What If You Have a Storefront and a Website?

So what if you have a storefront AND a website?

How does that change things for you?
I see lots of storefront owners (even ones killing it in-store) spinning their wheels trying to match that online or feeling guilty that they should be doing so but aren’t putting their energy there.
Listen, your storefront and your website are nearly two different businesses! Certainly, in terms of marketing strategy. What brings feet in the door is not the same as what brings eyes to the site. Having both revenue streams would be nice - but you know what’s more important? That you are maximizing whichever stream is already working for you.
So you aren’t misallocating resources (even just time and energy, yours or team members) on a revenue stream that’s not working right now (if those resources could be better spent on your working revenue stream to produce more revenue there instead).
Also, because no one is really talking about this - it’s also OK and not at all a bad idea for your website’s main goal to increase in-store sales, retention, and local customer sense of community/satisfaction. Obviously, anyone can shop online on your site, but if your goal and focus are in-store, how might that change how you build, design, and organize your website, what your transactional emails say, what your package insert says?
Don’t be afraid (IF this is the right call for you) to focus it all on your in-store local shoppers! It’s ok if online-only customers shop, too - but if they are the minority of your sales, they should be the minority of your focus (unless you intend to allocate enough resources for marketing to change that fact).
So, if your website caters to in-store local shoppers - what might that look like? Build the menu with them in mind, speak to them in your order confirmation email, give them an incentive to return to the store with your package insert.
Or better yet, push them to use the website to shop and come in to pick up (and maybe shop more), maybe you can offer a free goodie every time they come do so (a cash back type offer, or even something fun and collectible like a pin that is on brand for you that they want to collect all the pins).
Other things you can do on your site if this is your goal:
  • Offer personal styling sessions (allow appointment booking can even require a deposit to hold them accountable)
  • Promote in-store events and promotions - have it be a place they know they can go to find out what’s going on
  • Highlight and offer free, easy returns/exchanges in-store
  • Make sure you have Shopify’s native store pick-up option available so it highlights this well on the product page
  • If you offer items in multiple stores and/or have some items that are drop ship only - make sure it’s easy with your collection page filters for someone to find items in the locations they want (you can use tags, coding, apps and meta-objects for all kinds of advanced filters)
  • You can also (with the same tools as above) have small text under every item that says ‘online only’ or ‘available for pickup’ or ‘pre-order’ or ‘coming soon’ or ‘available in store ABC’
Make it easy - think about some of the big guys - what do you love that makes things easier on their site- can you bring that to your online shop? Almost anything is possible with the right tools.
Now, if you are really trying to push both online and storefront as separate sales channels - you could actually have two versions of your homepage too - with some coding love - you can even have different menus featured on each one. You could also have unique domains pointing to each to promote the right landing page to the right visitor in your marketing efforts (this is what I would suggest for anyone with multiple customer types running to one site).
I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion about storefront and online marketing. My most important takeaway here is to maximize whatever is already working for you!

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