10 Reasons People Are Leaving Your Website…And How To Get Them To Stay

10 Reasons People Are Leaving Your Website…And How To Get Them To Stay

5 MIN READ

It’s one thing getting people to visit your website, it’s another getting them to stick around and buy something. You need a website that is aesthetically pleasing, super-fast and offers a wonderful user experience. 

 

Unfortunately, there are many retailers out there who aren’t getting it right. You’re probably reading this because you’re noticing large numbers of drop-offs and abandonment on your site. But, fear not, we’re going to take a deeper look into where you’re probably going wrong, and how to fix it. It’s time to consider what could be making your potential customers hit the back button! 

1. Poor design

First impressions count. Research has found that it only takes 0.05 seconds for a visitor to make a snap judgement about your site, determining if they’re going to stay on-site or leave. A well designed and good looking website will create a greater sense of trustworthiness for users compared to one that is poorly designed. People attach credibility to the overall feel and look of a website, so don’t let poor design get in the way of your sales. 

 

2. Excessive pop-ups and adverts

A newsletter pop up is good, pop-ups for discounts and sign up offers are even better – yes, I would like 10% off my first order, thanks. But anything more than this on eCommerce websites will begin driving potential customers away. Don’t use forms that cover the whole page and always show how to click off the pop-up – there’s nothing more annoying and jarring for customers than not being able to find their way back to the original page thanks to a stubborn pop-up.

 

3. Speed problems 

According to Kissmetrics, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. That may not sound like a long time but it’s enough to make potential customers jump ship. If your website is slow, you’re going to be missing out on valuable sales. Make sure you test your site speed and carry out the necessary steps to fix any potential issues.

Page loading times can be affected by things like: 

 

  • Image size and image format 
  • Using flash content 
  • Not compressing files 
  • Allowing too many adverts 
  • Using a poor quality hosting provider 

4. Not mobile responsive 

In today’s mobile-centric world, retailers who don’t yet have mobile responsive websites are really missing a trick. In fact, 57% of users wouldn’t recommend a business that has a poor mobile website. If you’re operating without a mobile responsive website, it won’t be providing a good user experience, resulting in higher numbers of people leaving. You need to make mobile experiences just as efficient as on desktop to keep users on-site and converting, regardless of device.

5. Lack of company information 

People buy from people and it’s a really nice addition to have company information on your website, like an ‘About Us’ page or ‘Meet The Team’ style pages. It can be overlooked however or not seen as too important but adding this extra layer of personality to your website can do wonders for your conversion rates by generating trust and a company history that people can resonate with.

6. Poor navigation

 

If a user lands on your website and doesn’t know how to navigate it to find what they want easily, they’ll end up leaving. Make it straightforward and accessible to explore your website – test it as if you are a customer, make the journey they would and assess how you get on finding different products. 

You may also consider things like; how well does the search functionality work? How many options are they presented with? Too many and the information overload will lead to higher bounce rates, too little and you are risking the same outcome. Get the balance right and people will stick around after being able to find what they’re there for! 

7. The product doesn’t live up to expectations 

 

If you’ve been running a campaign to direct customers to your website and once there, the product doesn’t match up, this will definitely lead to drop-offs. If the item description and images don’t quite match up people will simply go elsewhere. Counter this with consistent and genuine communication of what you’re selling throughout all contact points and on the product pages.

8. Autoplaying media 

 

The most annoying one by far! When you click onto a website the last thing you need is to get bombarded with invasive video media, or sound. Remember, it’s a website not a MySpace profile circa 2002 – no one wants to hear a song (or video) on autoplay. If you think this media has a place on your website, make sure it’s optional to interact with it and positioned in fitting with the design – not obtrusive over the entire page.

9. Outdated content 

 

I may be biased here, but outdated content on any site is a no-no if you want to come across well. It’s something I notice quite often and every time, it makes me think twice about making a purchase. If you’ve got a blog, make sure you keep the content up to date. An inactive blog doesn’t give off a good image for the business and you can keep it up to date with really fun, relevant content; seasonal buying guides, new product launches, company news etc. 

