The face of the British high street is undeniably changing at a rapid rate, and just recently we have seen one of the most high profile casualties to date – HMV, so if a retailer of highly popular modern products such as CD’s, Blu-rays, DVD’s and video games can go under, surely no one is safe?
Well, whilst the demise of HMV, Jessops and Comet may have brought much sadness, and many chills down the spines of business owners worldwide, there are certain ways that you can fine tune and modify your business to be able to ride economic storms and come out as strong as ever.
The very way that consumers shop has transformed, almost unbelievably over the past 20 years, and now rather than having to trawl through yellow pages or head out into the high street on a rainy winters day to get what they need, the average shopper can just head online and within a few clicks of a mouse – or even taps of a phone screen – anything from games consoles to toasters to beds and even the weekly groceries can be ordered and sent on their way to their homes, hassle free!
This is something that every business should be taking advantage of, but unfortunately many aren’t, and instead they’re stuck in outdated methods which – whilst they may have worked well enough in previous years – can no longer cut it in an increasingly tech savvy and internet orientated world, so if this sounds like you, listen up, because change is a must!
The key to retail success has always been to draw in as many customers as possible, and to make it as easy as possible for those customers to purchase from you, and the internet makes that more doable than every before, if you just get yourself online! With a good quality, well optimised website, you are opening your business up to a potential customer base of millions from all around the world – but just because you’re there doesn’t mean they’re going to pick you over your competitors, you need to stand out!
If you’re selling a product or service then eCommerce is a must for this, make it so that whatever you’re selling can easily be purchased within just a few clicks as soon as any user enters your website, make things to convoluted or long winded, and people will be quick to leave and turn to someone else, so make sure all of your useful information and important links are immediately easy to find – preferably all above “the fold” of the page (what you can see on the screen without scrolling down).
Along with making it easy for a customer to order from your website, it is also worth thinking about what you offer and if it can be modified in any way? People are increasingly impatient and if your delivery times are to long, many people will just turn their backs on you, so think, can what you’re providing be provided even quicker? Perhaps downloaded rather than physically delivered, or if its a service you’re offering, maybe give a downloadable file or some information on the process – anything that will keep people happy and “tide them over” until the day of action.
Also, do not make the mistake of ignoring social media, networks such as Twitter and Facebook are such a massive part of the internet today, and whilst if used incorrectly they can become your enemy, if you have the right strategy then they will become one of your very best friends! Be sure to keep a friendly relationship with all of your customers, answer tweets, keep an active social media presence, offer special deals to followers, get people sharing your content, and their own experiences with you, they may be behind a keyboard, but online customers should get the same level of customer service as any person stood in your shop at the till, so don’t ignore them!
It’s incredible that to this very day many people still see the internet as a scary place, and perhaps even more incredible that some people still see it as a group of misfits sat at computer screens, when it truth it’s a multi billion pound global economy, the most vibrant place you could possibly visit, and it may just turn your small business into the next big success story!
For more information regarding getting your business online, how to improve your online marketing strategy or starting turning heads on social networks, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Dijitul.com web development and SEO team today on 0845 050 2045.