5 steps to boost your appeal to festive shoppers in 2020

Piranha Designs - Thursday, October 08, 2020

It won’t exactly be news to any members of your ecommerce brand’s team – or any of its customers – that 2020 has been a year like no other, although sadly largely in the negative sense. But of course, that simply makes a bit of well-judged Christmas cheer more crucial than ever, which is something your online store can play a part in delivering.

Below are some of our favourite tips for how e-tailers can capitalise on the strange times of the 2020 festive season with their online marketing and sales strategies.

Have a dedicated Christmas section

Of course, we were always going to start with the “obvious” advice, which is as relevant as it is in part because so many merchants actually overlook it.

It’s not necessarily an arduous task to re-jig an existing special section of your online store – the Halloween page, for example – to house and promote Christmas-related items such as festive decorations and chocolate boxes.

You might just be switching out some products and suitably renaming the page, not to mention replacing any links to this page on the homepage and navigation bar.

Be empathetic to your customers

Ask anyone, and it seems that we’re practically all stressed and fed up about at least something at the minute. We wish the pandemic was over already, and we’re fretting about our health and financial situations, and/or those of our loved ones. Other ongoing global events, such as the US election and Brexit situation, will also be causing stress – whatever your customers’ political views may be.

So, if there’s one thing your store should be, it’s supportive to its customers at an angst-ridden and uncertain time. Be the brand that represents the metaphorical shoulder to cry on, by training your staff to handle customer concerns with sensitivity and heart, even when only selling online.

Underline home comforts and conveniences

Whether or not your ecommerce brand also has a high-street presence, a significant proportion of your customers will probably resent still having to spend so much time at home, so long after the COVID-19 crisis first hit Europe in the spring.

But this does present your store with an opportunity to show that an almost exclusively home-based life can be an experience, too. Consider, then, what items your store specialises in that may be particularly relevant for domestic use – think everything from books, blankets and loungewear to home smart speakers, gift hampers and bathroom products.

Tap into the trends of the COVID-19 era

We all know that the pandemic has upended our world and lives, so why wouldn’t it have a similarly dramatic impact on what kind of items people wish to buy during the Christmas season?

Given the economic chaos the coronavirus has visited upon us, it shouldn’t surprise you that high-end luxury goods have already been de-emphasised in many stores’ marketing campaigns this year. In their place, we’ve seen much attention drawn to gifts that are unique, but also immediate sources of joy and comfort in the home at this trying time.

Encourage customers to connect virtually

We aren’t just talking here about how those shopping with you may reach out to your team via email, ‘live chat’ or Facebook Messenger – although this aspect of your service is certainly crucial at a time when your customers won’t want to be left waiting for a response.

That’s because we’re also referring to the myriad ways in which families, friends and colleagues may keep communication lines open with each other as the winter wears on.

Perhaps you could highlight the fashion and makeup products of your brand that could help your shoppers to look and feel good on camera, or the food and wine items that might represent excellent choices for a ‘virtual’ family tea or snack?


Are there ambitions and possibilities for the design or redesign of your e-tail store’s website, or its SEO or PPC marketing, that you would like to discuss in greater detail with the Piranha Designs team? If so, you’re welcome to reach out to us in Gibraltar, London or Edinburgh now.

Do your own ecommerce customers have the “fear of missing out”?

Piranha Designs - Tuesday, October 06, 2020

It’s a very human thing to want what someone else possesses, and to be anxious about the possibility that not doing something – whether it is watching a particular TV show, being involved in a given event, or buying a certain product – is the wrong choice.

The phenomenon has even been summed up in an acronym – FOMO, or the “fear of missing out”. What you might not be so familiar with as the owner of an e-tail store, however, is how you can tap into the FOMO that resides in your own target customers to drive sales.

Even something as simple as an add-to-cart button or a call to action like “Buy now while stocks last”, can help you to play on potential buyers’ FOMO across the landing pages and product pages of your online store. But what else can you do to trigger such a key fear in your site visitors?

Accept pre-orders for upcoming products

If you’ve ever read a press release for a newly announced product like a hotly anticipated smartphone, handbag, videogame or music album and placed a pre-order for it on your favourite online shopping site, you’ll already know the power of this functionality for driving FOMO – and sales.

After all, when we’re among the first to have a particular product, it often makes us feel that bit more special – as if we’re members of an exclusive club.

