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Ecommerce is an essential component of every modern business, and it’s important to understand how to set up an online store that sets your brand apart and establishes its credibility.

The truth is that building an ecommerce site can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be.

Develop a strategy that establishes your brand as an authority, and no matter what size your business, you’ll make a positive impression with customers.

How to Set Up an Online Store that Will Establish Brand Authority and Gain Customer Trust

1. Customize Your Site with Consistent Branding
2. How to Set up an Online Store that’s Secure for Your Customers
3. How to Set up an Online Store with Well Defined Products
4. If You Want to Start an Online Store that Builds Trust, Give Your Customers a Voice
5. Create Content that Gives Context to Your Products

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Pinterest graphic how to set up an online store that will establish brand authority and gain trust from Selz the ecommerce platform for growing business

1. Customize Your Site with Consistent Branding

There are so many online stores out there, and chances are that you’ve visited one that just didn’t look like a real business. It isn’t because the business is run from home.

More often than not, it’s because of insufficient or inconsistent branding.

These days, there’s no excuse for a poorly designed store. With a wide variety of platforms to choose from, it’s easy to find a customizable template that will save you time and effort, while ensuring polished, stylish results.

Want to know how to set up an online store that looks professional? The core of it comes down to:

Your Logo

It’s true. You don’t need a logo to be in business. In fact, for some professions, the idea of logo may seem out of place. But, remember that a logo doesn’t always need a visual design element.

Sometimes, a logo that’s as simple as your company’s name in a carefully considered font can be enormously effective. You can work with a professional designer, or try your hand at creating your own logo.

Using a logo is a great tool as you tackle how to set up an online store with clear branding. Not only can you use this as the header of your online store, but it’s also useful to have in your contact information, which leads me to the next essential.

Contact Information

Make yourself easy to get ahold of. Provide contact information on your site that’s easy for customers to access.

One of the tenants of how to gain trust from customers is being accessible, but this also allows you to funnel customers towards your social media profiles and connect more strongly with your brand.

Graphics, Colors, Fonts

Online stores with a bunch of different colors and fonts can be interesting. But that interest also makes them distracting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked on a product offering and asked myself, “Wait, why is there handwriting font now?”

Consistency is key to developing the visual identity of your brand. Limit your color palette and your variety of fonts.

If you’re wondering how to start an online store that won’t look boring using these limitations, don’t worry. Simplicity and consistency will allow your products to stand out and shine.

About Us

If you’re dropshipping fashion jewelry, chances are that customers won’t really need to know your company’s backstory to complete a purchase.

But the more valuable your product is, the more important your About Us page is. It’s one of the most important steps as you learn to gain trust from your customers.

A well written About Us page explains what sets your company apart from the rest, and ultimately makes a case for why customers should trust your brand over others.

Of course, it’s not an easy task. The day to day operations of running a small business can make it hard to take a step back and look at the big picture of your brand, but that’s all the more reason to rise to the challenge. Reflect on what drove you to start this business and what your brand’s core values are.

This About Us Guide provides a helpful template for writing about your business.

A man makes a speech in front of a crowd. As you tackle how to start an online store you will need to know how to talk about yourself and your brand

2. How to Set Up an Online Store that’s Secure for Your Customers

If there’s one thing you’ll want to avoid as you learn how to set up an online store, it’s skimping on security. Investing in your site’s security is essential. First of all, it shows your customers that you care about and respect your business.

Secondly, if your ecommerce site isn’t secure, chances are that you won’t actually get traffic. Think about all the times that you’ve visited an online store and your browser has warned you about it being an unsecured site. Chances are, you clicked back and resumed your search elsewhere.

That’s because online shoppers value security. After major companies have fallen prey to data breaches, customers are even less likely to buy from a site that their browser says is not secure.

When you’re exploring ecommerce platform options, most platforms will offer secure checkout. This is great, but it’s also worth investigating and ensuring that each and every page of the site is secure, not just the checkout. This means that customers won’t get any “not secure” warnings to deter them from actually purchasing your products.

Check Out: How to Sell Digital Products and Keep Them Secure

A group of friends put arms over each others shoulders as they look at the view after a hike. This is the type of community and comraderie you need to gain trust from your customers. Knowing how to start an online store means knowing not to skimp on security.

3. How to Set up an Online Store with Well-Defined Products

While less may be more for design, more is more when it comes to product copy and images.

Sometimes, when small business owners tackle how to set up an online store, they focus so much on the appearance of their actual site, that they drop the call when it comes to creating product pages.

In order to be successful, your product pages need to both show and tell. Your product photography needs to be on point, and depending on the product, you’ll most likely want to have a few images for each product.

Your product descriptions need to be clear and informative while still being persuasive. These are key factors in how to set up an online store successfully.

Product Photography

Whether you’re selling digital products, physical products, or services, customers like to see what it is they’re buying – literally. Quality product photography is worth investing in.

You can either hire a professional photographer or borrow a friend’s high-quality camera. You’ll want to get images that accurately capture what your products look like from an unobstructed view.

Once you’ve captured clear images of your products, consider using props to add context. This can be as simple as showing a standard size object like a coin next the product to give a visual representation of its size.

