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Andrea Hill

You Really Can Tailor Web Offerings To Each Online Visitor

Consider both what they’re looking for and where they live, says Andrea Hill.

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You Really Can Tailor Web Offerings To Each Online Visitor

DOES YOUR WEBSITE actively engage your customers, responding to their cues and enticing them with increasingly relevant information? Or does it just … lie there?

Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a website was exciting if it was well-designed, graphically pleasing, and you could order something on it. Today’s Internet surfers expect much more. What’s that you say? You’re not an e-commerce company? You’re a brick-and-mortar retailer? As far as consumers are concerned, that’s not a meaningful distinction. If you want consumers to visit your store, you must impress them online first.

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But what does it mean to engage your customers online? That definition keeps changing as affordable new technologies arrive. If your website is based on any current open source platform (WordPress, Joomla, Magento) or website builder (Shopify, SquareSpace, Wix, Weebly), you have affordable options that weren’t available even two years ago. These tools can be added to your site without expensive redesign or updates. But if you don’t know these options exist, you won’t go looking for them. So let’s talk about a few things your website should be doing — things that motivate visitors in ways a static website cannot.

Picture this: A brand new prospect comes to your website through an organic link. She’s searching for a baby bracelet, and she’s landed on one of your product pages. But after a few minutes, the search has stalled. No page movement, no shopping cart, no more clicks … oh no, she’s leaving! What’s a website to do?

How about a small popup that says, “Hey! It looks like you’re looking for a gift. I can help!” The popup offers two options. The visitor can “Chat with a Real Person Now,” or they can “See More Gift Ideas.” By selecting one of these options, the website visitor takes one important step toward “yes” — a step she would not have taken if your website hadn’t actively engaged her.

Of course, if the visitor had landed on a bridal page, the initial popup would have mentioned something about looking for engagement rings. If she had landed on a custom design page, the message would be tailored to custom. Tailoring website engagement to each visitor is completely within your reach and your budget today.

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Or what about this: You have three retail stores in three very different communities. But you have only one website (and that’s enough, amiright?). No problem! You already know about geo-targeting your advertising. But are you also geo-targeting your website visitors? Segment your visitors by location and offer them location-specific content. Not just pages dedicated to a specific location — that’s still thinking in a static way. Rather, dynamically direct your guests to products, product categories, and offers most popular in their area.

What are your tangible goals when a visitor comes to your website? The top three should be:

  1. Get an order
  2. Get an email address so you can market to them later, or
  3. Get them into your store

Actively engage your visitors, and significantly increase your chances of achieving at least one of those goals. It’s not as dimensional as a real-life interaction, but for the moment at least, it’s the next best thing to being there.

Andrea Hill is owner of Hill Management Group, with three brands serving the jewelry industry. Learn more at hill-management.com.

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