Let’s face it; real-life stores are pretty much dead in the water at this stage. While a company can still survive on the high street, that’s often only because they branch into online operations. There are no two ways around it; a business can’t survive if it doesn’t make good use of technology.
Hence why many new companies opt to operate online solely. In fact, there are now approximately 110,000 ecommerce websites. And, many of those will never need to branch into shop space. With those figures in mind, it’s easy to assume you don’t need to worry about old store methods. After all, things didn’t go well for them, so why would you waste time?
In truth, there are a few different reasons. It’s crucial you remember that, at this stage, the traditional shop method has been around for longer than the internet. As such, discarding it would be madness. What’s more, customers like methods they know, even in this day and age. Though the way they shop may have changed, customer priorities are much the same.
As such, those ‘old’ methods you were so keen to cast aside could hold the key to your success. Of course, you can’t install every old-age method to your modern operation. But, it’s worth keeping the following shop staples in mind.
A reason to come in
When we’re walking along the high-street, we don’t always know which shops we intend to pop into. Instead, we go for those with logos which catch our eyes, or window displays we like. Online, it’s harder to make yourself appealing to passing traffic. In fact, many early ecommerce sites only make use of direct customers. But, if you do that, you miss out on money. You’ll certainly struggle to grow your company. So, think outside the box, and consider ways you can get your business seen. It may be that you work on SEO, which can get your company listed higher on search engines. In many ways, this is like a good position in a shopping mall and could work wonders for your success. Think, too, about your domain name. This is much like your logo, and a punchy yet relevant choice could be enough to draw people to you.
Security on the door
When customers enter a shop, they like to know that the space is a safe one. Hence why many shops keep a security guard on the front door. Well, that and the fact that it’s the easiest place to stop thieves. As such, you need to think about online security above all. In many ways, this reassurance is even more important with an online shop. After all, a thief rarely poses a risk to other shoppers. But, a hacker can gain access to their bank details as well as yours. Which is why you need to do what you can to keep your connection secure. That means considering safe ways to store the files on your system. You should also consider your web server. An open server with easy access is sure to leave you at more significant risk than something like a dedicated server. This is an option which provides a server solely for your business. And, that drastically reduces the access hackers can gain. While more expensive, that could bring in money by providing peace of mind. So, it’s well worth your time to find the best dedicated hosting provider available to you. You should also make sure to do regular anti-virus checks, and keep all protective software up to date. Make a note of these steps in the small print on your website. That way, security is always visible for those who need that reassurance.
Anyone who’s worked in a physical store knows that displays are everything. If you want to sell a lot of something, you make it look as eye-catching as you can. That means setting it in the most visible spot or even aiming lights in that direction. Keeping your best products at eye-level is another common trick. Obviously, you can’t do that in an online store. But, you can still keep some of these tricks in mind when presenting your products. After all, you will still need to provide photographic proof of what you’re selling. And, the pictures you put up are more important than you know. Get these wrong, and you’ll fail to sell anything.
One method you can take directly from physical stores is that of lighting. A bright light which shines straight on your product is sure to set off any item you capture. It’s also worth using smart composition to draw the eye straight where you want it to go. And, the possibilities don’t stop there. By highlighting pictures at the top of the page or having an ‘item of the day’ on your homepage, you could even make use of that ‘main’ display idea. Test a few things out and see how much they boost sales.
Friendly staff are often sadly lacking from online shopping experiences. So much so that customers often use this as a reason to keep physical shopping alive. And, not even you can deny that a friendly face makes you more likely to buy a product, right? Of course, replicating this isn’t always easy. You can hardly have virtual sales assistants hopping about the screen. But, you can have the next best thing with a live chat during working hours. In the same way that staff can ask if customers need any help, an online chat can pop up after a set time to ask the same thing. And, by including a named introduction and a smiling picture of each staff member, you can go some way towards adding that personal touch. Admittedly, this doesn’t quite have the same power as an excellent in-store sales team. But, more people than you’d think will make use of an option like this. Train your team in customer services, and they could take you far.