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A Digital Storefront Guide For Your eCommerce Business (2024)

GemPages Team
9 minutes read

Owning a digital storefront has become an innate part of doing business, no matter the size of your brand. What once was a corporate-only playground has evolved into a helpful tool for sellers to grow their brands and stay on top of the ever-changing eCommerce trends.

Whether you are a novice seller or a seasoned brick-and-mortar store owner, this guide is guaranteed to give you the groundwork needed to start your own digital storefront.

Digital Storefront: What is It and How Does It Work?

What is a Digital Storefront?

Though the name seems self-explanatory, there are facets of a digital storefront that we need to be aware of before putting it to work.

So, what is a digital storefront?

In layman’s terms, a digital storefront is a business’s online store where buyers can browse and purchase products. A digital storefront operates on an eCommerce system, often supported by a specialized platform like Shopify or Magenta.

The addition of a digital storefront makes it easy for buyers to look up the company online, check product availability, and keep up with new releases.

Screenshot of Flex Seal’s website.

Flex Seal is a household name when it comes to infomercial products that work wonders. Trusted by Americans across the nation, the brand can be found in every large retail chain. Customers can purchase Flex Seal’s classic products from its digital storefront.

But how did an ordinary website become a digital storefront? Let’s get into the nitty-gritty below.

How Does a Digital Storefront Work?

The core element that constitutes a digital storefront and separates it from a typical website is the fact that customers can purchase your products from it.

Instead of going to a physical location and buying your items directly, customers add the products to a virtual cart, pay for them via a payment gateway, and wait for the goods to be delivered to their doorsteps.

From a seller’s POV, the work that goes into creating a well-rounded digital storefront has to cover a variety of aspects. After all, you have to possess the skill sets of both a business and a website owner.

Fortunately, the internet has never been more accessible than it is now. You can learn from the experts and utilize a wide array of eCommerce tools to build a digital storefront that is ready to be launched in weeks.

Though it differs from case by case, having a checklist of elements to include when setting up a digital storefront alleviates overhead costs and future mishaps.

Some of the aspects to consider include:

  • Sales channel
  • Store name and theme
  • Payment options
  • Shipping and return policies
  • Product details (image, title, description, etc.)
  • UI and UX designs
  • Business registration
  • Tax settings
  • Marketing campaigns

Taking notes of what to include and what to omit is the first step in learning how to create a digital storefront that works in your favor.

Benefits of Owning a Digital Storefront

Is a digital storefront a must-have when starting a new business? We will go through its benefits and let the following digital storefront examples speak for themselves.

An all-in-one shopping experience

When we say all-in-one, we mean it.

With a digital storefront, the possibilities are endless. It does not only offer the same benefits as a brick-and-mortar store but is capable of giving customers an advanced shopping experience as well.

Ever since the introduction of eCommerce back in the 90s, online shopping has evolved tremendously. Determined to not be restricted by a screen, merchants have implemented different features that are designed to give buyers an attentive shopping journey.

Elements like visual guides, instruction videos, product quizzes, etc. are a gold mine for customers to find when they visit your digital store. The more personal these components are, the easier it is for them to navigate your website and make a purchase.

Screenshot of oVertone’s website.

oVertone is a hair-coloring brand whose products are claimed to minimize hair damage. While the product colors are vibrant to the eyes, buyers are bound to have doubts about in-person usage. To alleviate this concern, the brand came up with a virtual color try-on, where customers can see how different colors look on their hair color. This simple yet efficient tool has solved a common problem among online shoppers.

Screenshot of Good American’s website.

Find your best match with the Good American’s streamlined fit finder.

Similarly, the fit finder feature on Good American’s digital storefront saves buyers time from excessive scrolling. By following three basic steps, customers can find their best matches in seconds. This is essentially a virtual alternative for a shop assistant at an in-person store, and it works brilliantly.

A versatile solution for brick-and-mortar businesses

If you already own a physical store, a digital storefront plays an even greater role.

Potential customers might have heard of your brand, but they have not had a chance to visit your physical store. This is when a digital storefront gets to work its magic.

From the comfort of their homes, customers can flip through your products, compare prices, check out opening hours, shipping policy, payment privacy, and so on. Eventually, they will make a decision to order online or shop in person.

Thus, buyers will naturally form an impression of your brand before stepping foot in your physical store, all through spending mere minutes on your site. The digital storefront is a versatile tool to give buyers the guidance they need, and sellers an outlet to exhibit their brand’s image.

Moreover, it is easier than ever to go international with a digital storefront. By setting up compatible shipping, payment, and language options, your website will become accessible to customers around the globe.

Screenshot of Gymshark’s website.

Gymshark’s digital storefront was introduced long before its first physical store.

Gymshark is one of the most renowned gym clothing companies, and the brand only opened its first physical store at the end of 2022. Before then, it was purely virtual. This business model has worked well for them for years, which proves the success of eCommerce if done right.

Keeping a comprehensive business record

Even brick-and-mortar businesses make use of computer software to keep track of their inventory, orders, buying trends, and the like. However, this process is often done manually.

With a digital storefront, this data is more handy to track than ever. For Shopify-based storefronts, merchants can see and update their business records all in one place. Since data analytics are automated, the accuracy is higher and time is saved.

More Shopify features to stay ahead of your business records:

Shopify Features and Benefits — a Detailed Overview

Ready to elevate your Shopify storefront?
Take your storefront to the next level with GemPages page builder. Free plan available. Upgrade as you scale.

