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How To Create An Online Shop Customers Will Love

Want to stand out against competitors? Make customers’ online shopping experiences incredible, every time. 


Would you say you’re offering customers an unbeatable experience every time they interact with your business online? If you want to keep growing, and stand out against competitors along the way, you should always keep this top of mind.

Before you jump in, it’s first important to understand what goes into creating standout online shopping experiences. We’ve broken it down.

Getting to know your customer

Did you know customers respond well when a brand is consistent? What we mean by this is that they feel like they’re getting to know a person, rather than a business – and no matter how many times they come across your company, they know what to expect. So, you should speak the same (are you light-hearted or serious?), look the same (what colours do you use?), and always give the same experience – whether through your website, on social media, or in person.

Delivering personalisation

It’s no longer enough to present your products or services to customers, they expect personalisation. Whether that’s being called by their name, directed to the most relevant information/products for them, or through the tailored deals you offer, it’s a huge part of the customer experience. For example, if a customer lives in a flat, you could recommend potted plants. Or discount clothes based on the size they’ve bought before. So, if you want to keep up, you shouldn’t see personalisation as a nice-to-have for your business.

Solving problems before they come up

When you’re shopping online, is there anything more annoying than when something is broken? You add your shopping to the basket, and when you go to check out something’s gone. Or the payment process simply just doesn’t work. How long do you try for before giving up?

You want your customers to have the easiest experience possible. By fine-tuning your website, you’ll help keep customers on their journey.

That sounds great, but how can you put all this into practice?

You can make all this, and so much more, possible by using a content management system (also known as a CMS).

At its core, CMS is tech that lets you create and manage your website, but it can do a lot more than you might expect.

Working away in the background, it’s something your customers won’t even know you’re using, but it can help you deliver a seamless, exceptional journey – which turns into a great customer experience.

Which are the most common options?

There are a few CMS platforms to choose from.

Used by 43% of all websites on the internet, WordPress is by far the most popular of them all – and at its most basic level is free. It’s particularly good at using SEO best practices (which will help your business get noticed), has thousands of add-on options to make your website unique, and there’s easy access to lots of tutorials and blogs from its supportive community. Its downside? The many add-ons have been known to open WordPress up to easier hacking, so we’d suggest downloading third-party protection to keep your website secure.

Joomla! is another top pick for website creators around the world – and, even better, it’s completely free to use. Its accessibility is a plus, and it offers lots of customisable opportunities too. Not to mention that it has a great online shopping functionality. It can be a little trickier to use than WordPress though, so some HTML knowledge is needed to make the most of it.

Another popular option across Europe is Drupal. Powering more than 1.7 million websites, it’s considered the CMS with the most potential, but it’s also thought of as the most difficult to use. Although it's free, you might have to hire a web developer to get it up and running at its best. If you’re willing to spend the money though, Drupal is highly secure, offers great flexibility, and it’s supported by a large developer community.
Throughout each customer’s journey, they’re likely to come across your business at least a few times. That’s why the customer experience and CMS go hand in hand. By choosing the platform that will give your business the best chance of capturing your customers’ attention and turning initial awareness into delight, you’ll be ticking all the boxes of an excellent online business before you know it.

Feeling well-equipped to download your chosen CMS? If you could use a little extra help, our V-Hub Digital Advisers can chat you through the options and guide you in the right direction.

Or if you’re now keen to understand what other tools you need to build an online retail presence, we’ve broken it down for you here.

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