The reality is, today’s shoppers are spending a significant part of their day on the web. And, if you aren’t investing in giving shoppers what they want online, you are missing out on potential sales in-store. Your store’s website is the first introduction and interaction potential customers have with you and your store. It’s also the best way to keep engaging with returning shoppers. Make sure you are realizing your potential online to maximize your sales in-store.
Make a Great First Impression
Think of your website as the online entrance to your boutique. You know the importance of a shopper’s first impression when they walk in your doors. You spend countless hours optimizing your store layout and flow, cleaning and straightening and ensuring the latest and greatest merchandise is prominently featured. With so many shoppers finding and consuming information online, why wouldn’t you give the same attention to your website?
Giving shoppers what they want on your website doesn’t need to be a complicated process. Consider your two primary audiences and their needs: potential new customers who are discovering you for the first time and existing customers who have already visited your store and have the potential to become loyal shoppers.
Sell Yourself to Potential Customers
A new customer who hears about your store for the first time or finds you when they search on Google, Yahoo or Bing will use your website as a way to get to know your store before planning a trip. Your site should answer the following questions:
- Do you sell a product that I want?
- Does it fit my style (and my budget)?
- Where are you located?
- When are you open?
- How can I stay in touch?
Showcase your Available Merchandise
As the pace of daily life becomes increasingly hectic, it is critical to give your shoppers the ability to window shop anywhere and anytime. Showcasing your available merchandise will entice shoppers and drive more traffic into your store.
- Customers who are discovering you for the first time will get a sneak peak at what you have available.
- Shoppers who get your updates on Facebook, Twitter or Email will visit your website to browse more items.
- Loyal shoppers who know you post your newest arrivals on your site will consider your website a destination for online window shopping.
Why isn’t Facebook enough?
Your shoppers need a central hub to browse merchandise online. Facebook is a great way for shoppers to get quick updates and to entice shoppers with sneak peeks, but it’s not ideal for shoppers who want to window shop online before planning a shopping trip.
When you simply upload photos directly to your Facebook wall, you create a dead end for shoppers because there is no way to see what other great merchandise you currently have available in store. The best solution is to use Facebook to initially reach your shoppers on the site they frequently visit. Entice them with a preview of your merchandise and encourage them to click a link back to your website.
Facebook also does not allow you or your shoppers to share your merchandise outside of Facebook. In order to maximize your exposure online, you should be pinning and tweeting your items as well. And, for those shoppers who love Pinterest and Twitter, make sure they have the ability to share your store and your merchandise with their friends and family. For example, shoppers love to use Pinterest to create holiday, birthday and special occasion “wish lists”. Make sure your merchandise is Pinnable for easy gift giving!
Lastly, you will be missing out on shoppers who aren’t using Facebook or don’t use Facebook often. Be sure you are maximizing your exposure online by getting the word out about your store, everywhere on the web.
How do I get started?
If you’re feeling intimidated by getting started or underwhelmed by your current online presence, consider using Boutique Window as your store’s website. Boutique Window features the information shoppers are looking for when they find you online. Setup takes minutes, free training is always available and it’s ridiculously easy to use (really!).
This post is a part of our “Promoting Your Brick and Mortar Online” blog series. We give you simple tips to make sure you are promoting your store online in the right way to maximize your exposure and get the most out of your time.