If you feel like calling 2020 a wash, crawling into bed, and waiting until the new year to deploy your plans — well, you’re not the first. With COVID-19 still causing problems everywhere, and lockdown procedures being relaxed or tightened in different areas depending on infection rates, we’re not even close to normalcy.
Realistically, we’ll be dealing with this virus for years (surely decades) to come, so 2021 won’t bring a clean slate — but it will be a new start of sorts.
We now know which industries struggle when circumstances change, and which ones don’t.
One thing we know for sure, e-commerce has been the big success story of this entire crisis.
While brick-and-mortar stores (aside from those deemed essential) had to close down and either mothball their assets or go out of business, online sellers carried on largely unaffected. Many made more money with so many people stuck at home and looking for ways to make themselves feel better.
So if you’re not feeling ready to launch an entrepreneurial project in the miserable year of 2020, why not delay it until 2021? That way you’ll have a clearer notion of what your options are. But how should you approach building an online store in the coming year? Let’s go through it.
Select a great e-commerce platform
While it’s possible to build a great online store on a weak foundation, it’s extremely difficult and time-consuming.
If you put thought into which platform you want to support your store, you can make every stage of the development process so much easier — and end up with a store that looks better, runs faster, and brings in so many more conversions than it would otherwise have.
While e-commerce platforms appear similar at first glance, there are actually many unique differences that certain users (and customers) will be drawn to.
A couple platforms have been able to cultivate a wide user base of creative entrepreneurs looking for an avenue to promote and sell their work.
However, the simplicity of these platforms may not match up to the expectations of a store owner aiming to replicate the sleek, streamlined retail experience of a major brand online.
There are plenty of decent options on the market, but the suggestion here is obvious. With great mobile themes and a myriad of potent integrations, Jumpseller could be exactly what you need to take your store all the way from a scrappy startup to a seasoned and profitable contender. And since a custom domain is included, you can get everything handled within one system.
Choose a distinct range of products
One of the easiest ways to make your store seem more creative is to choose a distinct range of products that will stand out from anything else on the market.
Having unique content is certainly a good idea, but there’s only so much you can say about familiar items. If you can tap into an unusual niche or find products that aren’t common to the online marketplace, you can stand out.
To up the creativity, try starting with product ideation. What would be good to sell? What products might already exist, and what products could you plausibly have manufactured? Once you’ve done that, it’s time for some research, as you need to find some suitable manufacturers or suppliers.
Negotiate carefully to get the best deals, and proceed with caution — you need to prove product viability before you go all-in on buying stock.
Focus on user experience optimization
Another key way to make your store more creative is to focus on making the user experience more interesting.
Imagine arriving at a store with no prior knowledge of it. How does it look? What is the color scheme like? Is there anything unique or compelling about the layout? It all comes down to perception. If you make something creative that doesn’t seem creative to the shoppers, it won’t achieve anything.
Research is again vital here. By paying close attention to comparable stores already in existence, you can see what the common elements are. Maybe all those stores use bold colors and snappy product copy, in which case you could use muted colors and more relaxed product copy. If everyone else does one thing and you do another, you’ll stand out. It’s that simple.
Choose a platform that gives you plenty of options, pick out a product range that will get attention, and make your store feel different to use. If you opt to launch an online store in 2021, these tips will help you make it more creative (and thus more effective). Good luck!