This also goes for product pages; keep them updated and the content relevant and fresh. Invest in free browser extension Grammarly to make sure you’re void of typos and grammatical errors; the more professional the written content on your website is, people will stay. Poor copy, lack of up-to-date content and missing information will inevitably result in people leaving your website.

10. Hidden costs and delivery info 

 

Transparency is key when it comes to delivery and shipping costs. A dedicated page for your delivery prices and general delivery information will help users make an informed decision about buying from you. Not having this information available will lead to customers dropping off and buying elsewhere. Linking to the above, keep this information up to date and always make relevant changes to shipping details for seasonal periods!

With such a lot of competition out there in retail and eCommerce, it’s so important to offer your customers a fantastic experience while on your website; keeping them on-site and converting. It’s no mean feat, so if you’re looking for help with this, get in touch and find out how the Venditan team can help improve your eCommerce website. 

 

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Charlotte McKee
18th November 2019

State of the Art eCommerce: Venditan & Baymard

State of the Art eCommerce: Venditan & Baymard

3 MIN READ

Stop making the wrong choices when it comes to growing your eCommerce business. 

 

It’s a highly competitive market out there for retailers and standing out is essential if you want to succeed. With the unparalleled research that Baymard conducts into eCommerce design and UX, you can gain a unique perspective and insight into the world’s leading eCommerce sites, learning from their best practices. Their client list speaks for itself. Names like eBay, Amazon, Google, Nike, Macy’s, and Lego adorn their partnership of over 3,000 eCommerce companies that use their research – including 71% of all Fortune 500 eCommerce companies. 

 

About Baymard Institute 

Baymard conducts large-scale research, amounting to over 42,000 hours, into eCommerce UX design using a variety of methodologies. Using both quantitative and qualitative testing, Baymard benchmarks over 640 different parameters across the top 60 grossing US and European eCommerce websites.  Their research is invaluable to eCommerce companies, identifying issues with usability that could be hindering their performance and providing the knowledge of how to fix these problems in a professional, thorough and accessible way. 

Using Baymard’s research helps remove speculation and subjectivity when it comes to the initial design process and optimisation. Armed with this knowledge, we’re able to make the right decisions that boost conversions and sales by keeping the end-user in mind throughout the process. 

 

eCommerce Design 

Website design fundamentally answers problems that may be occurring on the current website. The most effective design work is based on facts; it informs everything from general usability to how users interact with certain elements and behaviours. For eCommerce companies, the primary driver is to generate sales, and therefore, make the buying process convenient and easy to complete for the customer.

When planning out what you want your new eCommerce website to look and feel like, you’re probably filled to the brim with wonderful ideas you think your customers will love. However, at this point you need to ask yourself; how grounded in fact is your opinion? And how do you know that this design will drive conversions and increase your sales? Without the right research, you don’t. 

Finding the sweet spot between creative, great looking aesthetics and objective frameworks based on facts is important in creating the best experience on eCommerce websites for your users. This is where our partnership of using Baymard research comes in when leveraging UX best practices for eCommerce websites – leading to tangible results for our clients. 

How it’s helping our clients 

 Baymard’s research benefits the fantastic companies we work with day to day, giving them an advantage in an already competitive industry. Working with retailer Schöffel, Baymard’s research inspired a number of the decisions we made when approaching improving their website. From redesigning their header, updating call to action colours to contrast their main brand colours, and increasing font size, to adding secondary images and size availability on hovering.

These design changes along with our own inhouse ideation on development saw a vast improvement in their conversion rates.  Within the three months after these changes were implemented, we saw an increase to 22.4% eCommerce conversion rate, not to mention an increase of 13.2% for their average order value.  

While A/B testing has its place, doing this sort of testing in-house usually means dealing with smaller data sets. The larger data sets Baymard are able to test give a broader insight into the industry and large retailers in it, in an impartial way that is accessible for businesses of all sizes to use. For us, it’s also given us a better understanding of UX and eCommerce that filters through all the departments in Venditan from sales and marketing, to account management and development. This knowledge shows through when dealing with clients at all touchpoints in their journey with us. 

