How to Build a Great Website for Your Retail Store

/How to Build a Great Website for Your Retail Store

How to Build a Great Website for Your Retail Store

Your website is more important than you think. If you own a retail outlet, maintaining an online presence allows you to sell your products 24 hours a day to a global audience. Your website might even generate more sales than your brick-and-mortar store — 51 percent of Americans now prefer to shop online. Think of your website like a business card: it introduces new customers to your company and tells the world about your services. Here’s how to build a killer site for your retail store.

Choose the Right Website Creation Tool

There are two ways to build a website. You can enlist the services of a website designer — someone who is responsible for the color scheme, layout and general design of your site. Alternatively, you can build your own site from scratch using a content management system. WordPress currently dominates the website creation market: 25 percent of all websites use the platform.

You’ll find that WordPress is easy to use. It has thousands of plugins, themes and features for retailers, including online store builders and social media integration. Alternatives to WordPress include Drupal and Joomla.

Use a Call to Action

A call to action (CTA) is a prompt that encourages your visitors to take action. It’s usually an image or button that includes a line of text — "Buy Now," "Click Here," "Sign Up," etc. — and is a powerful marketing method for retail stores in all niches. Including a CTA on your web pages is crucial for sales. CTAs placed in your website’s sidebar increase conversions by up to 1.5 percent; CTAs on welcome pages boost conversions by up to 25 percent.

CTAs are also useful for collecting information about your customers. You can ask visitors to your website to provide you with their email address so you can send them relevant communications about your store.

Choose a Good Web Host

Once you’ve designed your website, you need to store it on a server. This is where a good web host comes in. Look for a platform that will keep your site accessible to customers. Slow-loading pages — often the result of a slow server — could have a detrimental impact on sales. Research suggests that a single second delay in your website loading time could lower conversion rates by seven percent. Moreover, 40 percent of consumers will abandon your site if it takes more than three seconds to load.

Right now, Cloudflare, Amazon and Rackspace are among the most popular web hosts, but there are hundreds to choose from. Look for a platform that provides excellent customer service and a high uptime (the length of time a server has been up and running).

Think About Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important for your retail business, too. It’s the process of optimizing your site so that your web pages appear in a prominent position on Google and Yahoo. This is important because consumers are more likely to click on websites at the top of search engine result pages. One study found that websites ranked number one on search engines had a 36.4 percent click-through rate, while websites in second place had a 12.5 percent rate.

SEO is a lot easier than it sounds, and there are a number of ways you can increase your search rankings. Michigan Technological University recommends that you publish relevant content on a regular basis, include relevant links in your text and use metadata.

Target Your Audience

The overall layout and design of your website will depend on the type of customers you are trying to attract. If you are advertising products to millennials, for example, you might want to include lots of images and videos on your web pages, and introduce a vibrant, eye-catching color scheme. If you are targeting the over-50s, on the other hand, you could use more traditional web design elements.

You can also experiment with different web design trends. Responsive design, for example, lets you create pages that respond to users’ devices so your site will display properly on laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets.

Create Content

Creating content is a fantastic way to attract more people to your pages and get you noticed. One way to this is to set up a blog on your site with posts that resonate with your audience. If you own a clothing store, you could write about the latest fashion trends or offer useful style tips. Don’t forget to ask your readers to like, share and comment on your content. That way, you can expose your blog posts to a potential audience of millions.

Countless studies prove that content marketing works. This marketing method generates around three times as many leads as traditional marketing, and it costs 62 percent less. Moreover, 60 percent of marketers create at least one new piece of content every single day.

Building a website is crucial for your retail business. It increases the visibility of your company online, brings more customers to your business, and boosts sales and revenue. The above tips will help you create a site that provides you with a huge return on your investment.

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