Sales person entering amount on cash register in retail store

Many boutiques and smaller shops rely heavily on social media (especially Instagram) when it comes to their online presence. Customers can scroll through pictures of outfits, and simply comment letting the shop owner know which piece they’d like to buy. While social media is an important part of a retail store’s business, it’s not wise to let it completely replace a website. Here’s why:

You don’t control how social media works

As most of us know, social media is evolving rapidly. The way your favorite platform operates today might be completely different from how it works next week. Algorithms are constantly changing, and many of these sites are beginning to favor brands that pay to have their content featured. As a result, it can become increasingly more challenging for you to get in front of your customer base. You’re posting great content, but due to back-end shifts beyond your control, this content is getting buried.

You’re excluding customers simply because they don’t use social media

You might be missing out on a loyal client who’s willing to spend a significant amount of money on your shop simply because they don’t participate on social media. In order to make your brand accessible for everyone, you should be present in as many places as possible. Make it easy for would-be customers to find you on social media, but make sure they can reach you via telephone, e-mail, or check out your merchandise via a website too. No matter how customers prefer to shop, you should be there.

Posts get buried quickly on social media

If you post a lot, the content that you create gets buried at a pretty rapid rate. This means a signature piece that you featured just a week ago might be nearly impossible to find for someone who’s just casually scrolling through Instagram. Couple your frequent updates with the regular updates from other brands and it’s likely that customers who would be interested in seeing your products might miss the bulk of your posts about them because they’ve gotten pushed so far down in their feed. When you catalogue all of the items you offer on a website, it lets clients check out the merchandise at their own pace, thus decreasing the likelihood that they miss out on hearing about it because they couldn’t scope out Instagram that day.

It doesn’t let you capitalize on potential leads

All of the people who are inquiring about pieces on your Instagram should be viewed as potential leads. You should be e-mailing these people when you get new merchandise in or have a sale. But having their usernames appear sporadically via social media makes it much more challenging to get in touch with these potential customers. When you’re selling items via your own website, you can make sure to collect full names, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers, thus enabling you to reach out to these people when it’s appropriate.