Top 3 Tips for Starting Your E-Commerce Store (2020)

E-Commerce Marketing, Web Design

The way consumers are shopping has changed! 

As a result of COVID-19 and efforts to prevent the continuous spread of the virus, many businesses have been forced to temporarily close their doors and unfortunately for some, this closure will become permanent. 

With many stores being closed, online shopping has become more popular than ever with Forbes estimating a 74% increase in online retail sales over 2019. Shopify (TSX: SHOP), a trusted e-commerce platform, has seen a large uptick in users over the past few months and recently became the most valuable publicly traded company in Canada, with revenues increasing month over month and stock prices reaching new all-time highs. This trend has forced businesses to adapt with many launching their own online stores or shifting their focus on promoting through digital channels

Although we are starting to see more and more businesses re-open their doors to the public, there continues to be uncertainty around the lasting impacts of the pandemic and increased speculation that online shopping will continue to dominate the more traditional methods of shopping. With this in mind, it is important for physical product-based businesses – of all sizes – to enable customers to shop their product catalogues online.

Looking to get started? These 3 tips will ensure your online store is properly set up to keep your customers happy and your business generating revenue.


1. Start Marketing Early

Having a strong marketing plan set in place early in the process will be the backbone of your overall online presence and will guide the success of your online store. Your digital marketing plan should consist of three primary focus areas: content marketing (including social media and blog posts), email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).

Your social media profiles allow you to connect with your customers and gain a better understanding of what they want and need. Use social media to develop relationships, collect customer feedback, and promote your new and existing products. 

Another fantastic method for connecting with your customers is through email. Keep your customers in the loop with product releases, new blog articles, and sales or promotions.

Often overlooked, a well-executed  SEO strategy is key to your lasting success. Growing your brand with a combination of on-page and off-page SEO will help you stand out among your competitors online. This helps new and existing customers find you easier which will in turn, drive sales.

iPhone X with social media apps on screen

Start marketing before your store launches.


2. Set Up Analytics

Understanding how your customers interact with your website is a priority when it comes to creating a successful online store. Tools like Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and the Facebook Pixel (check out our walk-through) enable you to collect data on your customers that can be used to improve your user experience, build relationships with existing customers, and attract new customers. The data collected can also come in handy for paid online advertising enabling you to target and re-target shoppers.

Not ready to use paid digital advertising? It is still important to have these tools installed on your website from the start. This data can be reviewed and used to determine your target market or the keywords most frequently used when users search for your business.

man using Apple Macbook to look at e-commerce store analytics

Tracking analytics allows you to make adjustments and improvements.


3. Test your Store from Every Angle

Test, test, test! It is critical that every aspect of your store works flawlessly before you go live. Many businesses rush the launch of their online store only to discover that their shipping rates aren’t properly set-up, or they have issues with inventory management. 

Act as your customers would and go through the process, start to finish. Visit each page of your online store, add various products to your cart, and go through the entire checkout process. This is your time to catch snags so your customers can have a smooth and error-free experience when they shop.

Your customers can make or break the success of your online store so be sure to keep their online shopping experience top of mind.

Lady planning website structure to improve user experience

Having a high functioning online store will increase your conversion rate.



If you’re looking for help setting up your online shop or integrating an online shop with your existing website, connect with us today!


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