It’s always a good idea to walk up to your store as if you were a consumer. What signage and displays invite you to come in? Once you enter, what do you see first? Does someone welcome you? Are there shopping baskets for your convenience? Is there an intriguing array of new merchandise to tempt you? 

You should also do this kind of exploration of your website and social media pages. I recently visited the home page of a new business on our street, and I couldn’t find their address anywhere. Store hours should also be prominent, and kept up-to-date with any holiday closings.  If someone can’t find this basic information quickly, your website isn’t serving its purpose.

Your online presence should have the same vibe as your in-store experience in order to make your branding consistent.  If your business is bricks-and-clicks, be sure to make customers going to your website know they are welcome to come shop in person if they’re in the area. Looking at many websites has convinced me that it’s tricky to create an effective e-commerce website that also promotes a brick-and-mortar store well. You may need some expert advice to create a hybrid site that works well.

It’s important that you look at your website as if you were a consumer – perhaps it would be better to ask a friend or employee to do this for you in order to get unbiased feedback.  Give them a list of questions to answer, and ask them how long it takes them to find certain information.  If you sell online, have them place an order. You want to make sure that time spent on your site is as enjoyable as time spent in your store.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder