While Ireland still has a relatively low number of cases of Covid-19, comparison to other EU countries, restrictions on public gatherings could still have an effect on businesses. Besides, the virus’s impact on the global economy could have a ripple effect on Ireland as it cut flights to affected countries such as Italy, UK, China, and now the USA. The global economy is already projected to grow at its slowest rate since 2009. Ranking 29th and 37th largest in exports and imports respectively in the world, Ireland stands to suffer if the global economy hits a recession, which is inevitable. They are expecting the Irish economy to go down by 7%, this means that Irish businesses must now turn their focus to locals to shield themselves against the economic impact of the Covid-19.
As retailers look to local customers to survive Covid-19, having an online presence could give you an edge over the competition. As of 2019, at least 20% of Irish consumers bought their products online. And it is not just about having an online presence that will bring in revenue. Your website should have smart features that enable it to attract traffic and generate revenue. Here are 12 must-have features you should have on your website;
1. Integrated Reviews Engine
To boost your site’s reputation, credibility, and trustworthiness, you will need an integrated review engine on the website. At least 84% of people would trust an online review as much as they would trust a personal recommendation. That’s how much reviews matter to your business. Testimonials and reviews from real past customers matter just as much. Besides improved customer confidence and trust in your website, other benefits on integrating review engines on your website include:
- It gives you free advertising and publicity on the review sites.
- It can also lead to improved search engine ratings.
- You will be able to get feedback on which areas to improve on.
- It allows you to build a relationship with your customers by responding to their negative reviews and take appropriate corrective action. This can help in reducing customer churn rate.
2. Quality Content
Consumers are not only looking to make purchases. They are also looking to learn and get valuable information that helps them in making a purchasing decision. Consistently creating quality content that is relevant to your target audience will help in improving SEO and generating qualified leads. Consumers are more likely to trust a website that is interested in also educating them besides making sales. The importance of quality content to a content marketing strategy cannot be understated. It is very crucial to attracting organic traffic to your website.
When creating content, you should not restrict yourself to text only. You can also leverage multimedia content such as videos, pictures, and graphics. In fact, 80% of online content will be in video format by 2021. That is how important videos and other multimedia content will be to your content marketing strategy.
3. CRM Integration
Integrating a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system on your website will help you to make your business operations more effective. You will have all your relevant data and metrics in a single place, eliminate information silos, stay up-to-date with consumer data, shape customer personas, and make informed business decisions. Integrating CRM into your website will help you in the following ways:
- It helps in improving customer experience and satisfaction and reduce customer churn.
- It is easier to create detailed buyer personas.
- Minimize administration work and hence increase productivity.
- Increased number of qualified leads and higher conversion rates.
Guarantee access to quality, reliable, and consistent information for effective business decisions.
4. Email Scheduling
As you move your business online, you cannot ignore email scheduling integration on your website, considering how effective email marketing is. Email scheduling will allow you to send timely and highly-personalized emails that are relevant to your customers. The emails will be based on their actions on your website. While most CRM systems come with email scheduling, other email scheduling platforms you can work with include Mailchimp, GetResponse, and Sendinblue.
5. Loading Speed
Loading speed is very crucial to the survival of any eCommerce site. Slow websites risk losing leads to competitors with faster loading speeds. The more time it takes your web page to load, the higher your chances of increased bounce rates and lost leads. Why should consumers waste time on your website waiting for a page to load when they can find the same product elsewhere much faster? Attractive web design and relevant content will mean very little if your loading speed hampers the user experience.
Some of the factors that will affect the speed at which your website loads include your web hosting server, type of content and their sizes, number of plugins activated, and bandwidth limit. You should take care of the factors within your control that limit your loading speed.
6. Mobile responsiveness
Websites that are optimized for mobile devices are becoming a necessity. 19 in 20 people in Ireland own a smartphone. There are currently 3.86 million smartphone users in the country with the number projected to grow to 4.06 by 2022. Failing to optimize your website for mobile devices would mean willingly missing out on opportunities that such devices present. A mobile-friendly website should be one of your top priorities when designing your website.
7. Browser Compatibility
Very few people pay attention to how compatible their websites are with various browsers. It is a challenge for most web developers. Your website should not only be able to render on different screen sizes and resolutions but also browsers. Some of the top browsers in Ireland that you will need to think about when developing your website include Chrome, Safari, Samsung Internet, Firefox, and Edge Legacy. This will increase the popularity of your website across various browsers. The experience should be consistent across browsers.
8. Clear, User-Friendly Navigation
When designing your website, you should always ensure that the navigation is clear and user-friendly. This will enable your web visitors to find the information they are looking for easily. Complex navigation drives away visitors and increases the bounce rate. This is not good for your SEO and online brand. 94% of consumers prefer websites with easy navigation over ones with complex navigation. Important links should be easy to find and should have simple labels that are easy to understand. Search boxes can also make it easier to navigate the website to specific content the visitor is interested in.
9. Language conversion
As of April 2019, only 25.2% of internet users were native English speakers. As such, the majority of the global internet users will be browsing sites in different languages. Limiting yours to English alone isolates you from a vast market. Having a conversion feature in place is crucial- where you can have your site being read in over 250 languages. Customers will be more inclined to make an enquiry of or proceed with the purchase when viewing the website in their own language.
Even as businesses move online, the customer engagement that people enjoyed offline will still need to be maintained. This is where chatbots will come in on your website. If you think that you don’t need chatbot integration on your website, just know that 53% of businesses already believe that chatbots enable them to create a “customer-first” culture. It is an opportunity that you don’t want to miss out on. If you are afraid that it will be throwing money down the drain, then the fact that 70% of customers reported having a positive experience with chatbots will convince you otherwise. Chatbots will:
- Make your website accessible to more users and drive up customer engagement.
- Enable you to offer personalized customer experience depending on customer needs.
- Improved lead generation.
- Allow you to send relevant push notifications.
- Allow you to automate work and therefore reduce errors and decline in productivity due to repetitive tasks.
By improving your customer experience, chatbots will enable you to improve your brand reputation and positioning.
11. Smart social media integration
No matter how interactive you think your website is, you will still need social media integration. It will enable you to leverage social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to improve your brand visibility. This will enable you to cater to different customer preferences for different channels of communication. You cannot afford to not have a social media presence if you want to grow your business online. You can incorporate social media integration on your website through social share and follow buttons, allowing visitors to log into your website from their social media profiles, and by showcasing your social photos and videos.
12. Display marketing/Remarketing tools:
There are also other features such as a compelling call-to-action button, data feedback, smart surveys, and proper error handling and on-screen description messages that can help you improve your website quality and customer experience.
Most businesses will be scrambling for online traffic to boost their dwindling offline revenue. To stand a chance in the crowded online space, website usability will play a vital role in the success of your eCommerce business. These tips can help you get started in winning over online customers and attracting traffic to your business. You should hire an expert to help you with developing and implementing an effective online marketing strategy.
Don’t miss the traffic that comes to your websites, while you have more time to spend in planning, include these features mentioned above in your digital marketing strategies.
I would love to hear your feedback.