Imagine you’re in a mall and you pass a storefront. The “open” sign is lit, but the interior is disheveled, and you have no idea what the store even sells. Will you go in and find out? Probably not, and why would you? You have easy access to a wide variety of other stores that require no detective work and make a much better first impression.
As a physical subscription retailer, your website is your online storefront. If it’s not properly polished, it won’t produce results.
To put your website on the path to success, start by taking a look at what competitors are doing in your space. Replicating their sites won’t be enough, though, especially if they’ve been in business longer and have had more time to attract an audience. You need to do something different — something that draws attention to your products and sets your company apart from the crowd.
Need some tips to get started on your direct-to-consumer e-commerce website? Implement the following strategies, and you’ll be on your way to success:
- Make your brand and name apparent immediately.
Your brand and name should feature prominently on your website. On the web, you’re competing for eyeballs, and other subscription commerce sites aren’t your only rivals. Instead, you’re contending with cat videos, BuzzFeed quizzes, and the rest of the “compelling” content the internet has to offer. Your name should be interesting and memorable, and your branding should be beautiful. A full 75% of people will judge your company’s credibility on the basis of your website, so make sure it reflects your brand.
- Perfect your product presentation.
Even if you have multiple products, you probably have one “hero” product. It might be your best-seller, or perhaps the other products in your ecosystem revolve around it. Either way, this product should be featured prominently, with information about how it will make your customers’ lives better. Try to refrain from focusing on specs and details — that comes later. For now, focus on proving to customers that they need or might want your offering.
- Think before you price.
There’s a reason that product prices are never even numbers. No matter who you are, $29.95 feels like a better deal than $30, and everyone wants to find a good deal. A deal helps customers rationalize purchases, so utilize that to your advantage. Free shipping is also an effective incentive for 90% of customers, and you can easily offer it by folding the shipping cost into the price of a product.
- Emphasize your call to action.
A clear call to action that tells customers what you want them to do is critical. That might seem like obvious advice, but 70% of small businesses don’t include a clear call to action on their websites. Identify the action you want customers to take, then make sure it’s easy to see and click on your website. In some cases, it can be beneficial to leave pricing information out of your call to action because once users have clicked “Order now,” they’ve already overcome a hurdle. As always, test a few different scenarios to determine what works best.
- Provide your contact information upfront.
Where is your business located? How can customers reach you? If it appears difficult to get in touch with you, as many as 44% of users will take their business elsewhere. Clearly marked contact information shows that you’re available to help if needed and instills trust in your audience at a time when they’re still deciding whether your business and products are trustworthy.
The above five elements are essential, and no direct-to-consumer business can exist without them. But this is just a starting point. Some other helpful features include endorsements, testimonials, and guarantees. These ingredients will ensure that consumers trust you, believe in your company, and feel safe giving your product a chance.
No matter what you include in your website’s design, keep testing. There’s no single winning formula, and you can always optimize the elements of your website to push the needle even further. Your subscription e-commerce is a journey instead of a destination, and it’s one that will propel your business to new heights.