Selling online is convenient and easy – all you need to do is set up a webshop, fill it with products, and start promoting it. There are volumes upon volumes written about what makes eCommerce websites successful – all you need to do is to learn from the experience of others that have succeeded in this area. And, of course, to be aware of your competitors – both legitimate merchants and scammy ones. Yes, you can learn a great deal from fraudulent online stores, too: they serve as a great example of how to do your job without coming off as scammy. Here are a few details you need to take care off to set yourself apart of them.
The first thing many people look for before buying anything online from a smaller webshop is the contact page – this tells a lot about the company behind it. If the only type of contact information shared on the website is a contact form or an email address, well, it is a bad sign. Even worse if the email address is from a generic service provider like Gmail or Yahoo.
When your webshop is run by a legitimate company with actual people behind it, you’ll want to communicate with your (potential) customers in any and all ways they prefer. This usually means phone, email, live chat, even snail mail (no, a simple PO box won’t do). Having your company details, business hours, phone number, and perhaps the name of a person who actually responds to emails and calls listed on your contact page will make your online store look way more professional and legitimate.
One of the telltale signs of a scammy webshop is the language used on it: it is often filled with grammatical errors, typos, and such, not to mention the use of “unnatural” language that shows that the people trying to sell don’t really know what they are selling. Aside from bad language, a bad design is also a bad sign – placeholders instead of pages showing important information, forms that don’t work, many 404 errors, and a design that falls apart when viewed on different screen resolutions. It makes the store look unprofessional, perhaps even a scam.
A web shop is your storefront on the internet – it has to be helpful and it must look welcoming and professional.
Details about your product, service, and the way you work
Last but not least, make sure all the information a prospective client may want to ask is to be found on your webshop, both as a document (outlining warranties, shipping, and return policies) and as a FAQ – there are people who prefer one format over another. If these are not clearly stated on the website, your clients may hesitate to order from you – some may ask for more details, others will simply close the tab and find another source.
Keeping your webshop transparent, professional, and helpful will make you stand out of the crowd – and perhaps sell more.