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Optimized E-Commerce Functionality Takes Family Businesses Beyond Mom And Pop

This article was featured on Media Post on October 5, 2016. You can read the full article here.

In today’s business world, there seems to be a great divide between “big box” outfits and local home-grown businesses. Yet in the web development universe, we know that the
Worldwide Web serves as the great equalizer — a business of any size and scope can have an excellent, well-optimized Web site. It is essential for business owners in the marketplace to ensure that
they are investing in state-of-the-art technology to ensure their search marketing can beat the competition, no matter what the business size.

For a small business, moving to an e-commerce
platform may be the single best way to expand the scope and reach of sales. Sales via phone are a thing of the past, and most understand that the majority of users today would like to be able to
peruse products online. Allowing them to complete their purchases online as well is the best way to convert the maximum number of browsers to paying customers.

For example, take a small
aircraft accessories dealer that has been in business for a number of years. Traditionally, this family business has been run primarily over the phone with a simple Web site designed to initiate
contact, but most sales are finalized over the phone. While the business has been successful and has an excellent reputation in the industry, sales have grown only slightly in recent years.

We would expect a business of this type to see growth in traffic by nearly 1,000% if steps were taken to create a best-in-class e-commerce experience for customers. By creating an e-commerce platform with an optimized user experience, sales would immediately shift to online. This opens up markets across the country, and potentially internationally, that were previously untouched. Pairing this with a fully thought-out search strategy, including key phrase optimization for item numbers and skus, optimized image cataloguing and additional resource information to assist customers, and this small business could quickly compete in the online search landscape with many much larger stores.

To compete with large online enterprises, businesses must also develop a trusted relationship with users online. Simply being able to find a business is not enough to sell a customer on its products automatically. The best way to foster trust is to prove the business really knows what it’s talking about. Create resource materials that customers can turn to for helpful insights and information and ensure these materials include a variety of search terms which make them easy to find online. These should target the customer first and search success second, as no one wants to get their information from key phrase stuffed prose that is difficult to read and comprehend. Refresh content often to encourage the customers to check back frequently for new insights into the industry or to learn about new products.

The last thing businesses must do to ensure success with growing sales online is to continue to provide the superior customer service experience that customers associate with small family businesses. Provide customers with multiple channels to communicate with the company such as online chat, forms, email, and traditional telephone support. One major advantage held by small business over the bigger businesses is the personal level of communication so make sure that doesn’t get lost as business expands.

An optimized e-commerce Web site can make the difference between increasing sales and going under in today’s marketplace. Working with an experienced Web development agency to create a modern e-commerce store for customers is one of the best ways for companies to stay competitive in today’s market. Do research, put the customer first, modernize online offerings and a small business can easily compete online.

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