Carla Chavarria runs a thriving business from her laptop in a coffee shop in Phoenix, Arizona, on August 20, 2013. She is one of many around the U.S. who started a business while being in the country illegally. (Cindy Carcamo/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Ann Marie Van Den Hurk: With Retail Undergoing Big Changes, Good Websites More Important Than Ever

By Ann Marie van den Hurk
Lexington Herald-Leader

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Developing an e-commerce presence, like building a bricks-and-mortar storefront, requires thought and planning. PR expert Ann Marie Van Den Hurk has a few tips on how you can get your website ready to attract and retain customers.

Lexington Herald-Leader

A shift in America’s shopping habits is continuing.

And as a result, there are big opportunities in e-commerce, or online shopping, for small retail businesses, especially those in small or rural communities. E-commerce can help specialty business such as those that sell regionally specific products or those that might not have a storefront.

For your small business, my advice is to look before you jump. Think about your business goals. Developing an e-commerce presence, like building a bricks-and-mortar storefront, requires thought and planning.

You need to start thinking about the following questions and answer them thoughtfully:

-What are your business goals?

-How does e-commerce fit into that?

-Who is your ideal customer?

-If you were your ideal customer, what would you look for when visiting the website or getting a message from you?

-When customers land on your page, what do you want them to do?

-With what methods can you reach customers?

-What products are you selling?

-If you run an online store, what shopping cart solution are you using? How do you accept payments? Charge tax? Ship?
A website is indispensable for businesses today. Remember, it’s your digital storefront that’s open 24/7. It can answer your customers’ questions and it’s cost effective. But you need to do the following to have a truly successful site:

-Be visually appealing to users.

-Share great content above the fold.

-Include a call to action, contact information, and a frequently asked questions, or FAQ, section.

-Load each website page in less than 4 seconds.

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *