In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have been forced to take a step back from their usual brick-and-mortar storefronts and focus more on their online store. Though brick-and-mortar stores give a reliable location and gathering point for customers and employees, it is essential to remember that your online store is just as important as your physical one.
Similar to how a business's brick-and-mortar store is a gathering place for all customers, a business's website is also considered a digital gathering place for customers. Maintaining a clean, organized, and up-to-date presence on your online store is just as important as keeping your physical store clean, fresh, and up-to-date. Your website is not only crucial for making sales outside the brick-and-mortar store's walls, but it also shows customers what you are all about—explaining why you're different from all the other vendors on the market, and why customers should choose you over another vendor. Online stores set the tone for how customers view and perceive your business and can show them that you are the better choice for their needs.
When shopping online, customers often have a wide selection of businesses they can choose from. Catching their eye and giving them a reason to keep digging deeper into your website can help set you apart from the rest of the crowd and prevent them from searching elsewhere. Meet them where they're at by answering their questions. Put yourself in the position of your customer and write down what questions you would have if you were looking for a business like yours. Make sure to include the answers to those questions in your website content. Help them understand what they can expect from you by sharing your portfolio and story. Your online relationships are just as meaningful than your face to face ones and having a website that reflects this helps attract more customers, especially in the face of a pandemic.
When searching for products online, people often are not allowed the chance to meet with you face-to-face to gain trust through personal interactions. Lack of face-to-face interaction is why it's essential to make sure you share what you can do for them through your website. For example, say you were searching for someone to help you with arranging wedding flowers and you researched wedding florists near you. Would you choose a florist with an outdated website with very little information, or would you prefer a florist with a more up-to-date website that answered all of your questions and concerns? You would most likely choose the shop with the more up-to-date site. Though the other store may be just as qualified, the one with the more updated website will gain the customer's business.
When customers search for products online, they're looking for someone that they feel they can trust. They want to feel secure in spending their money. If they see that a website is outdated with little information, that can often give them a notion that the business doesn't care enough to update their website and won't provide a quality final product, even if that's far from what you can serve them with. You can gain consumer trust through answering questions they may have, showing them examples of what they can expect from you, and making them feel like they are a friend to you already.
It is also important to communicate with them clearly and concisely. In other words, keep it simple. Consumers gravitate towards things that they can understand and relate to. In a recent study by Harris Interactive, information gathered through a website influenced 36% of purchasing decisions. Only 22% was affected by face-to-face interactions. This shows that what you share on your website matters and can significantly influence your customers purchasing decisions.
Just like maintaining your brick-and-mortar store, managing your online store is all about attracting customers and convincing them that you are the best one to fill their needs. You can not neglect one or the other as they are a physical representation of your products and services. Maintaining an updated and friendly environment will not only help you show off just how great your business is but also help convince customers of it as well!
Not sure where to start? Wedding and Party Network is here to help! Check out our website services to see how we can help you get set up with a website that reflects your business today!