When your Web presence is understated or nonexistent, you run the risk of getting overlooked entirely when consumers are beginning their search for a product or service. In a world where at least 4 out of 5 people start their searches online (and increasingly from mobile devices), a robust digital profile is essential to grab a consumer's attention at the start of their search and keep it throughout the buying process.
Mobile and User-Friendly Web Site
Just as you wouldn't want to overwhelm or turn off potential customers with a crowded window display or a cluttered store layout, your Web site should be clean, intuitive, and user-friendly. With Web access shifting increasingly to mobile devices, your Web design needs to be easy to load and easy to navigate. Important information - particularly contact information, store hours, and product lines carried or services offered - should be easy to locate if not featured prominently in the header or footer of your Web site.
When building or updating your Web site, be sure to test it on multiple mobile devices using different operating systems (at the very least, test on iOS and Android). Is your site loading quickly? Is the display functioning the way you'd like? Is it easy for your friends or family to find information during testing? Is the image you are presenting consistent with the image presented by your storefront?
Once you have your site ready, those elements need to be carried over to other elements of your digital presence. Just as your Web site needs to be consistent with the image presented by your brick and mortar location, your digital presence needs to be consistent with your Web site.
Once built, that digital presence is only as good as your ability to harness its collective power. Offering a way for customers to opt-in for e-mail or mobile messaging news and promotions allows you to directly contact a growing community of interested and engaged people to keep them apprised of what's new with your brand and - when executed properly - drive traffic to your brick and mortar location. Create an incentive for them to provide this information to you, and reward them when they respond to your calls for action. This will keep your community of brand ambassadors growing as your digital presence expands!
Kelly Alexander & the KCo Staff