The number of Magento-powered online stores is constantly growing and this fact tells not only about the popularity of this platform, but also the high level of competitiveness among merchants. That’s why setting up your online business is a quite challenging task that should be naturally followed by the process of generating a marketing plan, identifying your target audience and creating an effective strategy.
In this post we would like to focus attention on the most essential steps that should be taken into account by each store’s owner who is ready to start building a professional and user-optimized online shop. In order to prevent you from some basic mistakes, we selected the most helpful tips you should learn before running your Magento site.
So after you’ve got a domain and hosting, it’s necessary to think about managing your online store in the most effective way. The main idea is to keep the right balance between content, usability and functionality. That’s why it’s important to measure twice and cut once. Let’s explore the following key building tips:
Effective web design has always played a fundamental role in successful online sales and marketing. That's because it presents your products and services in a favorable light and helps to make your website seem more solid and reputable. People love things that are beautifully designed and the same goes for your website. Think over the main design concept of your future store, its layout, structure, color scheme, typography, etc. Design elements should complement each other in order to create an appropriate visual hierarchy. And one more important point: a well-architectured design tends to combine a captivating look with usability. This aspect can greatly affect your customers’ activity as it makes a big difference in how long they want to stick around. If you don’t have enough time to build your online store, you can find an appropriate design solution by checking our pre-made Magento Themes with all useful features on board.
2. Responsive layout
While creating design, implement site navigation for smaller devices, such as laptops, tablets, mobile phones, etc., your online store visitors must be provided with optimal viewing experience on any devices, only in this way they can browse your site and make a purchase. That’s why all the elements need to be scaled and resized depending on the device the website is viewed on. Don’t ignore this aspect if you want to have high sales.
3. Maintain Your Store
Even if your website has awesome design and welcome look, it’s not guarantee successful performance of your online store. The functional side is essential. Here comes the interaction between visual and technical component of a website. Magento has user-friendly interfaces to manage everything from categories, attributes and products to static content. There are many features that allow you to make all necessary customizations in order management, catalog browsing, customer accounts, analytics, reporting, etc. You will need to enable/disable these options as well as set up relevant features that will provide your online store with proper functioning.
You can also add some additional Magento extensions and modules in order to enrich your online store’s potential that can definitely improve the user shopping experience. But first decide whether you really need any extension or you can go without it. Take into account that extensions can conflict with each other and it may cause you problems. Remember that anything done in excess is unhealthy.
4. Content is King
Shopping is about visual experience, so providing store-specific content, don’t forget about imagery. All product photos as well as content images should be original, high quality and large-sized. When you are showcasing your product, offer several displaying pictures from different angles with zoom, so your customers can have a real feel as if they are purchasing this item in life.
5. Be closer to your customers
This point is going hand in hand with the previous one. Show your care and attitude towards customers through the web canvas of your online store. Make sure they feel that there is a human being there. Put care in each detail, because customers will notice. Provide quick customer support as this is essential factor of your online store’s operating. You have to ensure that your customer service can handle with any difficult situation and help your clients.
Start building your email list to inform all your subscribers about news, upcoming events, discounts, giveaways, etc. Don’t ignore blogging as this is a great tool to communicate and engage with your customers, keep them updated and give reason to come back again.
Use social media to talk to people and post when you have new products, sales or something interesting to share with. Social networks help you to drive more traffic to your eCommerce site that naturally increases your sales level.
6. Site Performance
Speaking about site performance, it’s necessary to mention that this point will greatly depend on hosting environment, code and data optimization, loading time, checkout stage and responsive layout.
You can find some good advices in our recently published article about web hosting for Magento where we highlighted the most important features and reliable hosting services for your store.
Speaking about loading time, it is the essential criteria by which your customers measure your site performance as they are really care about the speed. So when you are thinking about adding one more additional extension, have too many redirects, not using browsing caching or your PHP accelerator, be ready that your store will load really slowly.
As for the checkout — try to make it as simple and convenient as possible. It’s a critical moment of a successful purchasing, so it’s necessary to implement One Page Checkout extension into your online store.
When creating a store, design it with mobile in mind as responsive layout is a must-have today. Think over site navigation for smaller devices as well as how content will be adapted to browser sizes.
All above mentioned key building tips have a powerful influence on the overall site presentation, so pay attention on each of them while building your e-shop.
7. Search Engine Optimization
Coming from the fact that Magento is one of the most friendly search-engine systems, we advise you to follow some simple yet important tips that help you to make your e-store more visible to your potential buyers. So try to make your urls clean and clear avoiding unnatural links, update your default metadata info for your store to allow search engines index your site as well as always check meta titles and meta descriptions that appear in Google search. We understand that this is a huge topic for discussion that needs more detailed insights. In this post we just wanted to give you a general advice to keep an eye on the SEO component which can enhance your e-store ranking in search engine results. If you feel you need more knowledge, you should start learning this topic in detail using some good online resources or work with an SEO consultant for fast results.
In conclusion, we suggest you think more carefully before running your online shop as you can see there are a lot of essential nuances which have an effect on it. Take advantage of these useful tips and try to avoid the most common mistakes in order to keep your store from failure.