EP 002 | Refreshing Your Online Store & Getting Your Products Online

It may have been a while since you’ve touched your online store because you’ve been focusing on your physical location. In today’s episode, we are going over things you can do to refresh your online store. Plus make sure your online store is customer-ready as you send more traffic to your website.

Episode Overview

  • Making your website accessible
  • Managing Inventory
  • Using Product Reviews
  • Using a Chat Box
  • Managing Shipping
  • Communicating With Your Customers

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Show Notes

Ready to reduce abandoned carts, convert more traffic to sales, plus more. Welcome to Brand Cultivated, a podcast dedicated to helping your e-commerce lifestyle or beauty brand grow. I’m Karen, the founder and creator behind The May Creative, which is an e-commerce web design and development business that reimagines possible ideas into reality. I’m excited to have you here. So grab your favorite class and let’s dive in.

Hi there. In today’s episode, I wanted to focus on transitioning your retail business to an online retail business, so maybe you’ve already have an e-commerce store or maybe you don’t have one, and maybe you are just strictly brick and mortar and you’ve already considered having an e-commerce store, but you just never found the time and things like that. But now, in light of what’s going on, it’s just really, really important that you have a way to sell your products so that customers can continue to purchase from you and that you can also continue to provide for your business and some of you even have staff.

So today I wanted to just dive into how you can work on your website and improve some things that’s really going to make a difference as you are building your store and brand online. So let’s dive in. The first thing that you want to do is to make sure that your online inventory is accurate. If you’ve been using a manual system, you would want to go through your product inventory and just do a recount to see if your inventory is up to date, if things are so accurate, if something’s out of stock that you mark that out of stock.

If you’re using like a real time inventory system, then just go in and double check to make sure that it’s pretty accurate. You don’t want to go in and see that there’s glitches and it’s better to catch it now instead of when customers are online trying to shop and they go to checkout. And it’s like, oh, sorry. So go ahead and check just to make sure that things are up to par, that your inventory is accurate. That’s going to be super important for a great customer experience.

And also it will definitely leave a lasting impression on your customers, especially those that are new to your brands. The next thing that you’ll want to focus on is to make sure that your site is easy to navigate. You don’t want to have a whole bunch of things that are going to be distracting like a distraction. So crazy pop ups in techs all over the place, images all over the place, make sure it’s like laid out in a way that it’s easy for people to browse, to find what they’re looking for, to understand what it is that you sell and to actually add it into the cart.

You also want to make sure that your navigation up top, which is like that menu at the top of your website, is easy to use, especially on mobile. You want to make sure that customers can easily find what they’re looking for on mobile and just make sure that it’s clear on what the products are and that it’s easy for them to like, just quickly glance at it and figure out what to do next. And you want to make it super simple for them as they’re probably already stressed.

And also they aren’t familiar with your brand, so you want to make it easy for them to navigate. The next thing is to put your most important products up front and center, so if you have key products that you know your customers love and adore or that they absolutely need to make sure you put that at the front so that they can quickly see it, see that you offer it and that they can purchase it. You don’t want it hidden where they have to like search and navigate throughout the website and figure it out because people’s attention spans are like super low.

I think statistics like lower than a goldfish. And that’s just because we have so much information coming at us at every second of the day. So you want to make it easy for them to find the products add it in their car and go about their day. And the next thing is, if you have product reviews, show those product reviews, you don’t have to have it on there, like Amazon, where it’s like a novel of comments and things like that.

But you could have like some really key comments of nice feedback or just I mean, you want to have, like, nice feedback, but you also want to have, like, genuine, authentic feedback. It’s OK if your feedback isn’t like all five stars, like, that’s OK. Don’t freak out about that. The good thing about comments or product reviews is that it helps customers figure out if this is something they really need. Yes, they can like look at your product title and descriptions.

But to have another person that doesn’t really have any skin in the game give their real opinion about the purchase, is really going to help them take that next step. And so having product reviews available is going to help encourage them to do that. So make sure you put those up and make sure that you enable them. If you’ve been hiding them for whatever reason, just go ahead and showcase them, OK? And then I want you to check how your conversions are doing later.

