The footwear industry is one of the few industries that have remained unscathed by the fluctuating economic trends. Annual revenue generated by the shoe industry is estimated to be about $15 billion worldwide. This is motivation enough to make one consider an online shoe store for a lucrative business. Like apparel, people will always be in need of good shoes.

Why an online shoe store?

With the innovations of smart phones technology, the number of digital buyers has increased astronomically. At the end of 2015, the number of online shoppers had peaked to 1300 million, a clear indicator that an e-Commerce store gives you an edge in selling.

The online medium has been resourceful to global shoe brands like Nike, Adidas, Asics and much more. These brands have leveraged on online platforms, and it has proved to be successful. For example, in 2015 Adidas experienced an 80% increase in sales and generated $651 million through online sales. Nike website and mobile apps have experienced a surge of 70% increase in online sales.

For a shoe boutique, the clarion call for online profits is unmistakable. However, online presence alone is not enough. You have to develop a superior store of exceptional quality and engaging enough for customers to stay and buy.

Here are some tips on how to build a leading online store

To create a top of the range online shoe store, an eye for detail will serve you well as every minute aspect counts. This means it should be function driven, simple to navigate, engaging and reliable.

  1. Choose the right platform

In building your online shoe store website, an opens source e-Commerce platform will simplify your task. Customers and visitors love to see a vast array of shoes. To handle diverse inventory, the site should be stable and have admin-centric back end options. For this type of efficiency, you need to choose a robust and admin-friendly e-Commerce platform like Shopify or Magento to have a functional and attractive online store.

  1. Focus on functionality over aesthetics

Though aesthetics have their place in your store, functionality should always take precedence. That signifies that you are more focused on the right things like customer experience. The store design should be pleasing and be inviting and most importantly, it should be easily navigable.

Points that affect customer experience on your site

  • Choose a white color or lighter shades for the background
  • Avoid adding too many shoe categories as it could confuse the customer
  • Allow adequate spacing for all your shoes on display and enable the zoom in/out function so that customers can inspect the footwear.
  • For promotions create a separate banner that communicates the offer to your customers.

Other important functions that need special attention on your site include but are not limited to

  • Bank level security
  • Simple Registration
  • Seamless check out
  • Advanced search options

It is worth noting that all major e-commerce sites deploy cloud servers. This prevents your site from down time issues that will affect your bottom line.

  1. Source for whole sale distributor of shoes

While setting up an online store is key, a good inventory of shoes is equally important. Depending on the range and categories of shoes you opt to stock, you will need to research and get in touch with wholesale shoe distributors and open an account with them. Ensure you buy your inventory wholesale at a discount of 40 to 60% off the retail price.

  1. Optimize your pages

Getting visitors on your page is one thing, getting them to stay is quite another. A customer expects your website to open within 3 to 5 seconds. Anything beyond that and they will lose attention and move on to another site. Optimizing your pages ensures they open fast and a visitor can find and explore more of your merchandise quicker. This component is imperative for conversion.