Help your small business find success online
With technology constantly changing it’s important that you try to offer every possible service to your customers… including an online system.
Ecommerce now accounts for 18% of all UK consumer sales and it’s only going to keep growing! We understand however, that without the knowledge it might be hard to make it in the online marketplace.
Competition is tough with the biggest technical and business savvy retailers like Amazon and ASOS topping the digital retail space. Means you need to work much harder to get yourself up there.
To help you succeed online we’ve rounded up 7 top tips to help your small business find success online.
The most important aspect of your website is user experience (UX). This begins the minute a customer arrives on your site. How fast does your site load? Does it look professional and trustworthy? Will they find what they’re looking for?
It’s lovely having pretty designs with colours and fonts on your website and sure it may look great but, is there a point if your customer can’t easily shop?
Navigation is so important to a customer’s online shopping experience. It should be easy to find exactly what they’re looking for, if not, they’ll look elsewhere. You don’t want your customer (possible sale) to leave their baskets to hunt for a better site because your UX let you down.
One massive method would be optimising your site for mobiles… mobile phones are used every second of the day and optimising your site via mobile will give you a better chance of increasing your sales.
Fact: Having an AMP – Accelerated Mobile Page increases 73% of interest from a viewer.
Having your target market pinned down is important for your website design and product range. Not to mention, it can also help your advertising and marketing budget go much further!
Facebook advertising is one of the biggest areas of spend for most young companies. Mainly because it’s one of the best for specific/targeted advertising! With their business manager page you can create a step by step advertising campaign for yourself and personally select your audience to get the best results for your product/service. Facebook advertising helps you grow your user base quickly and can be very effective!
A well-defined target market will improve your SEO quality score and click-through rate. This in turn, reduces the overall spend if necessary for you.
Adverts need to be clear
Let’s talk about what separates a good online ad… from a bad one. Since, for most companies, it’s one of the biggest areas of spend, it’s important you get it right!
On a lot of ads you’ll see stock photography or a simple graphic for aesthetic effect to catch a user’s eye. But does it actually tell you what you’re offering? It’s important to keep the images relevant but eye-catching. A pretty picture on its own isn’t enough to gain a sale if the user isn’t driven by the idea of what’s on offer.
Which then takes us onto the next step after viewing the image, hopefully the image you used was eye-catching and relevant enough for the user to then go on to read the text. The photo and copy need to work together. In most cases the user will only look at the first two sentences. Which means you need to cover what the product is, who it’s for and how much it costs.
Your copy is very limited, so matching good copy with a good image will go a long way for your end sale.
Bonus tip: it’s unlikely you’ll get great engagement straight away, so complete some tests. Pair different images with different offer descriptions and record what works and what doesn’t.
Images need to inspire
Simple product shots against a white background may look clear and professional but does it inspire people to buy the product? Probably not. Using your imagery, make it an experience for the user.
Showing the product in use by your target market will help a user empathise and picture themselves in the same situation, enjoying your product.
This will help them understand the benefits of the product, who the product is designed for, the size of it, and what it actually looks like. Not to mention it helps to activate the imagination. Imagination allows the customer to make a purchase decision based on both rational and emotional factors.
Top tip: Sell the dream first and the product spec later… you should aim to have a few pictures in a slideshow for each product but always lead with the lifestyle shot first!
Ad budgets can only do so much. In order to get some word-of-mouth marketing on the go, especially on your social media pages, we recommend testing out a competition.
So for example, say your business is a bakery. You could get your customers to bake cakes and tweet you the photos and you can choose the best photo and the one you choose you could offer a personalised cake or a voucher!
It gets a bit of organic engagement going around your business/brand and it’s a bit of fun interaction with your customers!
It’s important to get the prize right, after all, you are asking people to take the time to enter so it needs to be worth their while if you want a good amount of interaction. Try and feature your products in order to attract new customers.
Amazing customer service
It’s important to create the element of trust with your customers. If they have a problem with their order, they will want it sorted within minimum time and minimum fuss. When a customer can’t speak to someone quickly and resolve their issue instantly, it’s likely they’ll shop somewhere else.
If you’re selling gifts or event products, any delay in resolution causes anxiety and puts some consumers off. You’ll then, most likely, lose their custom and have to pay marketing to drum up new customers to restart the disappointing cycle.
By putting customers straight through to one of your own team, who is able to solve the issue quickly and simply, will help your customers to feel reassured and happy.
Tip: Try not to hide your phone number on your website. Not everyone wants web-based help because they would prefer support and reassurance via an actually phone conversation.
Ace all these and you’ll be on your way to a successful online service! For more on business growth tips, check out our blog, similarly Visual Merchandising In Your Store!