Online and offline retailers have long ceased to be different companies and consumers no longer separate the Internet and store shops.
The new reality looks different:
Buyers research online, in which store they go or which service provider they contact.
They use the smartphone in the shop: not only for price comparisons, but often also for further product information.
Or, in the evenings after the shop visit, they go online again with the tablet to order the products seen in the store or to share their purchases with friends in social networks.
So the Internet is equally opportunity and challenge for stationary providers. Because the Internet brings shoppers to the store, it helps to maintain customer relationships and it offers marketers and Webshop each dealer new revenue opportunities.
A dealer without a website is like a shop without a shop window: only a few insiders come to this store. A good website is therefore a must for every retailer these days. The website should then be found (just like a shop window) once. The measures of the search engine optimization (SEO) help to achieve that with good search engine rankings. Entries in online directories or rating portals as well as regional online adver- tisements are also proven ways of making customers aware of your store on the Internet.
The website – the basis for every dealer
Why the website is important:
77% of all customers today use their smartphones to find out about a shop visit. They make the decision – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere – to decide if and which stores they visit.
Essential for the customer frequency in the store is therefore an informative (and suitable for smartphones!) Website. But it is not enough “any website”. It has to inspire buyers with good and appealing content already online. It should provide good reasons to visit your store. If the website does not do that, buyers quickly switch to competitors or online shops.
That’s how it works
You have a beautifully designed shop? Your website should be at least as positive. Because it shows the customer in advance what he has to expect in the store on site.
An investment in an agency or a freelancer to create the website is therefore often worthwhile (you will not buy your shop furnishings in the discount furniture store). Alternatively, you can use homepage builders. With them, you can create a first website without investment costs and programming knowledge – which should be only a first step for you (this procedure would correspond to a store furnishings from standard shelves of a furniture store – better than selfmade wooden boards, but still not the quality and individuality a shop builder).
However, you can always do your own maintenance (setting pictures and texts, creating new pages, keeping news up-to-date, etc.) in any case. Software like WordPress or Typo3 are as easy to use as the modular systems. And some dealers with a bit more IT know-how even created their own website.
What needs to be on the website?
The more you offer your customers online, the more likely they are to get excited about visiting a store. Of course, no complete, universal list of contents can be set up here, but the following should at least be found:
Tips & Important
• Get to know you for the first time: Who are you? What do you have to offer?
What is special about your shop / you? Which products in which quality and variety does the customer find in the shop?
In short, the customer should be able to make a good impression with images, text and possibly even video or a 3D tour through the shop, what they offer him locally.
• Show a variety of contact paths anywhere on the website:
Your phone number, a route planner, your e-mail address, and possibly your Whats app number.
• Provide several good reasons why visiting your store is worthwhile.
• Why should a customer visit your site for a second or third time (or even again) in the future? Think about the reasons you can offer him, e.g. current offers or tips for looking up (from care tips for textiles on game ideas for children from toy retailer to recipe ideas of the delicatessen).
Often interesting for customers is also a function for returning a product or a pre-order (the so-called Click & Collect, so order online and pick it up at the store).
Do not stay too objective. The website should inspire and arouse emotions.
Ask yourself: what on my website does customers (who may not yet know my shop) so that they feel like visiting it once?
Do not forget the “obviousness” such as address and telephone number at a central location, opening times, parking tips and nearby bus stations, which are often very important for customers.
Always check your own website on your smartphone, not (only) with your laptop – as most customers see the website on mobile devices.
Do not forget the website after its first creation. A website is never finished, but requires constant updating (keep your expenses and posters in the store always up to date).
Search Google for “good site tips” or similar keywords.