Class Workwear website

Since 2018, Class Workwear have supplied the UK with a wide range of garments for the workplace and elsewhere. All of the products they sell can be customised with a logo or design of the customer's choosing - ideal for business owners who need branded uniforms for their staff.

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Rock 'N' Critters website

Rock 'N' Critters are among the UK's leading marine aquarium specialists. Their showroom is located here in South Wales, and it has to be seen to be believed - watch this video for a guided tour:

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bounce back after covid header

Since the UK went into lockdown on 23 March, the ecommerce landscape has changed rapidly. All of a sudden, 'non-essential' brick and mortar stores were closed down and customers were forced to fulfil their shopping needs online. If you run an ecommerce store, this is music to your ears, right?

Well, with a massive surge in digital shoppers and increased pressure on supply chains, some ecommerce stores have struggled to keep up with demand while others, like luxury brands, are seeing a significant drop in sales as fewer people have excess cash to splash.

So, while some ecommerce stores are seeing a huge spike in orders, others are falling behind. Wherever your ecommerce business falls on the spectrum, we're sure you're starting to think about your post-lockdown strategy. Here are a few tips to help make sure that your business bounces back after COVID-19.

Think about the context of searches

The way that people search - and the context behind certain queries - has changed over the last few months. It's important that your ecommerce store responds to this shift in intent appropriately to ensure a steady flow of sales. But what do we mean by a change in context?

Let's take, for example, a popular beauty brand like Boots. This time last year, it's likely that Boots had a high volume of traffic from users searching for face masks.

Of course, in this context, people were mostly looking for face masks of the cosmetic variety. With hundreds of skincare brands on offer, Boots was well equipped to give these users what they wanted.

Now, of course, users searching for face masks are probably looking for something completely different: a face covering to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Although the keyword face masks is the same, the intent behind this search has changed.

So how have Boots responded to this? They've added a section to their website that focuses predominantly on face masks and face coverings. This category features prominently on their homepage and ranks highly for the term face mask (as shown below).

Boots search result for face masks

We recommend looking at the keywords and queries that are most valuable to your business in relation to COVID-19. Do these terms still hold the same meaning that they held 6 months ago? If not, it might be time to reconsider your product line and optimise your website accordingly.

Adapting your website to meet demand

As someone who runs an ecommerce business, you already know how important it is to make sure users can find what they're looking for quickly. With competition for certain products at an all-time high, optimising the user experience can make the difference between a sale and fail in the post-lockdown market.

Moz's Luke Carthy pointed out in a recent article that searching for coronavirus on Holland and Barrett's website previously showed no results, which is hard to believe when products like hand sanitisers, paracetamol and other medications that they offer were highly sought after.

Holland and Barrett website

Image taken from Moz.com

What went wrong here? It's possible that the health and wellbeing giant didn't look at their on-site search box to see how customers were searching at the time. Therefore, they didn't have a page set up to show relevant products when a search for coronavirus was made. Without a dedicated page for coronavirus-related products, it's likely that Holland and Barrett missed out on sales!

Learn from this and apply the same logic to your ecommerce website. Take a look at the things people are searching for on your site. Do you see many searches for coronavirus or other related terms? If so, what results are your users seeing? Make sure relevant products appear - it could boost conversions and win sales over competitor sites.

Improve filters

As well as adding new landing pages, sections, and products to fill gaps in the market, you should also consider making it easier for users to tell what you do and don't have in stock.

With online shopping booming and supply chains under immense pressure right now, your users might be looking for things that seem to be out of stock everywhere! Reduce hassle and keep your customers happy by:

  • Adding a filter to your site so users can quickly see what's in stock and what isn't
  • Creating a form that allows users to sign up for an email notification when a certain product is back in stock

The filter might help you secure a sale there and then, while the email notifications can help make sure customers return to your site rather than going with one of your competitors.

Offer alternative products

Even if you make all the changes that we've suggested so far, there may still be times when you just can't fulfil the exact needs of your customers. However, there are still things you can do to boost your post-COVID sales.

Let's say, for example, that you've seen a huge influx in orders for your bird feeders during lockdown because people are spending more time in their gardens. That's great, but you had no way of predicting this unusual spike in sales and now all of your bird feeders are out of stock!

What can you do to combat this? We recommend adding a section to the bottom of your product pages to show your customers other relevant items that are currently in stock (e.g. a bird bath or bird house). Although this isn't exactly what the user was looking for, it might capture their imagination enough for them to place an order.

