Your website is not your storefront! You might hear many others telling you it is, but please don’t listen to them. This was the case when the internet was young and the people using it did this in a different way and with a different goal.
You have to move past that thinking. Your website is much more. It is your best sales person! Before I go into more details of why I say this, let’s take a minute and think about the difference between those two.
- displays some of the products you have
- talks to the masses
- gives merely an overview over the opening hours or ways of contacting you
- that’s it
If you can think of something more let me know in the comments below.
People might see something that they like but can’t make a purchase decision based on that. They would need to have some kind of follow up to get their questions answered. A portfolio page on your website would be the storefront.
- talks directly to ONE customer
- answers their questions and tries to find out how to solve their problem or desire (even better if he does this before they can ask the question)
- makes the customer feel welcomed
- and so on
Did you see the difference here?
The storefront is just a tiny part of your ‘shop’. It draws people into your store where the salesperson takes over and provides the necessary information for your visitor to become a customer.
Why I say that your website is not your storefront
Now back to my initial statement. 15 years ago people would browse the internet (if they did), find some interesting products and would typically hop on the phone or visit the Store/Gallery/the Artists Studio to ask questions, inquire, see if they are a good fit, make the purchase and so on. Online shops were really rare and people were not used to buying online.
In 2017 however no one seams to have the time to do this. With the sheer amount of sites and information out there we got kind of paralyzed by the information. We expect everything presented on a silver platter without much of an effort from our side.
You are all fired up because they were interested. And then you get THAT email saying that your price is too high. Your hope for a sale gets crushed and you feel sad about again a missed opportunity. Or worse, you start a flame post on Facebook where you bash people telling you that your prices are too high. I have seen a lot of those posts…
No one is getting out happy from this conversation.
What are some changes you could make?
- First, you should know who you are talking to. Who is typically buying from you? What do your past customers have in common? On what information do they make a purchase decision? When you know that you can talk directly to that one person.
- When writing your website copy (the text on your pages and the blog posts) write as you would be talking. Don’t use impersonal 3rd person voice when you write about yourself. Be there and be approachable. Talking in 3rd person is rather building up distance than a connection. The only part of your website that could be in 3rd person is when you have a section that Galleries could print out for their promotion. But here a nicely designed PDF would be the better option.
- And lastly, use the most asked question as basis for your website copy. People tend to take the easiest way so make it as easy as possible for them to commission you (For tips on commissions read my 5 Steps to the perfect commission post). This also saves you a ton of time you would otherwise have spend in answering the same questions over and over and over again. Just send them a link to the page or blogpost that answers their questions. (This page would also be the perfect place for retargeting with the Facebook Pixel. I will write about this in another post later on – once written you will find a link at this place)
Your website is not your storefront. It is much more! It is your best sales person who provides all the necessary information so that your visitors can make a purchase decision.
Your website is not your storefront but your best salesperson. It provides all the necessary information to make a purchase decision Click To Tweet
We want our questions answered – before we knew we had them.
We want our problems solved – before they arise.
We want all the information at hand – without searching or asking for them.
People want to consume fast and buy online – even better when there is no human interaction necessary. How people buy shifted, how people get their information shifted, how people communicate with each other shifted. And yet I see many websites that are ‘optimized’ for the ‘pre-shift’ online culture. What is the result? While this worked for Artists in 2000 and maybe still works for really established artists (or those whose main revenue comes from Galleries – and the job the galleries put into promoting the Art) this is not the case for the majority of 2017’s Artists. We have to use other methods to have the same impact. And understanding this is the first step into the right direction.Many websites are 'optimized' for the year 2000 online culture and not the 2017 one! And that's why they are not working! Click To Tweet
So how are people using websites today?
As already mentioned they want to have all the information necessary to make a purchase decision at hand. Here is what happens if this is not the case:
‘Potential Customer’ sends you an email with questions and asks for the price for an artwork. You get all fired up because finally someone wants to buy that piece or commission you. Your price is too much for their budget right now. This leads into an awkward situation: they need to tell you that your prices are too high for their budget, although they like it they can’t justify the purchase right now. They might not feel happy about their economic situation and hate writing that follow up email because they don’t know how to tell you.