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Make Your Website Work for You: 4 Lessons From Big Brands

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In this age, most brick-and-mortar stores have a web presence. Some retailers only have virtual stores while others use the combination as a multichannel marketing platform. The largest brands understand the importance of a responsive, well thought-out website that enhances the customer’s overall purchasing experience. Some of the best e-commerce businesses have learned that there are components that a powerful website must have to sustain a thriving online business.

Availability

It may seem like common sense, but having your website present for viewing is the first, most important of the e-commerce criteria. It is also one of the hardest to accomplish. Recently, direct product sales vanguard Amway made news simply by being available. According to a report by Internet Retailer, Amway was available 100 percent of the time for an entire month. The large e-commerce retailer is down about one percent of the time during the course of a month. For a small business, this may not seem significant, but if a website generally receives upward of 100,000 visitors in a month, losing one percent of those can be a revenue buster. When developing your site, be certain that your host has the capacity for scalable user peaks and that the site will not crash if there are too many visits.

Robust

No business can be all things to all people, but you do want your site to reflect everything that you have to offer. Last year, Costco boasted a 20 percent growth on its e-commerce sales. Much of this is credited to the fact that the company has created a site that is robust, mirroring the big box store nature of its brick-and-mortar locations. Costco is methodical in the way it adds inventory to its website. Costco is careful not to overwhelm the user with too much information. The site is well formatted so visitors can find what they are after, and it has enough of a marketing edge that customers are still driven to browse the site.

Clean

There are some websites on the Internet that are so horrendous that the unpleasantness is actually a marketing point, but these are the exception and not the rule. Most websites strive to be clean, removing all of the reason that an end-user may have to click away from the page. The Apple webstore’s site shows that the company has taken this to heart. The site’s checkout page uses a large amount of white space to make it visually easy on the consumer’s eyes. It has a registered user portal as well as a guest checkout, so that the company is less likely to lose customers because of the registration process. The simplicity of the page not only makes the user’s experience more positive, but it fits well with the brand’s cutting-edge, sleek image.

Multi-Channels

Retailer Target has used its web presence to add another dimension to its multichannel marketing platform. Not only does it have catalogs, stores and advertisements, the website allows access to its other brand entities, Mervyn’s and Marshall’s. Each of these brands has its own multichannel market platforms. The multichannel marketing on steroids approach is responsible for the 37 percent jump in Target’s Internet sales in the last quarter. Whenever your business can cross-market platforms and link it to the website, do so. It will amplify the penetration of your marketing message.

Posted on March 2nd, 2016 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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