If you're a business that relies on in-store sales, you may not think that your website matters much. However, in today's technological world, having a lackluster website (or none at all) can be a big turnoff to shoppers. You don't have to run a marketplace through your website, but keeping it up to date and easy to use is essential. Here are some tips to get your website in order.
Essential information first
When designing your website, your first goal should be to provide information to shoppers that will encourage them to visit you in the store. No one wants to search for a long time to find essential information like your address, phone number and store hours. List this info on the front page in an easy-to-find spot.
You should also use the front page to advertise any big sales or discounts you have going on. This will help grab shopper's attention from the moment they access your website.
Just like the interior of your store, your website needs to be pleasing to the eye, simple and straightforward. Think of the home page of your site as your store window – it's the first thing that customers will see, and so it needs to be in tip top shape. The rest of your site should be like the main floor of your shop – well organized, neat and clean. If need be, hire a graphic designer, web designer or copy editor to make your website stand out.
Don't go over the top to make it look pretty, though. You don't need flashy videos, music, animations or any other fancy gimmicks to make your site stand out. Users likely prefer a no-frills online experience.
Keep it fresh
You'll need to regularly change out some information on your website to keep it new and useful. If you feature photos of your display cases, display tables or wall displays, make sure you change them to keep up with trends and seasons.
One way to really keep things fresh is by linking up your social media accounts to your website. There are many ways to do this, but the most popular may be by adding buttons that allow users to "like" your Facebook page or "follow" your Twitter account. You can also upload live feeds from your accounts, allowing your tweets and Facebook posts to stream to your site.