Does your

independent retail
store need a website?

The short answer is: Yes, but it doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money...

 

Having a website will help improve your Google rankings significantly, which will help new customers find your store.  Depending on your business needs and how customers can buy your products, it is quite possible that you can get a website that will help bring new customers through the door for less than £15 a month.

 

If you want an ultra-slick e-commerce site with all the bells and whistles, then it’s likely that the bill is going to run into thousands and possibly tens of thousands.  We are often asked if it is worth the investment to create a website where you can offer your products online, and we generally recommend that you focus on your bricks-and-mortar customers and leave the e-commerce to the huge corporations with huge budgets....

 

As an independent retailer operating in your town, your competition might extend to 3 or 4 other businesses.  It’s fantastic if you operate an add-on service so that your existing customers can order over the phone or online if they’re unable to visit your store, but to try to win new business over the internet is a very difficult thing to do.  You’re faced with two options, one is to invest significantly (and repeatedly) in search engine optimisation, management and pay-per-click advertising, and the other is to use a third party channel such as Amazon.  Unfortunately both of these are incredibly crowded markets and you are competing against the entire world for business, and ultimately your margins are going to be very low once you do start to see sales coming through.

 

Therefore we recommend a simple website, featuring information about where you are, how to find you (an embedded Google map will help your rankings further), some photos of your store and perhaps a bit of background about how your business came to be, and information about the types of products you have in stock, perhaps a calendar of upcoming events and if you have the time (or can allocate a staff member to contribute time) a blog or regular relevant news update.  This type of site can be built relatively easily using the website builder services included in many domain purchase / hosting packages.  We recommend using GoDaddy as a one stop shop for domain name purchase & registration, as well as hosting or website builder service.

 

Once your site is live make sure you add your web address to all of your online listings, and refer to a service like freewebsubmission.com to register the site with as many search engines as possible.

 

If you’re not comfortable building the site or don’t have the time and would rather pay someone to do this, we can help.

Marketing for Independent Retailers

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