By David Wert
The shop is slow and the snow is flying, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to sit back. Winter is a great time to think about your business strategy and tackle projects you put off when the weather warms. Your website says a lot about your store, and if it’s out of date or clunky, your customers will notice. Make sure your customers know you’re on top of your game, and take every opportunity to have a virtual conversation with them. Here are four projects you can do to make your site more useful.
Rethink Domain Names
A domain name (joesbikes.com, thebikedoctor.com) is an important component of a store’s brand. Make sure it’s relevant, brief, and if possible, keyword-specific. Avoid creative spellings and extensions other than .com. If someone else owns the perfect domain name, consider contacting them and trying to purchase it. The cost of promoting a bad domain name could be significant in the long term.
Build and Maintain a Great Closeout List
Now that the off-season has arrived, most stores have older stock that needs to be sold to make room for new product. The store’s website is a great place to let customers know what older stock you are trying to unload. Well-maintained closeout pages routinely see some of the highest traffic on retailers’ websites. Make sure that inventory, pricing, and other details are current; consumers want to be able to trust that the products they see on the site are in stock at your store. Closeout lists that are part of the top level navigation are likely to get the most clicks.
Train Staff to Use the Website for Special Orders
If your store has traditionally steered clear of special orders, now might be time to consider a new approach. A website that offers online order fulfillment can automate the special order process while preventing your customers from shopping somewhere else. Train sales staff to utilize a tablet or in-store kiosk to find products for customers on the store’s website, capture payment, and ship it directly to the customer’s house.
Make Sure Your Store’s Logo is Web-friendly
A logo can be an important part of your store’s brand. A simple, clean logo with stacked and flat options can help bring your brand to life online. Logos that are too tall lessen the amount of content that shows up above the fold on a website. An experienced graphic designer can help navigate some of the pitfalls of logo design.