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The space your business owns online is just as important as a brick-and-mortar space – even more so if you don’t currently have a physical location! From showing off your products to helping you connect with customers, your website represents you in the online world. Just like a physical shopfront, your digital shopfront should do the following:
Express your brand
The brand you’ve built in print – through things like business cards and signs – should translate directly into your online presence. Creating a consistent brand across all of your marketing is key to making a great impression on your customers.
We know that nearly 70% of micro business owners market themselves both online and in print, but not everyone is connecting the two visually. You can make your business stand out by using consistent fonts, colours and imagery in every interaction you have with your audience, no matter where it takes place.
If you’ve created marketing products like business cards or brochures with Vistaprint, our website builder will automatically import your logo, images and decorative elements into the image library to make getting a consistent, professional look even easier.
Draw in new customers
Just like banners and street signs, your website should draw new customers to your business. And because your website is always open and has a broader reach, it should be working even harder to help new customers find you.
In fact, we’ve found that 36% of small business shoppers discover new businesses through online research. So how can you make sure yours is the one they find?
Start by optimising your website for search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Include relevant keywords in the text of your site (like ‘Day Spa in Brighton’), add new content regularly to keep it fresh and make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Google recently announced that it is now factoring a website’s mobile experience into its search ranking, so this is more important than ever. Vistaprint Website Builder creates a mobile site automatically to save you time.
Introduce your team
When customers walk into a shop, they are greeted by friendly staff. This helps build trust, and puts a human face to your brand. Your website can do the same.
An online presence doesn’t have to feel impersonal. Adding photos and bios of your team, having them publish blog posts and giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look can help people bond with your business and build loyalty to your brand.
Showcase your offerings
If you’ve ever arranged merchandise in a shop, you know how much thought goes into setting it up. Where things go and how they are displayed can make a huge difference in the way people perceive the offerings in your shop. The same goes for your online shopfront.
Create a mood with beautiful background images, organise your navigation neatly and include plenty of high-quality photographs of your products (or ‘after’ photos to show off your services.)
One of the most important functions of a brick-and-mortar location is, of course, to sell products. Your website can do the same – and it never closes.
Your online shopfront can take orders 24 hours a day, so it can be incredibly valuable for your bottom line. Invest in some professional photos of your products and make the checkout experience as quick and easy as possible. If you offer services instead of products, you can take advantage by offering online payment options and gift certificates.
Whether your web presence complements a physical location, or serves as your sole point of contact with customers, it should always be working hard for you. Make sure it serves the five purposes we talked about today, and your online shopfront can play a major role in your small business’ success.