E-commerce sales growth is expected to top the trillion-dollar mark within three years.
In today’s competitive retail environment, having an online store to complement your brick and mortar store has become a necessity. Let’s face it, the foot traffic you used to enjoy isn’t coming back and if you don’t try to capture some of that lost traffic you’ll be losing out on customers and sales.
The growth and affordability of “DIY” website builders has simplified the task of making your own website. If you have the time and aren’t afraid of the learning curve, it can be a very good skill to learn. However, before you jump in and go the DIY route, there are a few things to consider.
The competition for the limited attention span of shoppers is intense. Your website needs to present your company and products in the best possible light to the shoppers who are looking to buy from you. While many of the DIY templates rely on splashy images for their homepages, you need more than just a few pretty pictures and a logo with a cool font to get visitors to stay and shop on your website. You only have a precious few seconds before your visitor gives up and clicks off to another website.
- Who are you?
- What are your values?
- Why should anyone buy your products?
- How can you help them?
- How are you different from your competitors?
- Why should they trust you?
A visitor that leaves your website without taking an action provides little value to your business.
They will recognize the role of content in creating the best user experience, building the website to work with the content first and the visual aspects second. Unfortunately many website builder templates are structured the other way around.
It’s important to value web design not just for the simple template or splashy color scheme, but as the framework for the content that’s going to drive conversions.
While it might be more cost effective to go the DIY route instead of hiring a web designer, you should always read the fine print on these websites before signing up. Here are some of the pitfalls:
- There are often monthly fees added in that over time erode the cost benefit.
- In most cases you are required to host your website with the website template provider.
- You can’t take your website with you if you decide to change hosts down the road, forcing you to recreate your entire website.
Time is also a factor to consider. However long you think it will take to build the website, plan on it taking much longer. You should always factor in the value of your time into the overall cost. The time you’ll need to spend learning and building your website will often take time away from building and running your business.
You only get one chance to make a good impression but with the right mix of design and content, you’ll be able to build a clear path to lead shoppers to your website, provide them with a memorable shopping experience and make the buying process as easy as possible.