The website continues to evolve and the need or use of it for your customers changes as quickly as my five-year-old’s mood. So how do you know if your website has what you need to attract your perfect clientele?
As a retailer by trade, I’ve been thinking about the comparison of your website to a retail storefront. Now I know this isn’t an entirely new way of thinking, but I wanted to break it down to help you look at what you might want to include in your virtual presence.
1. What are your windows like?
Think about it. Every retail store, whether in a mall or on the street, has windows. These are used to give you a peek of what you will find inside. They show you the “hottest” trend, the most popular looks, anything they can to catch your eye.
Your website has a window as well, your “hero” image or top header. You see this on almost every website. It’s the first thing your eye goes to and tells you a lot about what you might find if you continue to scroll down. Use an image that tells a story and gives a peek into your company offering.
2. Do you have a “window offer”?
Besides seeing the fashion or the items in the window, every store window has a sign. The sign is usually an offer or a sale. It’s something that makes you stop, read, and think “I wonder what that’s all about”.
The same is true for your website hero/header. Use verbiage and an offer, or a “Call to Action”, to get people to stop even longer on your site. Make them wonder what it’s all about and curious to either click or scroll for more information. This is your hook.
3. What is your loss leader?
Ever notice that all stores have a table or aisle right as you walk in the door? These items are usually the best deal going on, or the most inexpensive items in the store. For example: Target added the $1 section to its entry on the opposite side from the produce, the other “loss leader”.
This is the item that you will make little to no money on, but it pulls the customer even further into the store, or your website. This is your “freebie” it can be listed on your hero/header section, or in the section right under it. It’s a sample product that you will make no money on but gets your audience to try. Plus, an added bonus is they subscribe to your email list!
4. Do you have clear branding?
When you enter a store, you immediately know what store you are in. A Target “looks” like a Target. Old Navy “looks” like Old Navy. And not matter which Target or Old Navy you go in around the world, you know where you are.
The same is true for your website. Is the branding clear? Does your customer know that they are on your website no matter where they click? Do you have a color palette, consistent typography, and image use?
Consistency is key. This is more than your logo. This is bringing your logo to life on your page. Make it very clear that everything goes together. You may want to work with a brand designer, but the key is to outline your brand and then stick with it.
5. Is it clear what you are selling?
When we see a store, everything comprised together makes it very clear what they sell. The branding, the windows, the offers all work together so that we know that we are getting clothes at Old Navy or lotions at Bath & Body Works.
Does your website make it clear who you are and what you sell? Just as using your hero image, your freebie and branding can help a potential customer know they are visiting your business, you have to make it very clear what you offer.
Try to categorize your services or products into a small amount of titles. Use icons or images on your site to indicate those categories, and then use “clicks” to go to secondary pages to find out more information or to shop a specific category.
The key to having a website that your potential clients will stop at and purchase from is simplicity. Keep everything clean, use white space to help things pop, and use icons and images to pull the eye down or through your site.
Always keep in mind the feeling you have when you visit your favorite retail establishment. The excitement, joy, and satisfaction are what will keep your customers coming back again and again.