Online store website

In this guide, we cover all the skills you need to set up and run an online store website. From the marketing activities that bring in visitors to key online selling and customer experience skills. We’ll cover how to decide on the content, style and functionality of your online store website. And, we’ll introduce the 3 most common e-Commerce software platforms and how to decide which one’s best for your business.

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Online store website

How this guide raises your game.

  1. Learn how your online store website acts a hub for your e-Commerce marketing activity.
  2. Explore how to set up content, style and functionality to drive sales and customer experience on your online store website. 
  3. Get a basic introduction to the pros and cons of the three most common e-Commerce software platforms : WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento.

There are three basic ways to sell your products online.

You can piggyback on “fast” selling channels like marketplaces and print on demand.

You can sell your products to online retailers, so someone else looks after the online selling for you.

Or, you can set up your own online store website to sell your products directly to online shoppers. 

When you set up your own online store website, this gives you the most control over the online customer experience. You choose what it looks like, what is says and how it works.

You don’t have to influence any third parties, it’s just you, the online shopper and your online store website. 

But setting up and running an online store website can be complex. There’s a lot to consider.

Three brains e-Commerce online purchase with credit card

Ready to test your knowledge?

What’s your starting level of knowledge about online store websites? Take the 2 minute, 5 question Three-brains online store website quiz and see how much you know about online store websites already.


Online store website – considerations

You need to consider key customer experience factors like content and style, for example. How do these support your brand identity? And, how do you use them to build trust and engagement with the online shopper?

It’s important to make sure there’s good functionality on the site. What’s the role of your online store website in the order to delivery process, for example?

And you need your store website system to capture and report data. You need this to manage, update and improve your online store website on a regular basis. Your store needs to be dynamic and respond to feedback and changing shopper needs.

So, where do you start?

Your online store strategy sets your requirements

As we outline in our online store strategy guide, setting up your own online store works better when you follow a “full” rather than a “fast” approach to strategy and planning. 

Though it’s possible to launch a store quickly using one of the many template systems, if you don’t think through key elements like who it’s for, what it needs to do, and how it’ll work, you’re unlikely to create a great experience. 

There’s a lot of different elements to pull together to make an online store website have relevant content, look good, and work efficiently.

e-commerce planning process - The 5 key steps of the e-commerce process

There’s a lot of decisions you need to make to ensure your online store website delivers on strategy, brand identity and customer experience.

The better the quality of your strategy and planning to set up your online store website, the more likely you’ll create a great shopping experience for your target audience. And great shopping experiences are what drives sales.

The role of the online store website – Experience

From the online shopper point of view, the online store website is where they go to buy the product.

Nice and simple, right?

A great online store website for them is one that lets them easily find what they need and makes it easy to shop.

It delivers on their needs for ease and convenience, range, pricing and any other services that matter. 

But from the point of view of the online store website owner, there’s a lot you need to do to deliver that for the target audience.

e-commerce planning process - 5 key steps in e-commerce experience

The online store website plays many roles. And it needs a lot of associated marketing and creative skills, as well as the more obvious functions of e-Commerce to work well.

Online store website – marketing hub

Firstly, your online store website acts as a hub for all your e-Commerce marketing activity.

Your digital media like search and social media should point towards the website. It’s where you want shoppers to go to buy your products. The online store website is how people find you online to buy your products. 

You will need to build out a digital media plan to drive acquisition.

Welcome to marketing billboard sign to introduce our integrated marketing approach

Acquisition in this context means persuading online shoppers to come visit your store website to check out what you have to offer. This is usually done via digital media channels like social, search and display.

Social media channels

Social media is a great channel for e-Commerce to promote your online store website.

Most platforms work with visuals, so you can show the products you sell easily.

And the content is shareable, so if you put out good content, you can generate positive word of mouth among your target audience. 

Most new online stores start their advertising with social media. It’s easy to access, relatively easy to run campaigns, and helps you be very targeted in your audience selection.

Social Media on scrabble tiles with a mobile phone open on Facebook

Channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter help you find your audience, and build interest in your online store website.

You can create, post and boost content relatively quickly and cheaply with these channels. This helps you test and learn what works with your audience and what doesn’t.