Adjusting your prices

As lockdown restrictions are eased, social distancing measures need to be implemented in all work environments.

As an ecommerce business, it's likely that you have a warehouse or depot where your products are kept. Just like pubs, hairdressers, and offices up and down the country, you'll need to put some new measures in place to keep the working environment safe and hygienic.

Whether you're providing sick pay for unwell employees, ordering PPE, or making physical modifications in the workplace, everything comes at a price. Your customers shouldn't be too surprised about a justifiable price increase to help cover these unavoidable costs, but be mindful of the way you go about it. After all, you don't want your customers to feel like they're being ripped off!

An incentive to buy

While you might need to increase the price of some items, there's nothing stopping you from giving people an extra reason to buy from your brand. As we move into the transitional post-lockdown period, people are returning to work and might be looking for a bit of a pick-me-up.

Whether you contact loyal customers and offer them an exclusive discount code, or you offer a multi-buy discount on your best sellers, people are more likely to make an order if they feel they're getting a good deal.

Hopefully, this gives you a good idea of how your ecommerce business can respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for the months ahead. If you're interested in an ecommerce website makeover to make your brand stand out, you can get a free, no-obligation quote here.

Ecommerce Web Design   Contact Designer Websites

New Ladders UK Direct website

Because ecommerce website design is something of a speciality for us here at Designer Websites, we frequently get enquiries from business owners who are looking to boost the visibility of their online stores.

We recently received such an enquiry from Ladders UK Direct, an ecommerce business selling a wide variety of ladders and work platforms. They wanted to improve their website's usability and drive more organic traffic to their products, and after looking at some of our previous projects, they decided that we were the right team for the job.

The new Ladders UK Direct website is now live - click the link below to have a look!

Visit Ladders UK Direct >>

Here are some of the improvements we made:

  • Fresh new website design
  • Search-optimised landing pages
  • Improved site navigation and product pages
  • Brand new back-end admin console
  • Ongoing SEO and marketing support

If your business needs a brand new website, the Designer Websites team can help - request a free web design quote today!

How to Promote Ecommerce Website

So you've got yourself a modern, professional-looking ecommerce website and you're ready to start selling your products online. There's just one problem - you don't have any customers yet!

There are numerous different ways to promote an ecommerce website and grow your online customer base. Here are just a few options for you to consider...

Promotions

Promotions - such as a seasonal sale or site-wide price reduction - can be a quick and easy way to generate interest in your brand and products. If users get a good deal, they will be more likely to tell their friends about it, and and if the product exceeds expectations then the customer may even return and purchase something else after the promotion has ended.

Blogs

Blogging can be a very cost-effective way to drive more traffic to your website. Not only can blog posts be used to highlight new products and special offers, they can also rank for popular search terms and hugely increase your brand's visibility in the Google results. Try to identify common questions within your industry, then write blog posts that answer them - you'll be amazed at how much organic search traffic a well-written, informative blog post can generate.

Social Media

Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter offer businesses a near-limitless amount of opportunities to reach new customers. You can start a simple social media campaign by posting appealing content and linking it back to your ecommerce website - this method of promotion is completely free, and can draw in a lot of potential customers if you take the time to build your audience and consistently publish engaging, relevant content.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

An SEO strategy is an important consideration for any website, but ecommerce websites especially - every category page and every product on your website is another chance to get seen in the Google search results. Ideally, each page on your website should target a different keyword (or set of keywords) that is specifically relevant to that page and that page alone. This will help Google and other search engines to work out which page to show for any given search term.

You can read our SEO tips for ecommerce websites here!

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Some ecommerce websites do reasonably well without spending a penny on paid advertising, but platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads can make a huge difference if you're looking to get your brand in front of a wider audience. PPC (pay-per-click) advertising only costs money when people actually click through to your website, meaning that you won't be charged unless your adverts are generating traffic. Of course, you'll have to work hard to make sure that your website is converting as much of that traffic as possible into actual custom for your business!

Product Reviews & Working With Influencers

Reaching out to bloggers and other influential people within your market is a great way to spread the word about your business quickly! The best approach will depend on the nature of the products/services you offer, but you might consider sending out some products for people to review, or inviting a popular vlogger to visit your premises for a video. Try to choose personalities who already have a large online following, and bear in mind that some may charge a fee for promoting your brand.

Here at Designer Websites, we specialise in ecommerce website design as well as search engine optimisation, PPC advertising, blog writing, and a variety of other techniques that can help you to grow your customer base. Use the links below to find out more about our services.

Ecommerce Design >    Request a Quote >