Why Your eCommerce Business Needs A Strategic Online Store

Let me guess you’re all excited about getting a fresh design for your new website. You’ve looked at other businesses and pull together a list of sites you’ve been inspired by. You know the aesthetic you want and you’ve scoped out the big players in your industry. 

Here’s the deal…before your eCommerce business can ever compete online it needs to be strategic.

This is especially true for newer business owners who may have been inspired by a beautiful website. Then thought to themselves: “hmm I want a website for my online store just like that.”

One important element is missing, that as an outsider, you aren’t always privy to know. It is the decision, behind why the website design was created in a certain manner, in the first place. 

What Is A Strategic Online Store?

Each online store should have a strategy behind it. Essentially a plan on how customers are going to purchase and navigate your online store. Without this plan or direction you could risk creating something that doesn’t work for your business. Resulting in lost sales & increased frustrations just for the sake of having a pretty store.

The strategy for your online store comes from many sources and research about your ideal customers. You need to know…

  • What inspires them to buy?
  • Where are they in their buying journey?
  • What information do they need to know to take the next steps?

When you aren’t sure what motivates your customers then you are making assumptions about your online store design & purpose. Here are some facts about your online store that you need to prioritize.

Your Online Store Is a Marketing Tool 

Raise your hand if you love marketing? I can bet most people don’t but, guess what can market for you? Your website, it’s the 24/7 dedicated employee that proudly showcases what you bring to the world consistently. 

In order for your website to be effective, it has to be primed right & trained to do the hard lifting. Now don’t get me wrong your website is not going to be the only marketing tool you’ll ever need. It just plays a big part, in how others view your business. 

You may be wondering how can my online store market for me? 

Have you ever found yourself addressing the same questions over and over again, from customers? Maybe they hit you up on social media and are constantly asking the same questions. 

“What material does this come in?”

“Do you ship to my country?”

“Will this arrive in time for (inserts special event)?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just direct people to your website that has been strategically design. To answer those questions, so you can focus on delivering amazing products, running the business, and growing your empire.

A well-optimized online store website is going to save you so much time in admin hours. Those same hours that pull you away from the business. Your website, if positioned right, will step in and be the tool that helps your customers easily navigate to the checkout page.

Pretty Isn’t Always Profitable

I come from the business world and a business’s #1 goal usually is to be profitable. When you focus on just creating a pretty website. You may think that people will fall in love with the design and automatically want to purchase your products. 

That is simply not true, consumers are very smart and yes great marketing and beautiful visuals can do wonders. It might make money but it surely will not withstand the test of time. 

What does matter, is that your online store is crafted around your customers. Specifically, their wants and desires, because ultimately they are the ones enjoying the products.

Have you ever brought something because it was cute and then realized it wasn’t functional? I remember once I purchased a gold phone case. I was absolutely in love with the design and I thought it just made my phone look amazing. Plus it got tons of compliments, but guess what? 

Every time I would try to make a call or receive a call I couldn’t. My calls would drop and I soon realized it was the phone case that was the problem. The materials that were used to make the beautiful case, created some sort of interference with my ability to make calls. 

So I had to toss my beloved phone case to the side to never use again. It was beautiful but absolutely useless because it prevented me from using the essential elements of my phone. 

That my friend is what you don’t want. Unless your selling collectibles, you’ll need more than pretty to be profitable.

Your Online Store Isn’t A Vanity Metric

Our brains love to receive instant gratification and unlike a social media follow. Your online store isn’t a vanity metric. I have never heard a shop owner say, I love it when people come to my store and leave without taking action. 

When you have just a pretty online store, people will look at it and think “that’s gorgeous.” Then they will continue off into the web and possibly land on Amazon and make a purchase. 

Meanwhile, your beautiful store just got “the vanity check” of oh that’s cute. But not enough to make them want to part with their hard-earned money. 

Don’t get me wrong I love all things beautiful, it’s part of my DNA. But I also want people to be action takers who feel confident in their decisions. 

The bottom line is you don’t want to treat your online store like a vanity metric. Because if you do, you’ll never get the “stop the scroll” action that will lead to a sale.

Amateurs Focus On Looks, Bosses Focus On Results

This may be harsh but amateurs don’t focus on results. They focus on what they see, not the hard work it takes to get the results they admire. 

Now, this isn’t knocking those that are early in their journey. We have all began as amateurs at some point and will be amateurs again. When we choose to undertake something new. 

But when you DECIDE to take something seriously, like your business. Your focus is different and you began to measure your results based on goals.

Bosses or those that are serious about their business, set goals. They have a target that they are going for and anything that prevents them from reaching their desire results needs to be eliminated. 

Amateurs on the other hand may only be doing something for fun and really aren’t after results. 

Decide, do you want to be an amateur or a serious business owner who is striving for a goal or goals?

Frustration Can Kill Motivation

What do I mean by frustration can kill motivation? Well, when you start to realize you aren’t seeing the results you desire in your business. Because you focused on the wrong thing, i.e pretty. Guess what decides to peep its head in? Frustration.

When you are frustrated it can be hard to focus and take action. The pity parties start to roll in and next thing you know. You’re on the couch eating your millionth snack, wondering what the heck happened. 

As entrepreneurs, we go through what I call the “entrepreneur emotional rollercoaster”. If you’ve been in business for a while you are surely going to relate to what I’m about to say. 

The “entrepreneur emotional rollercoaster” is when you are feeling amazing one moment and then next. You are thinking how horrible you are LOL. It sounds so harsh, as I’m writing this but, it’s true. Let me tell you it can definitely kill your motivation.

Those same feelings are just amplified when are you aren’t getting the results you desire. I definitely don’t want you to experience that when it comes to your eCommerce store. It’s not fun.

You Deserve More Than A Pretty Online Store

Finally, you deserve more than just a pretty online store. You deserve a business that works hard for you and shows up as its best self to serve your customers. 

You deserve an online store that inspires you to keep going each day and that also impacts the world however you choose. And, so much more.

But in order to accomplish your goals you need to have a strategic online store that has a vision and direction.

Strategy is one of the first things we do before creating your online store. So when can get rid of the assumptions, map out strategic customer paths and create a seamless checkout experience that leads to return visits and purchases. Learn more about the signature service to start your transformation today.

karen-founder-tmc 3

Hi, I'm Karen, the founder + strategist/Shopify expert behind The May Creative. I help eCommerce brand owners in luxury, lifestyle and beauty industries craft an elevated Shopify website experience. So they can take their store to the next level. Connect to learn more about working together. Or check out the other articles below and listen to the podcast.


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