Test and learn with social media

For posts that get positive reactions, try to work out why, and use that learning on future campaigns. Posts that bomb with your audience, again, try to work out why, and apply that to future campaigns. 

So, look at response rates to straightforward products images work best, for example. Compare them to images that show the product being used, or in a lifestyle setting.

Which style works better?

What about if you show video content, or create a carousel of images? What difference does this make to your response rates? 

Test out different advertising copy. If you’re not sure which of your features or benefits is the most appealing to consumers, run adverts side by side with different messages. See which ones generate the better responses. 

Try out different sales promotions offers. What about promo codes and special discounts for example? Or, what about limited time offers (e.g. 20% off until this Sunday) or limited edition product offers (e.g. last 50 units left in stock)?

You can test out these type of offers relatively cheaply and easily. A budget of A$10 will reach about 600 people currently. This is a good test number to see if your social media advertising gets a reaction, before you decide to spend more. 

Tagging

Finally, we’d also highly recommend making sure that you have some knowledge of tagging and data and analytics. If you run multiple campaigns, tagging adds a piece of code to each advertisement, and lets you then identity people who responded to that specific advert and what they did when they came to your site. 

So, it helps you identify which advertising brings in the most traffic, for example. And it can help you identify which advertising brings in the most sales. 

Search

The next area to focus on in your online store website marketing is search. You want to make sure that your website is search engine friendly.

This usually starts with making sure that product page content is optimised for search. You need to apply key principles of SEO writing.

Carry out keyword research to see what terms consumers use for category and product descriptors.

Use these terms in your brand name and product descriptions to help them show up in search results. 

 

Secondary research - tablet open on Google home page

Make sure you fill in all the relevant metadata like the page title, focus keywords, slugs and the meta description. You want to make sure that your H2 and H3 titles relate back to your focus keywords.

For e-Commerce search, it’s also worth registering for Google Merchant Centre. This helps your products appear in search on Google Shopping channel. It works both for organic search and for paid search. You do have to input data about each product and maintain this information on a monthly basis, but it’s a great way to make your online store website more visible. There’s a great article on the process here.

You can also used the more standard organic and paid for (search) advertising to boost traffic to your site.

Display advertising

You should also consider more traditional communication channels to drive traffic to your store. 

Your advertising, packaging and PR can all be used to make people aware of the existence and benefit of your store. If you advertise your brand or product, make sure you include the online store website URL, and add clickable links to online adverts. 

Display advertising is where you place ads on third party websites to highlight your products or store. It’s usually set up through agencies, but can be bought directly from the advertising site. 

You can also advertise your store directly on sites, where your target audience are likely to be shopping online anyway. You can look at online marketplaces like ebay or pure players like Amazon as an advertising channel to drive people to your store, for example. 

Online store website – selling hub

Secondly, and more importantly, your online store website is where you influence and persuade people to buy from you.

It’s where the actual ‘sale’ takes place online. 

This influence and persuasion by your online store website is brought to life in a number of ways. It’s in the way you show your brand identity.

It’s in the way you showcase your products.

And, it’s in the selling experience you create. 

Red Sale Sign

Your online store website has to show all relevant information that the consumer will need to make a decision. What the product is. What they product does. How much it costs. If it comes in different sizes, colours or formats. And, if it is currently in stock.

It needs to convey price, discount and payment options. Do you offer a volume discount? Or a loyalty discount for members? What if people want different options to pay? It needs to handle all of these possibilities.

The online store website also needs to convey all delivery options. Do you offer express delivery or free delivery if you order over a certain amount? Do you deliver to all areas, or are there some locations you can’t deliver to?

What about if the online shopper has questions? Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) help. But, you’ll want to add “Contact Us” details if their question is more specific. You also need to include any relevant terms and conditions for the sale. These protect your rights as a seller. They make it clear for the buyer what to expect, and can help build trust in the website.

User experience

It’s important to establish what the online shopper will want when they arrive at your store. Not every shopper will have the same wants though, so you will need to map out and develop multiple journeys though the site. 

Firstly, you will have some online shoppers who know exactly the product they want. Others may well be “just browsing” to see what’s available. 

