Is Your Online Store the Best in the World?

Guest writer Written by Guest writer - May 13, 2015

Are you the lucky person in possession of a newly-founded online store with the aim of making it the best in the world? The store looks great. It has been designed by an award-winning advertising agency. The online store platform is also the same all the other top online stores are using. Is everything in order now? No! The work is only just beginning.

Make sure your online store is easy to find

The Internet is full of stores these days. Some of these stores are well-designed and functional, but for some reason, they have no customers. One of the main reasons is that customers can’t find them.

Traditional brick-and-mortar stores are usually located in places with a sufficient flow of customers. Display windows, advertising and signs are then used to entice customers to come shopping. The same isn’t possible on the Internet, which follows its own rules. You have to work to enable your customers to find your online store. In this blog, I will take a look at factors related to the ease of finding:

1. Search engines

hakukoneloydettavyys-verkkokaupassa-2-paytrailFew consumers are loyal enough to go straight to a specific store. Most of the time, their journey begins from a search engine with different keywords and combinations, such as “women’s spring coat” or “best running shoes discount”.

On the other hand, the need could come from browsing through social media and looking at a picture or story someone posted. The consumer might end up looking at the product in an online store after first clicking on their friend’s Facebook post.

Or perhaps the consumer ends up looking at holiday photos after looking at garden photos on Pinterest, and then decides to check out travel agency offers. The consumer might also catch the name of a product and online store from social media. They will then start looking for them through a search engine. The different paths are limitless, and it’s good to be aware of that.

Search engines can be divided into traditional and social ones. Among the most popular traditional search engines are Google, Bing and Yahoo. Social search engines include YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

When using traditional search engines, a need already exists and the consumer is looking for a solution for it. Social search engines, or more commonly social media, are more about sharing feelings, looking at interesting content and hanging out. But often, many of us will notice something interesting and realize that this is precisely what we might need. Of course, people will also do traditional searches in social search engines. When looking at the search results, one can see how many others have viewed, shared or liked them and what kind of comments they’ve made. This adds in the social viewpoint of the community.

2. Don't overestimate the importance of the domain name

Verkkokaupan-hakukonenakyvyys-paytrailI’m sure you remember the time when everyone rushed to reserve the ”best” domain names. Today, domain names no longer really make a difference in terms of finding a site, as there are so many other factors affecting it. When you’re building something new, choose a domain name that is easy to remember and then concentrate on other things.

Remember thought that if your business consists of a brick-and-mortar store and an online store, it’s important for your online store’s domain name to be as close to your store name and brand as possible, e.g. A familiar domain name creates a feeling of security and reliability. People will also look for the most familiar company names directly through search engines.

If your company already has a domain name that is the same as the company name, you should start your online store at the same address. Search engines value old, reliable domain names, which makes it easier for you to make your store easier to find in the future.

3. Networking in internet space

The importance of networking applies to the Internet as well. You should network or link with important sites in your own field. Suitable sites could include the media web sites, the authorities, industry businesses and blogs related to the field.

Without links, your online store will be just a drop in the space of the Internet. It will be difficult to find.

4. Who are you selling to, what and where?

Some basic things: Before you even open up an online store, you should know what and to whom you’re trying to sell. Very few online stores or even brick-and-mortar stores can truly offer everything for everyone. Having a too broad target group will usually result in something odorless and flavorless that won’t catch anyone’s attention.

Define your target group and try to find out:

  • what motivates and frustrates them?
  • what is their purchasing decisions based on?
  • what kinds of goals do they have?
  • what channels are they active in?
  • what devices do they use to browse and do their shopping?

Study the shopping path of your target group. Find out

  • through what channels are their needs born?
  • what different channels do people use to find more information – including offline?
  • how much weight do different sources of information carry in making shopping decisions?
  • how long does a shopping decision take on the average?

You should also map out the right terms or keywords that members of your target group use to search in different search engines. Note the social search engines your target group most actively uses. Also collect information about social identifiers (hashtags) that they follow on social media.

After taking care of the basics, you will know how to optimize your online store for search engines and how to advertise in ways that allow your target group to find you.

5. Don't forget your brick-and-mortar store

Even if you concentrate on developing your online store, don’t forget your brick-and-mortar store. The two shouldn’t be developed separately; you should attempt to integrate them and create a holistic business that will best serve your customers.

When your online store and brick-and-mortar store are connected by a common goal, you’ll be able to offer additional value to your customers. For example, your store could offer the ability to order missing products from the net. Or your online store could offer a dressing consultation in the physical store based on the style of some of the clothes ordered. Again, the possibilities are limitless, but the important thing is to have a clear strategy that makes choices easier.

Negative visibility

The old saying ”any publicity is good publicity” is unfortunately not true, at least as far as online stores are concerned. If your customers are dissatisfied with your online store or the products and services you offer, they will let you know, sometimes directly and sometimes through web forums. An online store offering poor service may come up in search engines with the right keywords, but from a totally wrong point of view.

Make sure that positive and relevant content are among the first search results for your company. The best way to ensure this is to invest in top-quality customer service. You can also improve your customer experience by optimizing the current content of your online store for search engines, and by creating new content that serves the customers.

There are no shortcuts for online stores seeking to become the best in the world. By listening to your customers and systematically developing your online store, you’ll be one step closer to reaching your goal.

TerhiAho-tulos-paytrailTerhi Aho
Digital marketing and content strategist
terhi.aho (at)
+358 50 3078 888

Tulos Helsinki is a Finnish frontrunner in digital marketing whose passion is to build success for its clients by digital means. #tuloslove

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