And when you present your customers with the option to pre-order that product, you won’t just trigger their FOMO – you’ll give them a way of alleviating it, too.

Indicate the product is ‘limited’ or ‘out of production’

Brands have long described products as ‘limited edition’ to spur prospective buyers to commit to a purchase of the item straight away.

Of course, another way of seeing it is that all products are ‘limited’ in the sense that none of them can continue in production forever. So, when a certain item in your store does approach the end of the line, another opportunity exists to trigger FOMO by actually displaying the quantity remaining of that product on the product page, before it becomes permanently out of stock.

Display a countdown timer

When the opportunity to buy a certain product at a particular price is time-limited rather than stock-limited, there are few things quite as effective at instilling that ‘FOMO’ urgency as incorporating a real-time countdown timer on the same page where the customer will be browsing the items.

After all, such a timer would be a highly visual reminder of the approaching deadline, complete with movement to catch the shopper’s eye as they compare your sale items.

Embed social media posts on your site

There are ways to drum up hype about a particular product that don’t involve you having to fork out a hefty amount of cash for the services of celebrity endorsers or social influencers. In fact, if people are making a fuss about your product on social media right now, why not draw shoppers’ attention to this, by embedding the relevant content into your site’s own pages?

Just make sure you actually do use the embed tools that the leading social networks make available – there’s this handy guide from Twitter, for instance – so that you are linking directly to the posts in question, rather than stealing content and infringing someone’s copyright as a result.

As you can see, triggering the “fear of missing out” in your e-tail store’s visitors can be handy for getting them to hit that ‘buy’ button for items on your site that they may have otherwise had a merely casual interest in.

Reach out to our website design, SEO and PPC marketing professionals here at Piranha Designs today, and we’ll help you to make the most of the potential that your own ecommerce site offers.

3 SEO changes you can make for your online store without spending money

Piranha Designs - Tuesday, September 29, 2020

You hopefully won’t need the Piranha Designs team to remind you of the importance of optimising your ecommerce store for the search engines to maximise its visibility online – but doesn’t doing such a thing require a certain amount of financial investment?

The short answer is no, not necessarily. Indeed, the following are ‘do it yourself’ SEO tips that online business owners can apply to their sites straight away, without spending a penny.

Improving title tags

All too many online store owners overlook the scope to easily optimise their site’s title tags, having simply accepted the default titles generated by their chosen ecommerce platform.

So, if the title tags for your site’s category pages, for example, are currently along the lines of ‘[Page title] – [Site title]’, consider what extra common-sense details you could incorporate to help both search engines and the human user.

Instead of making do with ‘Men’s – Joe’s Footwear’, could you modify such a title to something like ‘Men’s Trainers – Joe’s Footwear’ or even ‘Men’s Limited Edition Trainers – Joe’s Footwear’? Remember that Google typically shows the first 50 to 60 characters of a title tag, so you shouldn’t go beyond this for the lengths of your modified titles.

Scrutinising rivals

Consider who your competitors are in the organic search results, encompassing not just sites that sell the same products and services as yours, but also sites that may compete in an informational sense by answering questions frequently asked by your target audience.

Any sites taking up space on search engine results pages for queries that your brand is also targeting can be regarded as your SEO rivals.

So, look at what they’ve done in order to enjoy such strong search results. Are they embracing content themes that your site currently doesn’t? Is their site structured in a way that better targets certain strategically important keywords? What kind of user experience does each given rival brand provide – and is it more engaging than the one your site offers?

Answering questions like the above will then enable you to fine-tune your SEO strategy to be better aligned with what is actually likely to work for your brand.

Producing regular content

While we can certainly provide such services as blog content production and guest blogging as part of our search engine optimisation and marketing packages, there’s little to stop you producing your own content in the meantime, provided that you’re confident in doing so.

After all, you know your own brand’s products, services and industry better than anyone else. And if you’re thinking to yourself, “but I’m not a confident writer”, remember that “content” isn’t just words – the likes of product images, how-to videos and other graphics also count. A professional writer could then help to ensure it’s all presented even more effectively.

Nor do you need to be pumping out new content every day for it to be “regular” enough to help your site in the search engines. The weekly or even just monthly publication of new and unique content will be of benefit, provided that the content is of genuine value and usefulness for your target audiences.

