[This article was written by Brooke Chaplan.]
Nowadays, a website is essential for driving customers to your physical store. You have the opportunity to increase your customer base by spreading the word of your business online. However, you still need to encourage your customers to make an in-person visit. The following ideas can help you use your retail website to drive customers to your physical store.
The first thing you want to do is check to see if your website is SEO-friendly. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and you can use SEO to create keywords, meta tags and content that attract your target audience. There are many companies that offer SEO audits and techniques to increase your page rankings on major search engines. You will want to target keywords based in your local area in order to attract customers who are looking for retailers near them.
Responsive Web Design
You need a responsive web design if you want to reach your target audience. A responsive design ensures your website loads smoothly on all devices, which means your customers can visit your website on their smartphone, tablet or laptop. Browsing through your website without any issues may encourage them to visit your physical store to check out your products. It will also make it easier for consumers who are on the go to quickly find your information.
Appealing Photo Gallery
Uploading photos of your store to your website is a great way to capture the attention of your customers. Once they see your interior and products, they may want to stop by the physical store. You want to take appealing photos of the entrance and several products. If you want to gain loyal customers, be sure to keep your store clean and organized for the photos and in-person visits. Emphasize unique layouts, signs, and comfortable areas in the interior. The way you present your store online has to seem as inviting as possible.
Offer Store Pick-Up
Customers who want to avoid crowds and lines may not want to pay extra for shipping. However, you may be able to get their attention by offering store pick-up for online orders. This way, they can receive their orders without lines or shipping costs. They may even decide to stop by your physical store for their next purchase. This also allows health-savvy customers to practice social distancing.
Attract Local Customers
You should also work to attract local customers. After all, they are going to make up a large portion of your customer base. Start by looking into local SEO techniques for reaching customers in a certain area. Next, make sure your website includes an easy-to-use store locator with store hours and contact information. Make sure that each page on your website has a call to action, in this case, to visit your store. This can be as simple as having a small text box inviting visitors or saying what your hours of operation are.
It is important to take the time to drive organic traffic to your website. Remember, that website traffic could turn into foot traffic from local and traveling customers. If you practice the above tips, your website is sure to drive more traffic to your physical store.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She recommends looking into web design agencies near you. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan