Just having a pretty website today isn’t enough. Branding and good looks doesn’t get you much traffic, sales or help pay the bills. Websites need a reason to exist and should have a strong payback.
Online shops are superb for selling both popular as well as those niche products. Every day people are using Google to search for very specific items. There’s an immense opportunity here for savvy retailers. But the trick is to list ALL your products on your website — It’s easier than you might think. And you don’t need to find $10,000+ to build a shopping website.
I recently started looking for a gift for our granddaughter’s 6th birthday. Her mum mentioned that she wanted a ‘Disney Princess Makeup Box’ which several of her school friends already had. “Let’s search online” I said, assuming one of the local toy stores would have it, as it seemed popular.
However a search for this and similar items revealed nothing in NZ. Amazon listed it for US$25 plus shipping fees. The only option left was to phone all the local toy stores, and one frustrating hour later, I eventually found a supplier, although was very tempted to buy from Amazon in the US…
But why didn’t any of our local toy stores or importers list the product online like Amazon? Well, most stores do have thousands of products. The time, cost and logistics needed to place every single item into a fancy eCommerce website, complete with photos, pricing and descriptions is huge.
This is a major problem and an immense business opportunity. My research show’s I’m not the only person going online looking for a product (clothing, sunglasses, shoes, toys) or service (dentist, accountant, wof, car repairs etc) every day. Tens of thousands of people within Manukau do this all the time (view the figures here). I suspect many are as disappointed and frustrated as I was. What a huge opportunity…
What’s the Objective? Buy online or just get them into the store?
Back to my story. In my case, which is very common for those searching for products online, I just wanted to know which shop had the desired item. I wasn’t at all interested in ‘buying online’ which is what expensive e-commerce websites are for. I simply wanted to know who had the item and where they were located. I was happy to phone first to check, ask about the cost, then drive to the store. It’s all about offering a better service…
How a smart website can bring in the customers
A website with hundreds of sharp product photos always looks professional (sample left).
We start by pre-building templates for the photos within a custom WordPress website. You have your store employees take photos of everything on a digital camera. If they did just 50 per day, most shops would easily finish the project within a month.
All these images are easily managed, enhanced, tagged and uploaded by store staff using Google’s free software, Picasa. They then magically appear on the website, in the right place. Google will index it all, picking up the exact product names.
For the ultimate in e-store management, we can also offer mobile Apps that allow staff to take the product photos around the store, and upload directly to the website with the images automatically appearing in the right place! A simple one-step process – No PC needed.
But the best news is that once the above website and software is set up, no IT geek or web designer is needed, saving the store owner thousands of dollars each year, plus weeks of needless delays. The retailer can now safely run their own showroom storefront.
Now, when someone enters the product name into a search, Google finds a match on your new website. Just show the searcher an email, phone number, store address and a little incentive to call. So easy and affordable.
This exact solution is our $2,000 Retail Catalogue. It’s available by itself or as part of our $2,400 Retail Package comprising self-managed photo catalogue website plus Google business listing, Facebook business page and Youtube channel.