6 musts when you start an online shop

An online pop-up shop is a great idea (and of course we would say that) because it represents a very low risk with a potentially great reward. But despite the fact we would want each pop-up shop to be a success, not all of them are. Instead of focusing on failure, let's focus on the ingredients that increase your chances of being successful.
1 — Remember your own experiences

You have probably bought online before. Try to relive that experience and remember what you liked or disliked about the buying process. What annoyed you about web shops you stopped using, and what did designers of shops you liked do well? You aren't everyone, but most people are pretty similar when it comes down to experiencing and using the Internet, so it stands to reason that if you build a shop that you yourself like using, others will, too.

2 — Keep in mind your target audience

Are your customers practical people who want to read tech specs and have the details on your product, or are they people who are looking for something that's more ambitious and is accompanied by thoughtful and story-like descriptions? The audience for power tools will most likely have quirks it doesn't share with the audience for, say, home-made jam. Bargain hunters will have other priorities than people who look for premium articles, and so on.

3 — Set the entry bar as low as possible

Of course, Sayl Retail does its part here by already letting you set up a shop that customers can enter very quickly. But it bears repeating: for each extra click, tap or action you require your customer to take, some people will drop out. This is doubly true for mobile, where people have even less patience. According to ITX Design, retail bounce rates (people who visit and almost immediately disappear) is between 20 to 40%.

4 — Test everything to the best extent

Again, Sayl Retail already offers a helping hand because pop-up shops you create with it are easily browsable both on desktop and mobile. However, it's a good idea to test it for yourself, on as many platforms as you can, from as many entry points as possible (e.g. the button on your Facebook page, the Messenger prompt, etc.). Do your product pictures pop enough on each platform? Is your product description readable enough? What do your friends or co-workers think about your shop? Ask colleagues for feedback and what they experience when they go to your online pop-up shop.

5 — Your competitors are also your teachers

Identify three to five competitors in your niche and visit their webshop, if they have one. Note what strikes you most about their shop and see how they handle challenges of accessibility, attention-drawing, ease of use and pictorial content. Feel free to steal good ideas (note: don't lift content from another site or shop, eventually someone will find out and your reputation will be irreparably damaged, all for the sake of cutting some measly corners). Also: what are they lacking? Where can you make shoppers' experience better in ways they cannot?

6 — Make a plan for after-sales service

Online pop-up shops are temporary in nature, but that won't mean its customers will be temporary. Let people know how they can reach you for further questions (e.g. via your thank you message to them when they buy from you, or on a note that comes with your product). As said before, people are more impatient online than in real life. If you cannot answer their questions in under a day — and that's a bare minimum — you've probably lost the chance at seeing that customer buy from you again.

So, what do you think? Are there experiences on your side that you think have gone unmentioned? How are you dealing with your challenges? Join the conversation on LinkedIn or Facebook, or if you want to discuss something with us, send us an e-mail on hello@saylretail.com. We promise we don't bite. Unless you send us cake.

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