If you’re in the retail business, you probably spend a lot of time trying to figure out your customers. Their wants, needs, likes and dislikes all influence the way you run your business. This is perfectly normal because without customers your business will cease to exist.
These days digital marketing plays a huge role in retail. It’s also opened up a whole new method for reaching out to customers. Thanks to digital marketing your customers can find you online, anytime, anywhere.
But a digital presence doesn’t just appear out of nothing. As a business owner you have to carve out a space for yourself in the realm of all things digital. If you’re new to the whole digital game the best place to start is by setting up a website.
Why Your Retail Business Needs A Website
In retail a website may seem like a secondary priority next to your physical store. But it’s actually one of the most valuable digital marketing tools at your disposal. It’s a convenient, easy way to showcase your products to existing and new customers. It’s also a nice way to demonstrate the perks of doing business with you (through customer reviews and testimonials).
While it’s easy to feel like walk-ins form the bulk of your customer base, a large percentage of your customers are online. Most people under 40 prefer shopping online and use the internet to research a business before visiting their physical store. This means that if you’re not online, you’re losing out.
What To Include In Your Retail Website
A website needs to be an extension of your physical store. It needs to be appealing, informational and interesting enough to attract the attention of anyone who is visiting (or happens to stumble onto it).
Your customers need you to have a website when they’re looking for information about your business or products they want to buy. Here’s a list of what to include in your retail website to improve business and become a visible part of the digital realm.
- How To Get In Touch And Other Information
When people search for a business online, the most sought after piece of information is how to get in touch. Customers who have follow-up questions that couldn’t be handled in store will need to contact you to resolve their query.
People also visit a website to find out more about the general operations of a business such as:
- Business Hours
- Physical Address
- Social Media Links
- Return Policy
- FAQ Section
As a retail store, important information needs to be easily accessible on your website. You shouldn’t bury it deep in site.
- Contact info should appear prominently at the top or bottom of each page.
- Address info should appear in the footer of the home page and include a thumbnail map link with the directions to your store.
- Add your social media links in the header.
- Make sure your business hours are clear.
Not only is this information important to your customers, but search engines like Google also use this info when crawling your website. This has a direct impact on how your business will rank on SERPS.
- Sign-up Forms
People love to keep up with the latest offerings from their favorite brands. As a retail business you should create a few ways for them to do so via your website. In spite of social media and its growing popularity, a lot of people still enjoy receiving email blasts featuring the latest offerings from brands they love.
Make it easy for them to sign up by adding a “subscribe to emails” option to your website. This option should be accessible from your website’s homepage or as a pop-up on the side or middle of your page.
- Origin Story
Everyone loves a good origin story. And it’s just as popular in digital marketing as it is in movies. Add an “Our Story” section to your website as way to give people a little insight into the message and core values of your business.These stories make brands appear more human and less like a faceless corporation. A good, honest origin story will also set you apart from the completion because no one will have the same story as you. Customers also find these stories appealing because they tend to resonate on a personal level.
- Product Catalog And Shopping Cart
A retail website should be more than just an online business card. Products are everything in retail. So it’s important to have a catalogue of your products on your website. People often look up products they’re interested in online before visiting a store. So having a comprehensive, categorized list of your products is a must. It’s also a good idea to incorporate an ecommerce element to your website so that customers can shop directly from your online store.
- Optimize Your Website
Although SEO doesn’t directly affect your customers’ experience when using your website, it is essential to your online success. As we know, SEO is everything in digital marketing so making sure your website incorporates your SEO strategy is vital. Be sure to add keywords and phrases in your headings and URLS. This will boost your search ranking and help your customers find you more easily. Also consider adding a blog section that features news about new products and special offers. This will help with link building, your search engine ranking and overall SEO strategy.