On display in a Paris storefront window sits the most breathtaking, resplendent 5” python platform shoes. Yes, they would take a significant bite out of any budget but they dazzle and flash in your mind as you imagine walking them down the Boulevard. The sting of reality that will suddenly clamp down hard is designed to remind you that logical needs must be met, despite the desire and captivation of those barely plausible stilts.
Building an e-commerce website for your spa is one of the most important decisions you will make for your business and your head must be wrapped in the needs of the business rather than the opportunity to dazzle and Flash.
Stand out by designing a website that meets the needs of your customers and builds revenue for your business. It all starts by asking yourself what you really need from a spa website. Unraveling your wants from your needs will give you the insight to build an effective website and put you in control to drive your spa business toward success.
An e-commerce spa website needs:
Simple and logical navigation. Consumers are experienced in quickly finding what they need online. If the process is even slightly slow or challenging to navigate they will move on to a website that is straightforward. Make sure online customers can find what they need on your spa website right from the homepage including gift certificate purchases, appointment booking and spa treatment menus.
Focus on what’s being sold. Don’t overwhelm online customers with Flash and dazzling graphics. The idea is to keep their attention and make it easy to take action by making a purchase or booking an appointment so any distraction from that goal is diminishing the websites effectiveness.
Simple to update and add content. This means you need to be in control and keep the ability to update the website yourself. It will give you the flexibility to improve and refine your website to better meet customers needs over time. Adding content on a regular basis can improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which makes it easier for customers to find you online.
Streamline your business. Build a website with the capacity to book reservations and purchase online. It will free up your front desk and allow them to focus on the customers currently in the spa. If you really want to watch your rebooking rate go up, move phone reservations away from the front desk entirely and use online booking to manage the process.
Combine email/transactional capabilities. Imagine having built-in email marketing tools that allow you to email current clients and give them the ability to make a purchase right from the email. Email marketing is one of the most effective and least costly communication tools available today.
An e-commerce website must be reasonably priced. Be wary of web developers who tell you they can build a website for a few thousand dollars. Guaranteed, it will take a year or more to design, build and go live with your website. Each revision will result in additional charges and once the website goes live no one in the organization will be able to manage it. Changes and updates to the website will be completed by the original developer who will bill you more each month.
Reality often stings, but if you catch its drift in time it can save you from making a terrible mistake. Next time you check out your competitor’s dazzling website, take notice of the Flash and pizzazz and feel confident that online customers won’t be waiting to watch the show download. They have moved on to a better, more effective website, yours.
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