Online retail sales are growing, and so it’s never been more important that you have an ecommerce store that helps you generate online sales, or a website that encourages customers to visit your store.
Your ecommerce store should act as an extension of your physical store. In many ways it’s easier to generate more sales and revenue than running a high-street store. You can easily market to customers through email and social media, while finding new customers through online ads, content marketing and social media. You can even set up abandoned basket emails so you regain some of the business from visitors who don’t complete the checkout process.
Changes in Retail
The retail industry is in a transformative stage. It’s tough on the high street, as footfall declines and more shoppers turn to online ecommerce stores in order to get specific items at the best possible price, or even for retail therapy. Shopping online has become more than just a route to get the best value out of your purchases, but it is a shopping experience unto itself. While it has been a rocky road for retail over the past few years, it’s now on the up.
Moving the focus of a business strategy is a huge transition for retailers, in order to better serve existing customers and gain new customers in the process. But it’s one many retailers have now realized is essential to survival – and so if you are yet to turn your attention first and foremost to your online storefront, then you could be missing out on sales, or even left behind by the competition.
The Shopping Experience
Years ago, ecommerce was based solely around conversions. Retailers would put products online with an offer, and customers come along and make a purchase. The design and shopping experience was focused around this, without any other functionalities or interactions.
Nowadays, shoppers are more digitally mature, and expect more from an online storefront. Retailers offering nothing other than the ability to purchase products therefore, have fallen behind. Over time, with more people buying online, the buying process has evolved from simply allowing customers to purchase online to driving more traffic to stores.
Shopper behavior mirrors how it works on the high street, with more people shopping for the best deal. This means they are looking for more than just a simple route to purchase, who may not be ready to purchase.
Rise of Amazon
The rise of Amazon will have had an impact on basically any retailer. Amazon single-handedly changed the way many of us shop, and how we research products.
They offer products from an immeasurable number of categories by different sellers. Amazon lets you compare prices, read reviews, research specifications and details, and much more. Many shoppers nowadays start their shopping experience on Amazon rather than Google or elsewhere – so it’s worth considering what path your audience may take.
Improving the Customer Experience
If you work in the retail industry, you will already know just how important a top customer experience is. This extends onto the online marketplace, where your website makes an important first impression.
The impact your website will have is immeasurable when considering how your brand is perceived online, and the results or sales your website achieves. The online marketplace has only made it more difficult for brands to stand out in crowded markets. That’s why a great website and digital marketing are essential to your success.
Entertaining and informative content helps customers to choose ideal products, all without setting a foot outside their home – let alone onto the high street. Engaging your target audience is hugely important in building relationships with customers and encouraging repeat purchases in the future.
As for ecommerce, stores now offer a vast number of items with attractive imagery and interactive shopping experiences that helps to attract and retain customers. A top retail ecommerce store should act as an extension of your high street store, providing a great shopping experience that showcases your products in the best way. When done right, it opens up a new way to generate sales, with an almost unlimited ceiling in terms of revenue that an offline store cannot offer.
Providing a great shopping experience from the first point of contact to the last is critical in expanding your customer base. Each touchpoint along the way should be finely tuned to further nurture a potential customer, or increase the likelihood of conversions. Marketing automation software has revolutionised how often you can interact with your customers through personalised marketing messages that help to turn anonymous website visitors into sales.
Retailers offering niche products can now have a worldwide audience, but on top of this, have to compete with some of the biggest brands and high street names. Customers expect a top shopping experience wherever they are on the web, so it’s likely that if your ecommerce store isn’t good enough, they will go elsewhere.
Your website should showcase your products and what your brand is all about, while offering navigation that allows customers to quickly find what they are looking for.
Xanthos has experience designing and building websites and ecommerce stores for a number of retailers in a wide variety of industries, as well as increasing sales through digital marketing.
Whether you’re looking for a brochure website to help customers explore your products more easily, or an ecommerce store to sell your products online, we can help you grow your retail business.
Our process is to examine the customer journey from the start. We assess how your customers find your website, what you want them to do once they land on their site, and how we can make this journey as efficient as possible.
Read more on our experience in the retail sector here.
All of our websites and ecommerce stores are mobile-responsive in order to provide a great customer experience on any device, whether it is a smartphone, tablet or computer.
If you’re looking to take your retail business’ online presence to the next level, get in touch and a member of the team will get back to you shortly.