eCommerce stores have been a popular part of the Internet for some time now. Thanks to eCommerce stores, making money on the web has become much easier. The concept of the eCommerce store is simple: customers order products online and have them shipped to their doorstep. Customers use to pay for these products by mailing in a signed check. In the Digital Age, however, people use PayPal instead.
eCommerce itself not necessarily new. As soon as we figured out how to put together web forms, we were making money on the web, whether it was customers ordering things and having them shipped (after mailing in a signed check) or the digital age and PayPal.
Moving Ahead With Changes in Every Direction
Today, pretty much anything and everything is bought and sold online. Amazon, for example, started as a mega source for books, audio books, and music. Now they have expanded to even sell groceries (among other things). eBay makes money from service fees when people buy and sell their used goods by way of auction. And let’s not forget Fiverr, an economical way to obtain services online.
These are only a limited quantity of types of online moneymakers. If we were to list every possibility, we may be creating a competitor to Wikipedia, with an encyclopedia’s worth of ideas for eCommerce. So, we will keep it simple, but to the point, ok?
Making Money with an Online Store
There are several different options for setting up an online store. Making a sale is always an awesome experience. While the success is exciting, don’t let it go to waste. The next goal is to have that customer return to the store and purchase more. In a world where online shopping continues to evolve, how do we convert new customers into lifelong purchasers?
Decoding Customer Value
Most people think that personalizing the customer’s journey begins and ends with getting them to make a purchase. Sadly, only focusing on pushing your product couldn’t be further from the truth. From the moment potential customers enter your online store, it’s your job to maximize their experience.
Selling online means the in-person element is absent. Humanizing your brand is critical. You need to decide: Is your online store about the customer or is it all about you?
Fortunately, there are several ways you can improve your customer’s journey simply by adding a little something special to the right channels.
Step 1: Think Personality
Your brand’s reputation is built on the opinions of others, not yours. You have the power to influence your brand by taking care of your customers. The moment you realize that brand loyalty is built on personality, and not only superficial metrics, you then learn how to personalize the customer’s experience.
That is where the light bulb goes off and it should truly start to make sense.
Step 2: Personalized Checkout Pages
Run-of-the-mill checkout pages won’t do your brand any justice. On the contrary, you may appear to be just another brand that does not show customers any appreciation. To make the checkout process more meaningful, you need to customize your checkout page. Since only paying customers can see this page, make sure the tone is friendly and warm.
Address the customer by name and thank them for purchasing your product or service. Customers will remember your warm reception and gratitude. They are more likely to return because they feel appreciated.
There are many eCommerce platforms from which to choose. One of them is Shopify. Not only is Shopify an exceptional platform for your eCommerce needs, but there are also tools available to help you gain an edge in the eCommerce world.
Let’s use an example. Let’s say you make your money selling items that can be drop-shipped to the customer. You have your provider and you are the gateway between that provider/vendor and the shopper/customer. So, in that case, you need some sort of tool to help you get that gateway (and checkout pages!) ready for the shopper.
In this case, one such tool is Oberlo. This tool allows you to import drop-shipped items that you may be selling. You can import it directly into your Shopify store. Oberlo takes care of the rest, including automated price adjustment, inventory tracking, and everything related to those drop-shipped items. All you need to do is maintain the store. That includes those checkout pages and ensuring that you have a eCommerce theme that converts your shoppers into paying customers. At that point, it is a matter of implementing what you have learned that will work to help your customers to feel valued and make that purchase on your eCommerce site. It comes full circle to the checkout pages and ensuring that they are personalized for your customers.
Step 3: Following Up with the Customer(s)
After you finish celebrating your sales, don’t forget to follow up with customers. Even though most people will delete your emails, they won’t forget that you took the time to thank them for being loyal customers. Even if it is automated, it shows that you at least bothered to “program” the automated response.
Email is also an excellent opportunity to give out discount codes and other freebies. Offering incentives increases the likelihood of returning customers.
Customer Support 101
Even if you’re not available, excellent customer support needs to be one of your primary objectives. Not only does great support decrease the number of tickets you receive, but it also helps to increase the number of happy customers.
Online shoppers want the option to solve small problems on their own, so make sure your store offers a knowledge base or FAQ section. It is also a good idea to create an online chat system and have certain hours when it is available.
A positive online experience is what people will remember. Customer loyalty is what motivates people to buy. Do whatever you can to make people want to return.
Purchasing Your Own eCommerce Store
Building your own online store from scratch can be overwhelming. If you already have an online store, breathing new life into it can be just as difficult. Remember how we mentioned that you could purchase just about anything online? Well, now you can “purchase” a store! Yes, you can purchase your very own Shopify online store.
Here are some reasons why it works so well for so many people.
The Seller Benefits
If you are the one selling your Shopify store (a.k.a. listing your store) you have the opportunity to take a break from running a business. You can use this new free time to pursue recreational activities. It also gives you the chance to make a few bucks all at once, with the sale.
Also, just because you have sold a store doesn’t mean that you cannot go build another Shopify online store. And, maybe after a while, you want to sell that one, too. There are people who like to invest and build. They begin one project, make it a success, and then move on to the next one. You may be one of those people.
The Buyer (a.k.a. New Shop Owner)
For the people out there who are not very technically minded, or have a few bucks lying around, buying an already existing store could be the perfect opportunity. When you buy a franchise, it comes with the branding, the store, and the checkout system, not to mention the products already set up. You just need to walk through those virtual doors as the new owner and rake in the bucks.
Even if online store ownership is new to you, you can still succeed from day one. For example, maybe you want to purchase your store and then sign up for coaching services with a coach who specializes in guiding you toward your eCommerce success.
We touched on this a bit with the idea of buying and selling multiple stores, but we can take this idea a little further with the investor who may want to purchase several stores. That investor may want to hire store managers to handle each store. That way, he or she could sit back and ponder their next major move.
Thinking Ahead and Allowing Yourself to Dream
Truly we have only scratched the surface here. There are so many possibilities. In fact, you could probably brainstorm a bunch of them right now. But, before doing that, hop over to the Shopify Exchange and take a look at the stores that are available. Maybe you will want to pick up one or two of them.