 

Final thoughts 

Baymard’s effective and unrivalled research is one of the most valuable additions to the eCommerce industry and all eCommerce companies can definitely benefit from it. 

Combining their insights with our best practices, carried out by some of the brightest and most innovative minds in eCommerce development – we’re empowering ambitious retailers to grow their businesses in the most secure and effective way possible. 

 

Find out more about the great work Baymard are doing here

Want to start a project with us? Find out more here

 

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Charlotte McKee
14th November 2019

9 Ways You Can Create A Hassle Free Mobile Checkout Process

9 Ways You Can Create A Hassle Free Mobile Checkout Process

9 MIN READ
Creating a hassle-free mobile checkout process is a guaranteed way to convert more users and boost sales as numbers of mobile shoppers continue to increase. 

Some retailers are still not seeing mobile as an integral part of their eCommerce strategy, but it’s hard to deny the facts when it comes to the growing popularity of mobile shopping. With BrizFeel citing that 49% of consumers are using their smartphones for shopping, retailers need to sit up and pay attention to the world of mobile eCommerce. 

Typically, you probably see lower traffic from mobile users, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t an essential segment of your customer base. You still need to appeal to them and cater to their needs with an accessible and functional mobile shopping experience.

The substantial increase in eCommerce sales over the past few years is no surprise with Statista forecasting that it will account for 17.5% of all retail sales by 2021. The growth rate has been steady and undeniable from 7.4% in 2015, 10% in 2017 and 11.8% in 2018. This is telling of the importance of investing in a great website, but also one that is mobile responsive. Research by CBRE further predicts that mCommerce sales will account for over half of all eCommerce transactions by 2021. It’s an area that will pay to invest in. It will distinguish your offering from your competitors and create the best experience possible for your users. 

Of course, getting the entire mobile shopping experience is essential, but by paying extra attention to the point of conversion – the checkout process – is going to be key in driving sales.

 

With that, let’s explore the ways you can create a hassle-free mobile checkout process…

Speedy page loading times 

 

Having a super-fast website is hugely important to making sure visitors stick around once they click onto your site. High speed helps enable a smoother purchasing journey as users navigate your site with ease and little to no delays. In fact, Kissmetrics found that a 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. 

Test your site on mobile and investigate what could be slowing it down; consider image sizes, third party scripts like social media, and plugins. It’s also worth stress testing your website (across all devices) to see how it handles traffic at peak times.

Use progress bars 

 

 

Allowing users to see where they are in the mobile checkout process is a great way to manage expectations by tracking how much of their time it’s going to take up. This is especially important to consider for mobile users; the likelihood is they’ll be using mobile to purchase as it’s an easy and accessible means to do so. Consider using a highlight to indicate where they are in the process.

Baymard’s eye-tracking research reveals that some users look to the content body instead of a progress bar in the header to determine which step in the checkout they’re on. Use an accordion design to collapse the steps that are positioned in the central part of the screen. Accordion layouts are easy to navigate and still allow users to see where they’re up to in the checkout process.

Consider people using multiple devices 

 

Keep in mind that people access websites in different ways, at different times, on different devices. Align your channels for a more consistent experience. Users should be able to add items to their basket on mobile and pick them up later on a desktop. Logging on to a different device to find items are no longer there creates a fragmented mobile checkout experience. Shoppers want convenient and quick experiences and will begrudge going through the shopping process again, leading to a lower chance of a conversion. 

Make cross-device transition as easy and seamless as possible for your customers; it’ll be extremely beneficial to your conversions.

Viewing product details in the cart 

Shopping carts should be clearly displayed and accessible from any page while the customer is shopping. Displaying it at the top of the screen is a popular option with an indication of how many items are in it using a badge notification.

In the cart, core product specifications should be visible and easy to edit in terms of colour, size, model or quantity. Any changes should be auto-updated in real-time, to save users having to click ‘update’ basket which can lead to increased mobile checkout errors. Can items be deleted easily? Make sure you have the option to remove/delete rather than just changing the quantity to 0. 

