September '19

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SEPTEMBER 2019 THE SHOP 47 or schedule services on-site (or at trade or car shows), you'll want to make sure the platform and/or payment gateway you select provides a mobile app or is mobile-ready. 4 Time to build this thing! Now you have two choices. You can either build this yourself if you've got the time to spare (the average e-commerce website with 20-50 products can take up to 60 hours or more to properly create and test), or you can hire professionals (like Motorhead Digital) to do it for you. One huge step before you go live with your new e-commerce site is to make sure you test the shopping cart functionality. Does it calculate the price, taxes and shipping cor- rectly? Does it notify you and the customer that the order was successfully placed? Test, test and test again—this is not something you want to go wrong. Also, don't forget to doublecheck all of your product and service pricing. Whichever route you choose, you'll want to make sure your online shop/booking system is built to current accessibility stan- dards, following best-practice guidelines for search engine optimization, security precautions and mobile friendliness. Pro tip: We've already mentioned it once, but if you're selling products that need to be shipped directly to the cus- tomer from your shop or a direct ship sup- plier, remember that we live in a world of instant gratification. If you give the cus- tomer the option of receiving the product the next day, within two days or on a spe- cific date, you need to deliver on your promise and have a process to get that product out ASAP. 5 Start your online selling marketing strategy. OK, so you've got your online shop/ booking system live—time to sit back and watch the dollars roll in, right? Not so fast. Unfortunately, in the online world of today, the old saying If you build it, they will come is wishful thinking. You now need to attract visitors to the site. You'll want to look at blogging on a regular basis (a key pillar of content marketing that helps you appear in search engine results). You can also participate in industry forums where your customers hang out, offering helpful support related to the products and services you offer and thereby becoming the expert they know and trust. But, do not sell unless the forum provides an area to do so. Just be the expert and people will come. Another underrated form of content is video. Keep in mind that online content like video tutorials, product reviews or step- by-step instructions can be an incredible draw for customers. When it comes to paying for advertise- ments, you'll want to make sure you're advertising on the right platform. In this industry, our audience usually hangs out on Facebook or Instagram. Google Ads are also always a good choice, no matter who you're looking to reach. Connecting with customers through social media is one of the best ways to engage and attract new buyers. Most ad platforms allow you to run discount spe- cials or offer coupon codes easily, helping you capture your audience's attention. Pro tip: A common mistake for first- time online sellers is to set up online ads that drive traffic to their home page. Make sure your online ads link to a rel- evant product or custom ad-related landing page on your website instead to promote buying. 6 Keep at it! Once you're up and running, making sales and/or securing appointments, you'll need to maintain your website and keep investing in online ads. Think of your online shop/website as a car—you need to keep giving it periodic tune-ups or it'll break down. Online selling can be an incredible profit booster and help you access an entirely new set of customers. Getting started can be a bit overwhelming—and a total time-suck if you don't have a process set up. You can do it yourself, but we recom- mend a professional that knows all the ins and outs of a digital strategy and selling online. It will save you time, money and a lot of stress in the long run. Isn't it time to let your website do the work for you? With over 20 years of experience, BARRY ALT combines his passion for most anything automotive with his ability to strategize in the digital world at Motorhead Digital, a full- service digital agency just for automotive profes- sionals. Reach him at (585) 766-9785 or balt@ IRONCROSSAUTOMOTIVE.COM FEATURES • Sensor Compatible • Multiple Lighting Options • Customizable Accent Plates • Matte Black Finish • Low Profile Design HARDLINE FROM IRON CROSS THE

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