When it comes to cigar lounges and tobacco retail stores, a customer’s online experience is just as important as the experience you create in your physical space at a brick-and-mortar store. Cigar enthusiasts are particular about the brands they choose and the lounges they visit regularly, and the website you create for your business needs to reflect their preferences.
Even for owners with tech skills, website design is something that’s best left to a team of professionals. Whether you’re starting from scratch or refreshing your current website, this is a strategic process with some necessary elements. Having a web design partner in your corner offers guidance on current best practices, provides technical maintenance support and guidance, and, most importantly, frees you up to do the heavy lifting that helps provide amazing customer service.
Here are some tips for building your store’s online presence:
1. Think about the platform.
While there’s no shortage of choices, certain web design platforms are better than others when designing a site for tobacco stores and cigar lounges. The platform you choose should be easy to maintain and update, user-friendly for employees and offer options for third-party integrations that allow for quick upgrades, online scheduling and revenue growth through e-commerce sales. Most importantly, your website should offer a seamless user experience for customers to shop on and navigate. WordPress and Squarespace are platforms that check off all these boxes.
2. Don’t skimp on style.
Once you’ve chosen a platform, it’s time to think about the design and style of your website. It should be an extension of your current brick-and-mortar branding. If you’re starting your business from the ground up, a professionally designed logo can be the anchor of both digital and in-person brand recognition and will help your website really pop. If you’re redesigning an existing website, this is the step in the process where you’ll want to upgrade your typography and photography to match modern trends and catch the eye of customers.
3. Expand with e-commerce.
For brick-and-mortar retail stores and cigar lounges that are looking to branch out, e-commerce options are a must-have. Online shopping options allow them to enjoy your products and support your business when they can’t visit in-person. With the right platform, a team of web design pros can create an online store that features your best-sellers and allows customers to pay safely, securely and easily. This is also a great way to expand your store’s reach beyond local customers and build a national online presence.