Digital storefronts indicate small business are dying. That’s the word on the street. Some experts, however, don’t believe that’s true. Small businesses today have more opportunity to grow and thrive than ever before. Say “Thank You” to the internet! With the growth of e-commerce, companies have almost limitless reach, but it can be hard to stand out from the competition.
Seems that today’s consumers want it all. They expect a great product, customer-friendly website, a flawless buying experience – AND a personal connection with the brand. So, how do you think they’d rate their experience on your website? Do you understand their pain points? Does your web design make shopping easy? Do you offer the products and services that they need? Can they even find you?
Let’s talk about the key to e-commerce success (and how to differentiate yourself from the competitors):
Define Your Audience
Until you know your customer, you can’t do anything. Everything you create should be based on them – their wants, their needs, their likes, and dislikes. You should be intimately aware of everything your audience says and does – and you should offer them something no one else can. Discover what it is that your clients talk about online and figure out what’s missing in their lives. How can your product help fill that void? Having a true niche product (or service) is the best way to draw people to your site. Then you need only to worry about keeping them there!
Know Your Strengths
You know that saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none?” Well, don’t be that guy. It can be tempting to try to offer every service possible – because the more stuff you offer, the more people you can draw in, right? Wrong…Customers want to do business with someone who is outstanding at what they do – and you can’t be this way if your hands are in too many pots. Make sure you stick to what you’re best at, and that your site reflects it.
Anticipate Customer Needs
If you want to succeed in business, you must anticipate customer needs. That means knowing what they want before they know what they want – and your digital storefront should display that.
With technology today, you can easily anticipate customer shopping behaviors. Offer only the products and services that your audience seems most interested in and make these items easy to buy. Utilize technologies that resonate with your customers, whether that’s online chat or a voice-search feature, and create a unique, enjoyable shopping experience.
Use Interactive Content
Give your audience ways to engage with your brand and request input on merchandise. Allow comments on your blog. Provide a space for them to upload photos and reviews of your products. Ask for suggestions on improving your site. Any way possible, interact with your audience. This shows that you’re a real person, not a faceless corporation – and it helps build an emotional bond.
Use Google Maps to Up Your Presence
If you have a brick and mortar location, you need to take advantage of Google My Business. The vast majority of people today will look online for a business before they do anything else. With all of the details listed (phone number, address, web link), Google makes it easy for them to find you. With an accurate, detailed Google listing, not only will the prospective customer know where you are, but hopefully they’ll hop on over to your website, as well.
If you take nothing else away from these tips, try to remember this: the key to an amazing online storefront is making sure you never stop improving, never stop asking your audience what they need, and never stop doing your research. We can help, our designs make your storefront content shine.