Whether you’re a small business operating out of your studio apartment or a massive business that moves thousands of units a day, there’s always room for improvement. The digital marketplace is a competitive landscape and only those who are willing to adapt to it will thrive. You can improve your online store to increase customer traffic and sales with these tips.
Optimize for Search
Unless you’re a well-established or national brand, customers probably aren’t going to get to your website with a direct search. Rather, you’re going to get web traffic via search engine results. You need to make sure that your website is optimized to show up in search engine results that match the products and services that you provide. You can do this with quality web copy that explains your business, services, and products as well as detailed product descriptions that have words and phrases that you want to show in results.
A company that is willing to show its customer reviews can build a strong reputation with future customers. It’s obvious that you’re going to talk up your products or services and make it sound like you have the best of the best. That’s a natural bias and it’s expected. When customers are telling other customers about how great your products are, that’s a strong recommendation that can go a long way to establishing your credibility with customers.
Create a Sense of Urgency to Buy
People have a natural fear of missing out. This is especially true with a good deal. You can create an urgency to buy now by running special discounts and a limited number of products. However, it’s crucial to make sure to push these specials and limited runs out through social media and other advertising media so prospective customers know about them.
Quality Product Images
Not only do customers want to see what they’re buying, but they also want to see a quality image that displays it. Not only are product images are a crucial part of selling, but they also need to be high quality. A shadowy image of a t-shirt thrown over a kitchen chair is unprofessional and will turn off customers from the prospect of buying your items because it can lead to questions about the quality of the product as well as the environment from which it’s coming.
Organize Your Catalog
Have you ever walked through a store where there was just too much stuff everywhere and you didn’t know where to start? This can be overwhelming to shoppers and they’ll turn around and walk out. The same goes for an online store. Come up with a plan to organize your products that are not only appealing to customers but make it easy to browse. If your store’s theme doesn’t provide the options that you’re looking for, you can look for retail merchandising plugins or add-ons that provide added features to make it easier for customers to search products and filter results.
Build an Email List
The earliest days of online marketing go back to email marketing. It’s a proven method of leveraging a relationship into purchases. Whether you’re appealing to previous buyers or prospective customers, someone’s email inbox is a great place to let them know about specials and product launches.
You can build your email list by providing an email capture window on your website. This makes it easy for shoppers to sign up. If you’re having a hard time getting shoppers to sign up, give an incentive. Something like a special discount or free shipping for signing up are effective methods to getting new subscribers to your list.
Leverage Social Media
While social media platforms do provide paid advertising, they’re free to use. You can gain traction with followers on social media with quality posts and hashtag research. Get your brand in front of customers with quality images, graphics, or videos that are paired with a catchy caption. If you’re intimidated by the prospect of a social media presence, choose the platform that you think works best for you to reach your customers and start there. You don’t have to take on the whole social media world at once. Baby steps are just fine.
We talked earlier about optimizing your website for search. Well, blogging is an excellent way to do this. You can create blog posts that are written with a specific item or service that you want to appeal to a particular audience. For example, if you want to push baby clothes for a month, you can write blog posts about anything from how to clothe your newborn for the winter to seasonal toddler styles. This is an effective method of content marketing that will appeal specifically to parents of young children and drive traffic to your website.
The customer service department of any company is crucial to its success. It’s typical for small business owners to wear this hat among many others. Give yourself a break by taking the customer service hat off and utilize a live chatbot on your website. Chatbots use artificial intelligence to analyze customer questions and provide a response based on information on the website. If the bot isn’t able to answer the question, the customer’s issue will be sent to you in the form of a chat or email. Your chatbot will filter questions to ensure that you receive only those of the highest importance.