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2010

Tips for a Succcessful Online Store - Part 1: The Look

Jimdo's new online store feature lets you set up a store of your very own on your site. It's easy and hassle-free! With a store on your site, you can sell your products in the biggest market in the world: the internet. But maybe getting started is a little daunting… What's the best way to get started? What do you need to keep in mind?

We've collected some tips to help get you started on your online store. The first installment (of four, probably) is below.

Part 1: Your Store's Appearance

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to design - so much depends on your audience. Be sure to know who you're targeting!

 

Designing the Home Page

Your website should match the type of store you have. In most cases, modern and simple designs seem more professional and inspire more trust from potential clients who may not know you and your website yet. The first impression makes a difference, and most visitors will decide within a few seconds whether they're staying on your site.

If you're planning on using your Jimdo site solely as an online store, you can and probably should promote some products (like special offers or sales) on the homepage. You could also highlight the different types or categories of items you sell.

You can also add some season decorations or images on your homepage. For example, you might want to have spring-themed sales or Easter decorations. Don't forget to showcase new items!

If your online store is an important part of your website but not the entire site, we recommend you add a clear indicator or reference to the store on your homepage.

For example, the sample company website on the right has a small but unmistakable notice about the store on the homepage. In the sidebar, instead of highlighting store categories, there's the normal address and contact information.

 

Presenting Your Products

Online shoppers can't touch or feel the products, try them on or test them out. To compensate for this disadvantage, consider taking these steps:

  • Detailed and Honest Product Descriptions
    Don't give your customers the wrong impression by exaggerating or giving insincere descriptions of your items for sale! The more honest and accurate your descriptions are, the happier your clients will be when the shipment arrives. That also means you'll have more satisfied customers and fewer returns!
  • Photos
    Good photographs of your products make a huge difference in the success of your store. But you don't need to be a professional photographer to take good photos, just follow these tips to photographic success:
  • Spelling and Grammar
    Proofread proofread proofread! A little misspelling here or a sentence missing a crucial word might stop someone from clicking "Buy". Making sure your (figurative) i's are dotted and t's are crossed means your store is serious and respectable, so have a friend take a look for you!

 

Keeping Your Store and Website Updated

It might sound obvious, but every website owner should always keep this in mind: successful websites and successful online stores have fresh content! For example:

  • Regularly highlight different products or product categories through special offers or sales
  • Limit the duration of your sales and offers, to give your customers more incentive to buy… and don't forget the end date of your sales!
  • Feature newly arrived items - show your customers things are happening in your store and that they can always check for new stuff.

 

To be continued…

The second installment of our series of tips for a successful online store is coming soon! It'll go over some of the legal things to keep in mind when running your store: general information, tips, and how you can check to make sure you're staying on the right side of the law... (but we are not your lawyer and can't offer legal advice!)

 

Read "Tips for a Successful Online Store - Part 2: Getting Your Legal Ducks in a Row" here!

 

Did you enjoy our tips? Do you have any suggestions or ideas? Share your thoughts with us in the comments, please!

Comments: 4 (Discussion closed)

  • #1

    fifthgradetimes (Wednesday, 05 May 2010 22:53)

    We love JIMDO!

  • #2

    citro (Tuesday, 18 May 2010 22:41)

    Hello !

  • #3

    NICHOLAS PALUMBO (Saturday, 28 April 2012 12:26)

    STILL TRYING TO OPEN STORE I MUST BE MISSING SOMETHING.

  • JimdoBusiness
    #4

    Powen (Tuesday, 01 May 2012 00:00)

    Hi Nicholas, sorry about the confusion with trying to open the store.

    We're still working on making the set-up process more intuitive. If you click on one of the store items you've added, then on the price tab, it will list what steps you haven't completed yet. Make sure to complete your profile in the Settings, for example.

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