By Katherine Andes
Many furniture retailers choose an e-commerce storefront platform for their websites. These web storefront systems offer numerous advantages over building a unique website from the ground up.
An online storefront website comes stocked with a large inventory, a shopping cart, drop shipping, and is inexpensive to maintain.
But, as with all things web, there are significant glitches. Here are a few fixes to keep in mind when working with an e-commerce storefront website …
Make it Your Own — Though most online storefront sites allow you to customize the copy on the top-level pages, many retailers just leave in the original text provided by the storefront company. Since the copy is not unique to your store it’s okay at best and bland at worst. As the TV commercial says, “I’m yawnin’ … I’m yawnin’ some more …”
Additional Pages — If your web storefront provider allows additional pages, by all means take advantage of that and develop good optimized pages. These pages can help you both develop a relationship with your customer and draw more traffic to your site.
Geographic Search Engine Optimization — If you have a brick and mortar store, include a list of cities served on as many pages as possible
Title and Description Tags — These tags are very important for your search rankings and conversions (people clicking through to your site). E-commerce storefront websites do a poor job on these tags; in part, because they are machine-generated from information you feed the system. Rather, they should be carefully written and customized.
Customized Tags Don’t Publish — Sometimes an online storefront provides a tool to write custom title and description tags. But then the tags don’t publish! If you have customized your tags, you need to check to see if they published correctly. Use the View/Page Source tool in your browser, and then search for your tags to see if they are published. (Contact me if you need help.) If your tags are not published, you need to follow this up with your provider. Warning: You may have to get pushy.
Testimonials — Usually, there’s no apparent place set aside for testimonials, so retailers don’t think to include them. Be sure to put favorable customer comments in prominent places on your storefront website … that is, on more than one page.
Social Media Tools — By now, I believe social media tools (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) should be programmed into all the online storefront platforms, but they are not. Still, you can often add the code in yourself by switching your editor to HTML.
If you follow the above steps, your e-commerce storefront website should work as well as if you had built it from the ground up.
Easy Furniture Web Tip #97: Furniture retailers who use an e-commerce storefront website need to customize accessible pages to show their customers they are not just another cookie-cutter online store.
Katherine Andes is a consultant who specializes in writing custom content for key web pages, including search engine optimization (SEO) — especially in the home improvement market. You can phone her at 559.589.0379 or email at Kathy@AndesAndAssociates.com.