These days, everyone can agree that having a website for your flooring business is critical. Your website is where your business lives online! Think of it as your digital storefront. It’s the best place to tell your story, present your products, and show off your invaluable knowledge about all things flooring.
Besides, it’s 2020. If a prospective customer can’t find your business with a quick Google search, you may as well not even exist.
But: is having an unappealing, difficult-to-use website that much better?
If you view your website as an extension of your store, absolutely not.
Think about it: you put a lot of time and energy into your store. At a minimum, it’s probably clean, well-lit, and staffed by pleasant, knowledgeable people. Maybe you have some inviting spaces for customers to sit and chat with a sales rep. Maybe you even play music or offer beverages!
If your website is hard to navigate or visually unappealing, you can guarantee that visitors are quickly clicking the little ‘X’ and moving on to the next site. It’s the digital equivalent of walking right out the door, getting back in the car, and driving down the road to Home Depot.
Simply put, you need a website—and it needs to be just as welcoming and accessible as your brick-and-mortar store. We know that’s a tall order, so we’ve created this guide to help you ensure your online presence is everything you want it to be.
Here are the 7 pivotal elements to consider when building a website for your flooring business.
#1: How does it look?
You’ve probably heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That’s not just true for relationships—the same can be said about your website. According to studies, users take only 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) to form an opinion about a webpage.
Think about your best-selling product. Maybe it’s wood-look porcelain tile; maybe it’s wide-plank hardwood; maybe it’s broadloom carpet. Whatever it is, it looks nice.
So should your website.
And people have clear expectations of how a website should look. Google studies show that websites with low visual complexity and high prototypicality (conventional designs) are perceived as more appealing.
Translation: keep it clean, simple, and familiar. Text should be easy to read. No crazy fonts, no dark backgrounds, and no over-the-top visuals. If a page is too distracting or takes too long to load, you run the risk of frustrating the customer.
And of course, a frustrated customer probably won’t be a customer for long. And speaking of frustration…
#2: Is it easy to use?
Remember: if users have trouble navigating your website, they’ll simply leave. So make sure your core information is front and center.
A potential customer should never have to struggle to understand what products you’re selling, where you’re located, or how to contact you.
Just as importantly, though, you need to make sure your website is optimized for mobile users.
Mobile web traffic surpassed desktop traffic in 2017, and that trend isn’t stopping—or even slowing down—any time soon. Having a mobile-friendly website in 2020 is an absolute must.
#3: Are your services and offerings clear?
Today’s consumers are accustomed to having a wealth of information at their fingertips. They have questions, and if you don’t have clear answers for them immediately, they’ll take their business elsewhere.
With that in mind, your website should make your services and offerings crystal clear. Provide a robust product catalog as well as information on any services you offer.
Do you give free estimates or design consultations? How about installation services? Do you move furniture before an install, or is the customer responsible for that? Do you do restoration or repairs? If the customer has to rip out a bunch of carpet or tile, do you help with disposal?
The more questions your website can answer for your customers, the better.
#4: Does it help build trust?
You know how important word-of-mouth marketing is for small, local businesses. Some flooring dealers make over 60% of their sales from referred customers.
Online reviews are basically the digital version of word-of-mouth marketing.
According to Qualtrics, a full 91% of consumers between the ages of 18 to 34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Translation: putting consumer reviews on your website can tip the scales in your favor when potential customers are weighing their options.
And don’t be afraid to add customer testimonials, video reviews, and any awards you have earned too!
With FloorForce, you can also aggregate reviews from platforms like Google, Facebook, and Yelp to your website. This commitment to transparency generates goodwill and signals to potential customers that you can be trusted.
#5: Can customers share their experiences?
Customers feel good about companies that offer a way to leave feedback. Encourage that! Let customers know they will be contacted with an email or short survey form if they buy from you.
It’ll give them confidence that you care about their experience—even after they’ve made a purchase.
And those customer satisfaction surveys aren’t just helpful for the customer. They also show you ways to improve your business and increase customer satisfaction.
And you can always leverage positive survey responses by posting them in a “Happy Customers” section!
#6: What makes you so special?
What differentiates your company from the box stores or the retailer down the street?
Maybe your grandfather opened your store 100 years ago, benefiting the local economy for generations. Or maybe you’re a veteran who served your country. Or maybe, you just really love flooring!
Whatever your story, it’s what makes you special. Let your customers know who you are and why they should buy from you.
#7: How can people reach you?
A phone number is great, but it’s not enough. In addition to a phone number, you should also supply an email address (and remember to answer it promptly!)
Lead forms are also key. In addition to being helpful for customers, they’re an excellent way to gather information. If you present your lead form as a way to receive a “free flooring estimate” or something similar, prospective buyers will give you their name, contact information, and desired products in a snap.
But you can—and should—go above and beyond these baseline expectations. Live Chat is a great feature for your website because it can capture leads long after you and your employees have gone home for the night.
Live chatbots simulate real conversations and help answer customers’ questions as they’re browsing. Plus, customers average a 73% satisfaction rate when interacting with chatbots.
A well-designed, carefully thought out website can be a powerful tool for attracting potential customers.
Comprehensive websites give customers the ability to really get to know you. And by comprehensive, we mean a product catalog, customer reviews, multiple points of contact, and a compelling “About Us” section that explains what sets you apart.
If you’re ready to get a beautiful, robust, easy-to-navigate website up and running, schedule a free consultation with one of our account success managers today!