Growing sales in your eCommerce store is challenging for all business owners. It all starts with the digital storefront.
When someone walks past a brick-and-mortar business, they’ll note the cracks in the pavement and the effort you put into your shop windows. Likewise, your digital storefront undergoes the same scrutiny; it’s the first thing potential customers see.
You want to impress and represent your brand story to generate local leads and optimize conversions. Let’s unpack how to build an eye-catching digital storefront that turns your online business around.
What is a digital storefront?
A digital storefront is exactly what it sounds like — your online presence or an electronic representation of your business. When you enter a physical shop, you subconsciously consider whether the shelves are dusted or the background music. Business owners carefully choose everything in the store to optimize customer experiences.
You should do the same with your online business. How does it look when you first open the home page? How quickly does it load? How easy is it to navigate? Ask yourself what first impressions your digital storefront offers. Then, make a compelling impression on customers’ screens in a few seconds to drive foot traffic.
Why should you care about your digital storefront?
While many customers understand the importance of online marketing and SEO, few appreciate the pros of digital storefronts. If you ignore your website, you’ll get nothing back.
Old and stale websites can put potential customers off just as much as seeing a broken-down office location. First impressions are everything. An outdated storefront can lead to the following assumptions:
- That your company isn’t looking for new business and clients.
- They will need to verify the information before working with you.
- You are less competitive than other companies in the industry.
- You don’t provide excellent service.
- You are probably cheaper or will negotiate prices.
- You are difficult to work with.
These negative impressions can harm your reputation and lead to additional marketing costs for your business.
Cons of digital storefronts
Digital storefronts aren’t the be-all and end-all of eCommerce technologies. There are a few downsides to solely focusing on your digital storefront:
- Limits customer connection: The digital world cannot often build a brand effectively. Therefore, connecting with customers feels more shallow, potentially resulting in lower sales and making it harder to excel.
- Higher rate of return: Online retailers are more likely to experience a higher rate of return than brick-and-mortar companies. Customers who do not get the chance to see, touch, or try products are more likely to abandon their cart.
- Limits target audience: While online stores can reach more significant demographics, you might exclude individuals who choose not to shop online. You might alienate key target demographics if your primary audience is over 65, on a low household income, or in a rural community.
The key is to balance your efforts across your digital and physical spaces and ensure you are aware of the digital storefront costs so you can include them in your budget.
What are the functions of an electronic storefront?
An eCommerce storefront typically has everything you need to turn your lead generation business into an unbeatable competitor. Your digital storefront should do everything possible to ease the customer journey.
The functions of an electronic storefront may include:
- Product display.
- Creating a mobile-friendly experience.
- Online ordering software.
- Inventory management applications.
- Billing and payment system, with a variety of options.
- Lead generation programs.
- Supply chain management.
- Web analytics.
- SSL security to protect customer data.
- A straightforward shipping and returns policy.
- Easily answered FAQs.
- Easy contact options.
You should also use the functionalities of digital storefront technologies to create a unique shopping experience that focuses on user preferences and purchase behavior.
How do you build a digital store?
So, you might have a partner that builds websites, but can they look after your digital store from start to finish? Considering how much importance you should place on your digital storefront, you should adopt best-in-class, industry-leading tips to build your digital storefront.
Compelling photos and videos
A physical or digital storefront needs to showcase your products and services in the best way possible. WordPress is one of the most reliable platforms and easiest to set up for a digital storefront.
For both physical and digital, high-quality photos and videos are necessary to improve customer engagement and accurately convey what you do. Consider enhancing your visual content further by incorporating a watermark for free photos, ensuring brand recognition and protection against unauthorized use.
- Does your customer feel satisfied with the number of images of the product?
- Have you added every product angle for customers to purchase?
- Can customers zoom in to view the product in closer detail?
- Can customers use AR to imitate an offline experience?
Product photos should look natural, even if you run your business through social media. Moreover, ensure new product releases highlight your strengths to engage new audiences.
With so many choices available on the internet, audiences prefer to make decisions based on other experiences and opinions. Customers will research online before buying for almost all small and large purchases. In addition, the customer will likely research your business, wanting to know everything from customer service to your returns policy.
As a local business owner, you should collect customer reviews to boost your digital store. Highlight good and bad reviews to show audiences that you care about people’s interactions with your brand. You can ask for reviews through post-purchase messages or with pop-ups on your site.
