Now that your Vagaro Merchant Services account is set up, you’re ready to open the digital doors of your online store! According to studies, retail e-commerce sales are projected to reach $4.4 trillion by 2021, and you’re poised to create a new revenue stream for your small business. Vagaro’s Online Cart allows you to virtually “stock” your eComm site with everything you carry in your physical location, letting you sell products to customers anywhere.

Sell More with Best Practices

There’s more to creating a great online shopping experience than simply uploading the products you carry. Remember, online shoppers won’t be able to pick up the products or look at the labeling, so the more you make your online store stand out from the crowd, the more likely they are to make a purchase from you instead of an online retail giant. Here are 5 best practices to help you stock your online store to sell!

1. Organize It

The first thing to remember is to take your time, and don’t get overwhelmed. Before you do anything else, sit down and map out the different Categories you want to list, and the Products you’ll stock in each Category. For a salon, spa, or barbershop, examples of Categories might include: Men’s Grooming, Colored Hair, Kid’s Products, Curly Hair, Skincare, Nailcare, Top Sellers, etc. You can always add seasonal categories, such as Mother’s Day or Holiday Favorites. Next, make sure you have an easy-to-find search bar.

Pro Tip: Remember, you don’t have to launch your store with every single product you carry available immediately! The easiest way to get started is to begin with your Best Sellers. If you’re not sure what those are, run a Product Sales Report and start with 10-20 of your top products.

2. SEO is SE-Awesome

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) helps you boost sales by improving search rankings. SEO means setting up information on your website to make it easy for search engines (like Google, Bing, etc.) to match your website to a search query. Search ranking is the order of websites as possible matches. The higher your ranking, the more likely shoppers are to click on your store. Instead of marketing where you reach out to customers, SEO lets customers come to you. SEO is driven by keywords, the words and phrases most commonly typed into search engine queries. Industry examples might include “Personal trainer rates” or “Products for curly hair.” Planning out the keywords you use in product descriptions helps customers find your store when they’re looking for products you sell. When adding inventory, use a keyword planner (like Google Keywords) to ensure when someone searches for products you sell, your store will place in the top results. For example, if you sell Deva Curl, you’d want to make sure you include the term “products for curly hair” in the description to improve SEO.

Pro Tip: Make sure you’ve got your local business info included on the footer of each page of your website! This will boost your online store’s Google search ranking, which factors location into search results.

3. Get Descriptive

High-quality images and detailed product descriptions help sell products. Remember, online shoppers can’t see, touch, or smell what you’re selling. Thus, the more photos and information you provide, the more likely they are to make a purchase. Once you decide what products you’re stocking, visit the brand website. Get started with manufacturer photos and descriptions. Next, add photos of the product in use or stocked in your store. From there, add in SEO keywords in a short description of why you personally love this product. Better still: include testimonials from your shop’s professionals and clients!

Pro Tip: Use short blocks of text, extra spacing, and bulleted or numbered lists in product descriptions. Remember, most online shoppers are using a mobile device, so check how your product listings look on a phone.

4. Automate Emails to Make Sales

When you initially launch your store, use automated emails to let your clients know! Salon Today reports the biggest reason shoppers buy salon products from grocery or drug stores is convenience. Let your customers know that they can buy from you online, and either pick up in-store or have products shipped directly!

Pro Tip: As you add inventory, you can continue sending automated emails to let your clients know you’ve added new products, or you can target notifications to the clients you want to reach. For example, if you add Paul Mitchell for Men, target automated emails to notify your male clients, or clients who’ve previously purchased these products. From there, you can send out online store updates to let customers know about sales, new products, shipping deals, or seasonal categories.

5. Easy Checkout & Shipping

Vagaro makes checkout and shipping easy for you and your customers, offering convenient shipping options through USPS, FedEx, and UPS, as well as in-store pick-up. When you add inventory, remember to set up Shipping Costs for products you sell online. Then, you’ll be able to skip a trip to the post office when you make a sale. You can also adjust settings to make products available for In-Store Pickup, giving local shoppers the ability to skip shipping altogether. Don’t forget to make sure you check daily for online sales, and ship products in a timely manner. That way, instead of buying from an online retail giant, they’ll keep buying from you.

Pro Tip: Studies show that up to 60% of abandoned online carts are the result of surprise shipping costs at checkout.  To minimize abandoned carts, make sure to include shipping costs prominently in your product descriptions, and let customers know if the product is available for in-store pickup.

Stock Your Store with Vagaro

Don’t forget to stock easy online sales, such as Gift Certificates, in your online store. So, take your time importing inventory, use downtime to add new products, and check all your links frequently to make sure everything still works. From there, you can update inventory and create internal cross-links to related products to upsell. When you’re stocked to sell, you’ll always be just a few clicks away from your next checkout!

Ready to start stocking your store? If you already have Vagaro, let’s get your online store stocked to sell! Looking for more information? Click here to learn more about adding products to Vagaro’s Online Cart and how it can help you boost your revenue through online sales!

Header Image: Mia Montemayor via Vagaro

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