In 2020 our lives and businesses changed. While the home improvement industry has largely proved resilient thanks to a surge in lockdown DIY, your small business might be feeling the pressure of the pandemic. Are you wondering how you can stay relevant in the ‘new normal’? Are you thinking about rebranding? Is your website in need of an overhaul? We share our tips in this blog.
Is my website outdated?
Just as home improvement trends come and go, so too do web designs. Remember when websites looked like this?! Times have changed and we’ve moved on. Most sites today are minimalist, with just a handful of pages, concise copy and a few carefully chosen images.
UX (user experience) – sometimes called CX or customer experience – is the most crucial thing to consider when rebuilding your website. Visitors won’t stick around if your site is complicated and frustrating to use.
A fresh perspective
When you’ve been using your website for a number of years, you’ll be used to the layout and how to get around it. To assess if your site is fit for purpose, you need a fresh perspective. Ask friends, family, customers, strangers for honest feedback on your site.
- Is it easy to understand what you do?
- Can they find what they are looking for?
- Are products, services or prices clear?
- Do they know what to do next?
- Can your customers buy online?
- Is the checkout and payments process straightforward and pain-free?
- Are you offering flexible payments?
- Is your site fast and responsive?
Make sure your website is offering the level of service your customers expect. Consumer credit is an increasingly popular way to purchase goods with many consumers opting for Buy Now, Pay Later.
The pandemic has increased a trend that was already in play – eCommerce. If your site is not yet ready for online shopping, you could be missing a trick (and a lot of sales). Customers today want convenience – and that means shopping online from the comfort of their homes. It’s easy to set up a simple online store thanks to platforms like WooCommerce.
Optimise for mobile
Another key factor you need to consider is the shift from desktop pcs and laptops to mobile. The majority of people are now browsing websites on their phones.
- Does your site display correctly on a phone?
- Are images or text appearing cut off?
- Can people read your text?
Most website-building platforms allow you to view mobile displays – check it works!
How to refresh or rebuild your website
Rebrand – make your website part of your business rebrand to bring your image up-to-date.
Map it out – just as you would group similar items on the shelves of your brick-and-mortar store, the same applies online.
Start small – you don’t have to put everything online. Pick your most popular lines or services and start with those.
Keep copy short and to-the-point – customers want just enough information to make a purchasing decision, not War and Peace by Tolstoy.
Clear calls-to-action – help your customers do what you want them to do by giving clear calls-to-action. ‘Buy now’, ‘book here’, etc.
Flexible payment options – give your customers choice over when and how they pay. For more advice from Shermin on future-proofing your home improvement business, read this part of our business recovery guide.