Consumers love to shop with local brands. Whether you want to connect with customers in your country or within a small village, you must create a sense of community for a local lead-generation business. Ensure your local listings and social pages have authentic content that reflects your brand personality.
Try not to look too corporate; show customers you’re also human. Include photos of local community events, patrons, and in-store employees. Make these community-centric images front and center.
A strong call to action
Calls to action are buttons, links, or directions in a webpage or advertisement to encourage customers to take a specific action. Any successful online business model utilizes strong calls to action to drive conversion rates and improve the shopping experience. Examples might include “add to cart,” “checkout,” or “sale offers” to guide shoppers through their journey.
In today’s world, catering to the Google search engine is more important than ever. You want to make it as easy as possible for customers to find your website. Therefore, with online storefronts, you should identify the keywords customers type in the search bar (on mobiles and desktops) and integrate them into your website.
Mobile searches look different from desktop queries and are often most concerned about proximity and relevance. How close are you to the searcher, and do you have the specific product or service they want right now?
Over the years, Google has perfected its algorithm to measure search intent and provide the most relevant and valuable content. Therefore, you should understand the search intent of mobile users to rank highly.
Social media is a powerful tool to enhance your digital storefront. A social media presence on Instagram and Facebook is essential for any business to build trust and brand awareness. You may also make a store on your social channels to reach more customers and boost conversions.
In addition, Whatsapp adds potential for your storefront. You can display products, send promotional alerts, and drive product discovery on WhatsApp.
What is the difference between an online store and a marketplace?
An online store and a marketplace are different platform types. The former is an independent website using eCommerce solutions to provide a tailored shopping experience. On the other hand, marketplaces are platforms like Etsy, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace, where customers can find a range of sellers to connect with.
How to create a digital storefront that sells
As with every decision, you must ensure your digital storefront represents your brand story and encourages customer engagement. The best digital storefronts are those that put the customers first. How can you make their journey as easy as possible? How can you ensure that your target audiences can trust your business?
Here are the steps to ensure your digital storefront will transform your eCommerce business:
- Appearances: Start with your logo, fonts, and web design. Does your online storefront look nice while reflecting your products and target market?
- Easy-to-understand interface: Customers will turn to your competitors if they are still looking for what they want with you. Make your website easy to navigate, paying particular attention to your landing page to ensure you make an excellent first impression. Don’t forget to optimize your site for mobile browsers.
- State your payment options: Make it simple for audiences. List your payment options on every page so your customers can make an informed decision before purchasing. Your customers likely have a payment strategy that may influence their decision to shop with you.
- Pop-ups: All good website builders allow you to introduce pop-ups. Be careful of how you use them; they are useful for some consumers but distracting and off-putting for others. Pop-ups are an excellent way to connect with your shoppers and provide them with more relevant and detailed information. However, you must ensure you don’t deter customers with frequent pop-up windows.
What are examples of modern digital storefronts?
Wherever you go on the internet, you’ll find modern digital storefronts. All eCommerce business models adopt digital storefronts, whether they know it or not. However, not every business has a successful digital storefront.
Some successful storefronts:
- Amazon: With an internal search bar, pricing options, and continuous promotions, Amazon is one of the most widely recognized digital storefronts.
- J. Crew: The digital storefront primarily creates a branded customer experience. When you visit the store, you’ll see highly targeted products.
- Etsy: Promoting trending products and allowing customers to navigate different shops easily ensures a clean digital storefront.
A digital storefront is any eCommerce business’ representation of targeted audiences. A clear, easy-to-navigate, and attractive digital storefront is vital to generate leads for business success. Customers who visit your website will decide whether to shop with your company. Show your reliability by creating an unbeatable digital storefront that targets international, national, and local lead generation.
A good digital storefront relies on ease of use, security, relevance, and customization. Digital storefronts should offer everything customers can get at a physical location and more. With the latest technologies, you can recognize each customer and provide a personalized experience.
Creating a customized digital storefront that puts the customer first is key to eCommerce success. The aim is to make the process manageable for your target audience. You want to make a good first impression, but you also want to continue to impress audiences continuously.
Plenty of options are available online if you need a centralized platform to launch your digital storefront. Consider a digital storefronts course or training program to learn more about creating a business profile storefront that brings profits.
You’ll find plenty of online lead generation course options to introduce you to the business model. A course can also assist with local lead generation training, affiliate marketing, and everything else you need to ensure your online store closes deals and retains customers. Knowledge is power when it comes to your digital storefront success.