For those who know exactly what they want, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to find that product. Make sure you have on-site search functionality built into your store. And work out how to name and organise category and sub-category classifications to make them super easy to navigate. 

For consumers wanting to browse, or look at a range of options, you want to make sure you provide relevant and appealing content. Include “how to” guides or “inspiration and ideas” type content if relevant to what you sell. 

Practical extra content like comparison tables, customer reviews or links to relevant external websites can all help with the online shopping experience.

We talk about customer experience in much more detail in another guide, but many of the tools from that skill come into play when you are setting up your online store website. 

You can use these tools to help define your ideal customer for example.

Work out their journey to get to a sale. What different touchpoints do they interact with?

You can then use these insights to make the move from awareness to consideration to trial easier for online shoppers.

Customer Experience Journey Map

Remove e-Commerce friction points

Ideally, your aim is to create the minimum amount of clicks required to complete a purchase. In general, the more ‘clicks’ it takes to complete a purchase, the more likely a shopper will give up and abandon the purchase. These extra clicks are “friction” points for the shopper, so you want to identify and eliminate these where possible. 

In particular, there’s a couple of areas to watch out for. Where you might think you are doing the right thing, but instead you are creating more friction points. 

So, for example, you will want to capture information about your shoppers so that you can re-target them in the future. So, you might decide to not allow guest check-outs and force a membership or account sign-up to complete the sale. But that’s not always what the online shopper wants.  

Recent research shows that for online shoppers, guest check-out is chosen about 20% more than the logged-in check-out, when both options exist. So, you should make membership or account sign-up optional, not mandatory, unless you want to lose some sales. 

As we cover in our guide to how to get more sales online, there are online store options like subscriptions and memberships, where you can offer added value or convenience. But it’s important to make sure these options remove, rather than add friction to the buying process. 

Test out your store with actual online shoppers, or even friends and family. You never know what to improve until you get feedback. Users who visit the site ‘cold’ can often give you the sharpest insights. They have no bias, and they replicate the experience most online shoppers will have with your store.  

Define what your online store website needs to do

To help manage the complexity of setting up and running an online store website, the terms “front of house” and “back of house” are sometimes used.

These terms come from the world of restaurants and retail, where “front of house” is everything that the consumer sees and experiences.

And, “back of house” is everything else that needs to happen to make the operation run smoothly. But, which the customer doesn’t really see.

Website planning - website experience

So, the content and the style of your website for example, is front of house. The online shopper sees those things. But, the connected systems like the payment gateway and delivery tracking, most of those happen back of house.

Content, style and functionality

As we cover in our guide to website planning, all websites needs to perform a series of basic tasks. And, they need to link different systems together. 

Your digital media like search, social and display drive visitors to your online store website. They let shoppers know that your store exists and what it sells.

But for those shoppers who visit your online store website, what do they expect when they get there? There’s three basic experiences you need to build in to your online store website to meet expectations. These experiences cover content, style and functionality.

Online store website – content

Your online store website content is basically anything the online shopper reads, watches or interacts with on your website. For online store websites specifically, your content needs to work at three different levels – product, selling and brand. 

 

Product content

As we cover in our guide to how to get more sales online, each product page at a minimum needs to include the product name, product imagery and product information. This helps the online shopper identify that the product is the right one for them.

From an online store website set-up point of view, there’s a few more technical considerations which go with setting up these elements.

Product naming

Firstly, you should make sure that the product name becomes part of the page URL. It should also be included as a focus keyword.

How to get more sales online - 3 key basic of a product page - product name, images and information

Then, you should also consider the naming hierarchy of products on your website. If you have many products, you should consider grouping them into relevant categories. This makes them easier to organise and navigate. You can have high level categories and sub-categories to make it easier.

So, for example “Men’s” might be one category and “Men’s T-shirts” might be a sub-category.

Set-up product images

Next, you should make sure that the images you include are well set-up from a technical point of view. You will most likely use .png or .jpg images that you’ll upload into your online store website Media Library. These should be cropped to the size of the template where they will be used. 

They should have alt-text added to their meta description to make them more readable by search engines. 

