Retail Know-How: Getting The Most Out Of Your Website

Photo Credit: Carl Berkeley on Flickr.

This week, we’ve introduced our fifth regular column, Retail Know-How, where we’ll offer up our sage advice for anything from setting up social media, to survey suggestions – and any tech tidbits we can throw in along the way. Today’s column? Getting the most out of your website.

1. Show off your products

– Your website’s homepage is your store window – a space that you should be regularly updating (at least once or twice a week). Use it to showcase both your new, full-price products and older, reduced/sale items

– The more detailed your product descriptions, the better – but keep them looking clean with bullets or grids to break up key points, and consider pop-ups, dropdowns or tabs to section off information
2. Be social

– Social media – like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook – is a great way to make your brand personable and ensure it stays at the forefront of your customers’ minds (whether that’s through news about offers, competition engagement, or just topic-of-the-moment posts). Make sure social links are prominent – the footer is a great spot for these

– Consider putting customer service members on social media, to quickly combat any negative comments, and use it as a tool to issue an apology when things go wrong (eg. a faulty email discount code)

3. Always dangle a carrot

Set yourself aside from competitors – and make sure you snag those first-time visitors – with an incentive. These are all good ideas:

– Discounts and sales
– Limited time and limited availability offers
– Free delivery, or delivery with a minimum spend
– Referrals for discounts

4. Tell a story

– Link to social, as mentioned
– Prove you’re credible and of-the-moment with links to press coverage
– Use blogs and features to sell yourself: think ‘3 looks for X’, ‘3 uses for Y’, or ‘3 ways Z can improve your life’
– Build up a backstory by talking about your history

5. Build trust

– If you’re going to give an end date for a sale, stick to it
– Use official trustmarks and hallmarks associated with your brand/products, eg. ‘By Royal appointment’, Fairtrade etc

6. Be helpful

– Show product reviews – which is also another trust-building tactic
– Make your site’s search function and product filters (eg. size or colour) user-friendly
– Have store locators, customer services and 24/7 chat easily accessible
– Consider implementing a wishlist function, which can email customers when their most-wanted products are reduced