It’s been a hard few months for UK shops. First Covid-19, and now the uncertainty around a second wave which is keeping customers at home. Many of the smaller High Street shops are moving sales online to keep their sales buoyant. It’s a solution that’s attractive to customers because it offers more choice, and it makes business sense, should there be a second lockdown.
If you’re one of those retailers that’s considering supplementing your face-to-face sales with an online solution, here’s a handy eCommerce guide from the Imagefix team.
You want your online store up-and-running quickly, so the best option is to use an established software solution such as Shopify or WooCommerce. These systems are set up with everything you need to sell online including a shopping cart solution, shipping options and product management. Commerce solutions are easy to integrate with existing systems and are completely customisable.
You wouldn’t expect your customers to put up with poor service in your physical shop, would you? Well it’s exactly the same online. You need a professionally designed website that looks pleasant, isn’t overcrowded, and is easy to navigate. It should be equally responsive on mobiles, tablets, laptops – however your customers want to access it. Images are really important; they should be high quality and allow zooming and 360º views.
Customers need to know they can trust smaller retailers, before they buy. There’s lots of ways you can build trust:
Online customers are anxious about not receiving what they’ve ordered, or receiving the wrong product and then having to battle to get their order changed. Demonstrate that you’re different. Show customers what you promise in terms of delivery, and what you will do if items need to be returned. Publish testimonials from customers who have been very happy by the customer service they’ve received.
You know how customers hate to queue. Well they hate to wait for pages to load as well. If your page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 40% of visitors will click away from your site. You get a fast site by buying reputable hosting, having your site speed optimised in the design process, and working with a well-known eCommerce system.
The High Street is a great location for shops, large and small, because everyone can find them. The online equivalent of the High Street is Google Search. To get your online shop ranking on the first page of Google, you’ll need Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This involves the use of key search words in all your copy which act as signposts to customers looking for the products you sell.
At one time online checkout always required a registration process, but you rarely see it now. That’s because customers get frustrated at being held up and tend to abandon their shopping cart. Now online stores keep checkout as simple as possible. Not too much filling in of forms. Help available if needed. And friendly prompts throughout to assure customers they’re ‘nearly done’.
Know why customers feel comfortable buying from Amazon? Because every step of the way they’re told what’s happening with their purchase. Use their model, because you know it works. Plan the email, or text messages your customers will receive and ensure that they’re reassuring and trustworthy. And if things do go wrong – own up to it. Customers are amazingly forgiving, if you’re open and transparent.
We’re a Web Design and Digital Marketing agency that specialises in eCommerce web design for small and medium sized businesses. Many of the customers we work with are new to online sales, and we’re happy to provide guidance and advice along the way. The Imagefix team are used to integrating commerce software into existing websites, or we can design a great-looking online shop from scratch.
Thinking about turning your shop into an online site? Imagefix offers a high quality, personalised service and a friendly team, so give us a call on 01525 715608
Imagefix Web Design,
Brickhill Drive, Bedford,
Bedfordshire, MK41 7PH.
Imagefix Ltd, Building 52,
Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedford,
Bedfordshire, MK45 4HR.
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