The IdeaRoom team had the privilege of attending and presenting at the Big Shed Show 2017 in Kentucky. With over 1,200 attendees at the show, we introduced many members of the shed community to the ShedView service.
IdeaRoom CEO, Russ Whitney, also presented a seminar about the benefits of online shed configurators to an overflowing room of over 80 people. During his presentation, Russ outlined the three critical pieces of an effective online selling strategy. He explained the following three components:
- Enticing Design
- Enhanced Collaboration
- Automated Workflows
As Russ explained in the seminar, website design is the currency of trust on the internet. The design of your website is the first impression many of your customers will have of your company. If it is enticing and professional, it signals to your customers that you are a quality organization that they can trust to provide a quality product. If you want to set yourself apart as a premium brand, your website is one of the most critical investments you can make. Ensure you have a professional and enticing website by doing the following:
- Your homepage should be uncluttered and professional.
2. Invest in professional photographs to best showcase your product.
3. Use intuitive navigation. A simple menu across the top of the website homepage is a common and elegant approach. Your goal should be for every important page to always be only one click away.
4. Make it easy for the buyer to find links that progress them through the sales process. Highlight the links that take customers to the next steps. For example, a prominent button on your homepage that says “Design your shed” quickly connects your customers with your product offerings.
5. Finally, make it easy for the buyer to find links that progress them through the sales process. Highlight the links that take customers to the next steps.
The next critical element of success online is enhancing collaboration. As you move more functions online, you need to ensure you make the customer experience better not worse. If you aren’t careful you will frustrate customers with the online experience. Be careful not to ask too much of your customers. For example, using too much shed jargon can be confusing for customers. If they don’t understand the terminology, they won’t be able to make decisions and they won’t be able to visualize the impact of their decisions on the final product. Similarly, if you post complicated pricing tables online and expect your customers to calculate the price of their shed, for some customers, that might be more confusing than helpful.
Instead, consider adding an online shed configurator to allow your customers to configure their shed and get an instant price quote. Shed configurators allow shed companies to display millions of possible configurations in a neat, fun package. Plus it offers instant quotes so customers don't have to wade through confusing pricing tables.
Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. Use visuals to assist your customers in their quote request process as much as possible. Executed properly, creating an online shopping experience will improve customer experience and strengthen your relationship with your customers.
Finally, one of the most important pieces of the online strategy is using internet technologies to automate your workflows and transform your sales and operational efficiency and effectiveness. We often talk to shed companies who are so busy they were sometimes unable to follow up on inbound customer calls. These companies tell us that quotes take a lot of time to calculate including several conversations with the customers and they have dedicated staff quality checking their quotes to avoid costly errors.
By automating their workflows, these companies could save substantial time, money, and errors. Improvements companies should consider include:
- Instant online quoting
- Lead capturing system that integrates with email or even better your Customer Relationship Management system. One CRM we often recommend is Hubspot because they have a full-featured CRM for free and if you want to upgrade to marketing automation, that is available for additional fees.
With these improvements, your team can focus on quality products and service rather than time-consuming data entry and administrative work.
We answered many follow-up questions at the Shed Show following the seminar. It was a great pleasure to be immersed in that warm and welcoming shed community. We can't wait for next year. If you have questions or want to learn more about shed configurators, don't hesitate to contact us to discuss how a shed configurator can accelerate your business.