Include information like shipping costs here too so there are no surprises at the end of the process which can, and often does, leads to dropouts.

Cart as a comparison tool 

 

Baymard research tells us that many shoppers will use their cart as a comparison tool to compare items before deciding what they actually want to buy. 

Browsing through a website, especially on a mobile device, often doesn’t support this (unless there is a dedicated function) so flicking between items and colours, sizes or bundles etc pages can become quite a jarring experience. 

Carts provide a place where users can store up items they’re considering purchasing. Being able to do this will increase the opportunity for conversion. 

 

There are a few ways you can support this functionality; 

 

  • Large thumbnails for easier visual comparison
  • Display the main product details (size, colour, model, quantities)
  • Easy removal of items
  • Easy to edit product details

Allow guest checkout

 

Guest checkouts are a great addition for all eCommerce sites and are especially useful on mobile. It caters for the time-strapped, those who want a quick purchase (without having to sign up or sign in), and also those who may have forgotten their passwords. I think like most people, the majority of my passwords are kept on my desktop browser, so when shopping on mobile, I often can’t remember them. Being able to checkout as a guest is far easier than going through fiddly resetting processes! 

Make sure the ‘Guest Checkout’ option stands out on the checkout page, using a bold colour and prominent position.

User-friendly forms 

 

Poorly designed forms are extremely disruptive to the overall flow of the mobile checkout process and can stop users from completing their orders. Ideally, forms and form fields need to be kept as simple and efficient as possible to guarantee conversions and seamless experience. 

Align text boxes vertically with the label displayed above the field, avoiding a horizontal layout to cause less confusion and go with the natural flow of scrolling that people are used to when using a mobile device. Due to the nature of a small mobile screen, users shouldn’t be able to see other things on the page that would be a distraction or lead to confusion during the checkout process.

It’s a good idea to treat each field as an individual task, highlighting or zooming into the one they’re currently on, automatically moving on to the next once completed.

Some things to keep in mind when thinking about the form fields in your mobile checkout process: 

 

  • Keep the look and feel of the form in line with your brand, and branding, of the site. Forms that deviate from this will appear out of place, creating a sense of distrust, inevitably leading to drop-offs.

 

  • When it comes to inputting data, make sure that the right keyboard pops up, ie. text for names and cities, numerical for phone numbers and building numbers. 

 

  • For registered users, this information should auto-populate; save their favourite or regular addresses including default shipping and billing address options. 

 

  • If you require information that may seem unnecessary to some people, like a phone number, for example, make sure you let them know why you’re asking for it. “Enter your phone number to receive delivery updates.” 

 

  • Postcode lookup is a convenient way to save time for your users and minimise errors from clumsy thumbs. There’s naturally poorer navigation on mobile, thumbs are bigger and less precise than a cursor. Make sure Call To Actions are large enough for users to action simply, reducing errors and frustrations of clicking on the wrong thing. 

 

  • Display actual day names on dates. Someone may only be at home on Wednesdays in the week and need to know quickly which date that falls on, rather than slowing down the process while they sit and work this out.  

 

  • Mark optional and required fields correctly and clearly. If a user does make an error here, display a relevant error message; what is the error, and what is needed to correct it? 

 

  • When an error does occur, the process to rectify it needs to be easy. If a user enters incorrect information, make sure that the form fields remain populated with their previous data input so they don’t have to fill out everything all over again. 

 

  • Does the location determine delivery options? You can use these to reflect delivery timescales and also local click and collect or instore collection availability.

Don’t forget about security on mobile 

 

People are naturally more conscious of security issues and what personal data they’re sharing when using a mobile device. Use security and verified badges to promote a sense of trust. The more recognisable the logo, the more a customer will be comfortable with the purchase. But remember, not all security badges are equal – using less recognisable badges actually goes the other way and can cause checkout abandonment if verified by an unrecognisable logo.

