How to Make Over Your Food Website With a Magical Window Display
The Harrods Food Hall comes alive at Christmas. Hampers are stacked in vibrant, awe-inspiring window displays. They burst at the seams with luxurious jams, exclusive wines, and a sparkle of festive magic.
Fast-forward a couple of months and you’ll see the windows transformed by Cupid’s arrows. Decadent chocolate and fizzy Prosecco is dotted between love hearts and roses. These displays make you stop, stare, and shop.
Your Website Is Your Shop Window
Your website needs to do the same. It’s the online equivalent of a shop window. It’s the first impression many customers will get of your business, so it needs to look the part.
But it’s often an afterthought. Websites are set up and left to stagnate. They aren’t updated and they certainly don’t inspire in the way that the sexiest shop windows on the High Street do. Imagine if Harrods left their Christmas display up all year long? After the initial surprise and delight, customers would soon get bored and stop looking at it.
Creative website content makes your business stand out. Customers are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages every day. There’s close to 2 billion websites online. It’s crucial that yours stands out and gives customers a reason to return over and over again.
Why It’s Worth Investing in Your Website
A well-designed, up-to-date website is critical to your business’ online presence. It needs to provide inspiration and information in equal measure. Websites are even more important than a physical shop window. They can reach into people’s homes, their commute and work. They are there, whenever customers are searching for you, and your competitors, online.
In fact, even if you have a physical store, your business is most likely to be discovered online. 81% of shoppers research a brand online before purchasing. If you think this only applies to eCommerce stores, then think again. Three quarters of customers who initially find information online are likely to visit in-store. That explains why keeping your website updated, with clear information and pictures, is so important.
If you don’t have a website, or you have a poor one, then you’re missing out on a lot of potential business.
In fact, a poor website might end up costing your business more than having no website at all. A poor website shows that you don’t invest in your business. A website that fails to load properly, looks dated, or has faults reflects badly on your brand and product quality.
How to Know if Your Website Isn’t Performing
Signs that your website isn’t performing usually show in your sales and web traffic. Low traffic and faltering sales are clear indicators that your website needs a revamp. Like every beautiful display, it needs to provide inspiration. The best way to do this is through stunning imagery and creative copy – it’s time to make over your food website.
How to Make Over Your Food Website
To make your website stand out, you need to apply the principles of great shop window design:
● Generate excitement for your products and brand.
● Use colour to show off your brand identity.
● Use product placement to highlight new products.
● Think creatively about your display and what will make it memorable.
Make It User-Friendly
You should make your website look flashy, whilst keeping it useable. That means it should be clear to navigate, quick to load, and mobile optimised. There are 3.7 billion mobile Internet users alone. Mobile accounts for 52% of Internet traffic worldwide. So your website must be optimised to work seamlessly on mobile.
Tone of Voice
The tone of voice your website adopts can make or break your online persona. It’s worth hiring a professional copywriter if you can, as their experience often translates into higher conversions. If you can’t, then try reading up on how to write convincing copy. One trick is to highlight the benefits to your customers by using ‘you’ and ‘your’. This helps make the experience feel more personal and customer focused.
Use Clear Call-to-Actions
Following on from the customer-focused benefits is the call-to-action (CTA). The CTA tells your customers what you want them to do. That could be purchasing, downloading a voucher, or signing up to a newsletter. On your website, keep your CTAs clear and time-dependent. Try testing a couple of different CTAs to discover those that convert at the highest rate. Try things like “Buy now” or “Learn more”.
Make sure a CTA appears prominently so it stands out and gets used. Limit it to one or two CTAs per page, or you’ll confuse your customers on the actions they should take. Pod Food shows a good example of a CTA directing customers to their menu on their website.
If your product is tricky to understand, consider using video to explain it. Video is exploding in popularity as it’s quick and easy to engage and educate customers. Four Sigmatic uses video to clearly explain the benefits of its mushroom drinks.
Professional Photos Are a Must
To show off the quality of your products, you must use professional photography. Good photos can inspire and excite customers about your brand. Do not underestimate them.
Keep It Updated
A physical shop window would never promote an offer that had expired. The same applies to your website. It must always be a work in progress. Refreshing your website regularly gives customers a reason to always visit. It also improves your search rankings and gives you stuff to share on social media. If you’re tight on time then consider a quarterly campaign or update that keeps your website looking fresh and in-keeping with the seasons.
Promote Your Campaigns
Create a dedicated promotional concept around your website “window display” for each season. If you have a new Spring range on display, you can share images of it on your social media and direct visitors to your website to learn more. Promote your new website across all your marketing channels. These should include social media, email marketing and even offline, where relevant.
Planning Your Website for the Long Term
An easy way to ensure your website is updated often is to create a long-term plan for its content.
Create a Six Month Plan
Over the course of three to six months, think up suitable promotions that align with seasonal events like Easter or new product releases. From this, create a series of messages that you can display on your homepage. For a deeper reaching campaign, create supporting content – articles, videos, competitions, social media posts – to help promote the concept and keep the traffic flowing in.
Use Seasonal Events to Your Advantage
Make the most of events like Mother’s Day and Christmas. These are key buying dates for food brands and a great opportunity to drive visitors to your website. There are more niche events for your calendar like Veganuary or Coeliac Awareness Week, that might be suitable for your business.
Develop an Identity
Establish a consistent identity to help your customers recognise your brand. Use imagery that ties in with this. Your words need to line up with your desired brand feel too. For example, Innocent often uses humorous and slightly childish words to reinforce their brand message.
Take Care of Your Website and It’ll Take Care of You
Having an effective and regularly updated website is essential in the digital age. It’s not enough to create a website and think your work is complete.
Websites prove their value when you treat them like a window display. It must be up-to-date, inspirational, consistent with your brand and tie in to your other marketing activities. Nobody will buy from a peeling, outdated shop window display. The same applies to your website.