Expert advice on the business of running a garment decoration company
1 Make sure your site has an SSL certificate Secure your customers’ data with an SSL certificate (this will change the http before your website address to https to show it’s secure). SSL certificates provide secure, encrypted communications between a website and an internet browser. Google ranks sites with SSL certificates more favourably than those without.
2 Use a simple, safe payment processor There are thousands of companies that offer payment processors to help your website accept online payments. Do your research and make sure your customers’ information is safe and secure. Processors like Stripe are simple, easy to use and cost effective.
3 Provide on-site product reviews Allowing customers to write reviews creates engagement, influences potential customers looking to place an order and helps identify any quality control issues, making it a very useful tool.
4 Use revolving, quality images Instead of using one image per product, embrace revolving images and show a customer different colour images when they select different options. Much easier said than done, this is data dependent and reliant on the quality of your web designer.
5 Show related products Online up-selling by adding ‘People who bought this, also looked at this’ or ‘Youmight like this’ suggestions below items is an under-utilised tool that gives you the opportunity to increase your customers’ orders.
6 Easy to use checkout If your website is going to take online payments, ask your web designer about the checkout. Ecommerce analysis shows that 69% of shopping carts are abandoned, so you need to provide customers with a clear and detailed, but not overwhelming, checkout. Focus on getting them from the ‘adding to basket’ stage to checking out in just a minute or so.
7 Embrace data capture forms This is something that divides opinion, but if done right can have huge benefits for your marketing. Embed pop-ups to promote your latest offers, newsletters etc and capture your customers’ data. Use tools such as HelloBar, which is low cost and can be integrated into a CRM or email marketing software.
8 Improve your website’s page speed Test your website’s page speed using Google PageSpeed Insights. A faster speed is better for SEO and your website’s ranking. It also provides customers with an easier shopping experience–more than half will abandon a website if the loading time is taking too long. With thousands of products from hundreds of suppliers, this is one of the bigger challenges for a garment decorator.
9 Create video content Videos have a lot of untapped potential: there are SEO benefits but, more importantly, they are great for customer engagement. A customer may be happier to run quickly through your one-minute video than reading several lines of content explaining what you do. Create videos in-house using software such as PowToon or outsource to a specialist.
10 Real time customer assistance Online customers now want everything at the click of a button and that includes customer service. Live chat/instant messaging apps such as LiveChat, Tawk.to, Zopim and Zoho come with lite/ free versions to try; simply paste a snippet of code on-site. Andrew Langridge is from ETrader, one of the industry’s leading suppliers of websites to garment decorators across the UK.