These are just some of the steps that you can take with your site now to enhance its SEO prospects – so if you have any further questions about the possibilities, why not enquire to Piranha Designs today? We will be pleased to have a no-obligation discussion of your needs with you, and can also present you with a competitive quote.

5 tips for getting your category pages in shape for the search engines

Piranha Designs - Monday, September 28, 2020

The category pages on an ecommerce site are often overlooked from a search engine optimisation (SEO) perspective, despite the fact that they routinely already target and contain keywords that customers frequently search for. So, what further steps can you take to bolster your category pages’ rankings for those often highly competitive keywords?

Begin with the metadata

You can barely claim to have optimised your online store’s category pages if you leave the title tags and meta descriptions untouched. Such metadata will always be at the forefront of any responsible and informed efforts to improve SEO – so be sure to incorporate relevant keywords into them, and a ‘call to action’ (CTA) at the end of each meta description.Also try to keep the length of your title tags and meta descriptions within Google’s character limits – 60 and 160 characters respectively.

Use relevant headings

The title tag and meta description, while crucial to on-page SEO, are hidden away in the page’s HTML, and aren’t visible on the category page itself. The headings, though – with their tags like H1, H2 and so on – very much are clear to see on the actual page. So these, too, need to be relevant. A good rule of thumb is to use the H1 heading – which is typically the primary heading at the top of the page – to reinforce the theme you put in your title tag, referring to the overall subject of the entire page. This might be followed by H2 and H3 subheadings to represent supporting themes on the page.

Incorporate body text

Not everyone actually likes the idea of using body copy on an ecommerce site’s category page, with some preferring to leave imagery of the relevant products to ‘do the talking’ by itself. However, if you want your online store to do well in the organic search rankings, you really can’t do without at least some text in the body of each category page, even if you merely settle for a sentence or two. Carefully choose just one or two descriptive keywords that naturally fit with the copy, and you won’t need to write paragraph after paragraph for your body content if you don’t wish to do so.

Aim for relevant link text

Some ecommerce stores attempting to optimise their category pages often end up committing the classic error of using link text – such as ‘click here’ or ‘find out more’ – that is useless from an SEO point of view.So, consider the opportunities you have with your link text – including in the aforementioned body copy – to send relevance signals to the search engines, such as by referring to specific products or subcategories of products.

Include links in the header and footer

Sure, your site’s header and footer are the same across your site, so you might not see this as a tip for optimising your category pages, so to speak. However, your site’s header and footer do represent useful space in which to perhaps incorporate links to some of the most valuable category and subcategory pages.With Christmas looming in just a few months, for instance, you might take the chance now to link to your festive-season category page, in time to attract the attention of both search engine spiders and human users on the lookout for the best deals on Yuletide gifts.Just make sure you don’t overdo it with the header and footer links; trying to link to all of your ecommerce store’s category or subcategory pages here will not come across well to human shoppers, and will be over-optimised from a search algorithm point of view.

If you would like to discuss your requirements in ecommerce website design or SEO marketing in greater detail, the Piranha Designs team is available at the other end of a phone or email inbox. Don’t wait any longer to get in touch with us in Gibraltar, London or Edinburgh.

Branching out from physical to online retail? Here are the first things to think about

Piranha Designs - Monday, August 17, 2020


Amid all of the unwanted interruption and uncertainty that the coronavirus pandemic has brought to businesses that operate solely from ‘high street’ brick-and-mortar premises, we can well understand you wanting to build greater resilience for your firm in this strange new world.

One of the most obvious steps in that regard would probably be launching an ecommerce presence for your brand, even if you have no plans to leave the high street just yet.

But if that’s an operation your business is undergoing or thinking of undergoing, what are the key factors that you need to consider or may be at risk of overlooking?

Brick-and-mortar and online selling are very different worlds!

Hopefully, your brand won’t be under any illusions about the size of the challenge of adding an online sales arm to its high-street offering; it’s not something you can just introduce once and then largely forget about.

Regardless, it’s well worth underlining once more, how profoundly physical and online retail differ. If you’re in a brick-and-mortar store, you can pick up a product in your hands, look at it from different angles, and feel its weight. You can also scrutinise physical details that may not be obvious from the kind of imagery you see in a manufacturer’s brochure or on the pages of an online store.

