Let’s Talk About the Skilled Trades Industry and How an E-Commerce Website Increases Business
The Trades industry depends largely on word-of-mouth marketing to gain new clients. While word-of-mouth promotion is still the best way to get new clients, it certainly is not the most common in this day and age. It is much easier to open up a web browser on a mobile phone and type in a search like ‘plumbing contractor near me’. If your website ranks low or even worse, you don’t have a web presence at all; you are leaving serious money on the table.
How Could an E-Commerce Website Grow Your Trades Business?
Here are specific ways an e-commerce platform can benefit the trades industry.
No matter your expertise, someone is searching for tips and tricks on how to do it themselves. You can always offer interactive how-to guides, video tutorials and educational blog posts that teach trade skills or offer insights into the latest tools and techniques. Are you a product affiliate reseller? Incorporate call-to-action links to purchase those items online.
In addition, you could offer courses, webinars or workshops (either free or paid) to help tradespeople improve their skills.
Offer Online Payment Options
Make it convenient for customers to pay their bills online. With an e-commerce website, customers can log into their accounts, view their past orders, update their profile information and pay bills online. Making payment options more convenient means that customers are more likely to pay their bills on time. Plus, their profile information becomes important marketing information for future updates, promotions and upsells.
Everyone knows someone in their life who needs help around the house with handy tasks like hanging heavy pictures or fixing a leaky toilet. A contractor that provides these general services could easily offer monthly or yearly subscriptions to ensure that Grandma is covered when such needs arise. An e-commerce store saves the payment information of the client and automatically charges the card on file on a monthly or yearly basis. This could also potentially be a thoughtful gift for someone who wants the peace of mind. If you offer weekly lawn mowing or snow plowing services, customers can sign up on a subscription basis and pay online ahead of time – no more leaving cash in an envelope under a rug on the front porch.
The best customers are returning customers. Offer a rewards program designed specifically for your trade that rewards customers who continue to utilize your services. A great example of this is offering a 25% discount towards a fall clean-up service to existing customers who use your landscaping services throughout the year. It’s a win-win: the customer pays a bit less to get their leaves cleaned up and you make more money.
The trades industry relies heavily on relationships to gain marketshare. A collaboration with trade schools or associations is a common method for gaining new clients. Why not take advantage of the web traffic that lands on your partnership’s web pages by offering a special discount code that links to your website? You can also partner with brands that you would recommend to offer exclusive deals or products.
Tool or Equipment Rentals
If you offer tool or equipment rentals, make it convenient for the customer to search, reserve and pay for the tool rental online. You can even offer time slots that the rentals are available to ensure you are optimizing revenue. In addition, customers can view, download and even virtually sign rental contracts right from your website. You can also present related products or upsells to the customer during the rental process.
Larger projects, such as a total landscaping overhaul or a major home remodel; can cost tens of thousands of dollars which may be cost-prohibitive to the consumer. By offering payment options online, the customer has the opportunity to contract larger projects at a fixed monthly payment based on the agreed upon terms. This can all be done online through an e-commerce website.
Virtual and Interactive Showrooms
Use augmented reality or virtual tours to showcase your product or service online. Virtual tours can be interactive with quick links to purchase products or service contracts from your website. Interactive elements are a fun way to virtually “try out” or see a product in detail before purchasing.
Create a community platform or forum where tradespeople can discuss topics, share experiences or seek advice. A forum is also a great opportunity to advertise your products or services.
Let us Help you Grow Your Trades Business Online
By integrating the above strategies tailored for the trades industry with regular e-commerce best practices, a website can increase its business and establish a strong foothold in the market. Contact us below to get started on growing your trades business with a custom e-commerce website.
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