It is estimated that UK e-commerce sales are worth an estimated £586 billion. When online shopping is this rife why would you not have an e-commerce website? Here eTrader and Xpres argue the case for garment decorators investing in an online presence.
With a year on year increase of customers shopping online using mobiles and tablets having an e-commerce website is more important than ever from a garment decorator’s perspective.
“Customers have access to more information than ever before searching and aren’t afraid to shop around for branded clothing, providing them a modern looking website where they can buy at the touch of a button is almost becoming the norm”, says Andrew Langridge, of eTrader.
Steven Leek, marketing communications co-ordinator at Xpres agrees. “There are numerous, significant advantages to having a transactional website. It needn’t be an expensive venture either, as once you’ve forked out for the initial outlay, the on-going overheads are minimal.”
Having an e-commerce store is essentially free retail space, with the added bonus of being open 24/7, which enables customers to browse and buy around the clock at their convenience.
With e-commerce you can offer useful features, such as a garment decoration tool. Steven explains that Xpres recently launched its own product decoration tool for its brand of dye sub clothing, Vanilla. This useful tool could be easily replicated to allow end users to visualise how their intended designs would look on a range of garments.
Live chat is another useful tool that enables customers to engage with staff over an instant message service, which is handy if your customer needs information that could lead to a sale. When you consider that these types of interactions require no involvement from your staff, you can begin to appreciate that time saved could be spent quoting job and fulfilling orders instead.
Reach new customers
Having a web presence also presents an opportunity to reach new prospective customers through search engines. Decorators are advised to use accurate and engaging content for SEO purposes, both across the site and on product pages in particular, which will provide a search rank and ultimately lead to increased site traffic.
Even if prospective customers aren’t obliged to buy immediately, you could offer an opportunity to sign up to your e-newsletter in order to reach them with marketing emails and offers at a later stage.
E-commerce is an effective way to sell, but also inform. Many customers will conduct their research online before electing to visit your shop to complete a purchase. Steven adds: “With that in mind, we can safely say that clicks and mortar continues to be the way forward!”
With the correct marketing and implementation an e-commerce website should increase sales and increase your businesses presence reaching a larger more diverse customer base.
- Shop around – Complete a specification and requirements for your businesses new site and get quotes from designers and software providers.
- Be careful, the cheapest is very often not the best solution – ask for references and reviews.
- Stay secure – ensure your customer’s data is safe with an SSL certificate, this will also help your website rank on Google.
- Consider the costs – there are ongoing costs associated with having an e-commerce website, hosting fees, payment processing and merchant fees, build this into your monthly budget.