8 merchandising tips for your online store

One virtual, the other physical, websites and stores often serve different purposes. And yet, they have more in common than you might think. Indeed, both allow you to convey your brand values, highlight your products, and arouse the interest of your visitors, which helps to boost your company’s sales. Because of these similarities, the rules of visual merchandising that make brick-and-mortar stores successful also apply to your website.

Whether your site is still in the planning stage or just needs a facelift, remember that your online presence determines your reputation and that of your business.

Just like a physical store, your website and online marketing presence should perform the following functions:

  1. Express your brand personality.
  2. Attract new customers.
  3. Introduce your team.
  4. Highlight your products.
  5. Optimize user experience.
  6. Develop interesting content.
  7. Include testimonials.
  8. Sell ​​your products.

1. Express your brand personality.

Your online branding strategy should be consistent with the color palette, typography, visuals, and even the tone you use in your physical store and on your print media. In homogenizing your branding on all your marketing materials, you send a professional image to your customers and ensure the credibility of your company.

According to Tristan LeBreton, color is a good way to express your personality while recalling your brand image. “Colors are inextricably linked to emotions (indeed, there is a whole field of psychological studies about it) and therefore have a significant impact on your relationship with your customers. In other words, not only is color a key part of your overall brand identity, but it also greatly influences how consumers perceive your business. Tristan advises using your dominant brand color on your site primarily, such as for titles, backgrounds, or images, and using secondary colors more sporadically, such as for icons or buttons.

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Your site is the perfect platform for your customers to learn about your business. Above all, don’t try to compress your entire story on the back of your business cards! Create an “About” page where you can tell more about yourself and your brand.

2. Attract new customers.

Just like the streamers and window displays, your site is a marketing tool that should be used to attract new customers. The advantage is that it is always open and its scope is much wider. But it is also precisely for these reasons that you must redouble your efforts to ensure your visibility.

start with optimizing your website on search engines like Google. Punctuate your texts with relevant keywords (for example, “Luxury spa in Bordeaux”). Choose terms that reflect your activities and where you do them. So if a potential customer is looking for a spa near their home, you will show up in the search results. Include these keywords on multiple pages, as well as in your site’s meta description.

3. Optimize user experience.

According to Tristan LeBreton, the first online impression is everything. Make sure the user experience runs smoothly to entice potential customers to spend time on your site. “The exact content will depend on your business and your audience, but in any case, the branding must absolutely be clear and coherent and the navigation simple and intuitive to optimize the customer journey”.

Ask your friends and family to test your site on their cell phones and computers to make sure everyone sees the same thing. Then, invite them to give you their opinion on the online purchase and payment process. “The majority of online purchases are now done on mobile,” says Tristan. Your website must therefore be able to adapt to the screen used by the customer, in order to offer a smooth branding and shopping experience on all devices. »

Even if you can’t use flyers or banners on your site, you can still advertise, in the form of a navigation menu. You could think of each link as the signs hanging above your store’s shelves to help visitors quickly find what they’re looking for before they get discouraged and leave the store. Make sure your navigation links (Contact, Gallery, Products, and About) are clear, relevant, and obvious.

“The customer must be able to immediately understand who you are and what you offer. Use a compelling call-to-action to entice them to take the next step, such as a free trial or an invitation to subscribe to the newsletter. If they just want to browse your products, they should be able to easily navigate the different pages and find the information they are looking for. »

4. Introduce your team.

When a customer walks into a store, they’re usually greeted by a smiling employee, which builds trust and humanizes your brand. Your site can offer the same impression.

Give a more personal dimension to your online presence by displaying the photos of your team along with their presentation, on a specific page. Invite your employees to post articles on your blog or set up a “Team favorites” section. It’s a great way to show your visitors that real people are working behind your brand, which helps build customer loyalty.

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Make it easy for people to contact you if they need help. To do this, provide a contact form or display your telephone number, e-mail address, and postal address in a prominent place on your site.

5. Showcase your products.

If you’ve ever set up a store, you know that every detail matters. Product placement and presentation can make all the difference in how customers perceive your offering. The same goes for online merchandising. Instead of grouping all your products on one page, break them down by category to avoid scaring away new visitors. According to Tristan LeBreton, companies too often tend to (unintentionally) overload their websites. “The more intuitive the experience, the easier it will be for customers to find what they’re looking for and be more willing to buy it.”

If you’re going to use a lot of product photos, Tristan recommends choosing the ones that best reflect your personality and match your brand image. “Use both photos of your products and images of real people, like your customers or staff, interacting with your items.”

For Tristan, photos are one of the main elements of web design, as well as e-merchandising… and they can play a major role in the success of your online store. “Your photos must absolutely be of high quality. Since the customer cannot see your products in person, they are the ones responsible for generating a feeling of trust. Photograph your products from the best possible angle and avoid stock images or low resolution visuals, as they can make your site look old, poor quality, and unreliable”.

Do not hesitate to create a certain atmosphere by also taking care of the background and multiplying the high quality shots. Take photos that illustrate your products, while staying true to your brand image. For example, if you’re making candles from natural ingredients, incorporate floral details and organic textures into the decor. If you provide services, include before and after photos of your work.

Whatever your offering, be sure to regularly change your photos and update your stock to keep your site looking fresh and up-to-date.

6. Develop interesting content.

Once your website is online, avoid making too many changes to it, as this may confuse regulars. That said, it is important to maintain interest.

For this, the approach can be the same as for a traditional storefront, according to Tristan LeBreton: by changing a few details here and there, your site will remain attractive and up to date. “For example, you can use a new secondary color to complement your existing palette or play with gradients to revitalize your pages. If you’re worried that this change will seem strange, you can make it coincide with a certain time of year or a specific holiday.

“Dynamic content, like unobtrusive animations, social media feeds, videos, and new product highlights, can also do wonders for your online store. This way, you avoid fatigue and express your brand personality even better. Even a simple drop shadow added behind semi-flat colors can draw attention to things like buttons, text boxes, icons, and product features.”

7. Include customer testimonials.

Customer reviews are very important for businesses. Once you’ve collected your first feedback, use it to your advantage. Spread quotes around your site or create a “Testimonials” page where people can read what happy customers think of you.

8. Sell your products.

Of course, just like a physical store, the main function of your website is to sell your products. The advantage is that it is accessible 24 hours a day. Your online store can receive orders at any time of the day, which can be extremely useful in boosting your sales. Make sure that all information about your products or services is accurate. Pricing, availability, sizes… Give customers all the information they need to make a purchase.

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Do you offer services rather than products? Offer digital payment options and gift cards!

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