Ecommerce for Small Business: Moving Your Storefront Online
Feb 16 2021
The improved storefronts readily available on popular social channels make it possible to launch an ecommerce brand without a dedicated website. Many small businesses have historically relied on Facebook alone as their brand’s storefront, but are now in need of a stronger online presence and more robust ecommerce options.
In terms of expanding your online business, the importance of a clean, easy-to-use website offering a positive customer experience can’t be overstated. A branded website does more than simply house your product catalogues — it can be a hub for your loyal customers to better connect with your business, inform and inspire new users to enjoy more of what you have to offer and display the precise look and feel of your brand’s identity.
Here’s a quick look at moving your ecommerce brand’s storefront into a more permanent digital location.
You can’t wander far in the land of ecommerce before stumbling across Shopify. Shopify acts as both a website builder and feed manager, integrating easily with major social platforms to instantly connect your newly-launched site with your existing social channels. Managing product feeds on Shopify is as simple as it gets when adding a branded website to your online presence.
Other template-based site builders like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress are user-friendly options to quickly get an attractive site off the ground for your business. Each offers a variety of visual flourishes to make the site your own, without requiring detailed knowledge of overly-complex coding. For small businesses looking to launch a site on a minimal budget, these options mark a great place to start.
Creating The Right Customer Experience with Website
Creating a fantastic customer experience that draws in new interest and retains the loyalty of past users is every professional marketer’s enduring labor of love. It is a goal which demands dynamic solutions as audiences, technological limitations, shopping habits and economic circumstances continually evolve.
The one rule every brand must follow on the road to success is to establish a clear and distinct goal for its online presence. For a new website, that means knowing what specific action you want your new customers to take — all decisions regarding site design, brand copy, user interface, and the checkout process should direct customers toward that goal.
Keeping in mind what you want a user to do and how easy your site makes that action provides a starting point for your customer experience. Deals, retargeted ads, thank-you emails and other strategies to move customers through the sales funnel can then be experimented with so long as your goal remains clear.
Expanding Your Reach with Sharable Content
So you’ve identified the need for a branded website, organized it with a simple site-builder, and established the general actions you aim to prompt through its design. What remains is the simple matter of getting customers to actually visit, for which there are innumerable strategies and tools at your disposal, even for businesses on a tight budget.
Some of the most basic and efficient ways to direct traffic to your site is the frequent sharing of social content. Making informative, interesting content for your site and appropriately linking it to social channels should be a priority. This requires some knowledge of your desired audience and the distinct audiences that can be found on each channel. Brands can also upload product feeds to their existing social platforms. Customers must be able to view, shop and share your content wherever they find it in order to gain momentum for your new site and your online presence as a whole.
Follow these basic guidelines and you’ll be able to expand the reach of your business, gain a better understanding of your average customer, and collect valuable new insights that will strengthen your growing business in the days ahead.