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Online audiences are fickle and picky. You may have a brilliant business idea, with excellent branding and a clear target audience. However, if your website is missing a certain set of elements you risk marking yourself as somewhere undesirable to shop. To avoid being tarnished with that brush and make yourself as appealing as possible to first-time visitors, here are a couple of things you need to include in your WordPress store.

Social proof

Customers trust the opinion of other shoppers more than anything else. If you want to try and convince first-time visitors to shop with you, you need to harness the power of the social proof phenomenon. Social proof can take many forms, but customer reviews are the most common and effective. Every time someone shops with your store, you should send an automated email asking them to leave a review. You can manage these through your own internal review service, but it’s much more convincing to use a trusted review website such as Trustpilot. Once you’ve accumulated enough reviews to give yourself an impressive positive score, you should present it prominently on your website, throughout major landing pages and as part of your branding. Another convincing form of social proof audiences will look out for is testimony from customers and businesses you’ve worked with. Ask some customers to write about their experience on top of giving a star rating. You can cherrypick the best to complement your overall score. When you work with a recognized brand or business ask them to write something about your business that you can post on the website. Mixing these two kinds of social proof helps you to cover the bases of all types of customers who will visit your website.

Team profiles

Customers love to know there’s a human face behind the website they’re shopping with. Websites with little personality may get some customers, but they’ll very rarely convert them into loyal shoppers who have a vested interest in the brand. Profiling your team and giving a peek behind the scenes are two great ways of giving your audience a greater idea of who you are and make for easy content marketing ideas that will bring your website to life. Your team is no doubt full of interesting people with different backgrounds. Harness that idea by uploading Q&A videos with them that tell their story and gives audiences greater insight into who is helping them through the customer service or curating the website. Think about traditional customer service, the kind you’d get in a local store. When you step inside you have a friendly face greeting you, giving you product advice and serving with a smile. This is harder to achieve online. Chatbots may be getting more sophisticated, but being able to put a face to the name is priceless. Content-based around your team is an essential step to doing that.

Video

The internet wants video content more than anything else. Just like the introduction of television saw it dominate the media landscape, users today are swarming the web for as much video content as they can possibly find. 55% of internet users will watch at least one online video every day. They’re a serious draw. If your website is lacking in video content it will make it difficult for you to keep users onboard. There are lots of opportunities you may not even initially think of to place video content throughout your website. You don’t need to invest in a big video project series that you also roll out across social media. You can simply shoot little videos of your packaging and delivery process to give your users a clearer idea of the process they’re buying into. Likewise, you can use video to complement your product pages. Static product pages with a bit of copy and some generic stock images don’t tell new visitors much about the product or allow you to bring any sense of your own brand personality into the sale process. By shooting some videos for key products you can give a clearer picture as to their benefits.

Security

Nothing is a bigger turnoff to new customers visiting your website for the first time than a clear lack of security. If it looks like you haven’t made the effort to make your website secure or the customer has an inkling you’re a scam website, they will vacate as soon as they can.
There are a couple of key security measures you need to hit no matter what creative design ideas you have for your website. First of all your website needs an SSL certificate. This is a digital certificate that makes it clear to your visitors that the data transmitted between them and your store is safe and secured. These are relatively simple to add to your WordPress website. Even if you don’t have a very techy audience, these are so familiar that it has become second nature to look for them. You also need to make sure your payment gateway is secure. This is the point in the buying process where the shopper will be most attentive to security concerns and cautious of any possible issues. This service authorizes and processes payments, so make sure it’s secure and obvious to the customers.

Social media activity

Not strictly on your website, but something the average user will want to see your brand doing. Social media interaction is an essential brand-building activity that gives your business more personality and helps establishes you with new audiences. A consistent stream of social media content is a great way to tell new audiences that you are a real business with genuine, creative people behind it. In many ways, it’s an amalgamation of everything we’ve talked about so far. It’s a place to show your creativity with content and assure you’re a safe place to shop with. For many people checking social media is an essential part of the buying process, so treat it as equal with your website. Your website should be present across multiple channels, allowing you to show off as many different facets of your content and marketing strategy. If possible, work this feed into your website. This kind of integration can be a signal to first-time visitors that you are active and have a responsive community behind you. While there is no ‘right’ way to do a WordPress store, there are definitely certain conventions beginning to emerge that any store looking to succeed needs to follow. These are just a few, there is always a lot more you can do. As always, remember to add a sprinkling of your own personality across everything you do on your website.