The images should be high enough resolution to produce a quality image on a decent size screen. Ideally, you’d show the product from multiple angles and let the shopper zoom in on the image. So, it needs to be high enough resolution to support this. 

But really high resolution images create bigger file sizes. And bigger file sizes take longer to download. 

So, you need to find the sweet spot of big enough file size / resolution to look good, but small enough to download quickly. In our experience, somewhere in the region of 200k – 500k for a single image is usually reasonable. 

You should also consider using graphic design tools like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to make the pictures look more professional and appealing. You can use these tools to crop and manage image dimensions, add effects or combine images to make new images. 

Consumer and search friendly product descriptions

Finally, your product descriptions also need to be both consumer friendly and search friendly. To be consumer friendly, they need to be clear, simple and readable. They need to tell shoppers what the product is and what it does. The font size needs to be easy to read, so keep it big and keep it simple. 

The basic product information supplied with most products is usually a good start. But, if you are dropshipping, or buying and selling products, bear in mind that the manufacturer’s standard blurb will go out to ALL websites selling that product. You won’t stand out with just that standard text alone.

It’s usually best to add and extend the product copy to make it more appealing and distinctive. Think about the techniques we cover in our guide to sales copy for example to pull out features and benefits. Try to get your product descriptions beyond 300 words. Anything below that is usually ignored by search engines.

We have more tips on how to optimise a product page in our guide to how to get more sales more online.

Selling content 

Next, you also need to build in any key selling messages, sales promotion materials and any content that helps drive the sale. These should reflect your overall online store strategy.

Pricing and payment

This could be for example related to pricing and payment options. You could offer discounts or free delivery for purchasing a certain number of items, or spending a certain amount.

You need to include what payment options are available. (credit card, Paypal, After Pay etc.)

Sales promotion example - Percentage discount vouchers in store window

And make it clear, if any additional fees will be charged. Online shoppers hate finding “hidden” fees when they get to check-out.

Delivery

You need to include details of how the product will be delivered. You need to provide an estimate of how long it will take. If your supply chain set-up means you can guarantee delivery times, then push this as a benefit. But in most cases, online shoppers expect a delivery window. So, between “x” and “y” days delivery.

Trusted pages

As part of your selling content, you should make sure that sections like “About Us”, “Privacy Policy” and “Terms and Conditions” appear on your site. Though these may not directly drive the sale, they provide a lot of reassurance to the online shopper that the store is genuine. These types of pages help to build trust and credibility.

Consider also including a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section about the products, and about your online store website service. This again, helps build trust. And, it saves you the friction of having to respond to every consumer question.

Think also about any additional selling content you can include on the page. As we cover in our how to get more sales online guide, there are a number of content areas you can tap into like online exclusives, loyalty programs and targeted offers.

Brand content

Finally, you need to consider the overall branding of your online store website.

Your product content is essentially what stocks the “shelves” of your store. Your selling content seals the deal.

But, your brand content that you develop from your brand identity helps drive consideration.

It helps create an “ambiance” and environment that make it easier for the online shopper to buy.  

This can be as simple as making your brand logo prominent, consistently applying the brand colour palette, and including other relevant tangible brand assets.

Brand identity asset classification examples

But you also need to build in intangible brand assets like your essence, values and personality. How can you bring these to life on your online store websites? You want it to feel like a holistic and integrated branded experience for the shopper.

This impacts for example the tone of voice in which you write your product, sales and branded content. It impacts on the layout and style of the pages. And, it impacts on the overall customer experience.

Style

Your brand content and brand identity then links to the overall style of the website. You should audit each style element of the online store website, and make sure it is consistent with your brand identity and style guide. 

So, for example, you will have a colour palette for your brand as part of your overall style. But, you’ll need to consider how you build that in to your website style. You’ll have a preferred use of typography. But, you’ll need to work out how and where to apply that on the online store website. 

Where to start

Start from the top of the page, and work through all the key elements. 

On your main navigation bar for example, can you use your brand colours to help show when you hover over a drop-down versus making a selection in a drop-down? What about when you put hyperlinks in the text? Can you use one of your brand colours to make links stand out? All our linked content for example is in the red of our brand colours.

