To stay relevant in the highly competitive world of online/hybrid commerce, businesses must have a website that speaks to customers. No longer just a repository for additional information, the business website essentially serves as the modern-day storefront for a client base that does a large portion of its shopping from its couch, with some customers deciding in less than 10 seconds after visiting your website whether or not your business is worth their time. As a result, the following 4 features are must haves to help make your retail business website as compelling as possible in 2021.
1. Robust Customer Service Features
In the world of online commerce, customers are notoriously fickle. There are just so many options and avenues out there for them to find a solution to their needs that even one negative experience with your business is likely to cause them to defect to a competitor.
While putting out top-quality products is important, statistics show that it actually takes a back seat to customer service. Some 14% of online shoppers said that they would end their relationship with a company due to receiving a poor product; however, a whopping 66% of respondents noted that they would stop buying from a business due to a poor customer service exchange.
As a result, it is critical to have your retail business’ website equipped with top-notch customer service features. Simply having a FAQ page or video tutorials is not enough. True, many modern shoppers are problem solvers and like to figure things out for themselves, but there are plenty of customers who prefer a higher degree of interaction when their shopping experience hits a snag. Therefore, be sure to have real-time chat and the option to speak to a human representative as customer service options that shoppers can easily locate on your website.
2. Elite Retail Locator Page
Although the demand for product delivery has undoubtedly transformed retail, there are still plenty of shoppers out there who prefer the experience of in-store shopping. In fact, a recent consumer behavior report indicates that even in the wake of the global pandemic, some 33% of retail shoppers still prefer the in-person shopping experience for the ability to see, touch, and interact with products at a higher level prior to purchase.
In order to appeal to this demographic, your website must have the best retail locator software on the market. Customers looking online for physical store branches are likely ready to make a purchase, so you need to make it as convenient as possible for these shoppers to locate your nearest location. Some key features of the best store locator pages include:
- Simple and clean design that features the search bar prominently without a lot of distracting text
- A prominent map with the names of nearby markers
- Picture roll that shows what the storefront looks like from a street or parking lot view
- Inventory information on big-ticket or sale items
3. Local SEO Optimization
It is intuitive to believe that a website allows your business to have a national or even global reach. While there is merit to this line of thinking, the reality is that the majority of your customer base will lie close to home.
In addition, shoppers performing local searches are also more likely ready to make a purchase than those who aren’t. For example, a customer searching for “the best memory foam mattress” is probably just doing some preliminary research on the product. On the other hand, a customer searching for “the best memory foam mattress in Kansas City” is probably looking for a location to buy.
Therefore, it is critical to examine the local SEO metrics and see what is being searched in your area. Create compelling content, images, and tags that will help your business move to the top of local searches and watch your revenue grow in the process.
4. Outstanding Customer Relationship Management Infrastructure
Customer relationship management (CRM) has been a key focal point for businesses over the past couple of decades. While businesses have known about the importance of cultivating customers and guiding them through their sales journey, technology has truly revolutionized this process and made it easier for businesses to create customer-centric marketing campaigns.
To create the best CRM infrastructure possible for your website, be sure that you have opt-in pages for collecting customer email addresses and corresponding with them about upcoming promotions. When customers make a purchase, increase the likelihood of securing a lifetime relationship by sending them follow-up offers that can help them enjoy past purchases even more. While there is no shortage of software programs and add-ons that can help your business with its CRM, Shopify, Mailchimp, and ClickFunnels are some of the most well-known names that build these features into their packages.
The Best Website Features for Any Retail Business
Websites must be appealing, dynamic, and innovative for businesses to stay competitive in the hybrid commerce climate. To ensure success in this regard, robust customer service features, an elite retail locator page, advanced SEO optimization, and outstanding CRM are 4 must have features for any retail business website.