By Bola Ajumobi

If you run a brick and mortar store chances are that you spend a good amount of your time dusting off your wares, arranging and rearranging your wares and generally sprucing things up with the ultimate goal of making sales.

If you run an online store, you need to do the same. I may even add that merchandising is much more critical in an online store since your prospective customers don’t get to touch and feel your products. It is a known fact that people are more likely to buy a product that they have touched. You should aim to simulate the touch and feel experience as much as possible in your online store.

Read on for steps to make this happen.

1. Optimize Your Images
“A picture is worth a thousand words” much more so online. Look through your product images. Replace any less than stellar product images you might have. Large images can slow down your website which can do harm to your search engine optimization efforts as Google now takes a site’s speed into account when ranking websites. You can mitigate against this by passing your images through a tool like to compress your product images.

When saving your images, make sure to rename it using the product name, add on a keyword if you can.

2. Optimize Your Product Descriptions
Imagine you were looking to buy a toy online and start with an online search. You move from website to website with the same manufacturer’s descriptions. Assuming the prices and shipping fees were comparable, how do you settle on who to buy from? Chances are that you will buy from the website you spent the longest time.

Differentiating your online store is imperative. Use your own product description when you can. At the very least, add on your own commentary to the manufacturer provided product description, highlighting the benefits of the product. Start with your best-selling products then move on to your slowest moving merchandise. For all you know, the slow moving product may be slow moving because the product description did not do it justice.

3. Update Your “About Us” Page
Have you earned a new award? Have you changed locations? Add on any new interesting fact about your business. Here is your chance to communicate your passion for your business; your customers will feel it. I would suggest adding some testimonials to this page, even if you have a dedicated testimonial page. Few people go to the testimonial page anyway but they will check out your “About Us” page.

Sprucing up a store will always be a work in progress whether online or brick and mortar.

Bola Ajumobi is a mom of two young boys with a health care background and owns the online children’s bookstore; where busy parents or gift shoppers can take advantage of the complimentary gift suggestion service to find just the right books for the kids in their lives. She loves interacting with other moms-in-business and exchanging insights on running a business.