An ecommerce store, of course, can’t offer these advantages, or certainly not to the same extent. Then, there’s the fact that a physical location can serve as its own form of marketing, with potential customers perhaps constantly driving or walking past it and making a mental note to investigate it if they find themselves requiring related services in the future.

Don’t underestimate what’s involved in making the transition

Whatever your brand happens to sell – clothing, kitchen utensils, art supplies, electrical appliances or something different altogether – there are very significant differences between selling those goods online and offline.

If you’re a brick-and-mortar business selling on the web for the first time, you might therefore underestimate the sheer energy, time and money investment needed to prepare and keep track of such aspects of your online store as its product images, product descriptions and inventory.

Consider, for instance, the images that you use on your product pages. Your brick-and-mortar store obviously doesn’t need to bother with these when it can literally show the item hanging from a hook. But when it comes to online selling, you’ll need at least one photograph, and probably ideally several, in order to give the prospective purchaser a vaguely equivalent experience.

And yes, while you might be able to obtain many usable product photos from the manufacturer or distributor, and upload them to your site, even this process can be more time-consuming than you initially imagine. Picture yourself repeating this task over and over again for literally hundreds or thousands of items, and it could all quickly become overwhelming.

Similar can be said for such key processes as sourcing or devising product descriptions, managing your ecommerce store’s inventory, and marketing it through both traditional and more recent online and digital channels, the latter including the likes of Pay Per Click and video advertising.

Allow us to help you to embrace this exciting new chapter

Notwithstanding all of our advice above, entering the world of online retail as a previously predominantly ‘high street’ brand shouldn’t be something to be scared of. It does, though, necessitate the best preparation, as we would be pleased to assist you with here at Piranha Designs.

Enquire now about such services as ecommerce website design and search engine marketing provided by our team, and you can soon be in a position to get so much more out of the e-tail possibilities that the post-COVID-19 era will represent.

Could a loyalty scheme help to cement your online store’s COVID-19 gains?

Piranha Designs - Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Such is the immensely disruptive nature of a pandemic like the one we have faced over the last few months, that almost no one can claim COVID-19 has been a “good” thing for them overall.

One positive that ecommerce store owners certainly weren’t expecting at the start of the year, however, was a massive jump in the proportion of e-tail sales as part of overall retail sales, due to lockdown restrictions having forced many more people to make purchases from home.

Hopefully, your own online outlet will have effectively capitalised on the jump in overall demand for ecommerce sites’ services, with the consequence of rising sales.

But as the previous lockdown rules gradually loosen and more people are afforded the luxury of shopping at brick-and-mortar stores again, how can your e-tail store consolidate the gains it has made since March?

One short answer to that question is... by introducing a loyalty scheme.

Why are loyalty programs such a great idea anyway?

Sometimes referred to as ‘VIP’ or ‘rewards’ schemes, or even ‘loyalty programs’, loyalty schemes take many forms on ecommerce sites.

However, the broad benefits of such schemes for both the business itself and its customers are well-defined. A VIP scheme could help your store to boost customer lifetime value (CLV or CLTV), which is a measure of the net profit that can be predicted for a given customer over the entire duration of your relationship with them.

Customers who properly engage with loyalty programs are also, of course, more engaged and loyal customers in general with the brands running these schemes. Your own loyalty club members are likelier to read the marketing emails you send them, and to ‘like’ and share your brand’s social media posts.

Then, there’s the not-insignificant matter of all of the data you can gather from the customers who participate in your VIP scheme. This could enable you to develop a better understanding of how your target audience behaves in general, and how you could better reach them with the right products, prices and marketing messages.

A truly great loyalty or VIP scheme goes well beyond the basics

So, what does a good loyalty scheme consist of? Well, first of all, it should offer something of value to the customer from the moment they join as a member or participant. That might be a discount straight away, or perhaps a gift, or extra loyalty points just for signing up.

Whatever you offer at this stage, make sure it’s exclusively obtainable by those joining your loyalty program, rather than just a duplication of an offer you might already present to those subscribing to your emails, for example.

From there, various other features or quirks may be added to your store’s loyalty scheme to help to make it really interesting, with the exact ones you choose dependent on your business’s sector, preferences and needs.

Some online stores, for instance, might throw in additional bonuses for customers who carry out certain actions like answering a survey or installing an app.

