Five ways small businesses can improve their websites before Christmas

Here are five top tips for ensuring your website is at the top of the Christmas wish list for consumers this holiday season.

Make sure your website, and not your competitors, is the one consumers go for this Christmas

Make sure your website, and not your competitors, is the one consumers go for this Christmas

Christmas is around four weeks away. As a small e-commerce businesses, you might well be about to enter your busiest period of the year, but is your website ready for the increase in traffic and sales?

Here are five top tips for ensuring your website is at the top of the Christmas wish list for consumers.

1. Review your website design

Everyone knows that at Christmas it’s the shop windows with the most sparkle that entice the customer in. You just have to walk down Oxford Street, London, to see the fantastic displays from the likes of Selfridges, John Lewis and House of Fraser to know there’s big competition. So why shouldn’t your online shop window be just the same? Be clear about who you are, what you’re selling and why you’re different to everyone else. The design needs to be good and the content even better.

2. Improve customer navigation

We all hate the way you have to walk through the whole IKEA store to find your one item, but nine times out of ten you’ll pick up something else along the way. And that’s exactly why they do it. The same goes for your website. It needs to be easy to navigate. Make any diversions subtle yet interesting and powerful, and make getting back on the purchasing track incredibly easy with as few steps as possible.

3. Be an expert in customer satisfaction

The likes of John Lewis always top the leader boards for overall customer satisfaction and one of the reasons is because their staff know the products. A great way to do demonstrate knowledge and satisfy customers online is through blogs and other social media platforms. Pick out some quirky details about your products; their origin or guides on how to use them. Anything that shows you know, and care, about the products you’re selling. If your site becomes a go-to for knowledge then your visits and time spent there will very likely soar and that in turn should mean an increase in sales.

4. Fall in love with Google

Google is like your tourist information board, the man dressed as a lobster holding the sign for the local tanning salon, the road map, the policeman giving directions. It will lead your customers straight to your top product if you want it to and you give it reason to. Get to grips with Google, its various tools and how you can use them to get the very best customers. Google’s not going away anytime soon so embrace it and you’ll find it could lead to a serious increase in sales.

5. Push your unique proposition

Every shopper loves a bargain. One of the main reasons Allbeauty was voted top in a recent Which? survey about the best and worst online shops was its excellent deals. A website can only do so much. In the end you need to understand what your unique proposition is, whether that’s the best price, the best customer service, the quirkiest products or the quickest delivery.

Small tweaks to your website will improve the overall customer experience and in turn your visitors will be more likely to invest in your products and even make a return visit in 2017.

Darren Clare is CEO of Stratton Craig

Further reading on being website ready

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