Craft Focus - Page number 98 - August/September 2021 (Issue 86)

98 How to excel at e-commerce If your business relies on a website to drive sales, or even if you’re just thinking about establishing a transactional site to support your bricks-and-mortar store, there are some tricks of the trade which could help to take it to the next level. Set the scene Ensure that the design of the site looks and feels like it belongs to your brand. Regular customers want something instantly recognisable, to know that they’ve landed in the right place, but it’s just as important for potential clients to gain an understanding about what and who you are, from the moment that they land on your homepage. Customer journey With that being said, customer journey is key and your website design needs to support the user with whatever it is that they’re looking for. Displaying a call to action on each page is a useful way to guide the user through the website, without them getting overwhelmed and lost in the process. In the craft and hobby industry, selling the dream is crucial. Plenty of people might scroll through your website to look at things they don’t necessarily need with the intention of virtual window shopping. However, if they see a product which has been beautifully presented through an aspirational project and clear how-to- use content, they might be persuaded to make an impulse purchase. Bolster your community It’s not as easy to connect with your customers through a website as it is to through social media or a physical store but it’s just as important. You can strengthen the relationships that you have with customers with meaningful offers, loyalty schemes and targeted email marketing. Also, having sections on your website which clearly identify your history and company story, as well as CSR initiatives and a contact us page with relevant social media channels and platforms to get in touch, are great ways to bridge the gap between the company and the customer. Analyse your data If you’re going to make the effort to create a website, analysing data which is readily available is a must. By setting up programmes such as Google Analytics, you’ll be able to identify the periods in which you’re most busy, in addition to spotting what’s popular and what’s not working. Email marketing and customer surveys are also a fantastic method of collecting data. Asking questions such as what they would like to see in upcoming product launches, how much they like and are willing to spend and what drives them to make a purchase are all great forms of feedback for you when improving your website. Provide great aftercare In order to create a loyal, returning customer you need to ensure that your customer service and aftercare is top notch. If a customer knows that your website is safe and easy to use, and on top of that, they will receive first-class customer service when they have a query or a problem, you’ll be on to a winner. Sara Davies discusses how a clear, beautifully presented website can convert a browser to a buyer Sara Davies MBE is founder of Crafter’s Companion.