Maybe you might also present VIP shoppers with a voucher or extra loyalty points on their birthdays, or introduce a referral element, whereby the loyalty club member is rewarded if they refer someone to the site who goes on to make a purchase from your store.

Or what about rewarding points for other one-off activities like your customers posting images of your store’s products and how they use them with your social media hashtag? The promise of exclusive content can also be a powerful enticement for those who are unsure of whether to become a loyalty member of your site.

There are so many ways to get loyalty schemes ‘right’

The above is naturally not an exhaustive rundown of all of the possibilities for your store’s loyalty scheme; nonetheless, it should give you a sense of some of the intriguing ways you could experiment and mix things up when launching a rewards program.

A well-executed loyalty program can do so much to better market your ecommerce store’s offerings, heighten engagement and boost sales. However, it is also just one of the many aspects of your e-tail business that you will need to focus on getting right for the remainder of 2020 and beyond.


For an in-depth discussion about your online business’s aspirations and needs with regard to website design, SEO and PPC marketing, and so many more areas of specialism of ours, don’t hesitate to enquire to the Piranha Designs team in Gibraltar, London or Edinburgh today. 

Mimic Amazon by making these 3 changes to your e-tail site’s product pages

Piranha Designs - Tuesday, July 07, 2020

The statistics certainly don’t lie about Amazon’s continued staggering dominance of today’s ecommerce market; the tech titan may have started off as a bookseller in the early days of the World Wide Web, but by 2018, its annual net sales in the UK alone amounted to a staggering 14.5 billion US dollars. It was also reported last year that almost nine in 10 UK shoppers use the site.

What does all of this say about how your own ecommerce store responds to Amazon? Well, it certainly suggests you could learn a few lessons from them.

So, here are a few steps that you might take to make your site’s product pages that bit more ‘Amazon-esque’ – for the better.

Make your product names as descriptive as possible

Of course, Amazon is effectively its own search engine – people are constantly using its search function to type in the names of products that they’re looking for. Accordingly, merchants compete hard to rank their products as highly as possible in Amazon’s search results.

A strategy that such sellers therefore often adopt, is loading the names of their products with highly descriptive and specific text, to help them to reach those prospective buyers who really are looking for that red, stainless steel, 1.7-litre, electric kettle.

What you might not have realised, though, is that it’s a method that could also greatly help your own ecommerce store’s products to rank highly in Google. Adding a few modifiers – such as colour, size, material and so on – to your product page names could go a long way to helping you to target the prospective purchasers who’re most likely to be interested in them.

Flesh out your product descriptions

It might seem to go without saying that if your product page titles are highly descriptive, the actual descriptions further down the page probably should be, too.

However, you might not have consciously noticed how Amazon makes good use of both bullet points and longer-form text descriptions on its product pages. Both of these aspects of a product page can be instrumental in informing Google of the relevance of the product for the searches that human users might perform for certain items.

Bullet points, of course, are highly ‘scannable’, which makes them great for quickly drawing attention to the key features and benefits of a product. Well-written extended text, however, can also considerably boost contextual search relevance, at the same time as helping human users who land on the given page.

Allow for user-generated content

How many of us haven’t found a review by an actual buyer of a given product helpful for informing our decision as to whether to purchase? More recently, questions and answers have also been added to Amazon’s product pages. Both of these features enable Amazon – and other online stores like your own – to use shoppers’ own language to augment the information already on the page and bolster the page’s chances of ranking well.

We’d add a caveat here, though: not all user-generated content will necessarily be good for the SEO of your e-tail store’s product pages. If such content is poor quality, irrelevant or outright spammy, the page’s relevance signals may become muddled, thereby undermining its ability to rank.

So, it’s a very good idea to have someone moderating the reviews your products receive. You might even go further in the Amazon-imitating stakes in this regard, by allowing shoppers to indicate which reviews they find most helpful. This means that the highest-rated reviews can be pinned to the top of the list – in the process, denying a prominent position to lower-quality reviews.

Would you like to learn more about the breadth and depth of the ecommerce web design and SEO marketing expertise we could bring to your own brand? If so, the Piranha Designs team is available on the other end of a phone or email inbox, whether you contact us in Gibraltar, London or Edinburgh.

What can your e-tail business do now to prepare for Christmas 2020?

