7 essential elements for every online store

Online Store essentials for every business.

 

Sales through online stores are expected to increase by more than 11% each year in the Middle East region. Currently, almost 90% of online goods bought in the Middle East are still shipped from outside countries, but this is changing rapidly. As a result, there is huge potential for revenue through e-commerce and online store during this modern age in the MENA. 

For small businesses and entrepreneurs with limited resources and knowledge of the e-commerce world, this comes as an opportunity and a threat at the same time, joining the trend and getting their online stores will provide them with a huge advantage because they are closer to the customers and know the market better than foreign businesses. 

But this is easier said than done, or at least, used to be, GoDaddy’s E-store has made selling in the online world simpler. You may upload your products, content, and logo easily with the drag and drop feature. 

However, for you to build a strong online store and start selling online you will need those 7 essential elements for your online store’s success. 

  • A domain name for your online store:

    In the physical world, to open up a business you need to have a name for it. The supermarket down the street from your place has a name displayed on storefrontsimilarly, a domain name is your online address. It is vital that you pick the right online store name because that is how people will know you. Look at big brands, Apple, Ford, Tesla, and many others, very easy to remember.  

    Although free domain names are tempting, they are just unsustainable over the long term. Because no one will remember an online store called handbagsaysha.wordpress.com, customers remember easy names that they can relate to. 

     Choose the right name for your business, choose a domain name now.
     
  • Build trust with a professional business email address for a professional online store:

    Let’s establish something, if you own a store that sells shoes downtown, you will never use your personal mobile number or home number for your shop, right? Same goes for your online store.

    A generic free email like name@hotmail.com won’t be a professional way to communicate with your store’s customers.  

    As an online store owner, you’ll use your email for more than communications, you’ll use it to send invoices, receive payments, customer support tools, etc.     

    81% of small businesses rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% for retention. 

    To build trust with your customers you’ll need a professional email linked to your domain, you can start with info@domainname.com or contact@domainname.com and make sure that it’s displayed on your online store for users to contact you on.  

     Looking for an easy way to set up a professional email? Check our plans here
     
  • Favicon:

    You never go to a job interview without wearing a shirt and a tie if you are a male or a professional work outfit if you are a female, right? It is what people see first. Well, your Favicon is one of the first things users see. 

    A favicon is a small 16×16-pixel icon that serves as branding for your website. Its main purpose is to help visitors locate your page easier when they have multiple tabs open.
    Example of GoDaddy's Favicon

    Studies  have shown that 92% of users visiting an online store for the first time aren’t there to buy. What do you think it is then? Well, 45% are searching for a product or service, 25% are comparing prices or other variables, and more than one in 10 are looking for store details.  

    This means that shoppers will visit your store and a couple other stores AT THE SAME TIME, with all those tabs open while they jump between them, don’t you want them to find your online store easily by finding your logo there instead of Chrome’s icon?

  • Payments & Shipping:

    When you build an online store, setting up payment methods and shipping is a critical part of it.  

    The more options you offer the more likely your customer uses one of them.  

    Imagine visiting an online store and finding products with great deals but the payment option available doesn’t suit you?  

    Try to offer your customers the option to pay by credit cards, debit cards, online wallets, gift cards, and even crypto currency if you can. 

  • Security:

    Your customers trust you with their addresses, phone numbers, names, email addresses, and most importantly, their credit cards’ details. It is natural that they expect you to provide security for their processes on your online store. 

    An SSL certificate goes a long way in building that trust because it authenticates the identity of the website (this guarantees visitors that they’re not on a bogus site) and it encrypts the data that’s being transmitted.

    It helps keep user data secure, verify ownership of the website, prevent attackers from creating a fake version of the site, and convey trust to users.

    HTTPS is the secure form of HTTP, which means that HTTPS websites have their traffic encrypted by SSL.  

    Most browsers tag HTTP sites – those without SSL certificates – as “not secure.” This sends a clear signal to users that the site may not be trustworthy – incentivizing businesses who have not done so to migrate to HTTPS. 

     
  • The user experience through your online store:

    The internet and online shopping have made it so easy for customers to shop from their homes on a phone or a computer at their convenience, do not let your online store’s user experience be the reason they switch to your competitor.  

    What I mean here is, make the navigation and checkout process as simple and short as possible. Plenty of online stores now do not even require users to create accounts to purchase a product.

    Allow your customers to autofill their details using Facebook or Google or even LinkedIn, do give them the option to create an account too. 

    Example of GoDaddy’s signup page

     

    And here is a great example of a website with a very user-friendly experience. 

    Example of rozan’s store

  • Contact

    Make it easy for customers to contact you, have a “Contact Us” page easily accessible at your home page. Make sure that your customers can reach you easily. 

    They’re entrusting you with their credit card details after all. 

    Add your professional email address, a phone number, a contact form, and live chat bot if possible. We have already established that customers want everything at ease, and you must go out of your way to make everything available for them. 

    For more information about making it easy for your customers to reach you, you can check out this post.

 

Once you have ticked every box on that list you may move on to your marketing efforts to get traffic and sales. 

 

 

 

Image by: Mike Petrucci via Unsplash.

Based in Dubai, Selina heads up MENA and Turkey at GoDaddy, overseeing the growth of the business and brand in this exciting region. Before joining GoDaddy, Selina headed up media relations across Europe for a large-scale energy project headquartered in the Netherlands and was on the agency-side leading marcomms activities for the likes of Facebook, Verisign Inc and Euler Hermes. Selina grew up in Australia, studying international studies and media at the University of Adelaide before moving to Istanbul and completing a Master’s Degree in Political Science at Boğaziçi University. She also holds a CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing. With English as her mother tongue, Selina additionally speaks Turkish and German.