Congratulations on your online store! Welcome to the world of selling online. Your online store is the first thing customers now see when purchasing from your business. Let’s make it great.
Now that you have a storefront, it’s time to set it up to meet your needs.
Steps to Creating the Best Online Storefront
1. Catchy and consistent branding
The first step to setting up your online store is your branding. Your branding should match your product and business and should be easily identified in the market. Your online store is now the hub of your business therefore anything that you use here should be the same as what you use in marketing materials and social media.
Check out this article for tips on branding.
2. Complete your "About Us" section
This section of your online store allows you to tell your unique business story to current and future customers. Make it short and sweet, covering the philosophy behind your product and what sets it apart from the rest. Food is personal – so make sure to consider this when writing it. Include photographs of yourself, your team and your facilities. Always put a face to your brand – let your customers know who’s growing their food.
3. Add images (lots of images)
In addition to the photographs in your About Us section, be sure to add high quality photos of your products. These photos are the only indication for new customers of what you sell and what they should expect when ordering. The more visual your product list is, the higher the chance that someone will order from you. Pictures tell a thousand words.
Today, food photography has become an artform through Instagram. It’s all about the right lighting, good backgrounds and angles. This post will help you get those #instaworthy photos. Furthermore, add a banner and profile picture that will draw the eye and link with your business branding.
4. Consider product descriptions
After pictures, customers will be looking for your product titles. Be sure to keep them short and descriptive. Play into current food trends.
For example, if you grow organic produce, add organic in front of each product. This sounds more appealing and will help to drive sales. Same with terms such as Grass-Fed, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Artisan as customers are often looking for these buzzwords.
5. Use a simple URL
This one is simple, but can be forgotten! For your online store, be sure to use a URL (link) that is relevant, descriptive, and catchy.
Don’t make it too long and always add the name of your business or a version of it. People should be easily able to remember it so that they can start typing it into their search bar themselves.
An example of a URL is www.localline.ca/your-farm-name-here.
6. Don’t forget about logistics
Logistics and distribution is a huge factor for online stores. Be sure to have your delivery and pick up location schedule easily visible on your store—you don’t want your customers to have to search for it.
The more logistics options you have, the better. However, this is entirely up to the capacity of your business. Remember: always update it if anything changes. The worst thing is when someone checks out and you no longer offer delivery to their area.
7. Take inspiration from success stories
If you’re feeling lost and don’t know where to start, take inspiration from others! Look at the leaders in your industry and see what’s working from them. If it works for them, why wouldn’t it work for you?
Having a great storefront isn’t a science. The main takeaway points is have a lot of visuals (the more the better) and add your personal touch. It shouldn’t look like you didn’t put a lot of thought into it. The appearance of your online store can be the make it or break it point in your business.
Nina Galle is Local Line's Content Marketer, creating blog posts, templates, free tools, and other helpful resources for local food suppliers.