What about borders round specific blocks of content? Or call to action buttons? These are all opportunities to drop in your brand colours to reinforce your branding. 

What abut the typography you use, both in your logo, your headlines and your body copy? Can you make this consistent with all your other communication materials? Think, not just the font style, but also the font size and the font weighting. You want to make sure from a style point of view, that your online store website is easy to read.  

Consider how you use photography, video content and illustrations on the site. These are all ways to bring your brand identity to life. 

You can adjust photography settings, like hue, saturation and brightness, so you have a consistent style for example. You can include advertising or product demonstration videos, so the online store website feels more engaging. And, you can use illustrations like icons and diagrams to help make it easier for the online shopper to move around the site. 

Functionality 

The final area to consider on your online store website is the functionality. In other words, what it does. This specifically relates to when the online shopper actively interacts with the store. So, when they press a button or complete a form for example, they expect something to happen. So, you need to make sure that the right systems are connected so that the desired action happens.

That might be a simple call to action button such as “learn more” that takes you to more content. Or “contact us” that sets up an email, or messaging link if they have a specific question. 

But it also includes any email sign-ups, and of course any actual purchases. When a consumer shares their personal data via your website, you are obliged to make sure that you use it properly. 

If it’s an email sign-up, say to hear news of special offers, or new product listings, you need to make sure that your CRM is compliant with data privacy and legal considerations. We cover these in our guide to digital data. 

For transactions, your site will need to connect to a payment gateway, as we cover in our guide to the functions of e-Commerce. The payment gateway is an online portal that manages transactions between buyers and sellers securely. They charge a small fee for each transaction. In return, the gateway makes it easier for the shopper to claim refunds. And, it makes it easier for you to prevent fraudulent transactions. 

Payment gateways – hosted or embedded

With payment gateways, you have the choice of hosted or embedded solutions. 

With hosted solutions, when the online shopper gets to the point where they enter their payment details, they are taken to a secure online page, separate to your website.

There, they add these details, that page validates the details and then returns the shopper back to your online store website. 

With embedded solutions, the code from the payment gateway site is embedded into your check-out page.

The details are taken and validated without the need to go off to a third party site. To the shopper, it’s one integrated page. 

Embedded solutions are preferable to hosted solutions in most cases. You risk confusing shoppers with hosted solutions as they have to go to another website midway through the check-out.

With embedded solutions, it feels like one integrated check-out.

 

Credit card payment

However, embedded solutions can be more technically challenging as they need to “fit” into however you have set-up your check-out page. Payment gateways will normally provide “how to” guides for both options.

What happens once payment is approved?

Once the payment is approved, it needs to trigger actions in other systems. It needs to send the order to the supply chain system to process the order. To make sure the product is taken out of the warehouse and sent to the shopper. But this system also needs to synch with the inventory system to make sure you don’t run out of stock.

Every sale reduces the number of items “in stock” number, so you should have minimum re-order quantities set up. When the stock level reaches this minimum number, it should automatically trigger an alert to order more stock.

The delivery also need to synch with any systems the delivery company use to track deliveries. If they offer a tracking code for example, so the shopper can track the progress of their order, the number needs to be picked up from their system and sent to the online shopper.

The online store website also needs to be set up to generate data and analysis. This might be as simple as Google Analytics to track performance on the website. But, there are many more things you can do to track and measure performance.

You can add tags to advertising for example, that can track which adverts lead to the most sales. You can add pixels so that you can re-target shoppers who visit but don’t buy.

Build your online store website

You have many options when it comes to building your online store website.

Which you choose depends on your business requirements and your level of expertise and budget.

Below, we’ll cover the three most popular options – WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento.

E-Commerce software market share

WooCommerce

As you can see on the image above, WooCommerce is the most common e-Commerce platform with about 45% market share. Much of this is down to it being part of WordPress which dominates the Content Management System sector. Many businesses find it makes sense to use a platform that’s already set up to connect to your website. 

Where your hosting service offers you a WordPress site downloaded from WordPress.org, it often comes with WooCommerce attached.

WooCommerce comes with over 8,000 plug-ins available through WordPress. These are additional functionalities that you plug-in to your website to improve the online store. 

