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8 Ways To Build A Great Online Store For Your Brand

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At a time when you can buy almost anything off the internet, from food and books to electronics and furniture, it would be hard to come by a brand that does not have an online store for its wares.

In fact, the number of companies that are operating solely online are growing at a startling speed. Like the traditional brick-and-mortar store, the design of the web store plays an important role in attracting and retaining customers—it is also a critical branding element that determines the brand experience.

If you are thinking of opening up an online shop, here are some useful tips to help you build a welcoming virtual space that consumers would want to come back to again and again. And if you are already selling your products online, does it already contain these eight features that a great web store should have?

For inspiration, you can check out Squarespace’s collection of gorgeous templates that would help you create a beautiful e-commerce website to catch the eyes of fickle online shoppers and stand out from the competition.

A Distinctive Logo, A Memorable Name


(Image via http://www.unofish.com/)

As the online shopping world gets increasingly crowded with more and more brands climbing onto the bandwagon, visual branding becomes even more crucial to avoid getting lost in the sea of e-commerce sites.

With the average internet user looking at hundreds and even thousands of pages in a day, a unique and thoughtful brand name would get them to slow down their scrolling and spend more time on your website. Pairing a memorable brand name with a striking logo would not only help to attract clicks to your web store, but is also an essential tool for brand-building in the long run.

Squarespace’s free, user-friendly Logo Maker is designed to help businesses create their own distinctive, professional logos in just a few minutes.

Beautiful, High Quality Product Images


(Image via http://www.the-greater-goods.com/)

Without the ability to interact with the product physically, online shoppers often based their decision on whether to purchase it just on how it looks in the pictures on the web store. This means that beautiful photography goes a long way in generating sales.

The services of skilled, creative photographers may not come cheap, but they are certainly a worthy investment to make. As you only have a precious few seconds to make a positive first impression on potential customers, filling your home page with gorgeous imagery is an effective way to keep them from closing your window. High quality pictures not only make them stay on your website longer, but also increase the chances of them buying something.

In addition to great product shots, high quality editorial and stock photography would also add to the visual appeal of your e-commerce website. Squarespace’s partnership with Getty Images puts 40 million affordable images into your hands—simply add them to your Squarespace website with just a click.

User-Friendly, Easily Navigable Layout


(Image via http://istillloveyounyc.com/)

Chances are, you are selling more than one kind of product on your online store. One key factor that affects online shopping experience is how easily one can navigate the site to find the products that he or she is looking for or may be interested in. Therefore, user-friendliness should be one of the top considerations when building a web store.

A good way to get the shopper to the desired product is to feature filters on the site that allows them to narrow down their search. A fast and convenient shopping process makes it more likely for people to click “check out”, and for them to return for subsequent purchases.

There would definitely be a layout to suit your specific business needs and branding style from Squarespace’s large and diverse collection of award-winning website templates—check them out here.

An Engaging About Page That Tells A Compelling Brand Story


(Image via http://www.onlysunwoodworks.com/)

While the quality of your product and services remains the most important aspect of your business, telling a compelling story about your brand can help you reach out to the right audience and attract more traffic.

Take some time and effort to craft an About Page that would effectively bring across your brand’s message. Letting potential customers know about the people behind the brand is a great way to engage and build an emotional link with them. Increasingly, people not only buy products and services, but also the ideas behind them.

To create a truly outstanding About Page, check out Cover Pages, Squarespace’s awesome new feature that allows you to build stunning single page websites in minutes. With a set-up process that is designed to be painless and convenient, Cover Pages is a lovely way to showcase your brand story and bring across your message beautifully.

Attractive, Well-Written Copy For Product Descriptions


(Image via http://www.deathatsea.com/)

Without seeing your product in person, the only way a shopper can learn more about it is through the description that accompanies it. This small piece of text is thus play a key role in helping your customer decide if he or she would make the purchase.

While it may be tempting to write long sentences about the merits of your products, it is better to keep it short and sweet. At the same time, you should make sure that important details, such as what the product is made of and its various features, are included in the description. Having more information would make the customer feel like they are making a sound purchase, instead of just shopping blindly.

An Informative ‘Shipping & Returns’ Page


(Image via http://www.room39.co.uk/)

One of the prohibitive aspect of online shopping are unclear and potential high shipping charges. Another issue that many customers are concerned about are the procedures for returns and exchanges if such a situation arises.

Dedicating a page to such information would allow shoppers to find them easily, and feel more inclined to make their purchases when they know exactly how much they would have to pay and have a better idea about the post-purchase customer services.

A Prompt To Sign Up For The Store’s Email Newsletter


(Image via http://www.hellolumio.com/)

An email newsletter is a very effective way of staying in touch with your customers. It not only allows you to present sales and promotions straight to their personal inboxes—where they are more likely to be read than on a social media timeline—but also provides a great way to keep them updated on happenings with the brand.

Prompting
visitors to your web store to sign up for an email newsletter would also expand your potential customer base, even if they have not made a purchase yet.

Links To The Brand’s Social Media Accounts


(Image via Squarespace.com)

Social media is great for multiplying your points of contact with both existing and potential customers. A presence on various platforms also allows you to present different kind of content to your followers, allowing you to expand your reach to previously untapped customer bases.

Having links to your social media accounts not only let customers easily stay in touch with the company more easily, but also allow them to consume your brand in non-commercial settings, which is beneficial for brand-building.

Squarespace’s Commerce feature offers handy tools that makes managing social media and other aspect of your online store a breeze. With a simple drag-and-drop function, you can also easily create pages, blog posts and other pieces of content that would make your customers’ experience on your website so much more memorable.

This article is sponsored by Squarespace.
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