Photo: Patrick McHugh

Are you the best?

Ask yourself some simple questions…Why do people walk through your door, visit your website, what do you have that no-one else has? What do you do better? This is your point of difference, find this, improve it and let people know all about it. 

Give them a reason to do business with you. On a visual note, most retail websites look relatively mundane and similar to each other, we can all think of a beautiful retail website, fashion or furniture catalog or a great shop window. Are you memorable?
Do they trust you?If you do only one thing on-line let it be this one. Build TrustThere is no factor that initiates sales more than customers who trust your brand offering. There are many ways to build this trust, I could write a book here. Ship fast, have generous returns policy and answer all queries promptly, just the tip of the iceberg.

I had no idea?

You need to realise this, obscurity is not your friend. Most consumers have no idea what you stock.Make sure your clients aren’t travelling to larger department stores to source the brands you already have locally. Use instagram, facebook, your front window and point of purchase displays to reinforce this. Take advantage of SEO, did you know google will always show local search results if available, so if someone in Athlone searches for ’Tommy Hilfiger’, google will show local Athlone and Westmeath results first for Tommy Hilfiger. So make sure you have your SEO up to date.

Don’t crash and burn on Instagram

Five years ago people would view any video or photography, YouTube reports that professional content receives more views, indicators suggest that people have become adept at picking out better images and videos in a split second. Statistics have also shown a direct correlation between professional photography and increased sales. Research  also point to the fact web surfers can differentiate stock imagery within seconds and prefer ‘real’ images produced in-house, consumers trust websites that produce their own content. It suggests the retailer is established and the products are in stock.

Don’t play hard to get

I spoke to a retailer recently and mentioned their address wasn’t on their homepage, they told me thats because ‘everyone knows where they are’… I didn’t.Important information needs to be on your front page, what time are you open today? Where are you located, what is your phone number, your returns policy. Also put your email address on your website, statistics show people don’t like contact forms. I am always surprised by busy retailers who hide their email addresses blaming it on spam. I can assure you I will email but I won’t take time out to phone, spending time listening to background music on a telephone call is right up there with a dentist visit.