There are a lot of ecommerce stores out there that specialize in lifestyle products. You, however, believe that you offer products and services no one else does, and therefore consumers should turn to you. How do you let them know of your existence, though? How can you raise your voice over the online cacophony? If you want to draw new customers to your business and retain old ones, you are going to have to pay attention to the details. Here are a few ways to optimize your lifestyle brand.
Make your website beautiful and functional
Your website is the digital equivalent of a brick-and-mortar establishment’s physical space. You cannot adorn it with paintings and plants, but you can make the UI and UX design aesthetically pleasing and seamless. No one wants to have a challenging time navigating a website, so put in necessary efforts to improve how users will experience their time with you. Make sure it’s fast, too: slow loading times can have a significant influence on who stays and leaves your site.
Pay attention to the details when it comes to your product images and copy. Product descriptions should be intriguing, proofread, and paint a picture of what your merchandise would look like in someone’s life. Your photography can do something similar: because you are a lifestyle store that sells products people typically like to see and feel for themselves in-person, you can use pictures to fill this need and give them an idea of what using their orders would be like. Videos never hurt, too—they’ll enhance your legitimacy and put you ahead of your competitors.
Streamline the payment process
How annoying is it that when you are online shopping, the retailer requires you to enter information on multiple pages and maybe even create an account in order to purchase? You want to find your items, add them to your cart, enter payment information, and expect them on your doorstep in three to five business days. If you have to go out of your way just to pay for something, you might be inclined to find similar items somewhere else.
Do your best to streamline the payment process to avoid online cart abandonment. According to Baymard Institute, an average of 69.89 percent of virtual carts are abandoned amongst 40 other studies from major companies (like SaleCycle, Adobe, and IBM). Don’t make life hard for your customers. Make the transaction process simple and accept multiple forms of payment (such as wire transfers, eChecks, and Bitcoin).
Keep your brand consistent
Don’t spread yourself too thin. It’s tempting to appeal to as many people as possible, but being slightly good at multiple things won’t attract customers who prefer to go to businesses that are very good at one or a few things. Reflect your commitment to your niche in your branding, too—expert Carolina Rogoll says:
“Consistency pays out. Frequent exposure to the same brand identity and message helps increase brand recognition and awareness. If you have a well-defined and managed brand identity combined with messaging that’s compelling and executed consistently, your media investment will also have higher returns and go further in building the strength of your brand.”
You might be able to leverage your personal brand. If both your personal and business brands are intertwined with one another, what boosts one will hopefully prop up the other, but what drags one down will certainly do the same with the other. People like to do business with companies they know are run by people (as opposed to faceless corporations), so remind customers that you are, indeed, a person who wants them to have the best experience.
Make sure your products are high-quality
You would hopefully not be in business if you wanted to sell products that are anything other than high-quality. If you are using the drop shipping model and not making products yourself, however, the decision is not always up to you. To provide the best merchandise possible, you need to find the best drop ship lifestyle suppliers available.
Vet any manufacturer you consider partnering with. Are they ethical? What are their materials made of? What are their locations compared to your highest concentration of customers? If something goes wrong, customers will contact you, not them, which means you will need reliable allies to avoid damages to your brand and a world of headaches.
Lifestyle e commerce is a competitive landscape, but offering the best shopping experience possible will help distinguish you from the crowd and keep customers coming back. How will you optimize your online store?