These days, if you don’t have a transactional website, you don’t exist in retail.
These days, if you don’t have a transactional website, you don’t exist in retail. If someone likes your brand and your USP, they want to be able to log on and check you out, wherever they are. Being online is almost like standing in the window naked – you’d better be sure you’re looking your best.
Bricks-and-mortar stores with transactional websites, and pure-plays such as Net-A-Porter, Mytheresa and My-Wardrobe have paved the way for online shopping experiences. They’ve invested the money and manpower, have tried all the marketing manoeuvres to tempt customers, and know how many clicks a customer is willing to put up with on the way to the checkout.
The trick is to learn from these trailblazers, take note of the things that seem to be working for them and then add your own tone, USP and bells and Whistles.
Customers who visit your bricks-and-mortar store and choose to log on to your online store do so because they like theexperience in store. They like the merchandise, the way you put things together, the friendly and effortless service and the efficient and fun shopping experience. You just need to put all that into your online store.
Think about the things that make your brand unique. There will be a few screamingly obvious things, so communicate those through a strong, punchy home page, highlighting a trend or must-have hero piece, then guide customers through the different looks and easy ways to wear them. And make it quick – my average residency on any page is a maximum of three seconds, and that’s if I’m really in love. Speed, efficiency and a belief that you can communicate your own USP through the online experience is the key to success.
- Donna Ida is owner of the eponymous four-store premium denim indie, which has stores in London and Guildford