Some Advice for Online Retailers Who Want to Stay Relevant


These days you can’t swing a cat without hitting some new retail store that has decided going online is their salvation. Everyone from sophisticated jewelry designers who have decided to flee Etsy to hot little tech start-ups are crowding onto the online platform these days. They all have one thing in common, they want to be seen as relevant to shoppers who are looking for their product.

But since not all things are equal on the web, it is often the big web stores, such as that giant Amazon, that rank at the top of the page when you do a search. How do you get seen and be part of the party online? There are some basics, and a few tricks of the trade, we can share to help you achieve this goal.

Do the 3-Second Test

There is a saying when it comes to web design. It says that the majority of potential customers who come on your website will last about three seconds before moving on to another site. If you want to hold them longer, long enough to look around and like what they see enough to actually spend money, you need to invest some time in your site.

There are two big questions that must be answered. One is whether that three seconds lets them know what your site is all about. If it is too cluttered with a number of images and no one clear message, they won’t stay. So, make that landing page work for you by letting them know clearly what you have to offer and why it is so great.

The other big question is whether they perceive your site as sophisticated enough to be safe to use a credit card on or not. This means that things like having a secure pos payment gateway should be obvious to a casual shopper. By taking the time to have a secure way for them to shop you can be sure that more casual lookers will get turned into buyers. But that isn’t the only way to get more shoppers.

Focus on Your Products, Not Design

Yes, design is what makes a site rock, but if it doesn’t work to show off your products it isn’t what you need. First and foremost, they need to see what you sell the moment they land on your site. So, save those funny lines and great text for other pages. Tell your story about why you sell on the About Us page. On the landing page, where most of your potential buyers will see you first, tell them about your product.

If you are having a sale this month, let everyone know by making it front and center to your page. In fact, if you are able to do so I would say have a revolving banner on the top of your page that always features a product you are highlighting now. If there is a sale on blue products, then put them in that revolving banner and keep it visible. Always remember why you are here. It isn’t to win design awards, its to sell your product.