Australia’s online shopping industry has grown steadily over the past five years. This consistent growth was forecasted to continue, until the COVID-19 pandemic altered the trajectory of the eCommerce sector beyond all expectations.
Australia Post reports that November 2020 was the biggest month in Australian online shopping history, with more than 5.5 million households shopping online, up 28% on the previous year. Of these online shoppers, more than 30% bought products online more than once a week, up 55% when compared to 2019.
With more customers buying more products online than ever before, businesses without an online store are missing out on a piece of an ever-growing eCommerce pie. Meanwhile, the online marketplace is becoming more crowded and competitive as people realise the massive potential that online shopping presents.
Whether you’re launching a new online store or revamping an existing eCommerce website, considering these eCommerce fundamentals will allow you to capitalise on the booming eCommerce market.
Sell in more ways with a free online store.
Tips for a best-practice eCommerce website
It goes without saying that your online store should look great, function seamlessly and make it easy for customers to buy from you.
If you’re an online-only business, your website is the first impression potential buyers have of your brand – so you need to ask yourself if it’s sending the right message.
If your online store is a complementary sales channel to a brick-and-mortar shop front, it should feel connected with your physical location. Does it deliver the same look and feel? Are the language and tone consistent with your in-store experience?
Stuck for inspiration? Take a look at the websites of other businesses that inspire you.
- What do their websites look like?
- How does the navigation generally work?
- How do their product pages look?
- Which payment options do they offer?
- How many clicks does it take to add a product to cart and checkout?
- Do they offer any extras like live chat?
Your online store should be easy for your customers – and you – to use
A quality online store needs to work for both you and your customers. Off-the-shelf eCommerce software like Square Online makes it quick and easy to create an online store and start selling products fast. Look for a solution that makes it simple to:
Customise your eCommerce website’s look and feel: Your online store should look and feel unique to your company. Choose a solution that lets you customise colours and fonts, and website elements like headers, banners and footers.
Add and modify products: A good store builder makes it quick and easy to add, remove or adjust product pages and listings. Square Online lets you list unlimited items with individual descriptions and product photos.
Accept a wide range of payments: If you’re selling online, you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to buy your products! Square Online allows you to accept all major credit cards and Square Gift Cards, with confidence that transactions are safe and secure.
Manage your inventory: Contacting a customer who’s bought a product online to let them know that it’s actually sold out and you’re unable to fulfil their order is time-consuming for you and delivers a poor customer experience. Sell with confidence using eCommerce software that automatically syncs your online sales with your inventory.
Sell on social media: Customers are becoming increasingly comfortable buying via their Instagram and Facebook feeds, and with 1 billion monthly visitors on Instagram alone, it makes sense to use your socials as a sales channel! Shoppable posts allow social media users to browse, buy and checkout without leaving the app.
It’s quick and easy to connect Square Online to Instagram, and you can accept online payment for products on Instagram with Square Online Checkout even if you don’t have a Square Online Store.
Offer multiple shipping options: Limited delivery options at checkout are a major cause of shopping cart abandonment. Free shipping for any purchase or at a certain minimum spend is a popular option; you should also consider offering an express shipping service if you’re able to fulfil orders quickly. Square Online offers curbside pickup and local delivery options – both delivery methods that surged in popularity during 2020.
Navigate on different devices: Your website should be easy to use on laptop, tablet and phone. Test how different layouts transfer onto smaller screens and regularly analyse which device buyers are using to arrive at your site so you can optimise your online store to deliver a great experience.
Square Online does all this and more. Our site builder helps you to launch a free online store quickly, with no coding knowledge required. Our online store templates are attractive, easy-to-use, and simple to customise with your logo, branding, imagery and more.
Square supports millions of businesses across the globe with professional, flexible website solutions that let them start selling products online fast. Create a free online store and start selling today.