The Covid-19 pandemic has affected businesses across the world and with the UK now in its second lockdown (and just before the festive season!) many retailers have been forced to innovate and quickly move their business online.
But if you’re new to the world of e-commerce or you’ve never had to make sales through your website before, this can leave you feeling like a fish out of water. One way to help you feel more grounded and less stressed about having to shut up shop is to set yourself some new goals. This can also help to get you excited about moving your business online.
But e-commerce is a little different to traditional retail and it can be hard to know where to start. If you’re unsure what targets you should be setting for yourself, let us help. Below we’ll take a look at some examples of new targets and goals you can set to help keep your retail business driving forward, even during lockdown.
1. Target: Create a well-designed and easy to use website
One of your first targets if you haven’t already done this should be to create a well-designed and functional website that offers the best possible user experience for your customers. This is where your customers will go to shop with you and it needs to be easy for them to navigate and make purchases. You also want it to look good to help attract new customers that might not have shopped with you before. There are lots of platforms out there that can help you to build your own website but if you’re not feeling confident in your own abilities you could always hire a web designer to do this for you.
2. Target: Work on SEO to get more visibility
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising your content using keywords to help make it more visible to search engines like Google. It can also help you to rank higher on search results pages.
Focussing on SEO is a great way to boost your visibility online and attract new visitors to your site. That being said, there are lots of elements to good SEO so you might want to get clued up about the basics before you begin. There are plenty of great guides out there to help you get started or if you can’t quite wrap your head around it you can always hire a professional or agency to help you out.
But hang on, why should you make SEO one of your targets? that “where to buy X near me” search queries have grown by over 200% in the past two years and appearing in those results for your local area can boost your chances of making a sale. And the proof is in the pudding because almost three quarters (72%) of people who have run a local search like this then made a purchase fro a business within five miles.
3. Target: Grow your social media and online presence
It’s likely that you have a social media presence already, even if it’s just one or two accounts like Facebook or Instagram. But as you move your business online and find yourself with more time to dedicate to your online presence, it’s worth growing your following on these platforms and perhaps even setting up new accounts.
There are a number of tactics you can use to grow your social media following and as you do it’s a nice idea to post regular updates to your customers and to share deals and information about the business. You should also engage with customers and followers who are commenting and engaging with you. This can help to build your brand and create a loyal customer base. It can also do you favours in terms of your SEO which can make your profiles more visible to new potential customers.
4. Target: Get customers to start leaving you reviews
One of the best ways to grow your business online and to build your brand is through customer reviews. In fact, found that almost 9 out of 10 consumers are influenced by reviews when shopping online and around 86% of millennials revealed that a negative review would impact whether they chose to purchase a product or not.
With this in mind, encouraging feedback and reviews online can be a good way to win yourself some new business. Plus it’s always nice to hear what people have to say about you. That is unless the feedback is bad, in which case you should take their comments on board to put positive changes in place.
You can encourage reviews by incentivising customers to leave one, offering great customer service and reaching out to social media followers to ask for their feedback.
5. Target: Use social media, advertising and other tools to drive sales
You can use social media and online advertising tools to help drive traffic to your site and as a result, make sales. This doesn’t have to cost you much either if you’ve got a small budget but it can work wonders for promoting sales or new products and encouraging people to get on over to your site and make a purchase. Google, Facebook and Instagram ads can be used to get your name out there at a relatively low cost or if you have no budget for advertising, just shout about your offerings on your social media pages for free.
6. Target: Start an email marketing list
One final target you might want to set yourself is to start building an email marketing list. You can do this using your website and social media platform encouraging people to sign up for the latest information, updates and deals from your business. Pop-up forms are one of the best ways to do this and you can add these to your website. Once you have an email marketing list you can drop them exclusive deals or news about new products directly to their inbox. This can be a great way to boost sales.
Written by Stuart Cooke, Marketing Manager at a courier service helping ecommerce brands find the best shipping solutions for their products.