Convenient and automated customer support

Customer support can make or break a business. When your customers are burdened with a question, the tardiness in solving their problem can cause irritation, and vice versa. With online business, customer service can be set up so customers’ concerns are met with answers one way or another.

Take Chomps' Contact Us page for instance. The issues are neatly divided and labeled, alongside a short contact form for even more ease. Other online and offline contact methods are presented, with a unique “Send a Recording” option for buyers to voice their concerns, literally.

Screenshot of Chomps’ website.

Chomps goes the extra mile to offer buyers excellent customer support on its digital storefront.

With a top-notch Contact Us page that caters to all customer groups, Chomps has created a devoted brand image, even if it does not have an around-the-clock live chat system.

One side note: in order to create features that your customers want, trials and errors are bound to happen. That is why collecting feedback and conducting A/B testing are important in perfecting your website.

Different payment options

It’s frustrating when the customer journey ends at the checkout page without any transaction being made. If this issue persists, chances are the payment methods you provide are not sufficient enough for your buyers.

With a digital storefront, integrating a variety of options like credit cards, debit cards, and digital wallets into your store ensures a seamless checkout process for buyers. Most eCommerce platforms have automated features that make setting up different payment gateways as easy as pie. This benefit is evident, especially if you plan on reaching an international audience.

Screenshot of Olipop’s website.

Several convenient payment options are available on Olipop’s digital storefront.

Apart from traditional payment options, businesses can make use of “buy now, pay later” payment gateways that cater to a wider range of consumers. Shop Pay is a Shopify exclusive payment option that companies like Olipop have made use of. Without spending the big bucks in one go, customers will feel more inclined to make a purchase immediately.

Exclusive marketing strategies

A digital storefront has its perks, especially when it comes to marketing.

Social media ads, email marketing, affiliate programs, etc. are all marketing strategies that eCommerce owners should make themselves familiar with. 

Since all of these marketing projects are online-based, you have the freedom to customize them to appeal to different customer groups. For instance, deals for first-time orders can be sent to signed-up emails that have not made a purchase yet. When customers feel like the deal is personalized, their interest will be peaked and sales are more likely to be driven.

Screenshot of Stanley’s website.

Buy its famous cups and make money with Stanley’s affiliate program.

The Stanley cup craze has made storms all over the internet in the past few months. Whether you are in or out of this trend, it’s mutually understood that its online store has received an influx of visits and orders.

On Stanley’s digital storefront, you can find an affiliate program that is incredibly easy to participate in. The more purchases made using your link, the more commission you earn. This is how most affiliate programs work for eCommerce stores.

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Elevate Your Digital Storefronts With These Brilliant Templates

We have mentioned the good ol’ Shopify as a reputable eCommerce platform for your digital storefront. If you are leaning towards building your own Shopify storefront, it’s good practice to partner up with a powerful page builder to kick your business into gear.

With tried-and-true reviews, GemPages could be the very page-building solution that you need. Our library has templates for every purpose so there is always room for your products to shine.

Template for your apparel storefront

Preview of GemPages’ “Urban” template.

This template from GemPages is a foolproof starter to breathe life into your digital storefront.

If you are looking for a compact homepage with an urban feel, this template is for you. Your hero image will be proudly boasted when visitors land on your website, and products are neatly displayed in collections instead of crowding the page. You can either keep the original color palette or use our Drag & Drop Editor to customize every component with ease.

Template to highlight your store's mission

Preview of GemPages’ “Storytelling #1” template.

Tell the visitors about your brand with this dedicated template for storytelling from GemPages.

Looking to build an About Us page that conveys your brand’s mission? We’ve got you covered.

This template rids your website of text overdose by having different visual components throughout the page. You are free to tell the brand’s story, show commitment, display trust badges, and promote your products in the same place. Everything is kept concise, while still being effective.

Template for the latest marketing campaign

Preview of GemPages’ “Bluetooth Headphones’ template.

Advertise your latest campaign and boost conversion with this GemPages template.

Want maximum exposure for your hottest deal of the year? Let this template shoulder the hard work for you.

Designed to allure visitors the moment they land on the page, this template is not short of attention-grabbing elements. Clear Call-to-action buttons, a countdown timer, trust badges, and numerous images depicting the products in all their glory are some of the details that make this template one of the most popular.

Over To You

Starting a digital storefront is not rocket science, is it? While there are long-standing local businesses that are thriving without a digital outlet, an online storefront is an agile solution that takes your brand to new heights.

With a wide array of eCommerce platforms and page builders to choose from, kickstarting your digital storefront is frictionless. Now it’s over to you to make the first move.

Want to turn your store into a cash cow?
With GemPages page builder, you can create compelling store pages that wow visitors and convert them into buyers.

FAQ About Digital Storefronts

What is a digital storefront?
A digital storefront is a business’s website where products are available to be browsed and purchased. This outlet is accessible for customers as long as they have an internet connection. An order is placed by adding the items to the cart, paying in advance, and receiving the products later on.
How do I create a digital storefront?
A digital storefront can be built from scratch, or developed with the support of an eCommerce platform like Shopify. Depending on your needs, different automated features can be utilized while setting up your online store.
Check out this guide for more information: Shopify Tutorial: How to Set Up A Shopify Store from Scratch for Beginners (2024)
What are the benefits of a digital storefront?
Managing a digital storefront comes with its unique perks for both sellers and buyers. Some of the basic benefits are:
  • An all-in-one shopping experience
  • A versatile solution for brick-and-mortar businesses
  • Keeping a coherent business record
  • Convenient and automated customer support
  • Different payment options
  • Exclusive marketing strategies
  • More details here: Benefits of Owning a Digital Storefront

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