Probably one of the biggest shifts that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought is the shopping behavior. The number of people looking and shopping for goods and services online has dramatically increased over the years.
And no, I’m not talking exclusively about e-commerce sites. This also applies to local service-based businesses. As a matter of fact:
- 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information (Hubspot)
- 46% of all Google searches are looking for local business information (GoGulf)
- 97% of people learn more about a company online (SEO Tribunal)
So, if you are a local business owner who seeks to utilize the power of the Internet to get leads and customers, then digital storefront is the way to go. It is your office in the virtual world.
Here’s how you can create a digital storefront for your local business:
5 Things to Consider When Building Your Digital Storefront
The most important thing for every business is your customers. Your business will not thrive without them. And your digital storefront is the first step to winning them.
First Impression Lasts
Keep in mind that your digital storefront should be treated just like your brick-and-mortar storefront. It is a direct representation of your business. This is the first thing that your customers see about your business. So, it needs to be on point.
While aesthetic design matters, you need to have at least the basics. Truth is, you can have a very beautiful website, but if it does not have the information your target audience is looking for, then it’s practically of no value. So, what are these?
You need to have the basics. In digital marketing, we refer to it as the NAP: name of the business, address, and phone number. It should be easy for people to find this information when they visit your website. A few clicks or scroll, they should be able to tell who you are, where you are located, and how you can be contacted.
Other important things:
- logo and a color scheme that helps with your branding
- A completed “About” section which tells about your business proposition. This is also a great place to showcase your services, your credibility and authority in the market, and how you are different from the other players
- Add photos, videos, features, and links to your social media pages.
If you have a good website developer on the team, WordPress is a very good option when it comes to building your digital storefront. It offers several themes you can easily use to personalize and customize your website.
If you feel intimated with WordPress, you can use other website builder tools like Weblfow, Wix, Weebly, or GoDaddy, among others.
Another important factor to consider is the overall design of your website. I did mention above that having the basic information is necessary more than the aesthetic appeal. However, it should not be overlooked altogether, as well. It is said that “75% of website credibility comes from design.” You want to be perceived as a legit business and a poorly-designed website can make you look suspicious and untrustworthy.
If your website doesn’t look like it can be trusted, then you lose leads. When you lose leads, you lose customers, and when you lose customers, you lose sales.
On average, online users stay on a website for less than 15 seconds – if you got their attention. Because you see, you only have less than 7 seconds to grab your website visitor’s attention.
So, if a user can’t easily find the information they’re looking for, if they don’t find you interesting – they’re out. And you don’t want that. Not only that you lose a lead, which can potentially be a paying customer, it can also signal search engines that your online storefront is not relevant to the searchers. This can result to Google not showing your website anymore to searches.
So, make sure your digital storefront is easy to navigate and understand. Optimize it for different devices –desktop computers, mobile phones, and tablets.
Guide Your Audience
If there are certain aspects on your website that need more attention, you have to make them stand out. Use larger, easy-to-read fonts especially on your call to action buttons. Use icons to help them understand what you want them to do.
Your Credibility Matters
According to a report from KPMG, “55% of people will search online for reviews and recommendations before making a purchase.”
Credibility is important.
Keep in mind that your digital storefront should be treated just like your brick-and-mortar storefront. As I’ve said, it is a direct representation of your business. This is the first thing that your customers see about your business. You need to build trust before a potential customer makes a purchase, book a call, or schedule an appointment.
Here are some things you should on your digital storefront to boost credibility.
- Reviews and testimonials
- Valid and updated social media profiles
This is extremely important especially if you are running an e-commerce store or any business that requires your customer to input sensitive data like their names, phone numbers, and credit card numbers.
Security is something you shouldn’t ignore. A small glitch or breach can be disastrous especially for startups and small businesses.
- Use SSL certificates on your website
- Review your Terms and Conditions. – There are a lot of available templates online but make sure you read them first before posting on your website to make sure it fits on your business.
- Schedule regular maintenance to ensure that security is in place
If a customer feels safe about the website, the more likely he or she will visit and spend more.
So, there you are. The foundations for building a digital storefront. If you want to learn more about how we do these things, then we have a gift for you…
Rather than spending time and energy trying all these for yourself, let us guide you.