So, for example, you can add payment plug-ins for Paypal and other payment gateways. You can add delivery tracking functionality, and set up printed invoices and delivery slips. And, you can add design and experience elements like Customer Reviews, Wishlists and delivery date and time scheduling. 

Shopify

The next notable option is Shopify. This system has been set up to be an accessible online shopping specific platforms. WooCommerce and WordPress is more of an all-round solution, while Shopify is super focussed on e-Commerce. 

Shopify packages come at a basic cost of $29/month. There’s a more advanced option at $79/month. And, a much larger scaleable version of the platform at $299/month (all prices in USD). It comes with an App store, the equivalent of the WooCommerce plug-ins, which has around 3,000 online shopping apps to choose from. These help you manage content, adjust the style and improve the functionality of your online store website.  

Because Shopify is a dedicated e-Commerce platform, many online stores choose it for its focussed approach. It is very user-friendly and designed to be set-up and run by non-technical people. 

They have a good choice of customisable templates to set up your online store. You can find apps that help you add customer reviews, email shoppers who abandon carts, and set up promotional codes. 

Even on the basic level you get technical support and can certainly get a serviceable online store up and running, quickly.

Magento

Finally, there’s also Adobe Magento. This is a more powerful e-Commerce platform, mainly used by bigger businesses. 

It is much more customisable than either WooCommerce or Shopify. But this means it’s less friendly for beginners. It will require some IT support or technical knowledge. Because it is part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud, it easily integrates with other Adobe products such as Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Campaign.

If you need to customise front of house or back of house content, Magento gives you the most flexibility, where WooCommerce and Shopify both rely more on templates.

However, Magento charges much higher license costs and fees, and because of the need for technical support, it’s usually only used by bigger or more advanced online sellers. 

Each of these software systems (and the many others that are out there) each have strengths and weaknesses. Which you choose will depend very much on your business needs and budget. You can read a more detailed comparison of the different options here.

Online store website requirements

With your online store website, you have to consider the other “basics” which go with creating a website. So, you’ll need to make sure that you have a safe and secure hosting service. It’s important to make sure there is regular maintenance on the website, and the latest software is installed. 

You should test regularly for bugs or issues. Check security access levels at least once a year. If the site goes down, you should have clear contact points and service level agreements to get it up and running again as soon as possible.

You’ll need to set up a URL for the store. Make sure that you can support HTTPs, which is the secure and encrypted version of HTTP. 

If you are a large existing business that needs to integrate an online store into your SAP set-up for example, Magento is likely a good option for you.

Data security

Your target audience need to provide some quite personal information when they buy from you, such as their home address, email, phone number and credit card details. You want to make sure that you manage these details securely. 

These details will normally sit in a “Orders” folder within the software system. But, you may also want to consider linking the details to your CRM database to track contacts and transactions. Because this is relatively sensitive data, you should make sure only authorised people in your business can access this data. 

Where you take credit card details, you also need to make sure you are PCI compliant. This is a set of rules and guidelines designed to protect the privacy and security of online payments. There are different levels of strictness depending on how you manage payments. 

If you manage payments through a payment gateway, and the payment gateway is PCI compliant, this takes away a lot of requirements, since they cover them on your behalf. For example, the credit card data is partially hidden, so you or your team never have direct access to it. 

Keep improving the online store website experience

It can be a challenge when you start out to build your online store. There’s a lot of complexity. 

But if you keep looking at the data and using it to improve the customer experience, you will soon start to win over online shoppers. Keep looking for ways to improve.

If you find you have large bounce rates or lots of abandoned carts for example, use your site data and analytics to work out what’s going wrong and fix it. When the shopper comes back, they don’t remember what it was like before anyway. Most successful online retailers evolve their sites on a regular basis to constantly improve the shopping experience.

Every store has to start somewhere. It’s worth checking out where some of Australia’s leading retailers started off their websites selling online to see how hard it is to get started. Check out how Australia’s biggest supermarkets started out selling online for example. 

Woolworths website from 1997  

Coles website from 1996 

Your online store website is at its worst

There’s a saying in the world of e-Commerce that your site is at its worst on the day it launches. Because, the best online store websites constantly look for ways to improve the customer experience they offer. 

