Updated: Feb 18
A functional website is essential to any small business, especially retail companies. With all the available apps and website platforms, it can be difficult to sort through the noise and find the essential pieces that will help your business thrive. To combat that, I've gathered 5 simple things that every website needs.
Sales funnels that work.
You need data to create a funnel. Before you start, consider where your potential customers typically come from. Are people interacting with your company on social media? Can you reach consumers with Facebook or Twitter ads? Find out where your prospects "live" and you can position them appropriately and move them to the top of your pipeline.
Before you can create a compelling sales funnel, you must have a clear idea of where your sales funnel sits on your value ladder. Are you pitching to existing clients? Or are you trying to acquire new customers? Or are you trying to get your biggest fans to buy your most expensive and valuable products?
Even if you create a sales funnel, your work is never done. You should be constantly looking for ways to improve and optimize your sales funnel and identify where you are losing potential customers. Focus on areas where prospects move from one stage of the sales funnel to the next.
A design that is visually appealing.
Support your design assumptions with data. Examine your customer lifecycle, analyze their browsing behavior while performing a redesign, or run usability tests with focus groups. Learn as much as you can about their browsing habits, then incorporate those insights into your designs. Your eCommerce design needs to appeal to your audience, not just aesthetically please them.
A beautiful design concept that combines photo imagery with hand-drawn illustrations and symbols to take you on a story journey. Products from separate pages linked below. Filter the left column to quickly and easily find what you need. Clothing opens a separate window where you can drag and drop artwork from your own files to create exactly what you want.
Explore customization options. The more elements you can tweak, the more unique user experiences you can create as you scale your actions. Keep in mind that what seems like a good "getting started" practice for a small business can turn into a money-stealing liability for a larger business. Make sure you can move and add different design elements as priorities change.
A mobile-friendly design.
One of the most important design features of your website is that it can be easily navigated with your thumb or forefinger. If not, it means the user has to pinch to zoom - which means your content is too small or not suitable for mobile devices. Also, it may cause more touch errors.
Thanks to responsive design, the days of creating a separate mobile-friendly website are over. This means less work for developers and you don't get penalized by Google for duplicate content because you don't have the same content on two different sites.
With so many people now using mobile devices to view websites and shop online, responsive websites are critical. Design and navigation must be simple so that it can be easily converted to another display method. Product pages should also be cleverly designed so that little zooming or panning is required in mobile mode.
Automatic order processing.
Order processing tasks such as order verification and creating and printing shipping labels can be automated. If you process hundreds or more orders per month, setting up the ability to process orders automatically will help speed up the shipping process.
Fully automated order processing systems are systems that integrate with online stores and even multiple sales channels to automatically process and validate orders as they are placed online. From there, order status is updated in real-time, notifying customers that the order is being processed and the order process can begin.
Automated order processing is the technology and system used to process orders faster by eliminating manual labor. Through automation, order processing can help reduce human error, improve operational efficiency, and ultimately speed up the fulfillment and shipping process.
Automated customer communication.
"By automating different parts of my customer base, I'm able to provide targeted and more appropriate responses without having to individually remember if a customer bought a product or two from me, and what that product is, or if they've Ready to receive emails and need to send discount codes...
Another important point in the customer journey is customer support. In e-commerce, you should anticipate your customers questions and concerns and use them to develop an automated bot function. Your customers will feel heard and you will save time answering repetitive emails.
A simple but effective tool that provides this functionality is the Live chat, luckily this features comes standard with Wix and can be added to Shopify as well. Once live, it looks like a little bubble in the bottom corner, giving your users the option to speak with one of your customer service representatives.
Need any extra help designing your website or just need to be pointed in the right direction? Check out some of our websites or Book an appointment with me to start maximizing your brand today.