However, you can also use props to stylize your products. It’s the same technique that countless printed catalogs have used over the years. Creating visual context for your products makes it easier for customers to imagine having them in their own spaces, wardrobes, and lives.

Check out: 7 Steps to Creating Picture-Perfect Product Images For your Online Store

Product Descriptions

Even if you know everything about how to set up an online store that is beautiful and user-friendly, you will not make sales if your product descriptions fall flat.

Your first goal should be clarity. If you’re selling a sweatshirt, describe the exact color, the exact fabric blend, the fit, and sizing information. Don’t think that selling digital products lets you off the hook here.

For example, if you’re selling an ebook, make sure to describe in detail what will be covered in it and the total length of the document.

Once you’ve written a description that covers these basics, you can edit it to make it more enticing. Use appealing adjectives that are consistent with your brand. Add a line about why the product is popular with customers. State why you love the product.

Check out: How to Write Product Descriptions That Drive Sales

A woman shows a male developer how to do his job. Details in design, copy, nd product imagery matter as you tackle how to start an online store successfully and gain trust from your customers.

4. If You Want to Start an Online Store that Builds Trust, Give Your Customers a Voice

You’ve done everything you can to start an online store that makes a good impression and converts sales. What happens after a transaction, however, is just as important as everything leading up to it.

Potential customers are much more likely to buy a product if other customers will vouch for it. That’s why customer reviews can make all the difference in your sales strategy.

Think about it. Have you ever been on the fence about a product, and a review either ushered you towards checkout or had you abandoning your cart? Or you couldn’t find any reviews, and without that customer feedback, you didn’t feel confident in completing the purchase?

How and Why to Get Customer Reviews

Online reviews and ratings make it possible for your customers to be your advocates. But what’s more, they allow you to be fully transparent with your customers and begin to gain trust and confidence from your buyers.

Many merchants are concerned that negative reviews will become an issue, but as long as you’re running your business well, they probably won’t come up that often.

And there are a few things you can do to help the good outweigh the bad:

  • When you send order confirmation emails, start a dialogue. Encourage your customer to reach out to you or your customer service directly if there are any issues. This can mitigate something as trivial as delayed shipping from incurring a bad review.
  • When issues arise, be communicative and do everything you can to fix the problem. Offering a generous coupon code to a dissatisfied customer not only makes them less likely to leave a poor review, but it makes them more likely to buy from you again.
  • Incentivize reviews. More often than not, ecommerce customers don’t voice their opinions unless something is wrong. Flip the switch by letting them know how much customer reviews mean to you and your business. You can also offer coupon codes in exchange for unbiased reviews.

Thankfully, customer reviews and comments are becoming the norm, so they should be easy to integrate as you tackle how to build your online store. Disqus and Yotpo are two easy to use tools that integrate with most Ecommerce platforms.

Check out: 4 Selz Integrations for Selling Physical Products Online

Interlinking hands. Encouraging customer reviews can have a huge imapct and you work out how to start an online store and gain trust from customers.

5. Create Content that Gives Context to Your Products

You want brand authority? You want customer trust? You’ve learned how to start an online store, but getting strategic with your content is another thing.

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling software or sewing patterns, your business will benefit from content that establishes you as an authority. You can do fun Instagram stories, behind-the-scenes Facebook live sessions, and film on brand YouTube videos. But, at the end of the day, the classic content form is still the most successful: the blog.

Blogging for your business works in two ways.

Content First

Some folks will come to your site because of the content. Maybe they typed a question into search, and one of your blog articles provided the answer.

Now that the reader is on your site, they’re more likely to interact with your products. And because they came to your products by way of your content, they already have more context for your brand, and hopefully more consumer trust.

Content allows you to introduce your brand to readers without forcing your products on them right away. It’s a great way to show your expertise and knowledge, and it can even put you in a position of thought leadership within your niche.

Product First

Let’s say someone finds your products but is on the fence about purchasing. Engaging with your blog is a great way for them to strengthen their connection to your brand and ultimately convert.

That’s because your content has the power to add context and transparency to your products. A deeper understanding of how and why your products are made can gain trust from customers.

Transparency and authenticity matter more and more in an economy that’s seeing higher levels of consumer scrutiny.

If you already have an established blog, don’t feel like you need to start from scratch. Instead of undertaking how to start an online store and either migrate your blog audience, you can turn your blog into its own online store.

Simple, strategic integrations make it easy to bring your products to where your readership already is, whether you’re using WordPress or Blogger. You can learn more about adding ecommerce to your blog in this video:

This approach allows you to take full advantage of the relationship you’ve already forged with your readership.

All of these details add up to an online store that will establish your authority and gain trust from your customers.

Want to hear more from companies who excel? Read here:

In addition to making people more comfortable buying from you, these tips also help you to push your business to be its best self.

The same steps you take to gain trust effectively make you more deserving of it.

As you tackle how to start your online store, remember that you’re creating a path for your business to follow. Forge one of authority, trustworthiness, and professionalism.

About the author

Tara Storozynsky

Tara lives in Portland, Oregon. She writes about the intersection of creativity and entrepreneurship, after a decade of working in the food, tech, and wellness industries. Her work has been featured by American Artists Watercolor Magazine, Salon.com, and others. Aside from writing content and copy, Tara is also a social media strategist.