Piranha Designs - Tuesday, June 30, 2020

As crazy as it might seem in many ways to be even thinking about the end of the year, the fact remains that it tends to be just after Halloween onwards that customers turn their attentions to Christmas gift buying, running right up to Christmas Eve.

Retail phenomena like Black Friday and Cyber Monday have helped to turned the festive shopping season into something more than a frenzied couple of weeks’ buying immediately before Christmas.

However, it also seems unlikely that the COVID-19 pandemic will have become a mere bad memory by the time customers start their Christmas buying in 2020. So, how should the added complexity that the lingering virus brings affect your ecommerce firm’s festive preparations?

Navigating the persistent uncertainty around the pandemic

One of the problems with this subject, of course, is that no one truly knows what course the coronavirus outbreak will take in the UK and any other territories that your store might serve, even a month from now – never mind in another five or six months.

While monthly estimates have shown, for instance, that UK GDP fell by a frankly frightening 20.4% in April 2020, it is far from certain whether there will be a slow, fast or medium-paced economic recovery – or indeed, any immediate recovery.

This will also inevitably be influenced by such factors as the longer-term jobless figures and how much cash shoppers have in their pockets to spend as sources of support like the UK’s employee furlough scheme are gradually wound down.

Another statistic that you are likely to have noticed as an ecommerce store owner – at least in terms of the level of demand you have experienced from your own customers – is the sharp recent jump in Internet sales as a percentage of total retail sales in Great Britain. While this was 18.9% as recently as February, the ratio had vaulted to 32.8% by May.

Again, though, what is the long-term trend likely to be here, as more and more brick-and-mortar stores – even for ‘inessential’ sectors – reopen? A fast recovery, slow recovery or no recovery are different scenarios that could drastically impact your planning here, before you even consider how comfortable shoppers are likely to be with returning to physical stores.

There are still some actions, though, that you can take

As frustrating as the current uncertainty is, as an online merchant, you don’t have to simply throw your hands up and give up until more information is known about, for example, the likelihood of a much-talked-about ‘second wave’ of the virus.

Instead, take such concrete actions now as contacting your suppliers to ensure inventory will be available for Christmas, pinpointing any potential inventory issues and placing orders early if possible.

Also look at what your arrangements will be for delivering this inventory to customers, while contemplating what delivery disruptions could occur in the event of a ‘second wave’ and another lockdown, perhaps based on your store’s experiences the first time around.

Don’t be afraid, too, to ask your site’s customers about their festive shopping plans. What would they like to see your store doing or offering when the Christmas season arrives?

Finally, it’s a good idea to review your store’s online presence and what your needs for it are likely to be in the coming months. Could now be the time to get in touch with website design, mobile app or SEO marketing professionals like ours here at Piranha Designs, so that you can be sure of your store being as ‘COVID-19 ready’ as it can be from the autumn or winter onwards?

Now’s the time to make the moves to place your online store in the best possible position for success throughout what could be a tricky winter period – simply get in touch with our experts today to learn more. 

5 ways to innovate with your ecommerce store (without risking it all)

Piranha Designs - Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Let’s face it; most business owners would probably love to be known for experimentation and innovation. However, they don’t want to gamble their livelihood by doing something that might seem like ‘a good idea at a time’, only to turn out to be a reputation-damaging disaster.

And so it is the case with those who operate ecommerce stores. However, being innovative isn’t always about the hugely influential, game-changing success (like, say, the iPhone) or a crushing failure that is ridiculed forevermore (such as, perhaps, the Sinclair C5).

Indeed, it’s often much smaller and more subtle innovations that can prove the most important for online businesses in the long run. Innovation is, by its very nature, a risk – but you don’t necessarily have to gamble it all.

You might simply try one or more of the following...

Introduce a new product category

Is there a category you could add to your store that would naturally complement what you have to offer already – accessories for electrical equipment, for instance?

Or, of course, you may be a little bolder than that, by adding a category that isn’t quite what people would think of when they first hear your brand mentioned. Regardless, this can be a great way to experiment with the broadening of your store’s offering, boosting its appeal to existing customers at the same time as attracting new ones.

Try out alternative price points

Sometimes, you just don’t know what difference a different price for a given product will make to sales, unless you go ahead and make said change.