Payments on mobile checkouts 

 

The number of payment options is growing and it’s something retailers need to consider carefully. When considering mobile checkouts, there are mobile specific payment options you will want to consider like mobile wallets and fingerprint confirmation for things like Apple Pay which speeds up the process for the shoppers. Amazon’s 1-click checkout is a great addition for registered users who are prone to making repeat purchases. 

 

Consider the following points for your mobile checkout: 

 

  • Auto apply discount codes to encourage conversion and save customers the time on copy and pasting or inputting more data into yet another text box. 

 

  • Display the most popular payment methods as the first options with the others to be selected from a dropdown.

 

  • Display all costs including delivery charges so there are no surprises when it comes to paying. Be sure to provide a breakdown of costs, not just one lump sum!

 

  • Mirror the formatting of the expiry date fields on a credit or debit card, using 2 digit formatting and avoid using lettered months.

 

  • Provide clear payment and order confirmation once they’ve completed the checkout. Include all details on the page and in a confirmation email. 

 

  • Reduce the anxiety of what the next steps are for your customers after placing an order by including links to customer service, how to track their delivery or where you can be found on social media. This gives a sense of trust and digital presence they can turn to if anything was to go awry. 
Is your website not yet mobile responsive? We’re currently researching the main challenges for retailers whose websites aren’t responsive.
If you can spare a couple of minutes, take part in our survey and be in with a chance of winning 1 of 10 £25 Amazon vouchers for your time!

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Charlotte McKee
12th November 2019

The Rewards of Cloud Hosting For Your eCommerce Website

The Rewards of Cloud Hosting For Your eCommerce Website

5 MIN READ

It’s a highly competitive market out there for retailers and to keep up, you need to make sure you’re providing the best customer experience possible. This means taking steps to ensure your website is secure, super-fast, can grow with your business and accessible at all times. Getting the right infrastructure for your business is key – and cloud hosting for your eCommerce site is the way to do this. 

 

Cloud hosting is increasingly becoming considered a staple. For retailers not adopting cloud technologies, they’re missing out on a variety of benefits that their competitors could well be reaping. According to a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit,  70% of experts expect the cloud to be a major factor in the retail industry by 2020. So, if you’re not already, now is the time to consider cloud hosting for your retail business. 

 

It’s an exciting time for retailers with the inception of a variety of technologies helping to grow businesses, engage customers in ways like never before, boost brand positioning and support infrastructures – just to name a few. Cloud hosting is one of these technologies that are pushing retailers forward during this transformative time for the industry. 

 

Consumer demands and behaviours are influencing how retailers approach their strategies and business decisions like never before. The rise of social media, online reviews and growing competition mean that retailers are having to sit up and take notice, implementing changes to match customer trends and buying habits. Cloud hosting for eCommerce is empowering retailers to embrace such changes and positively impact their businesses. Once the forte of large retail chains, recent developments in cloud technology has made the cloud more accessible to smaller independent businesses.

 

Let’s take a deeper look into why cloud hosting is the right choice for your eCommerce site by exploring the benefits…

Scale and grow with cloud hosting

 

Is there anything more annoying for consumers trying to reach a website during peak times like sales events or seasonal periods and not being able to do so? It’s not only a rubbish customer experience but it affects your sales and profits, not to mention consumer confidence in your brand. You don’t want to be associated with having a poor website – things like that make a lasting impression on consumers, and you don’t want to be known as that retailer. 

Super-fast websites   

 

With a quick Google search, you’ll find a deluge of resources on how cloud technology will speed up your website. However, it’s important to note that cloud hosting isn’t intrinsically linked to website speed. It does, however, give you the possibilities to use powerful technologies like Kubernetes that can help you manage higher volumes of traffic through clever orchestration on the back end.

 

With consumer expectations higher than ever,  people don’t want to wait around for website pages to load – there are plenty more options out there for discerning shoppers. According to a report from Unbounce, 70% of consumers are less likely to buy from a retailer due to poor website speed. A large portion of 36% said they’re less likely to return to the website, and a further 11.9% stated they’d even be likely to tell a friend about the poor experience. These statistics highlight just how important it is to get the right supporting infrastructure to support your website. 

