Your website is one of your most important sales tools. You’ve put a lot of thought into design and invested time and money building it. If you want it to get attention and lead to sales (of course you do), then these ideas can help:
Keep it visual
Use video where you can. Though producing video content can feel intimidating, it’s not hard and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Even a simple video shot thoughtfully with a cell phone can provide a big boost to conversions!
For example, get a friend to unpackage and assemble one of your products. Or, for your ‘About’ page, get someone to film you telling your business’ story rather than writing it out. Video content is a lot easier to consume and captures the attention of viewers. Take advantage by including a call to action at the end of each video!
Photography is necessary, too. Make sure it’s clear and crisp because poor-quality photos reflect poorly on your brand. No matter your budget, you can touch up images easily with paid tools like Photoshop or free ones like GIMP. Photo editing tools are easy to access and use, and will give your photos that little extra polish to set them apart!
Sell your story, not just your products
People don’t shop with you just for your products. Today’s consumer sees their purchase as participation in your values. You might have the perfect product for a shopper, but if they’re not confident your values align, they’ll go somewhere else.
Back story matters, your mission statement makes a difference, and your commitment to causes and ideals moves people to support you with sales.
If you work with local charities, perhaps donating returned items, tell your readers that. If you’re committed to the environment and live by example with recyclable packaging or sustainable practices, tell your visitors about them. It’s a cheap and easy way to distinguish yourself from competition and build customer loyalty.
Make it easy to connect
Include contact information on every page. That means a phone number as well as social media handles.
Of course most e-commerce customers are inclined to reach out digitally through chat or social media, but letting your customers get in touch with a quick call can make or break their purchase decision. The more communication channels you can support, the better!
Consider building a message box on your website where visitors can reach out to you online, so long as you’re confident you can consistently respond within 48 hours. If you can’t do that, don’t bother giving people the option. Waiting too long for a response is a frustrating experience and can cause potential customers to walk away from their purchases – or worse – your brand.
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Take your FAQs seriously
Customer uncertainty undermines sales. In e-commerce especially, there’s so much customers don’t know about your product.
An FAQ is a standard, powerful way to reduce customer uncertainty and build the confidence customers need to click ‘buy’.
Maybe you’re so new to business you haven’t had questions, let alone customers, yet. Imagine what people would probably want to know about what you sell.
What is it made of? Where does the material come from? What are the specific dimensions? Your questions will be unique to your business, but spend time answering them in an FAQ and you’ll save time fielding individual queries later.
Include information about delivery options as well as your return policy, which Canada Post resources can help you develop. Break up answers with bullet points and lists where you can. Avoid long paragraphs, as too much reading may lead customers to decide they don’t need an answer – or your product.
Start with mobile
We’ve all visited a site that wasn’t optimized for mobile.
It’s that site where the text was cut off from your screen and you had to swipe five times to get to the Contact Us tab. You knew you weren’t seeing everything that was available, apparently clickable elements wouldn’t click, and it was super slow.
The experience is clunky and frustrating. When it’s easier for customers to click the ‘back’ button than ‘buy’, you can expect they’ll do so. As a small business owner, you can’t afford to be that site.
More than just providing a positive browsing experience on mobile devices, it’s important to remember that Google favours sites that are optimized for mobile. You’ll immediately get a leg-up on search competition if your competitors aren’t optimized for mobile.
Depending on how you’ve built your site, optimizing for mobile may be easier than you think. Platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify and more offer plenty of solutions to make your site mobile-ready in no time!