Even before the pandemic hit, our digital lives were advancing. In 2020, the time we spend online is at an all-time high. With fast-changing technology in an age of social distancing, the Internet’s usage is about more than just Google calendars and zoom meetings. It has become the premier platform for shopping. However, to get a piece of the shopping pie, businesses must enhance their digital marketing strategy. Of the many things that COVID has changed, it’s how we engage with the internet.
Sadly, not every business understands the importance of this. This year, we’ve seen a record number of stores go out of business. Approximately 9,500 stores went out of business in 2019, only to be eclipsed by 2020’s estimates of 25,000 stores predicted to close.
While retail stores have been struggling, online titan Amazon reported net sales of $96.15 billion in the third quarter of 2020, a 37.4% increase from the third quarter of 2019. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, consumers spent $200.72 billion on online shopping in Q2 of 2020, a 44.4% increase from 2019 numbers. Gone are the days of needing to drive out in the cold for a pair of sneakers – that might not even be in the right size.
How COVID Has Changed Web Design
While the recent pandemic accelerated the shift from in-person shopping to cyberspace, conventional wisdom suggests these changes are here to stay. Website design is also changed due to this. More time is spent online, and that means less time in stores. Customers also want an experience that doesn’t keep them on the screen for longer than they have to be there. They want their experience to be positive, the site to be easy to use, and to find what they need fast.
A recent study revealed 58% of consumers said they plan to do more online shopping after the pandemic than ever before. Eighty percent of business buyers also said they plan to do more eCommerce post-COVID-19. Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed said their expectations for companies’ digital capabilities had risen. With numbers like this, businesses need to know that their customers are there – they just have to figure out how to reach them.
Boost Your Reach with a Better Digital Experience
Why are customers shopping at Amazon? Positive user experience and efficient delivery options are likely at the top of the list. To get your business the attention it needs, consider redesigning your website to ensure both of those things for your customers. Consider the following tips for creating an engaging and effective online experience for your business.
Consider a Mobile-First Experience
For today’s buyers, mobile devices mean buying power in the palm of your hand – and some millennials shop exclusively using their phones. When investing in designing a website, you always have to consider what it looks like from a phone. Studies show that 54% of eCommerce sales are coming from mobile devices. If your website is not optimized for mobile users, this may be costing you a significant number of sales.
Optimizing your website for mobile devices will not only make for a better user experience, but it will also lead more visitors to your website in the first place. Google has stated that mobile-friendly websites will rank better in mobile web searches.
Ensure Your Site Is User-Friendly
There are countless other ways to beef up a website’s flow. One of the easiest ways to make a sale is to add an “Add to Cart” button. When a potential customer sees something they like, they will be discouraged from buying if they don’t know where to click. You do not need to write anything more than “Add to Cart”—keep it simple.
Another easy add-on is to implement a review system. If customers can read others’ reviews, this adds an extra layer of transparency and trust between you and your audience. It also adds to the confidence you convey in your product. If what you are selling is that good, let people talk about it! Reviews can be an easy way to get free feedback, too. You want to stay in touch with your consumer base. If you see a recurring complaint, you can do something about it.
Invest in SEO
When you are looking to acquire customers and drive brand awareness, search engine optimization is one of the most essential digital marketing tools. Business owners with successful long-term growth strategies know that SEO campaigns and content marketing are the keys to their success. The thing to understand about using SEO to get results in your marketing strategy is that patience pays off. Strategies like paid ads often get the most attention because they can bring about fast results, whereas SEO is put on the back burner because it takes time to rank and start generating leads.
The extra time you put into your SEO campaign helps you build a strong online presence for your business. This, in turn, increases your bottom line in a few months’ time. The effort you put into your SEO campaign on the front end will lead to more sales with few recurring expenses once you rank.
Although SEO is a crucial tool, paid ads are a great way to get some immediate attention. The key is to use ad marketing to your advantage without blowing your entire budget on it. It’s important to keep in mind with your ads that consumers are very put off by misleading or irrelevant ads, so be sure to create ads that don’t inadvertently drive your potential customers away.
Paid ads, such as those on Facebook also offer a bit of versatility, such as the option of placing your ad on a mobile news feed, desktop news feed, or the right hand column. If one of your goals is increasing installation of your mobile app, mobile news feed ad marketing is an ideal way to make that happen. Be sure to use high quality copy, video, graphics, and images, a timely offer, and a CTA that draws your audience in.
Call the Pros for Your Website Redesign
Covid has changed every aspect of our lives, including web design. At least for the immediate future, it’s here to stay. Make sure your design is pandemic proof with an update. If your business is looking to leverage the new online shopping world, contact me. Ravenous Raven Design can help you bring your business into the future. Call today at 509-218-4321 for a free consultation.