Building a website for your music shop? Writing the content yourself? Or has your web designer asked you for a list of things you want (they should know what you want, really, but sometimes it’s polite to ask… )?
With the right content and the things that people are looking for, your website can turn surfers into customers.
Here are the things you really should have on your site.
It’s amazing how many shops don’t list their address, or a map of their location. You may be a big deal in town, but customers aren’t local may not be able to find you so easily. Make it really easy for people to find you with an embedded Google map so visitors can plan their route, no matter how they travel.
2. Buying advice
There is a lot of gear available at any price point, but the enormous amount of affordable equipment makes it particularly tricky for beginners (or parents of beginners) to figure out what is needed/wanted/cool/not going to annoy the neighbours. Put yourself in the shoes of a complete novice and don’t presume people know the terminology or abbreviations that have become second nature to you. Break down what is really essential about a purchase, mention some of the non-scientific (or ‘cork sniffing’) attitudes that people might come across. This is your opportunity to explain things clearly and show up your competition who like to shroud instruments in verbose voodoo and mystical terminology. Remember, a beginner might have a parent with them and they are more likely to be the one you have to convince that spending twice the amount won’t make their child a better player, and just because an instrument is inexpensive it isn’t necessarily junk.
More than three quarters of consumers in the UK shop online, with nearly 60% looking to save money, so it makes sense to make sure you have your prices listed on your website. If people don’t see prices, they either assume they can’t afford it or move on.You don’t have to offer items for sale online, just make sure prices are clearly shown.
Consumables are what keep customers coming back and sometimes are what draws someone in to begin with. It may be obvious to you that you stock these things, but make it super obvious to your customers too and have a prominent link to things people will need regularly.
It is now easier than ever to shoot high quality HD video. By high quality, I mean with quality lighting and sound, not just resolution. You now have no excuse for creating your own demo videos, showing customers near gear and useful how-to videos of things like instrument setup, tuning, choosing an instrument or showing off a new service. Create a YouTube channel and embed the videos on your site so visitors can choose the quality they want and leave comments and questions. It’s a great way to connect with customers.
For many people, particularly beginners, music shops are scary and intimidating! Well, most of them are. If you put a sign up on your site inviting people to come in and try instruments you will make the shop more inviting and a place where people can relax, try things out, find out what works for them and be better informed. Music shops don’t have to be places where people just walk in to buy what they need and leave. Build a community by making your shop a safe place for beginners and pros to hang out.
Having high quality pictures of products you sell online is important, but having detailed shots of used gear that you have in stock is vital. Terms like ‘good condition’ are relative. Visitors want to know exactly what kind of condition things are in. Pro photography doesn’t have to be expensive, but if you are not sure what you’re doing, find someone who does. Quality photography can make your site look great and poor photography just makes your shop look amateur.
Include a form online for people to enter their email address and receive your newsletter. Every week or every month you can tell people of your special offers, new products, the great lessons you offer and second hand gear you just got in. People might not visit your site regularly, but you can remind them on a regular basis of what you have to offer. It’s a good opportunity to keep your shop front-of-mind when people are finally ready to buy, or you offer them that once-in-a-lifetime deal
Remember to include these vital elements and your site will do a better job of serving your customers and building your brand.
As a musician, I understand how hard it is to get noticed. That’s why I’m now offering promotional materials made just for musicians.
Spend your time practising and writing, not tinkering with design.
- PRESS KITS – essential when approaching record labels or looking for gigs. Available in print and electronic (EPK) formats. Full colour, A5 (folded), includes photos, CD and contact details
- POSTERS – designed and printed
- ALBUM COVERS – so people can judge the music by the cover. Because they will.
- WEBSITES – single-page sites that you can manage and grow yourself
- SOCIAL MEDIA GRAPHICS – all the graphics you need for Facebook, Google+, Reverbnation, Soundcloud, etc.
- VIDEO – concept or live action, shot and edited to fit your budget
- AD DESIGN – banner or sidebar ads in any format
Designed for you and tailored to your music.
If you’re a musician, promoter or anyone involved in the music industry, call me. I’ll make you look as good as you sound!
Usability is one of the most important factors in web design. For any website to be useful (or used at all) it has to contain suitable content, but if the site isn’t easy to navigate and if the content is difficult to find, the content won’t matter anyway. Continue reading “Is Advertising Killing Usability?”
Have you ever clicked on something on a website, or entered a website address in a browser, and you get an error, something like this?
Continue reading “Clear, Friendly Error Messages”
Do you want to know what makes a great website?
It may not be the coding, the hosting company or a zippy domain name.
Get yourself a coffee/tea/Theakston’s Old Peculier, watch the video and leave some comments. Please. Continue reading “Video: What Makes a Great Website”