You’ve worked hard to build your retail store into the success you have today. But physical retail shops leave a very low ceiling that you can’t get past.
If you want to expand your business, and maximize your potential, you need a website. But not just any website. If you want to stand out in the crowd, you need to make a website that keeps customers coming back for more.
You might be thinking: “Well I don’t know how to make a website! How am I supposed to do that?” But fear not, we’re here to guide you through the process to make it as simple as possible.
Why you need a well-designed website for your retail store
eCommerce is the natural progression for most these days. We’re busy people, and we don’t want to go to a store unless we have to.
Think about it, when planning your purchases, do you at the very least check online to see what’s on offer before you head out? So do most Americans.
Providing your customers the option to check live inventory, reserve items, and maybe even book deliveries will make the trip to the retail store a much more pleasurable experience for your customers.
Top 5 Tips for Retail Web Design
1. Figure out your target audience
First thing is first. Who are you creating your website for? That’s your target audience.
Think about the average person that walks into your retail store daily. What are some common concerns they have? What questions do they tend to ask? Will your website be able to help with some of these?
It might be useful to survey some of your loyal, regular customers to get their feedback and ask what they would want on a retail store website.
Also, an important consideration for a retail store website is your delivery capabilities. Are you able to deliver your items, and if so, to what areas? If your radius is small, then targeting people that live around your area will make your website more useful, and therefore stand out more.
Luckily for you, as a vendor in the heart of your area, you’ll know the place like the back of your hand, meaning you’ll know specific pain points people living near your store have, which will make creating your website a lot easier.
2. Define what you want your customers to do on your website
Now that you know who you want your website to cater to, it’s time to think about what you want your website to achieve.
As a retail store, you typically carry merchandise that is bulkier and heavier than the average item you might buy from your local Walmart. This means that your customers are making special trips to visit you.
Your website can make the transaction easier in many ways.
By having pictures, dimensions, and descriptions of your inventory on your website, customers will be able to make sure you have what they need before coming to visit. This instills trust in your customers as it shows you care about their time and want to provide the best service for them.
Following on from this idea, you may also consider providing live inventory updates so customers know if products are there.
Even if you don’t deliver, you should strongly consider providing a reservation service. You may be the only store in a wide radius that sells a certain item that someone living further away may need to buy. By allowing reservations, that person is more likely to make the trip to your store to buy the product resulting in a new customer for you!
3. Creating captivating content
Consumers like stories. They like to know who they are in business with, and they want extra value for their money. That’s where content creation comes in.
Has your business been passed down the family over generations? Tell your store’s story!
Does your business specialize in sustainable resources? Highlight it on your website!
Are you great at teaching DIY newbies basic skills to get them started? Create guides for them and put them on your site!
When you create captivating content, more people will engage with your website which will lead to your site being further recommended and the great potential for new clientele.
4. Brand design elements
If your storefront is green, why would you create a website full of blue and purple? Your brand is a visual representation of who you are. And that needs to be reflected in your website.
Not only are colors important, but the layout of each page should be easy to read and skimmable, as most people are turned off by information-dense pages.
For example, you’ll notice in this article we write in short paragraphs. That’s because most readers feel overwhelmed by big blocks of text and are unlikely to stay and read.
The same goes for your website.
5. Test your website before you go live
The final step before launching your website is to make sure it actually works well.
A quick checklist:
- Do all the links take you to the right place?
- Does the page load quickly?
- Are the pictures high quality? (Aka not pixelated and hard to see)
- Does your website look good and load correctly on mobile devices?
- Is your website easy to skim through?
- Is your website easy to navigate?
You could open your website to a small number of trusted friends to test it for feedback.
And remember, even once your website launches, you should still check it every so often to make sure it’s still functioning correctly.
The future is online
Your retail store has the potential to expand beyond its four walls. Do yourself a favor and create a website that wows new customers and provides existing customers with the extra little services they need that build trust and keep them coming for years to come.
And if you need help building your website, why not see how we at Farewell Media can help get you started!