July 6, 2021

Six Steps to Online Success

With more shoppers flocking to the Internet than ever before, your e-commerce site has become the first stop for a growing number of customers.

What does that mean for your business? It means that for all intents and purposes, your website is now your flagship showroom. And since first impressions matter, and consumers have little tolerance for glitches, your online store had better be in tip-top shape.

Just as you wouldn’t open your brick-and-mortar shop without salespeople, there are several “must-have” features common to all effective selling sites that you can’t afford to be without. Take a gander at this list, compiled by the e-commerce experts at the AVB/BrandSource buying group, to see where your website stands:

1. Sort Your Inventory by Brand and Category: Websites typically default to an alphabetical display of categories and brands, but that’s not how your customers shop. The tools developed by AVB Marketing, our e-commerce and digital marketing arm, allow you to sort your brands and categories in whatever order you think is best. Would you rather place your top-selling dishwashers ahead of garbage disposals, or break from alphabetical order and position Whirlpool and Ashley ahead of Amana? You can and you should!

2. Curate Multiple Special Catalogs: Do you sell scratch-and-dent products? How about buy-one/get-one-free pieces or clearance items? Your customers are hunting for the best prices, and you need the most efficient way to highlight off-price products. Instead of hiding these offers in your regular catalog, you should be curating special catalogs and including easy-to-navigate buttons in your website navigation. Put these offers front and center to make it as simple as possible for your customers to find them!

3. Set Up Automatic Price Rules: If you’re using a merchandising program for your website, like AVB’s LINQ, setting up automatic price rules will make your life easier and save you the stress of manually changing hundreds of prices regularly. One option to save you time and bring more customers through your doors is competitor price scraping. If you want to always be ahead of your big-box competitors, you can set up a rule to price scrape their products and meet or beat them.

4. Upsell Add-Ons, Warranties and Services: Your shopper might only be focused on the shiny new fridge they’ve got their eye on, so it’s your job (or your website’s) to remind them that they’ll also need delivery, hoses, installation and an extended warranty. These upsell opportunities should live on the website, right alongside the products and especially at checkout, for an easy add-on.

5. Live Chat: Your customers show up online expecting the same experience as if they’ve just walked in your front door, and a part of that is having a real person there to help. If there is a chat window on your website, they know you’re available to address their needs. Chat is easy to set up on your website; all it takes is pasting a snippet of code. Once you’re up and running you can see insights in an easy-to-navigate dashboard, letting you know how often customers are chatting and what time of day they are most likely to be online, so you can be too.

6. Activate a Payment Gateway: You’ve probably heard it a million times: You need a payment gateway! Conversely, we’ve heard all the reasons why you’re scared, but this is hands down the most important part of the whole e-commerce setup process. A payment gateway will not only make it easier for the consumer to make a purchase, but your website will become an additional salesperson for your store. You’ll be able to capture valuable shopper insights and data, and in turn, you’ll be able to strategize ways to capture even more online sales in the future.

Each of these critical services and more are available to every BrandSource member through AVB Marketing, our exclusive, one-stop digital shop. Thanks to their digital know-how and cutting-edge expertise, our dealers have a leg up on the competition and an affordable, world-class e-commerce experience that rivals any e-tailer or national chain.

Want to see what you and your customers have been missing? Click here to learn more about AVB Marketing and the many other benefits of BrandSource membership.

Receive the latest news.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Mirror Your Website In-Store

There’s something new in store for members of the BrandSource buying group that melds online shopping with brick-and-mortar showrooms.

Without Waterfall Financing, Your Website May be All Wet

From Niagara in the East to Snoqualmie out West, everyone loves a waterfall. The same holds true in big-ticket retail, where “waterfall” financing provides a wide range of online lending options for shoppers.

Who the Heck is AVB/BrandSource?

In a challenging retail landscape, where home improvement chains and online giants continue to hold sway, imagine if independent dealers had a heavy hitter in their corner.