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The Five Key Ingredients to a Successful Website

The retail industry has changed, and while physical sales will continue to generate the bulk of your revenue, your web presence needs to be on point to adjust to consumers’ new buying habits. In today’s times, there are more customers visiting your website than ever and if it’s not performing to its fullest potential, you’re losing sales every single day. Here are 5 ingredients to a successful online store and e-commerce website.

Brand and Message Identity

When you navigate your website, what information is on the home page? Does it say nothing? Is it just a bunch of images on the home page? What separates you from larger competitors? Tell us the story. 

Focus on…what your website says about YOU and WHO you serve. Your customer should be able to go to your website and immediately have an emotional connection and feel something towards your brand and your store.Common mistakes we see are all images and no information for your customer to connect with you! They want to support you, your brand, your mission, and your values!

Virtual Visuals & Experience

Your homepage is the most important – be strategic about where you want to lead your customers and what you want them to experience.

The visuals that you have inside your store – translate those online! Follow your brand aesthetic – fonts, colors, textures, etc. Whatever it may be, be consistent throughout your website. 

Try shopping your own website and see how the experience feels from an outsider’s perspective. You gather so much great feedback from doing this exercise because you are IN IT. Keep in mind as you do this – is it pleasing? Are there quality photos? Is it FUN to shop?

Click-To-Purchase Path

Think of this like, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?”… “How many CLICKS does it take to get to purchase an item?”

This is the biggest mistake we see. If it takes too long to get to the items they want, they can’t find what they are looking for easily, or the navigation is frustrating, etc. – they are gone. The odds of them coming back are not very likely. It’s incredibly hard to build trust online. We don’t want hiccups when it comes to your click-to-purchase path.

Inventory and Category Clarification

The number one mistake we see are stores wanting to list EVERYTHING they have in store also online. There is a strategy behind everything you put online. Here are some things to consider…

+ Have your best products online – put your best foot forward

+ Have your unique products online – this makes you stand out in the sea of online options

+ Have your higher margin products – you want what you sell online to actually bring you in a profit

+ Have your larger quantities of products online – It’s not worth selling it online if you only have a few items left in stock that you will likely sell on the floor first

When thinking about your categories, you want to think about what type of retail store you are. How does your customer normally shop? Is it by brand? By color? By style? Have your top few in your main navigation and then add subcategories on the product pages. Navigation is key – lead them where it’s easy to shop!

Social Media Sales Funnels

It’s not about, “I need to post more!” 

It’s about using social media to lead your customer to your website. Customers want an easy transition from scrolling to buying! Be seamless.

When thinking about driving traffic to your website, there are a few things you can do:

  • Paid advertising – create ads (Facebook, Google, etc.)
  • Email Marketing – create value in your customers inbox and drive them to your website
  • Social Media – drive sales utilizing your organic social media strategy
  • Other Content – a blog, podcast feature, published article, etc.

There is a difference between having a website and USING a website. If you want to make sales you have to drive traffic to your website through many different channels.

A good website should clearly convey your brand, capture customer data, display your inventory, seamlessly make sales for you 24/7, and be something attractive and effective enough to drive paid and organic traffic to so you can systematically scale your business.

Interested in a FREE Website Audit with Janine?! Apply here. She’ll assess 5 key areas of your site by looking at them through your customer’s eyes and give you an outside perspective of how you could optimize your online presence to increase sales.

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