In today’s world, the expectations of consumers are high. Very high, in fact. Consumers are increasingly more mobile, technically astute, informed and demanding than ever before. They expect (or rather demand) transparency and a website experience which is engaging, friendly and highly informative. And digital interaction is crucial to the future success of your business. The days of retailers’ websites acting simply as a digital brochure are long gone.
Your website should do a number of things for you as a business. Fundamentally though it should effectively help to convert prospects into customers. But what can you do to make the transformation from online brochure to a website fit-to-function?
Here are 5 ways to do just that and optimize your digital presence, exceed your consumers’ expectations and achieve your objective...
1. Publish engaging content that meets your customers’ needs.
In the pursuit of bridging the gap between your website and showroom, it’s important to create an experience that resonates with potential customers. Delivering the same level of customer service, knowledge and value on your website as you would face-to-face with a prospect in your showroom will ensure that a consumer’s perception of you as a business is where you want it to be and what they should expect before they step into your showroom.
Your website needs to be more than a collection of landing pages which you strategically drive traffic to from Google though. It needs to be a highly valuable resource. What do your potential customers really want to know? What are the questions your team get asked the most? What really makes you different from your competitors?
Understand what your potential customers actually want to know and make sure this is a fundamental part of the content on your website so that you’re solving pain points and delivering value way before you ever meet them.
2. Ensure your website is ready for all traffic. Desktop, mobile or tablet.
An ever-increasing number of the UK’s kitchen and bathroom retailers are now seeing more than 50% of overall traffic to their website come from mobile or tablet devices. It’s crucial to ensure that you effectively communicate with this traffic with a user experience tailored to these devices. Visitors using mobile devices are looking for more than just a phone number or directions to your showroom. Just like visitors from desktop, they’re visiting your website to carry out in-depth research, learn about the ranges you have on offer and ultimately make informed decisions about whether to buy from you or your competitors.
Giving thought to how a user would want to navigate your site on mobile, what information they’d find valuable and how this should be displayed should be taken into account when designing the mobile version of your site and will ensure that it serves the purpose it should, regardless of what device is being used to view it.
3. Properly Utilise Google Analytics.
Google Analytics gives you direct insights into your digital showroom’s performance. From understanding what pages users are looking at to how long people are spending on site to the number of visitors converting into leads, Analytics will give you the information you need to understand how your website is working and how visitors are behaving. Information which should be playing a vital role in shaping your business’ digital strategy and helping to drive sales. If you’re not utilising Analytics and what it has to offer, you’re not only missing out a truly invaluable resource, you’re never going to have a true understanding of your business’ marketing efforts. Making decisions without the data to back it up is very dangerous!
4. Provide quick and easy paths to your kitchen or bathrooms ranges.
Consumers want information and they want it fast. Potential customers today are more informed and educated before they reach your showroom than ever before. You therefore need to make it as simple as possible for people to reach and see your kitchen and bathroom ranges as you can. Make sure the banners or jumps on the key entrance pages of your website have a clear message and ensure that they’re linking to your core kitchen and bathrooms ranges. User experience is key to delivering the same levels of customer service and value on your site as in your showroom. Creating easy, clear and natural navigation across your site will help to achieve that.
5. Add a heatmap to your site.
A heatmap is a tool which helps you to understand how your potential customers are behaving on specific pages of your website. It shows where users are clicking, how far they’ve scrolled down a page and what content they’re reading. It can also give you valuable insights to help you understand why visitors aren’t doing what you intended them to do on a specific page or pages. Having such knowledge - in conjunction with data from Google Analytics – allows you to make data-driven changes to your website which can enhance your ability to deliver the content your users want and improve conversion rates across your website. There are a number of very inexpensive heat maps available on the market (many of which offer free trials) including Crazy Egg and Hotjar. What’s more is that they’re really, really easy to set up so there’s no excuses not to give them a try!
So there you have it, 5 ways which will guarantee that your website becomes so much more than just an online brochure and that it'll actually start making a difference to the number of enquiries coming into your business and your bottom line.