 

Cloud hosting offers optimal security 

 

Data has been bandied around for years now as being ‘the new oil’, the holy grail of this that and the other – and despite the hype, the importance of data is undeniable. All businesses now rely on reams of data, from supporting business processes, marketing and personalisation, to growth opportunities – the answers often lie in the data. In the future, what will distinguish your business from your competitors, is how innovative you are with your data. 

 

But, what do you do when that data becomes compromised? It’s a nightmare for any business and retailers handling large amounts of sensitive customer data need to be taking the steps to secure it as best they can. Cloud hosting is an effective way to do this, requiring less human resources and monitoring. This also results in lower costs than running in house hosting operations.

Offer personalised experiences 

 

People are wanting more personalised experiences when shopping and cloud hosting is allowing retailers to really embrace this shift in marketing and customer experience. With cloud hosting for your eCommerce site, it is easier to offer enhanced omnichannel experiences;  marketing campaigns that link together across all channels.

 

 For example, you could send out targeted ‘add-on’ purchase emails following an in-store visit. You can also use enhanced points and loyalty for members using their purchase data; extra points on their favourite items, or rewarding their buying habits. Your customers will love these personal touches, and cloud makes this easier, simplifying the connections between the required systems – allowing you to focus on running your business and innovate faster.

Seamless business processes with cloud hosting

 

There are an incredible amount of benefits for business processes with cloud hosting in eCommerce. You can log in from anywhere, on any device, at any time and update orders and stock, check your sales – managing your entire operation remotely. This is a far cry from the days of managing all of this through a legacy back-office system; if you are – it’s definitely time to consider moving away from this restrictive view of your retail operations. 

 

Cloud hosting also allows customer data to automatically be uploaded to the cloud when buying. The customer data and transactional data are updated centrally in real-time – this allows for accounts and reporting teams access to these as and when they’re needed day-to-day. 

 

The data on stock and sales are also uploaded to the cloud, this can automatically notify warehouses for replenishment stock to be sent to stores following purchases. By implementing a better internal system, the improvements will benefit employees and in turn, the business as a whole. 

Conclusion 

 

As you can see, there are so many reasons why cloud hosting is crucial for your eCommerce site. By implementing cloud hosting with a trusted and reputable provider, you’re bound to see the benefits in terms of costs, profits, security, and efficient processes. 

If you’d like to find out more about how cloud hosting will help you keep up with your competitors and benefit your business, get in touch with the Venditan team! 

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Charlotte McKee

5th November 2019

Small Business Saturday Ideas For Retailers 2019

Small Business Saturday Ideas For Retailers 2019

6 MIN READ

Taking place on Saturday, December 7th this year, Small Business Saturday is a campaign encouraging consumers to shop locally and support small, independent businesses that are at the heart of communities. Since 2013 here in the UK, following suit from America where it began in 2010 by American Express, small businesses and consumers embrace the day with enthusiasm. There’s plenty of ways you can maximise on the event too, and this blog is to help you plan out brilliant Small Business Saturday ideas to promote your business and drive sales. 

 

Not only does Small Business Saturday raise awareness of how important it is to support independent retailers, but it’s great for business too! 

 

It’s proving to be more successful each year, bringing in high sales and brand awareness for retailers across the UK. Even in its first year, Small Business Saturday helped generate a spend of £468 million for retailers across the UK. Thanks to press coverage, clever marketing, and impressive social media campaigns, it’s going from strength to strength. 2018 was the most popular year yet, bringing in £812 million spend for independent retailers. This is an 8% increase in 2017, which saw £748 million spent – up from £717 million in 2016. It’s clearly a shopping trend on the rise and not something to miss out on. 

 

Here are some fantastic Small Business Saturday ideas you can implement for your retail business this 2019 and make the most of the day.

