6 Ways to Create a Powerful Online Experience for Your BusinessJanuary 12, 2021 2021-03-02 1:25
6 Ways to Create a Powerful Online Experience for Your Business
6 Ways to Create a Powerful Online Experience for Your Business
Unlike physical storefronts, an online store isn’t seen day-to-day by hundreds of potential customers as they commute between home and work. Instead, it’s available 24/7 for interested people to explore, browse, and buy from.
However, these two types of retail have something in common: One of the most effective ways to get people to visit your store is to create experiences that appeal to your unique target market.
For example, if you go into a physical store—one filled with sights, smells, and products that catch your attention—you remember the sensations involved with the experience. Storefronts work hard to create special, memorable experiences for potential customers because it brings in sales, and brings people back time and time again.
When it comes to online shops, it is much more challenging to create these multi-faceted experiences, or launch and immediately make money. Without a strategy, there’s only a slight chance the right user will see your advertisement or social media post online and click-through to your landing page or website.
But if we focus on the overall experience of an online store, we find that with the right investment in the design, content, and development of a website, we can create powerful user experiences that support your sales activities.
- Deliver, Delight and Drive Action
- What You Need for a Powerful Online Experience
Years ago, when the eCommerce industry was fresh and new, people began questioning the viability of retail stores.
Will people start shopping for everything online? Are physical storefronts still necessary? What is the future of the retail landscape?
Like most highly-debated topics, neither extreme was entirely correct. Although many people are buying more and more online—with online shopping doubling during the pandemic, according to Statistics Canada—retail shops and online shops offer very different customer experiences.
Depending on your business model and strategy, both retail and online stores have their place.
Sometimes, a retail location will thrive, such as during tourist season or the holidays. At other times, an always-available and instant experience is what drives people to take action, especially in an environment like we’re currently living in.
And in this environment, where so many businesses have had to move online temporarily or permanently, the need for a strong online presence has become more important than ever.
What we love about the internet is that anyone can create an Instagram page, or spin up a website; it’s the most democratic channel we as humans have ever experienced.
So what can business owners do to take advantage of the opportunity to open an online shop that rivals a physical location?
Or, better yet: How can you create an online experience that is, in its own way, just as delightful as popping into your favourite storefront?
How can you use your platform to drive more referrals, bookings, purchases, and sales? Get more subscribers? Sell more memberships? Generate more revenue? Serve more clients?
On top of that—how can you create a memorable experience between your audience and your brand? How can you nurture theses relationship with your users, even if your miles (or screens) apart?
We believe that people can feel integrity—the heart and soul of your business or brand—throughout every touchpoint, including digitally.
One of the main objections people have towards technology is that it cannot replace human interaction. We hear it all the time:
“Technology simply cannot replace going into a store or chatting with the clerk.”
“It doesn’t change how we touch and feel a product.”
“It’s just not the same.”
Offline and online experiences are inherently different, they can’t—and shouldn’t—be expected to be the same.
Your online home should be an extension of your brand and who you are, designed to dazzle and inspire users regardless of proximity; the beauty of the online experience is that it can move and grow with you.
Deliver, Delight, and Drive Action
There are so many wonderful ways to use technology to create a magical, memorable, efficient experience for your users. It truly can help foster a meaningful relationship, which, depending on your business model, can extend in various ways.
At its core, your online platform should do three simple things:
How are you positioning your brand with your audience? How do you differentiate yourself? What benefits does your business deliver? What information are you sharing? What is your value proposition?
Answer these questions as you design and develop your online platform. Then, include the answers throughout your visual and written content.
Above all, your online experience should create a delightful experience for your users. It should help build, nurture, or extend the business-customer relationship. Whether someone is discovering your brand for the first time, sending a referral, or simply returning for a visit, your online home should be a welcoming, enjoyable experience.
Easy navigation, beautiful imagery, valuable information, and effortless functionality all factor into creating a delightful experience for your users.
Many people believe that online stores will be more profitable because of the limited overhead and maintenance needs.
But to build awareness of your online store—and to get people to visit it—business owners must consider how to strategically position and promote their online platform to maximize exposure and sales.
What is the intention of your website? Here are a few common reasons why businesses create online platforms:
- To inform
- To educate
- To build an email list
- To house an online shop
- To encourage inquiries
- To connect on social media
What You Need for a Powerful Online Experience
People are smart—they want to fall in love with who you are and what you stand for, as a business, a brand, or a personality. They want to learn about you and what you’re offering.
To build and nurture these connections, there are a few essential strategies needed to build a powerful online experience, which are:
1. Share the right information
Potential customers want to make sure that they’re getting real value for their hard-earned dollars—and that your business provides the quality, services, and solutions they’re looking for.
Your website should lay out this information in a way that is clear and easy to understand simply by skimming your website.
Depending on where you live, providing this information in multiple languages is also an important consideration.
2. Create quality content
More than anything, you need content to drive traffic one way or another to your website. Strategic content can also help you scale your expertise by documenting your unique approach and perspective, and even your most frequently asked questions.
Luckily, high-quality, educational content can also be repurposed and used to support other strategies, such as building your email list or offering digital downloads.
3. Build your email list
It’s all about building a brand—and a platform—that your users love and enjoy.
An email strategy help keep your community informed by delivering valuable information, limited-time offers, or key updates (which are especially important in pandemic times).
To create the best experience for new subscribers, consider a welcome sequence to deepen and strengthen the relationship from day one.
4. Offer digital downloads
But how do you encourage people to sign-up for your email list? By offering an incentive.
Digital downloads offer users with high-value information in the form of an eBook, whitepaper, checklist, or other useful asset designed to help them overcome a specific problem. Often, these downloads are accessed through a website’s homepage, a bespoke landing page, or as a pop-up offer.
Full disclosure: There are a lot of these out there. To avoid annoying or overwhelming visitors or recipients, come up with deeply strategic, deeply creative ideas for this incentive. Giving something of true quality can help encourage users to sign up and stay in touch with you through email.
5. Activate community
How are you staying top-of-mind with your audience? Through social media or your email, there are many ways that you can interact with your audience on a regular basis.
From blogs to digital downloads to exclusive Facebook groups, creating content lets you share your perspective while building a community of like-minded people.
6. Implement a marketing strategy
Don’t leave your opportunities to chance: Start creating your marketing strategy from day one. Whether you choose to focus on upselling your services to current customers or building an online community through social media and email marketing, your online experience expands beyond your website.
An impactful, powerful online experience is a multifaceted journey that when done right, can be as delightful as walking into the most immersive storefront.
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