All right. Next is you want to make sure that you are using the chat feature chat feature on a website. It’s going to be vital. It’s going to be that first customer service experience that they get if they have questions. So if you have a lot of products or even if you don’t have a lot of products, maybe people have questions about the material dimensions, things like that, they can’t really figure out, or if they just have additional questions that they would be happy to have answered in a chat.

So make sure you have that enabled. And because people are going to be shopping a lot more right now online, your online traffic times might be significantly higher. So look at your analytics and see what are your primary times and days and then make sure you have somebody there to answer questions. So schedule somebody there, even if it’s just you schedule yourself to handle chat support for two to three hours that day. And then if you have staff, you can give them a schedule and say, hey, you take an hour here, an hour there and break it up by day’s and times.

That works for the team. So you can always assign customer support to your staff, especially if you’re a brick and mortar and you won’t be having your staff in the store right now. So they can they can at least assist you with customer service and then helping to answer information about products. So make sure that you are keeping them up to date on product knowledge and information so that they can easily just answer that to customers who also want to set the precedent of how you would like your customer service quality to be.

So if something gets kind of escalated to the next level, make sure that they understand what the process is for that just so that you can take care of your customers and make sure that they have a pleasant experience. And that really leads me into our next thing that we need to focus on is to make sure that your customer service is top priority. Your customer service should always be top priority regardless. But right now, especially, you want to make sure that your customer service is up there top notch.

OK, so again, make sure that you’re training your staff on appropriate responses. If they need to escalate the situation up to the next level, make sure they understand what that is. If you want to offer like nicer in cities or things like that, totally go ahead and do that. I remember being in retail and if there was a situation where customers just did not have an amazing experience, I always thought about what it is that I had the power to do.

It wasn’t like, oh no, I can’t do that. I was like, what is it that I can do? So that would be give them a gift card depending on the situation or just, you know, do what you can. Just do something very courteous. Always think about something that you can do, not what you can’t do. Customer service should definitely be top priority at all times. All right, so next is to be clear on your shipping.

Shipping is big for e commerce. If you don’t get your shipping right, you’re going to have a lot of people that are going to abandon your carts and you’re going to see that number go way up. So be clear on what shipping is all about, what the amount is, if you can. So if you’re doing like specials on shipping, like ship orders over fifty dollars for free, be sure that that’s clear on the website so that people understand if they have to go digging for information or they can’t figure it out right away, what they’ll do is they’ll pop the products that they are interested into the cart and then they’ll go through that kind of checkout process just so they could see shipping.

And then if it’s not something that they expect it, guess what? They’re going to abandon and go to another site. So you want to reduce that friction by just making sure that your shipping is front and center and that it’s clear. So keep that in mind. And then next, you want to be vocal with their e-mail lists, like tell them that, hey, we have a shop know we’ve just put in new inventory, so come visit us.

This is what we have. You might be interested in this. This is how you get access and give them clear call to action to particular products, also to the direct website. Maybe they’ve only shopped with you in-store, but they never shop with you online. So this will be a great opportunity to introduce them to your online experience and also just another way for them to stay in touch. So be sure to email your list. And then when it comes to social media, make sure that you’re directing your social media channels to your website when you’re on Instagram.

Talk about your website and stories. Talk about it on your Instagram feed, showcase the products that you have online and direct them to your store. I don’t know how many times I’ve saw something on Instagram and I’m like, just maybe I’m in line somewhere or I’m just at home and I’m like, Oh, that’s cute. And I was able one, two, three, click. And I’m on the website and I can go and purchase and then boom, I have it on its way.

So yeah. So just make it super easy to talk about it on your social media channel. So Instagram, Facebook, wherever you’re hanging out the most, if you can’t dedicate a lot of time to social media, pick one channel and spend some time talking about your online store there, talk about the products and things like that, give them kind of like a live action, try on or product information if you have a physical product and if you have a physical product in hand so that they can get a feel for what it’s like and experience.

So, yeah, I hope you found those tips helpful. If you want to continue the discussion definitely hit me up on Instagram, but let me know. Tell me if you find them helpful. What kind of questions do you have about ways you can improve your store? If you want some specific tips to your brand and business, then definitely go ahead, hit me up on Instagram. But hopefully this was helpful to you.

I hope you found today’s episode valuable and that it inspires you to take action toward growing your brand. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes. Also, I invite you to connect over on Instagram at The May Creative to continue the discussion. And remember, your ideas can become reality until next time.

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