Whether you have a website designed only for prospective buyers to find you online and direct them to your brick-and-mortar store, or you possess a full e-commerce website where you sell products virtually, there are many ways that your website can help you increase sales.
And the good news? We’re going to cover both scenarios.
First, let’s tackle the issue of a website meant only to help prospective buyers find you online and direct them to your brick-and-mortar store. But before we get into how this type of website can help you increase sales, let’s discuss why you aren’t selling online as well as at your physical location.
In this article from Retail Dive, a survey of more than 1,400 consumers who were asked why they preferred shopping in a brick-and-mortar store rather than online was conducted, and the results were very interesting…
“…female shoppers overwhelmingly want to see, touch and feel products before buying them. Males, on the other hand, skew more toward the immediate satisfaction of taking items home with them. Shoppers at both ends of the age spectrum—younger and older generations—want to see or try products out in stores more than their middle-aged counterparts. Young shoppers clearly convey an ‘I want it now’ mentality versus older cohorts.”
Another article in favor of having a brick-and-mortar store comes from Digiday. In this article, they note the following:
“…regardless of how convenient online shopping is, consumers still like to visualize, try-on and feel products before purchasing them.”
Let us be perfectly clear. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you should also sell online. There are just too many sales that could get away due to you not offering the ability to make an online purchase. In this post from our blog, we stated unequivocally…
“To grow your business to the heights you dream of, it is imperative that you have an online presence and that your sales and marketing team understands the differences between online and offline sales—as well as the psychology of each one.”
With that said, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty on how your website can help you increase sales at your brick-and-mortar store. And make no mistake, you MUST have a website whether you sell online or not.
Your potential customers are like everyone else—they will be using the internet to search for you, even if it’s just to get directions to your store. When they find your website, it is like being handed your business card. In this day and age, your website establishes your credibility as a business.
In order for your website to help you increase sales at your brick-and-mortar business, it must possess at least these 3 characteristics:
- It must be attractive and up to date.
- It must be mobile friendly.
- It must be quick to load.
Those are just the bare basics of the aspects your website should possess. In this blog post, we delve deeper into how you can increase sales for your brick-and-mortar store with your website.
Here is a quote from that blog post:
“If you want to compete in this digital age and also be everywhere your target market is hanging out, you have to market online, plain and simple. You may be looking for more foot traffic into your store, but your online presence is your digital ‘front door.’ Your potential customers may need to open your website door first before opening the door to your physical store. But, if you don’t have a website (at a minimum), your consumers could pass you by and run to your competition.”
We STRONGLY suggest you read that whole article if you want to increase sales at your brick-and-mortar store. It covers all the major ways you can market your website.
Now, let’s discuss how your e-commerce website can help you increase sales. But before we begin, we’d like to answer a question we are often asked: “Should I have an e-commerce site AND a website?”
The answer is no. You will just confuse Google and other search engines and risk losing your ranking. Plus, there is no need to do twice the work when you can add e-commerce capabilities to your existing website.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you only want to market your brick-and-mortar store, or you only sell 1 or 2 digital products, a website is enough. If selling multiple products online is your goal, then you would do better with an e-commerce store.
Many website-building platforms offer e-commerce solutions, so you would have the best of both worlds: your website as a calling card to introduce your company, and an e-commerce store to sell your products—all in one location.
As far as your e-commerce website helping you increase sales goes, below we have listed a few ways to make that happen:
- Offer Free Samples – Free samples are an excellent way to lower the barrier for a customer to experience your offerings. If your products/services are more expensive, calculate the cost of offering free samples to determine if it’s a route worth taking.
- Run Sales – We don’t recommend running discounts on your offerings as a long-term solution, but it can be effective in driving new customers to your store. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to reward long-time customers and continue to nurture those existing relationships.
- Produce Targeted Blog Posts – It is an undeniable fact that producing engaging, informative, and authoritative content for your website will pay off big time in the long term. In addition to improving your website’s SEO, it will encourage those in your audience to share your content on social media.
- Advertise on Google and/or Facebook – We highly recommend utilizing Google Ads, as you can fine-tune your targeting and budget accordingly. Facebook ads are also a very affordable way to advertise if done right.
- Expand Your Product/Service Offerings – If it makes fiscal sense, consider offering a new product or service to appeal to a new customer segment. You could even look at repackaging or repricing an existing product.
- Provide a First-Time Purchase Incentive – By offering a little something extra to first-time purchasers, you’ll greatly increase your conversion rates. You could give anything from a small discount to a free gift. Whatever you choose, just make it clear that first-time purchasers will get something additional when they buy now.
- Set Up a Referral Program – Worth of mouth is still the most powerful method of advertising, which is why businesses should strive to acquire new customers through referrals. Set up a referral program that provides cash or discounts to individuals who refer friends to your business, or—if your audience is made up of people who like giving back—provide the opportunity to donate to a cause.
By using the information provided above, we’re confident that you will increase sales to your business, whether it’s a brick-and-mortar store or an e-commerce website.
If you still have questions concerning how to increase sales with your website, don’t hesitate to reach out.