If the item in question is a very common product, for example, lower pricing might make sense. But you may be surprised by the extent to which making a relatively unique product more expensive actually helps to heighten its desirability among buyers, especially if it is your own in-house brand.

Provide services after the initial purchase

In 2020, couldn’t your store benefit from going beyond the standard purchase confirmation email? This might mean relatively small and ‘safe’ touches such as providing a money-off voucher code for the customer’s next order from you, or entering every shopper who reviews one of your products into a prize draw.

However, some stores might also consider providing a more comprehensive post-purchase support service to their most active customers, and perhaps personalised marketing emails instead of the generic messaging everyone else on the mailing list receives.

Launch a branded app for your store

This is a great example of relatively low-risk innovation, in that customers who prefer to shop the ‘old-fashioned way’, via your desktop site, will be able to continue doing so, while those who like the intuitiveness and convenience of an app have it as an option.

You do need to be sure of what your brand’s app will actually be for, however. Is it intended to be a shopping app, to boost customer loyalty, or even to provide a fulcrum for the creation of a community that will elevate your brand above being a mere online store?

Put together subscription packages

Online subscriptions have seemingly become all the rage in recent years, and with good reason. It’s been a while now since subscriptions were more-or-less just for magazines or consumable goods.

That’s because it’s even possible these days to subscribe to receive the likes of clothing, music and even pieces of art, with this business model helping many an online store to ‘lock in’ future orders from especially loyal shoppers.

All of the above steps can be considered ‘innovations’, without representing out-and-out risks to an ecommerce business’s future.

And don’t forget, too, that with the help of the right website design and SEO marketing expertise from professionals like ours here at Piranha Designs, you could be in an even better position to make an impact as an online merchant throughout 2020 and beyond.

How to foster trust among your online customers as coronavirus lockdowns loosen

Piranha Designs - Friday, June 05, 2020

There are welcoming signs of life beginning to return to some kind of ‘normal’ in the UK and across the world as the grim numbers associated with the COVID-19 pandemic gradually recede. But it’s not just brick-and-mortar businesses that need to prepare for a somewhat changed post-crisis landscape, as ecommerce stores will also have a lot to think about.

Indeed, the slowly brightening outlook means your store should probably be shifting its focus from its earlier lockdown ‘emergency’ measures to considerations of how you can cultivate longer-term loyalty from the customers you might have gained during this difficult period.

In order to do that, you’ll need to reassure them that your store is a trustworthy one, so that you can continue to attract their custom for months and years to come. Here are a few ways to accomplish exactly that.

Avoid any price hikes that you can’t explain or justify

Of course, not all retail businesses will have felt ‘on hold’ during the pandemic. The lockdown experience of a food or sanitary products seller, for example, is likely to have differed significantly from that of a high-end clothes label.

However, if you are in the fortunate position of stocking essential items, you should endeavour to maintain pricing of these at pre-pandemic levels. If price increases do need to happen, you should be careful to explain why, as even mere accusations of price gouging could hit your brand’s reputation.

Remove as much friction as possible from the checkout process

Many people will still be self-isolating, whether they have COVID-19 symptoms or are simply in a vulnerable demographic. These people will be especially reliant on online retail; for this reason, you won’t want to lumber them with an overlong and cumbersome checkout process.

These days, mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay can be built into online checkouts to enable shoppers to pay for their goods with a single tap or glance. This saves customers from having to register an account with the store in question, or even to manually type in their payment details, which will already be saved on their device.

Empathise with your audience

Difficulties related to the virus and the associated lockdown restrictions are clearly still widespread, which is why your customers might want particular reassurance that you will deliver them the items they need even as your own firm’s pressures start to bite.

Still, if your business isn’t serving high-end professionals, you should probably avoid using such phrases as “supply chain interruptions” or even – shudder – “unprecedented”. Instead, use simple, to-the-point terms like “we know times are confusing right now” or “our suppliers are working around the clock”.

If you aren’t a natural with written content, take heart that our SEO work includes the composition of blog posts that can keep your visitors updated on how your business is adjusting itself in the rapidly changing circumstances we’re all having to deal with right now.

Indeed, here at Piranha Designs, we possess wide-ranging website design and digital marketing expertise that could play an integral role in your ecommerce store’s efforts to thrive in the post-pandemic world. So why not contact us directly today to learn more?


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