When you run a business online, your website is your 24/7 shop front. It’s the main way customers discover who you are, learn about your brand and shop your products. And with the rise of online shopping since the start of COVID-19, it’s essential that beauty brand owners set up their websites for success. Skincare Business Foundations Founder Jennifer Rudd lets us in on her top five website tips for beauty brands to optimise their website and make the most of the online shopping boom.
1. Grab (and keep) their attention
You only have up to 15 seconds to get a website visitor (i.e. potential customer) interested enough to continue browsing. Which is why the ‘above-the-fold’ content – what the customer sees before they scroll down – is so important. It’s your brand’s prime real estate and should clearly show what you’re selling and highlight your point of difference.
Be clear on who your target market is and create your website content and imagery to attract them. That way, they’ll feel at home when they come to your website and stick around to check out what you’ve got on offer.
2. Make it as easy as possible for customers to purchase
This sounds like an obvious one, but I see a lot of websites where there is room for improvement in this area. My recommendations here are:
- Keep the header navigation menu simple, with “Shop” as the first link
- You want the customer to have to make as few clicks as possible to purchase a product – it should be as simple as ‘click click buy’
- Where you sell a lot of products, add them into categories on the Shop page so it’s easier for the customer to find what they want
- Make sure there on no ‘dead ends’ on your website, e.g. on the ‘About’ page have a link to your Shop, and on each blog post have a CTA (call-to-action) with a link to the Shop or a related product
- Have an abandoned cart process for customers who get distracted and don’t finish their purchase.
Small changes can make a huge difference in optimising your website for conversion (a fancy way to say making more sales).
3. Display the right policies
This one might seem boring, but it’s important! Apart from selling products, your website should also communicate vital information to your customers via your store policies. These should be included in your footer navigation menu. Policies you could include are:
- Shipping and Returns Policy – customers should be able to easily see shipping costs prior to purchase (you could also mention shipping cost in an announcement bar), and also know what the returns process is
If you’re not sure of how to write a policy, you can find free and paid templates online, or have a lawyer draft up policies to suit your business.
4. Think about the end-to-end customer experience
From the time a customer purchases a product, to the time they open up your products, you want the experience to be a memorable one. These days the opening of a parcel from an online store has become known as the ‘unboxing experience’ and has a big effect on how the customer perceives the brand. The unboxing experience should reflect your branding, e.g. if you’re an eco-conscious brand, customers would expect you to use sustainable and/or recyclable packaging, or if you’re a luxury brand you could use more high-end packaging.
You can also add little extra touches like a thank you card, a free sample or gift, or a discount for a future purchase.
This will help make them a loyal return customer and tell their friends and family about how amazing your products are.
5. Increase your website traffic
Don’t be disheartened if your conversion rate seems low. Did you know the average sales conversion rate for beauty products is 3-4%? So out of 100 visitors to your website, only 3-4 will purchase something.
All it means is that to increase sales you need to increase your website traffic, e.g. through social media, SEO (search engine optimisation) or paid advertising.
But before you embark on a fresh marketing campaign, review your website, taking the tips in this article into consideration. This will help you figure out if your website encourages visitors to stay and make a purchase, or if you need to make some tweaks. After all, sending more traffic to your store if it’s not optimised for sales conversions is a waste of time and money.
If you want to know whether your website is optimised for conversion, Jennifer can review your website in a 130-point E-Commerce Audit that covers 7 core areas including website setup, content, functionality, compliance and more.
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