Tell your story

Something that is often overlooked by businesses is the power of story, and how telling your story will positively impact your business. Everyone can relate to a narrative structure, it’s engaging and draws people in, if done well, they’ll want to get to know you and by the end, they’ll feel like they do. This sense of trust then leads to a higher chance of conversion, people buy from people and a brand story gives your business an identity that consumers can resonate with and feel emotionally connected with. 

Stories shape brands and many independent and small businesses have fantastic ones to tell that really set them apart. This can be a great starting point for beginning your marketing for Small Business Saturday, plus once it’s done and on your website, it’ll help drive in customers after the date too.

Is your brand ethical? 

 

There is a huge demand right now for ethically sourced products and companies to be operating ethical practices. The growing popularity of eco-friendly, organic, sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free products is showing no signs of slowing down as people are becoming more aware of the serious matters surrounding climate change, plastic pollution and animal testing. If you’re a company that has a great story to tell of your backing these great causes, make sure you communicate it to shoppers and weave the narrative into your brand story.

Benefits for consumers 

 

The chance to buy something that not everyone else has is one of the most appealing reasons for consumers to shop with small and independent businesses. People love a one-off, it feels special and meaningful. Advertising your products as handmade, one-of-a-kind, quality, locally-sourced offers an array of attractive benefits for shoppers. This also goes for offering unique shopping experiences, there are plenty of ways you can express yourself across your website branding and customer experience, and instore.

Use social media 

 

There is a fantastic community feel to Small Business Saturday, so it’s a great idea to get involved online. You can get in touch with the campaign organisers themselves and tell them what you’re planning to do for the big day, and they’ll give you a shout out on their social channels too! Engaging with the small and independent retail community on social media is a really nice way to spread awareness, join in and attract customers and new business at the same time.

Think local with your campaigns 

 

Target customers using PPC and local SEO, something that small businesses tend to overlook. It doesn’t have to be super technical and reading up on a few short guides will help you get some foundational understanding. It’s definitely worth investing some time into this. Just think, the first thing you do when wanting to find something out? You Google it. 

You can also look into submitting press releases to announce what you’re doing for Small Business Saturday and your ideas for promoting your goods. Invite local press down for a taster of your store and what you do – it’s a great way to spread awareness and join in with the local community.

Host an in-store event 

 

Going back to how much people love unique experiences, if you’re able to host a special event for Small Business Saturday, it’s worth looking into and investing some time in. You can have an instore theme, special offers to reflect the day, goody bags on offer, etc. You might even consider partnering up with other local businesses to cross-sell to each other’s customer base and attract new shoppers.

Can you make your store Instagrammable? If so, you’re on to a winner – set up a hashtag and tie in with your social media campaigns for the day. Over the course of the event, if people are sharing snaps of your store, it’s a great way to gain User Generated Content to use in your own marketing (just make sure you have their permission first!)

Managing your stock 

More stock going out and increased sales is a great position to be in, but you don’t want to get caught out by not being able to fulfill orders or delays in getting them out on time. Make sure you have efficient processes in place for this date but also over the holiday period at large. Offering bundle deals? Put these items closer together in your stock room or warehouse for easier packing. There’s no right or wrong on how you layout your warehouse, it will vary from retailer to retailer so take the time to plan out what will work for you best.

Get your website ready 

 

Make sure your website is ready for handling extra spikes in traffic at peak times like this – the last thing you want is a slow website where users will inevitably drop off and shop elsewhere. If you don’t already, investing in a cloud-hosted website solution is a great way to make sure your website is ready for anything. 

Communication is key at peak times like Small Business Saturday for managing customer expectations. Display all delivery dates and time scale estimates on your website to avoid disappointed customers. 

Offer an easy checkout process, including guest checkouts if people want to make a quick purchase without creating an account. Consider mobile optimisation too, is your website mobile responsive and can it handle orders from a potential increase of users from mobile devices?

Conclusion 

These Small Business Saturday ideas will hopefully go some way in giving you some inspiration for the big day. It’s an opportunity to get creative and try out new things to promote your business as well as engaging with a wider community of retailers. 

 

 

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Charlotte McKee

31st October 2019