When it comes to going online, there are 1000s of tips out there for small businesses in our industry. We have decided to put together our favourite ten tips for online success. Here are our favourites:
1. Put Your Customers at the Heart of the Online Experience: The most important thing to consider, think why is your business going online? The answers simple – to retain current customers and gain new ones staying ahead of the competition. So put your businesses customers at the heart of your online operation, make ordering easier, give customers logins, private/public on-site shops.
2. Substance Over Style: The most common mistake online in our industry. Customers often come to us with visually amazing sites that don’t offer any functionality. Your businesses website needs to be most importantly user-friendly and secure. Create a website that offers the functionality your customer deserves and make the journey from landing on your homepage to transaction as straight-forward as possible.
3. Make the ‘Online Journey’ as Simple as Possible: Businesses often come to us with the same problem we lose our customer when it comes to ordering. When it comes to personalised clothing there are so many variables, ordering isn’t straight forward. The two main pitfalls – the design tool & checkout. Pick tools that suit your business, many clothing businesses go for the flashiest design tool which often drives the customer away. Keep ordering and checking out simple, customers aren’t afraid to go elsewhere if it’s too complicated – it’s important you get it right like we have for our customers!
4. Create an Online Branding Strategy: Displaying your brand online isn’t as easy as you would imagine, there are so many factors to consider – it isn’t a case of simply putting a few logos in the right places. Create an effective strategy to convey your brand and values online, develop your presence online and grow an ‘online persona’, a voice, personality and style befitting of your business.
5. Produce High Quality Content Online: Many call it time-consuming and call in specialists. But creating quality content isn’t difficult; nobody understands your business better than you. Make content interesting, readable and appropriate – give your customers a reason to scroll down!
6. Create a Continuous SEO Plan for Your Business: The biggest challenge an online business faces is the fight for ranking well organically. With many clothing businesses throwing £1000s at SEO, it’s a big deal online. But why pay someone who doesn’t understand fully what you do/or understand your customers? Simply creating quality content mixed in with some keyword research (Just stop and think what are my customers searching for to find me or what would I like to be found for) with a dash of interesting Social Media, the SEO results should follow.
7. Social Media is Your Businesses Best Friend: Creating and sharing content, news, updates and offers gives your online business another voice, don’t just be seen online – be heard! Whatever the platform, Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Pinterest – Social Media presents the best way to grow your online presence and brand.
8. Blog Away: Sometimes 140 characters or a post isn’t enough to display what you want. Blogging in the personalised clothing industry is a big one – it allows you to extend your businesses personality. Writing interesting content about your business keeps customers coming back for more. Display the latest news, latest stock, your work with current customers and showcase your businesses expertise. Blogging allows customers to see what you are doing is real and quality work.
9. Don’t Be Afraid To Try New Things: The online world is full of the weird and wonderful trends. The garment industry is a traditional one but don’t be afraid to try new things – online experiments aren’t always a success. But there are customers in places you don’t even know exist yet, it’s your job to find them!
10.Continuously Develop Online, Don’t Stand Still: A huge NO-NO from us is becoming stagnant. Many online businesses get to a point where they are content, with a good site and just go through the motions but the key to success is continuous development. The online world isn’t standing still so why should you? Standing still limits online success, move your online business with the latest trends and developments make sure you are one step ahead of the nearest competition and keep taking your online business to the next level.
We understand the importance of going online for businesses in our sector. For more information don't hesitate to get in touch at email@example.com to see how we can help your business today!