Designing Your Website
When it comes time to create the actual website, use the help of online website templates. These are blank slates, catered to different types of websites that you can fill in with your own content. You can also make them unique by customizing them and adding special design elements, like colors, fonts, and photographs. You will be able to use the template to create additional tabs and pages, so take advantage of that. Choose your template wisely based on the type of website you are creating and your specific shopping focus. Use a shoe websites template to create shoe online store if you plan to sell shoes. If you plan to sell electronics, use a technology website template. These templates will be set up to help you make the most of your specific focus. Using a template will give your site a professional design from the start so that you can focus on the important content that you are going to write that will keep your readers returning.
Once you’ve made the decision to start an online shoe store, the actual process can be very intimidating. It doesn’t have to be, though. With a strong plan for your website, you will be able to turn your theoretical shoe store into a reality before you know it. The rapid growth of eCommerce it is important to have a strong online presence, according to Victoria Duff, a journalist at the Houston Chronicle. Unfortunately, just a presence is not enough to make your store successful. With an estimated $9 billion being spent online for footwear in 2013, according to IBISworld.com, shoes are a big business, and that means they are a competitive one. To make sure your store is successful, you need to put together one that makes a good first impression, and, more importantly, ensures that the first impression is not also the last.
The Bones of Your Store
Perhaps the most important page on your site is the landing page or home page. This is the first thing your customers see, and the impression it leaves will determine whether or not they stay. The home page must clearly identify your store, provide easy navigation and load quickly and cleanly on a wide variety of devices.
The next major consideration is the organization of your products. You need to have some rhyme and reason to your store, the same way your competitors in brick and mortar stores do. You’ll want to set up different categories based on the shoes that you are planning to sell. Depending on the size of your store, this can get to be confusing. Your site organization will inform the navigation menus and tools.
The most successful online stores have a navigation system that allows the customer to easily go from one page to another and back to the home page without getting lost. You also want to make sure that customers don’t have to continually click the back button in order to get back to a page they were on previously. There should be a simple system of links that follows the pages users have clicked on, giving them an easy way to backtrack if needed.
Setting Up Your Product Pages
Your customers won’t be able to pick up your merchandise and hold it in their hands, as they can in a brick and mortar shoe store. This is why it is of the utmost importance to have high-quality images of each item and images that will show different angles of the items. You want to be able to give your customers the opportunity to see each shoe from every angle as if they were in an actual shoe store.
You should also have clear sizing information accessible from every page. Shoe sizes are never quite the same from brand to brand, so having precise measurements is necessary. It is a good idea to allow for customer comments, which will give users a way to provide each other with feedback on aspects such as sizing, comfort and sturdiness.
Site Design Shortcuts
Setting up your site entirely by yourself may be a daunting and time-consuming task. Due to the sheer volume of images and pages that you are looking at for your online shoe store, you may want to consider hiring a professional web designer. Another option is to use a pre-designed template. Using a pre-designed template gives you the flexibility of choosing a theme that best suits your personal business goals, while also being flexible enough to allow you to enter all of your own business information to make the template your own. Both options have their pros and cons, and you may also decide to start with a template and hire a professional web developer later on.