So you’re ready to jump into the world of online selling; awesome! But did you know that according to some sources, more than 90 percent of all online businesses end in failure within the first 120 days?


To keep your online store from being a statistic, follow these simple guidelines to convert your passerby’s into paying customers.

Make Sure Your Shop is Complete

I know, you already know you’re supposed to do this. But do you know how many online stores I come across that don’t have their information completely filled out? A lot. Having an incomplete profile not only makes you look unprofessional, it potentially puts the question in a buyer’s mind:

“Is this person open for business?”

Keep your potential customers browsing by filling in all of your shop’s details, including your front page, your seller profile page, and your frequently asked questions (FAQ) page. Be sure to include a professional-looking header and logo with a brief snippet about what you sell.

If you’re launching your shop on a shoestring budget, don’t worry. You can create professional looking images using Canva or PicMonkey (both are free for basic use), or you can try using a service like Fiverr, where professionals only charge $5 for their services.

You also need to have clearly spelled out conditions and terms including a return policy, refund policy, payment methods, and a privacy policy (If you collect email addresses and names, you’re required by law to have a privacy policy in place).

Once you have the basics in place, you can start adding your products which brings me to the next point, photos.

Amazing Photos

If you’re going to sell items online, you need to have some amazing product photos. If your images are too dark, too light, out of focus, or grainy, people will have a difficult time evaluating your product; which means you’ll most likely lose the sale.

While you can hire a professional photographer to shoot your products, this can be expensive and out of reach if you’re just starting out. Fortunately, there are lots of free photo tutorials that can help improve your photography skills.

Here are few tips to get you started.

  • Use natural lighting
  • Stabilize your shots by using a tripod
  • Experiment with different backgrounds

For more ways to increase sales with your photos, check out this tutorial.

Create Stronger Copy

What’s copy? Advertising copy is text that is geared towards grabbing the reader and persuading them to take action (in your case, making a purchase). And the most important element of your copy is going to be your product’s headline.

Now, I’ve seen a lot of sellers with some CRAZY headlines, such as:

Cherry Lime And Smooth Orangge Double Scented And Layered Organic Soy Wax Candle In Extra Large Mason Jar With Lid And Three Wicks

Do you see anything wrong with this title? Let’s start with the obvious, spelling and grammar. This title not only has a misspelled word, but it’s a jumbled mess of keywords without any punctuation. When you’re creating your titles and descriptions, use an editing tool like Grammarly to ensure your copy is error-free.

Next, this title contains 23 words. Do you know what the ideal length for a title online is? According to a post by Kissmetrics, the ideal length for a headline is six words. Usability research shows that people not only scan text, but headlines as well—and they tend to take in only the first and last three words.

When you’re writing your titles and your product descriptions, keep the following tips in mind.

  • Know your target audience
  • Write like you speak
  • Avoid jargon
  • Be clear and concise — cut out unnecessary words
  • Make sure to include a call to action — click the blue button to buy
  • Use keywords — but don’t keyword stuff
  • Be direct
  • Evoke emotion

If you’re interested in learning more about copywriting there are lots of books that can help you hone your skills. If you have a more substantial budget, you can hire a copywriter to create some basic templates for your products.

Increase Your Reach and Frequency

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Build it, and they will come” this statement couldn’t be further from the truth. When you open up your shop, you will need to market your business daily.

Luckily, there are tons of affordable and fun ways to get the word.

  • Utilize social media, add social media icons to your storefront
  • Email marketing
  • Business cards
  • Use a detailed email signature
  • Blogging and guest blogging
  • Paid advertising
  • Reach out to the media

Build Trust and Showcase Your Expertise

People like to do business with people they know and trust, to help build this trust and familiarity include a professional-looking headshot and a short bio on your seller profile page. Make sure to include recent press features and awards; these items reassure people that you’re offering top-notch products.

Testimonials are a great way to let customers know you’re legit, and reinforce that what you’re selling is awesome. If you’re just getting started, offer customers discounts on purchases for their testimonials. You can even ask friends and family who are familiar with your product to leave testimonials on your behalf.