The growth of online marketplaces such as Notonthehighstreet.com and Etsy have helped British consumers discover products from independent retailers that they may never have found otherwise.
So how can you make sure that your online business stands out this Christmas ???
1.Treat your website homepage as you would a shop front
Your website homepage is your digital shop front and it’s the customer’s first port of call. Just as people will stroll past a shop window on the high street and move on until they find what they’re looking for, they’ll glance at your homepage and quickly make a decision about whether it’s selling what appeals to them.
Remember: with most users now using mobile devices to access the internet, make sure your website is optimised for mobile or you risk losing website visitors and, therefore potential sales.
2. Be active and visible on social media
Have an active presence on platforms where you’ll be visible to potential customers and engage with them. This could be to answer their queries or to promote sales and special offers. You’ve got something to sell so stand up and shout about it!
3. Run special offers, gifts and promotions
You could offer promotions for new customers which could include incentives such as a discount, a sign-up deal (e.g. a six month subscription for the price of three months), or a free gift when they make a purchase.
Similarly, you can offer promotions for your existing customers to ensure they spend more with you. This could include a voucher code for them to spend online when they make their next purchase and loyalty cards are another option.
4. Offer an easy journey from browsing to basket
If you want to create a stand-out customer experience and maximise sales, the best thing you can do is make buying a simple experience
Ideally, it should be a one-click process to go from browsing to basket. You need to find out exactly where visitors drop of in the buying journey to identify pain points and then rectify them to ensure a smooth and easy process.
5. Keep it fresh
Regularly rotating what you’re selling is the best way to make sure consumers keep coming back for more.
Don’t just keep your products fresh though; if you have blog posts or other written/ video content on your website, update it regularly to keep people engaged with your brand.
Give customers a reason to make repeat visits by letting them know when you have exciting new products in via email and social media.
6. Encourage customer loyalty to keep them coming back for more
Loyalty schemes are a great way to encourage repeat business. Digital loyalty platforms such as Yoyo Wallet and Loyalzoo allow you to offer customers far more effective rewards schemes through their phones.
You can sign up customers to your e-commerce platform loyalty scheme and then reward them with points for making purchases or promoting your brand across social media. These points can then be exchanged for rewards or discounts.
Being a smaller retailer also allows you to be far more personal than larger chains and to make your customers feel more valued e.g. you could acknowledge a customer’s birthday with a personalised message or gift
Independent retailers are booming in the UK, whilst large chains are in decline – this is not a short term trend so maximise your potential whilst you can.
With thanks to Henry Williams