’s expectations will be pretty modest and more often than not, this is exactly what your competitors will provide – an average service with an average experience.

Be better and over deliver to make the buying experience with you different to anything else out there and you’ll quickly be the only name your customers ever think of when it comes to buying what you sell.

Exceed expectations

Think of the best buying experience you’ve ever had. What made it so great? What made it different to others you’d had before? How did it make you feel?

Most people will simply want to get their stuff delivered at the right price, as described and on time. This means that the bar is pretty low giving you an amazing opportunity to go above and beyond without much effort.

Whether it’s something as simple as shipping in 3 days when your turnaround time states a week, or a more thought out strategy for the unwrapping and unboxing experience when the product arrives, there’s an unlimited number of ways to delight a customer.


To sum up:

Focus on getting your prices right

Too high or too low, either way a customer won’t buy.

Transparency matters

Being upfront with customers about what they’re buying and what they can expect will not only increase your sales, it will also cut down on the number of customer service emails you have to respond to.

Communication is key

Guys, communication matters. Make sure everyone is on the same page. Standardised and automated emails can really help customers feel comfortable with their purchase.

Outshine the competition

Look for areas where you can do a better job than your competition and focus on these. Small improvements often make a huge difference.

Surprise and delight customers

If you want long-term returning customers, give them a reason to never try another brand. Surprise and delight encourage brand loyalty.