Recent research suggests that the median conversion rate for retail e-commerce websites is around 3 percent. That means out of every 100 visits that your online vape shop receives, you’ll make around three sales. How does your website compare to that benchmark? If you’re doing significantly better than that, give yourself a pat on the back. There’s always room for improvement, but you’re already above average. If you’re not hitting that 3-percent conversion rate, though – and your site receives consistent traffic – it’s likely that you haven’t built the kind of brand image that a website really needs to stand out from the rest. People visit your site and leave without even remembering your company’s name.
In any competitive field, branding is the difference that sets companies apart. If you’re delivering a powerfully branded experience, telling the right story and touching your customers in a meaningful way, more people will remember your company’s name after they’ve left your website – and that’s how you jumpstart your conversion rates. Let’s look at some of the things that you can do to give your online vape shop an unforgettable brand image.
Use Original Photography
One of the things that makes running an online vape shop so easy is that you don’t even have to worry about taking your own product photos because the manufacturers and distributors have already done that for you. If you rely exclusively on stock photos, though, you’ll end up with a website that looks the same as every other online vape shop. It’s worth the effort to stage your products attractively and take your own product photos. For an example, look at what the folks at Vaper Empire have done. The site’s product photos are an integral part of a seamless brand presentation.
Get a Great Logo and Website Design
Hosting platforms like Shopify and WordPress plugins like WooCommerce have made building an e-commerce website so easy that just about anyone can do it. The problem with building an e-commerce site from off-the-shelf components, though, is that your site will look pretty much the same as every other site built from those same components. It isn’t easy to give your online vape shop a powerful brand image if there’s nothing unique about it. It’s worth the investment to commission a custom website design and a great logo.
Write Effective Introductory Text and Product Descriptions
The introductory text on your vape shop’s website is your opportunity to tell your brand’s story and get people excited about shopping. Does your story currently look something like this?
“We’re former smokers who switched to vaping X years ago. We’re passionate about vaping, and we started Supreme Vape to share that passion with the world. We were tired of buying low-quality vape gear at high prices and getting ripped off, and we thought we could do better by offering the world’s best vape supplies at reasonable prices!”
If that story sounds a bit familiar, it’s because you’ll find it on a huge majority of the world’s online vape shops. Take the time to come up with something unique.
While you’re at it, you should also take a look at your site’s product descriptions. Are you simply copying and pasting the descriptions from the product manufacturers’ websites? Firstly, copied product descriptions aren’t going to get you any traffic from Google – and secondly, they’re not doing anything to set your brand apart. A product description is an opportunity to give your vape shop a unique voice and get potential customers excited about the product. Take the time to write a description that’s entirely yours.
Build a Better Shopping Experience
Steve Jobs once said that great design isn’t just the way a product looks – it’s also how it works. In the vaping industry, there’s still plenty of room to build a better shopping experience. Can you think of a way to offer more product information than your competition in a format that’s easy to scan, comprehend and remember? Can you think of a way to make product discovery easier? Can you think of a new navigation system that makes it easier to browse through the products on your site? If you can find a way to offer a better shopping experience, people will remember who you are.
Leverage the Power of Online Influencers
Across the world, there are thousands of social media influencers who are happy to share your brand with their followers for a price. Reaching social media users is a great way to build brand awareness and get your name out there – and even if you don’t get quick sales out of a social media campaign, the name recognition that you get out of a campaign can pay great dividends in the long run. Remember, though, that certain rules apply to vaping advertisements on social media. First, you should work only with influencers who clearly state on their profiles that their content is for adults only. Second, the influencers with whom you work should add clear nicotine warnings to their posts. Finally, influencers should always disclose paid endorsements in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s requirements. Tagging paid advertisements honestly will not harm your conversions or decrease the effectiveness of a brand awareness campaign.
Capture Contact Information From People Who Are Just Visiting
If you aren’t building a mailing list yet, now is the time to start. If you’re doing the right thing with the content marketing portion of your digital marketing plan, your website has a blog that you update regularly with valuable informational content. Many of the people who search for informational content online aren’t looking to buy products right away, though, so you need to capture those visitors’ contact information and give yourself an opportunity to keep communicating with them after they’ve left your site. In your mailing list pop-up, offer a generous reward such as a large single-use coupon code in exchange for the signup. The better the reward is, the more likely people will be to subscribe.
Jason Artman is the owner and author of eCig One. A professional freelance writer and SEO consultant with more than a decade of experience, Jason works with vaping companies around the world to increase their targeted web traffic and improve their revenue.