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Boosting Sales for Online Home Improvement Stores
The DIY revolution is in full swing around the world. While only serious enthusiasts would watch home improvement shows on cable TV, anyone with a smartphone and a few minutes can find a guide to fix nearly any part of their home using online video.
That means it’s easier than ever to sell tools, hardware, and other home improvement needs online. If you want to rocket your sales to the top of the industry, it’s important to follow online sales best practices. Here are some useful tips to improve your home improvement website and convert more web browsers into paying customers.
Organize your site by department and category
One of the biggest mistakes companies make is having a website that’s difficult to navigate. If someone can’t quickly and easily search and filter using all relevant criteria, they may just point their browser to a different store or hop in their car and head to a local brick-and-mortar hardware store. Bonus points if you can add versions in multiple languages.
If you search for any product on Amazon or Walmart, for example, you’re usually presented with buttons to zero in on specific brands, sizes, colors, and other features. These classifications help your customers find exactly what they want. If they are just browsing, organization by department, price, and site-wide breadcrumbs help navigate around in an intuitive manner.
Add helpful videos and tutorials
You don’t need a multi-million dollar studio and production company to make useful videos and tutorials. Leverage your own expertise and your staff to create light, fun, and helpful lessons and tutorials that put your store’s products to good use. For example, it’s clear by watching the video here that I know more about money than plumbing. But still, it has generated over 160,000 views. I would gander at least a few people went on to buy Teflon tape.
You can post videos on your own website and other places like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Be sure to link your videos to the product to drive conversions. While most people still won’t buy anything, if you make it easy enough and your pricing is competitive your videos and written tutorials should lead to some sales.
Make it easy to pay
Savvy online shoppers want to use a rewards credit card, so make sure to accept every major brand popular in your target market. In the US, that means Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express credit cards, popular debit cards, and maybe even digital wallets like PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.
Business customers will have different needs that may include handling purchase orders and invoices, paper checks, and electronic funds transfers directly from customer bank accounts. If you don’t accept your customer’s favorite credit card, chances are someone else does.
Utilize content marketing
The internet isn’t like the field of dreams. It takes more than building a good website to get customers to show up. Also, consider search engine optimization and online advertising as methods to generate page views and leads at the top of your customer funnel.
If you are new to content marketing, look back to those videos and tutorials discussed above. Those are perfect ways to land high search engine rankings. If you write about and publish articles, videos, graphics, and other website content that’s relevant to your target customers and do a good job promoting that content online, you can draw in new eyeballs and new customers for your business.
Offer easy, no-cost installment payments
Home improvement projects are not always cheap. If someone gets all the way to the shopping cart just to find they can’t afford the entire purchase at once, you can offer an alternative at no extra cost to customers, whether they are consumers or business customers. Splitit utilizes customer’s existing credit cards to offer something like a line of credit through your website. But there are no interest charges or fees for your customer.
Splitit puts a hold on their credit card account for the full amount of the purchase. Customers pick the number of payments and Splitit divides the purchase up evenly. Now they can pay off that big home or workshop upgrade over two months, six months, 12 months, or anything in between. With Splitit, they won’t have to abandon that online shopping cart due to a short-term cash crunch.
Online home improvement sales start with a solid foundation
Just like any new building needs a stable foundation, so does your online business. Not all consumers are web savvy. If you can offer an easy-to-navigate website with intuitive checkout and payment options that align with your customer’s needs, you’re taking the right steps for e-commerce success.