Print, Design & Websites

Posted: February 26, 2014   •   Posted in: Marketing Tips, Website Design

Are you selling online yet?

If you’ve ever worried that you don’t have the resources to compete with the big players then an e-commerce website can help level the playing field. When you have to pay for premises either on or off the high street it can be difficult to compete but by using the web you can increase your sales at very little extra cost.

E-commerce allows you to operate around the clock and research suggests that 38% of on-line shopping takes place outside normal shop hours peaking between 7 and 9pm.
So although your business may close at 5.30pm your on-line store can sell throughout the night.

On-line shopping in the UK is forecast to grow by 12% in 2013, with consumers expected to spend £87 billion on-line (source IMRG via Econsultancy).

Opening another shop or business to appeal to an audience in a different town can be a frighteningly expensive operation but an e-commerce website can help you spread your wings at a fraction of the cost and with much less risk.

Mary Portas in her recent review on how to save the high street said that the internet “is one of the key threats to retail on our high streets”. However, the smart retailers are embracing the internet and are using it to their advantage to complement their bricks and mortar businesses.

A recent survey by Econsultancy found that 44% of UK consumers always research purchases on-line before actually buying in-store, while a further 52% sometimes check on-line before buying in-store. Can you afford not to have a strong on-line presence?

So, how can you use the web to grow your business?

Have an on-line shop
It sounds obvious but make it easy for your customers to buy on-line. Every year more and more customers are doing this and if you don’t sell on-line you are missing the potential to capture this trend.

Niche products and services
We love niche products and feel there are tremendous opportunities on-line for such offerings. There is arguably no cheaper way to appeal to a worldwide audience than an e-commerce website.

Consumers love vouchers for obvious reasons and they are a great way to incentivise on-line shoppers to head into local stores, cafes and restaurants etc.

Reserve and collect
By allowing visitors to your website to reserve an item for collection in store you are locking them into the off-line purchase while encouraging them to come in store where they may buy other items from you.

No more wasted journeys to find that the item is out of stock, your website can make shopping a more convenient process.

Mobile friendly
Recent research has shown that 43% of consumers have used their mobiles to compare prices and read reviews while out shopping. If your website isn’t mobile friendly then you may be missing a trick. We use Google Analytics to monitor websites and if 10% or more of your visits are coming from mobile users then a mobile friendly or responsive website may be a worthwhile investment.

Claim your business in Google Places
It’s free and can help encourage walk-in visits and telephone enquiries.

Perform well in local search results
With well-produced content make sure your website is optimised to perform well in local search engine results.

Someone typing in hairdressers in Bury St Edmunds is looking to get their hair cut but if you don’t show up in the results you will be missing a significant opportunity for new business.

Use QR codes in store
A QR code is a Quick Response code that can be used in shop windows or at the point of sale to help consumers. When the user scans the code with their smartphone they will be taken to a webpage where they can get more information at the point of sale (such as customer reviews, videos or further product information).

Free and honest website review

If you don’t feel your website is bringing in the business then why not get in contact? We’ll happily give you an honest review of your current site and talk through ideas to help you develop your business on-line.