Spring weather has started to grace many parts of the world, inspiring home makeovers, deep cleanings and shopping sprees for those eager to refresh their lives and embrace new beginnings. But this commitment to detail and self-care doesn’t end with wardrobe overhauls and home décor — online retailers and entrepreneurs can experience the same rejuvenation by refreshing their digital storefronts, a marketing necessity in today’s crowded ecommerce market and changing consumer landscape.
While eCommerce is still the optimal place for brands to reach customers, generate awareness, and sell goods, the efforts required to capture lasting consumer loyalty can pose a challenge. With 33.2 million small businesses competing for shopper attention (and many more being conceptualized every day), an SMB’s digital presence cannot be underestimated.
For small businesses looking to spruce up a dusty website and give a fresh look to their online presence, a digital ‘spring cleaning’ can clear out unnecessary clutter. With several tips and tricks available to support a seasonal revamp, picking up the virtual broom to sweep through the competition – and emerge sparkling – has never been easier.
Finding Feng Shui Through Strategic Marketing
An easy-to-navigate website is a must-have when it comes to selling online. While smooth functionality is key in supporting customers as they browse through products, ensuring they make a purchase and come back for more requires more than just the basics – and usually needs a bit of redecorating. In brick-and-mortar stores, for example, drawing the eye to high-priority items can be achieved by simply placing the products in the window or on the front shelf. In online stores, deliberately marketing new and popular items on the homepage improves product discovery, eliminating steps from the purchasing journey.
Nailing down product placement is necessary as more brands embrace an omnichannel approach to selling – especially with social commerce now entering the mix. A few easy and successful ways to freshen up a dull homepage or storefront page include incorporating larger product photos, live videos or even social media-inspired scrolls so customers feel like they’re browsing on their favorite app.
In addition to enhancing your homepage’s visual appeal, strategically promoting offers is highly effective in growing a loyal customer base. For example, providing exclusive coupon codes to newsletter subscribers may result in customers staying more engaged with your brand so stay in the know on new discounts and promos.
It’s All in the Website Aesthetics
It’s vital that the look and feel of a website match the brand’s messaging and represent its audience’s style, interests and values. After all, visuals are just as important as text when it comes to searchability and consumer confidence! It’s important to remember that although website content may be accessed through a machine, it is made for people. Customers (whether new or returning) should be the focus of every design and development change, and brands should strive to strike the right balance between aesthetics and usability.
Improving site aesthetics can seem like a daunting task for any small business owner, but there are inexpensive and easy-to-use solutions available. Many of these resources are even catered to individuals with limited web design, coding or SEO experience. By leveraging these digital tools – such as software, plugins or website-building platforms – small businesses can eliminate the stress of figuring out how to execute a website makeover alone and without going over budget.
Along with helping SMBs cut costs, website design tools support efficient time management. With small business owners typically having less time to spare compared to larger enterprises, streamlining digital processes ensures their efforts can remain dedicated to important, customer-oriented priorities. This is the major benefit of plug-and-play web design solutions — they help to create an on-brand and professional touch.
Out With the Old, In With the New (Content)
Just as you would sort through the closet and pack away the cold-weather wear, SMBs should take the time to analyze their website to identify what’s working and what needs to go.. Casual visitors can be transformed into returning customers via a lean and efficient website with streamlined content.
Before making any changes, SMBs should take a step back and put themselves in the shoes of their target audience. What is the first impression of the website and the brand? Are customers inclined to purchase quickly and easily, or do they shop around for a while? Decluttering your website doesn’t mean that the aesthetic or brand messaging needs to be overhauled completely; the same feeling can be portrayed in a modern and fresh way.
There are a few immediate actions that can help, including limiting extraneous links on the homepage and ensuring copy is targeted and concise – whether by consolidating content or eliminating overlapping messaging. For cosmetic tweaks that require a little more work, analytics are a helpful tool in understanding visitor behavior. Using this data to optimize page layouts ensures that critical content or products are front and center for visitors and help identify the website aspects not being used. For example, if social media links are distracting visitors from viewing products, analytics can give SMBs a helping hand in restructuring their website content and layout to prioritize the buying flow.
Paying attention to SEO is a critical piece of online visibility, and it’s best to focus on making a little progress each day to see big results. Small business owners should incorporate daily SEO practices, such as refreshing content and networking with relevant websites.t. SEO upkeep and consistently refreshing your site puts you on the path to increased visitors.
Making a Site Makeover Work for the Customer
It’s tempting to treat a website as a one-and-done effort, but that initial foundation needs to be continuously reviewed and improved upon. In today’s crowded eCommerce market, where consumers’ attention spans are already limited and competition is fierce, small businesses should approach a site makeover with simplicity and accessibility in mind. If your website content and design is failing to direct visitors to your purchase flow, it’s time to reduce the clutter and spruce your website up. Add a website makeover to your Spring cleaning checklist and get ready for new beginnings!
Alicia Pringle is the Senior Director of Online Marketing at Newfold Digital.