Why a website refresh?

In today’s trade, many consumers digest information from their fingertips, click of a mouse and the never-ending scroll. Within the furnishings industry, the traditional buying journey of bricks and mortar stores still thrives, but holding its hand as an equal partner is its digital sibling. 

For furniture and bed retailers in the trade, investing in your physical presence is key to attracting footfall, alongside a super-performing online channel. Your first-class store could have all the bells and whistles but the majority of consumers that visit a retailer will often leave to mull things over and when trying to search your business online could be left disheartened to find a second-rate site.

So, this month explores just why a website refresh plays a key part in your marketing strategy – or maybe it’s that time you need a complete overhaul? Or perhaps you’ve just gone live with your new website – congratulations – you’re keeping pace with the digital demand!

Let’s start with why you may need to think about a fresh design online. 

Keep connected

Social media is a powerful tool and there are many well-followed profiles that link back to rather dated websites, which can ultimately lead to a consumer feeling unsure if your company is reputable. There is no point in growing a following to lead them back to a disjointed, de-functioning and tasteless design. It just slams the brakes on any potential sale conversions. Having an oiled online operation that seamlessly flows with your socials will only heighten the visitor experience and lead to a positive journey. Furthermore, your website communicates many things about your business to a visitor, so it is important to make it a top priority in your marketing strategy. It’s also a great platform to connect other social platforms, reviews, testimonials etc in one place. It creates a sense of authority too – both in eyes of the visitor and the ranking bots looking to push lush sites. 

Dinosaur design

An obvious reason as to why a refresh may be needed is an outdated design. When staring at the same website design for years, it can become blurred and lost in the strategy that it actually needs attention. An unattractive web design can make your business seem unprofessional, immediately turning off potential customers. Investing in an attractive and fresh website design is more likely to gain visitors’ trust, reaffirming your reputation as well as showing you care about the consumer journey. There’s nothing more frustrating than landing on a dinosaur design (unless your website is of course about Dinosaurs, then by all means, roar away), or one that’s clunky and just isn’t performing. The top right-hand corner will be clicked in a matter of seconds. 

Competition clues

Another obvious one for you – check out the competition as I bet they are doing the same. As an independent retailer, take a look at what your closest competitor is doing, search their website and see how they rank compared to you, as well as explore the functionality of their online platform and find errors (if any) to see how yours can be better. Why not include a blog page on informative articles related to your product offering. Not only does this build trust and reputation (if done well), it enhances rankings as search engines will pick up on specific topics and keywords. If your competition is like you, outdated and dangerous, then you know it’s time to act. Investing in a new web design will allow you to win over your competition, whose websites may not be as accessible or appealing.

Mobile matters

Surely you have heard of mobile optimisation right? Part of staying up to date with changes in technology is making sure your website is optimised for use on mobile devices (and tablets too) allowing your business to remain relevant and searchable. It’s a big turn off when visitors land on a mobile-monster site where everything is tiny, clunky and unusable. They will just leave, no second chances. With so many users searching through mobile devices, having a mobile friendly website really matters. Search engine algorithms even penalise your website if it is not mobile-responsive. Have you even checked how your site performs and looks on your mobile recently? Do it now!

Lead generation

Your website is a powerful marketing tool that can produce leads, keep customers engaged and serve as a representation of you and your business. If a customer starts their journey instore and goes away, they will be sure to revert back to your website after some thinking space. Alternatively, the journey could start online after a search. Having a fresh, up-to-date website can help boost business, whether that is via direct sales or through diverting them into store. Your website also allows you to get indirect feedback from visitors; seeing how potential clients respond to your website allows you to improve your online business strategy, turning more of those visitors into leads.

Save money

Ok, the initial outlay of investment may seem counterproductive to the point here, but in the long run, having a modern website will save you money. It ensures you avoid unforeseen expenses caused by security breaches, hacking or code issues, while on the time side, you can peacefully know your website is tip-top, leaving you to do other important business tasks. Furthermore, an integrated website which provides all relevant information and allows for online purchases and other backend platforms saves you time too. 

Search and speed

Two key points here, with search being already highlighted. Having an up-to-date website, fresh with how ranking bots like to crawl, it will improve your search results when users are looking for certain terms. Google has an average of 40,000 search queries every second (over 5 billion searches per day), so implementing a solid Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy for your website is key. The next point is speed. Users want fast responses and quick page loads. If your website starts to freeze, even for a couple of seconds, you can wave goodbye to that visitor – and many others. There are plenty of integrations that can help with this, especially when it comes to image load time, which when you’re selling furniture and beds requires plenty. So, make sure your site can handle lots of images in a super-fast way.

Why WebSystem?

What’s the solution I hear you cry? Well, WebSystem – and here’s why. 

Did you know that RetailSystem has been powering successful eCommerce Furniture & Bed websites across the globe since its inception some 20 years ago? It’s a powerful arm of the business where their very own in-house team of highly skilled web developers, who are completely in-tune with the furniture industries leading EPoS, RetailSystem, became a winning combination.

Evolving into WebSystem Shopify, this powerful combination drives sales and footfall to their clients’ websites as well as bricks and mortar stores, by taking full advantage of all the incredible Shopify marketing apps and combining them with WebSystem, creating some incredible features. These include its unrivalled complex product builder, a unified single database for live REAL TIME inventory online and in-store, and its unified CRM, Online Order Tracking, Logistics & delivery scheduler to name but a few.

If your business is in need of a new website, then WebSystem can help. And remember, don’t be a digital dinosaur!


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