If you want a gift that captures the essence of the hip city of Portland, Oregon, there's no better place to turn than Glow Gifts. The brainchild of entrepreneur Courtney Kennedy, Glow Gifts offers hand-picked gift packages featuring Portland's finest artisan products. With Weebly's flexible platform powering her website, Kennedy offers everything from food and drinks to beauty products, as well as the ability to make entirely custom packages.
Here are some tips on how Glow Gifts brings the majesty of the Pacific Northwest to customers all across the country.
Keep Things Simple
One of the things that attracted Kennedy to Weebly was its simplicity. Because Glow Gifts is a one-woman business, Kennedy wanted something that offered professional and modern design while still being easy enough to maintain herself.
The drag-and-drop functionality of the service makes getting your site up and running so quick that she has even begun helping others. As she explains, "I've created simple, free sites for others in less than an hour."
Not having to worry about designing or coding the site frees Kennedy to focus on what matters most — delivering a great product to her customers.
Think About the User Experience
In the same way that customers expect exceptional service when they go shopping or out for a meal, they expect browsing a website to be seamless. Since Glow Gifts doesn't have a brick-and-mortar retail location, Kennedy spent a lot of time considering the aesthetics and usability of her site to make sure that it captured the spirit of her brand and provided the type of experience she wanted customers to have.
"Put the time in on the upfront design work," Kennedy says, "considering the flow and usability." She also recommends looking at Weebly's many pre-built themes to get an idea of what designs might work best. This type of exploratory work takes time, but "when you're ready to implement it, it's super easy to build it with Weebly."
Use a Newsletter to Extend the Conversation
Kennedy has also found success using the Weebly App Center to integrate various promotional plug-ins throughout her site. Kennedy knows that not every visitor to her site will convert into a sale right away, so she incentivizes potential customers to sign up for her regular newsletter.
"We have a pop-up feature on the website that gives a discount if you sign up for our newsletter," she explains, noting that the tool "automatically adds those people to our contact list," so there's one less thing for her to manage. The newsletter gives her the opportunity to re-market to customers proactively instead of relying on other passive channels. (Speaking of which, check out this article for more tips on how to build a must-read newsletter).
Don't be Afraid
As a former technical writer with HTML experience, Kennedy says the thought of building a website never seemed scary, but she was still amazed by the ease of getting started with Weebly. "It's so easy and fun, and with all of the built-in designs you can create a really impressive site in no time at all."
Whether you have web design experience like Kennedy or are a website novice, having a strong presence online is essential to running a modern business. While, there are a lot of fears that entrepreneurs have to overcome, starting a website shouldn't be one of them.