Setting up an online gun parts store can be overwhelming with the number of items needed to ensure your website is high-quality and done to the correct standards. To combat this challenge, we have come up with a checklist list of essentials you will need when setting up your eCommerce store. From the basics of good user-interface design to the complexities of the checkout process for online gun stores, we hope this checklist will help you stay organized and on track when setting up your website. We already covered nine basics in Part I and hope you enjoy reading Part II with nine more tips. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks for online gun shops in Part III coming soon.
Call-to-actions are basically images or buttons that encourage your user to go somewhere on the site or take an action on the website such as “Add to Cart” or “Check Out.” It’s key to make sure your call-to-actions are bold and easy to understand on your website so the user knows what they will get from the outcome of clicking on them. We suggest you pick a certain color and font combination for each button type to distinguish them from other elements on the page and create a universal-feel to all of the call-to-actions.
If you are planning on using a combination of buttons and photography for your call-to-actions, which is often done to add visual interest, make sure your photos are intriguing and relevant to each category. For example, if you are dividing up your website call-to-actions by firearm type, you can use lifestyle shots of each firearm rather than just plain products to add visual interest and show the product in action. You can then place a title or button (or both) on top of the image for added sophistication. We think Smith & Wesson has done a fantastic job of showcasing call-to-actions on their homepage that shows nice photography paired with products and buttons.
Have you ever gone to checkout of an online store and been surprised at some of the added fees at the end? Yeah, us too - and we agree that it is very frustrating to see extra costs add up you didn’t initially know were going to be there. This is one of the many reasons we suggest showing all fees, including extra shipping costs and taxes, before checkout. Products like firearms and firearm parts, in general, can be costly so most users will have some kind of price range or budget in mind when shopping. You can avoid bad reviews and returns if you have your costs listed ahead of time, before the final checkout, so the users can know exactly how much they will be spending on your site and not waste time if what they are looking to purchase that day is not within their budget.
Free shipping is honestly expected nowadays with the rise of bulk websites and services like Amazon Prime. We suggest you at least offer free shipping to the lower 48 states if possible. Also be sure to highlight the fact that you provide free shipping on your site in different important places like the header, footer, and product pages. Highlight this in the checkout portion of your site to make users aware that they won’t be getting extra fees for shipping.
Having the functionality and ability for a user to add to a wishlist is a great idea for frequent shoppers of your site. This way they do not have to purchase right away and can plan out larger purchases when they have the means available. As an added bonus, it also encourages users to create an account on your website which also means they will be more likely to visit your site frequently.
We encourage all of our eCommerce sites to advertise the different brands they are selling on their website. One great way to do this is to include the logo from these brands, just make sure you ask for permission to do so. Users will be impressed to see each brand listed especially if you work with high-dollar brands but don’t forget local or smaller chains are also important to show variety and support. Lastly, you could also have these logos link to different product listing pages where all of the brands by these products are listed to shop from. This is a great feature for users who are brand loyal or are looking for a specific product by a certain brand.
Highlighting your best sellers on the homepage can help a user find what they are looking for fast or assist a user who doesn’t know what they are looking to purchase into finding a good quality product. We suggest you highlight a minimum of four products at least to fill out the width of your page depending on your layout of course. If you plan to do more than this you can either have more than one row of products or make your products scroll across from left to right to save on real estate. Make sure these top products also have some reviews from customers so the user can check out what others have to say - having real reviews creates trust between your potential customers and you.
In general, text on the homepage of your website is a great idea for SEO and keyword optimization. You should also include this on the internal pages where each category is to help a browser be able to pick up these pages too. Do some research with a website like ahrefs.com and see what keywords and key phrases you think you can rank for and go from there. It is recommended to have at least 300 words on your homepage for optimum rankings.
Blogs are a great way to show expertise on the subject matter in which you are trying to advertise or sell. Not only do they help show you are an expert in your field but they also serve to help SEO on your website so users can find your website based on what they look for and based on what you write about. Be sure to do some research and include keywords in your blog. You may even want to plan a content calendar based upon the keywords you find.
Along with the blog section, you’ll also want to include a company news section on your site or as a category within the blog to keep your audience aware of the recent happenings with your store. This section is a great place to advertise new products and product lines.
If your product photography is poor, your products will look poor and low-quality and it is as simple as that. You will want to take the time to invest in a good photographer to come shoot your products on the regular or the other option is to create a studio space in-house for you to do them yourself. Either way, your products aren’t going to sell as well if the photographs are not professional. Make sure you have many good angles of your products, good lighting and consistency is key when it comes to the backgrounds that your products are shot on. We suggest a simple background color so it doesn't distract from the product. If you choose a bright color, for example, you will risk the brightness of the color reflecting onto the product so it is best to go with a neutral color like white or even gray to avoid this situation. For an example of a gun eCommerce store with nice product photography, check out Sig Sauer.
Lastly, you don’t just want plain images of your guns and gun parts on white - it’s also best to have some lifestyle shots of your products actually being used even if they are just posed in the setting. Think about the different scenarios in which a person purchasing a gun might use the product and go from there.