As you can read about in our articles about online grocery or high ticket product pages, most sites follow some standard set-up and layout principles which deliver consistently. Basics like clear product names, appealing product images and compelling product information will always raise your chances of a sale. 

But, there’s so many more areas where you can refine your online store website experience. From closer links to advertising and media to links to your brand website, for example. 

And all through the order to delivery process, there’s a lot you can build into the online store website to make this interaction run more smoothly and more efficiently 

Your aim with the online store set-up is to make sure that it meets customer needs. The improvements you make, the tests you run, the functions you add or remove should all be run with the end customer in mind. If you can’t explain what it will do for the customer, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it. 

You’ll capture a large amount of valuable and interesting data about the online shopper when you run your own online store website. Make sure, you use that to your advantage, by eliminating what’s not necessary. And push harder on the activities that get positive responses from online shoppers .

To achieve maximum impact, you’ll need to be able to create or outsource key skills like photography, video and writing skills. You need the technical expertise to make any changes in the back-end quickly. And, also the underlying marketing and sales skills to connect with consumers and drive sales.

Three-Brains Shop WooCommerce examples

On our own online shop, we have WooCommerce as the main software platform that drives e-Commerce. We share on-going experiences of our time with this shop in our online store case study page.

But specific to the online store website, there’s three examples we wanted to share to finish off this guide.

SEO writing : >300 words a page

So, in this product page example (and in fact all the product pages), you can see we have the standardised text from the manufacturer.

The materials, the country of origin, and the sizes. All the information you would see on every online store website. 

But we sourced the notes from the designer of the T-shirts, which explains with a lot of links how the t-Shirt was designed, and what was the thinking behind it. 

This helps from an overall branding point of view, by giving access to the design notes.

And it helps from a search point of view, as the links and length of the copy give it a search rating boost. 

Brand identity : logos, colours, fonts and more

First off, you can see our logo is prominent. It’s the first thing you see on the page. 

You can then see that we’ve used the Red from our brand colour palette as the primary colour on headings and on hyperlinks.

We use the same font family (Poppins) and size (18) as we do on other parts on our website.

This creates a sense of consistency through all the product listings. These all help to reinforce the overall brand identity

And we’ve also dipped into our intangible assets with our “raise your game” reference.

Three-brains online shop screenshot

Navigation and hierarchy

Finally, you can see from the listing page that we have classified products into different segments to make them easier to find.

So, for example you can browse by design themes. So, when we have several designs which share a theme – inventions or gaming for example – these are grouped into these categories. 

But you can also look at product type as a category. So, hoodies versus T-shirts for example. 

We’ve also made sure the search bar is prominent on the navigation bar and leads to the right results.

Our product naming and product descriptions, plus our category and sub-category hierarchy are all set up to help with navigation.

Three brains shop categories

Online store website – Conclusion

Your online store website is a hub that links together marketing and sales, with back of house functions like payments and delivery. It’s your prime place to drive a sale with your target customers, and offers you lots of opportunities to influence the choice. Your content, style and functionality all have a big role to play. 

Your online store website needs to capture data, so that you can work out how to keep improving the customer experience. It’s an on-going requirement to keep finding new ways to attract online shoppers and keep them coming back to spend more. 

Three-brains and e-Commerce

We have worked on many e-Commerce projects and have good experience across strategy, working with online retailers and building D2C stores. We know how to connect these expertise areas back into driving your brand marketing and growing your sales. 

If you want to know more about how we can support your e-Commerce to grow your business through our coaching and consulting services, click the button below to send us a message.

We can coach you to reach the top of your competitive game.

D2C Online Store Status dashboard
Click to download the pdf

Downloadable D2C status dashboard

Setting up an online store needs you to define your strategy and plan, work out the sales and marketing and also set up the whole operational side of the business including the finances and the delivery / supply chain model. It can be complex to manage.

That’s why we’ve used this project dashboard to great success in the past to have a simple one-page summary of the key actions require to set-up and manage a D2C online store. Download it here or from our resources section. 

Powerpoint and Keynote versions of this document available on request. 

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