Your website is your first impression to potential customers
Your store’s website is your first impression. Research indicates that 92% of consumers who visit a website for the first time aren’t there to buy! They are there to conduct research.
To break this down, consumers start their buying journey with a search online. When they arrive at your website:
- 45% are researching products and services
- 25% are making comparisons between your store and competitors
- 10% are looking for details about your store
Consumers use your website as a resource. They look for the items you carry and the services you offer. They use your website to judge how you stack up to your competitors. Your website is your first impression.
Furthermore, 75% of consumers judge a business’s credibility based on their website. That means 3 out of 4 potential customers judges you on the professionalism of your website.
A 2016 survey of 2,000 US adults found that 45% of respondents said they were unlikely to buy from a business with a poorly designed website.
What do you look like online?
Take a moment now to visit your website. Next, visit a competitors website. What about visiting the website of a major e-retailer in your industry. Now visit the website of a big-box retailer in your industry. Which website looks the most professional? Which business looks the most credible?
Let’s put this into context.
A quality website increases credibility
Do you sell products that require some level of expertise? Many retailers offer some level of specialty and expertise that their customers value. In fact, it is one of the major reasons people choose independent retailers over big box stores. One of the biggest advantages independents have is their product knowledge and credibility. Yet, they don’t appear to be the most credible online. And, unfortunately, that is where consumers are doing research.
Let’s discuss the pet industry as an example. I’ve worked with hundreds of retailers in the independent pet space. Many of these stores sell holistic pet food products. The US market for natural and holistic pet food is huge. Consumers care about their pet’s food allergies and well being. Today’s pet owners are discerning when it comes to what they feed their pets. Disheartened with big box stores, pet owners are seeking alternatives. These consumers are looking for companies with credibility and experience in animal wellness. Guess where these consumers are looking for alternatives? Consumer research for healthy pet food products happens online.
This change represents a tremendous opportunity for health food pet stores. However, consumers judge pet stores based on their website. This judgement gets passed before the consumer ever speaks with the store owner or staff. It’s the first point of contact for a potential new customer. You may be the most credible pet food expert in town. Yet, if your website looks downtrodden, health conscious pet owners will look elsewhere.
Establish your online presence
Store owners need to establish themselves as credible experts on their products. Their website is their business card. You wouldn’t hand write your business card on loose leaf paper would you? What type of first impression would that give off?
The same goes for your website. It is the first thing a consumer sees when they are making a purchase decision.
Don’t miss your opportunity to create the most credible first impression.
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