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Optimize Your Website: Part Two

Website design

Last week we established website goals—including informing your customers and increasing revenue—as well as where to start. During part two of “Optimize Your Website” we’ll cover how to accomplish those two goals.

Inform your Customers

Customers come to your website for information. Feature what makes your business unique and what you do best. Further, on each page, ask yourself “What do I want my customer to do after visiting this page?”

That’s when your call-to-action comes in. Each page on your site should include a clear and concise call to action to encourage your customers to stay engaged. This can be as simple as: Shop Now, View All, or Sign Up.

Increase Revenue with Website Design

There are multiple ways your website can help you increase revenue. The first is through your website’s design.

The first piece of advice is to keep it simple. First, this makes information easier to find. Second, a simple website is easier to maintain. If a customer has to click on your site more than three times to find information they need, your design needs to be simpler.

Another way to have simple design is through maintaining branding. Colors should be similar to your brand, and images should be clear and clutter-free as well.

Other design pieces to keep in mind is your navigation. Navigation tabs should be organized from most-to-least important.

Another way to increase revenue is through conversation. Integrated communication tools help you answer Frequently Asked Questions at any time of the day.

And of course, your website should be responsive, meaning it should accommodate every device including phones, tablets, and computers.

Last but not least, include a search bar so information is even easier for the end user to access.

Inspiration for this post came from “Increase Your Website’s Value” by Brad Tanner of Rain Retail Software and was published in the April 2022 issue of American Quilt Retailer.

AQR Academy

One last thing before we go! The May AQR Academy workshop is right around the corner on Wednesday, May 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. CST. The event will be hosted by Beth Montpas, Lifestyle Coach, and the topic is Goal Setting – Setting Yourself Up for Success where she’ll cover how to both set your goals up and make them happen.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you. And don’t forget, you can always purchase single issues if you prefer that instead.

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Branding Ideas


Keeping up with branding is time consuming, but it can help you to get the work you want. Check out these ideas for a place on where to begin.

Research your favorite brands

Do you subscribe to newsletters that you love? This is a great place to start. Figure out what it is about them that you love and incorporate that into your material. Do they include a list of what they’re reading/watching/listening to right now? Include a section in your newsletter for your customers as well.

Also ask yourself what they do well. Is their information informative? Have good design? Help you find new products? Think about areas you can improve on, and areas you’re skilled at. Then align this list to both sides and see how your online engagement changes.

Look at other businesses’s branding

By other business’s we mean businesses you want to be or businesses want to work with. Check out their social media and replicate what they do with an original idea. By the time you do outreach to them, they’ll look at your work and think the same thing when you visited their page (“Wow! I want to do that!”)

This is also a good time to evaluate if you need to improve on what you know. If you discover you have to brush up on certain areas (video for instance), watch a tutorial or buy a book so you’ll have the knowledge in place when you try to expand your offerings.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Sharing Visual Content

Sharing visual content on Instagram

Quilting is visual. Instagram is the best platform to promote those visuals. Read on to find out how to optimize your business’s Instagram account.

Back to basics

The first step to optimizing your account is to make sure your page is set to business. The good news is you can convert a personal account to a business one.

Second, make sure you keep your branding specific. For instance, your Instagram name should be the shop’s name, your username (or the words that come after the @ symbol) should be the same (or some variation of your business name), and your profile image should be your logo (for ease of recognition).

Cross promoting

Your Instagram profile can have one link, so it’s wise to use your business’s website link, and have a contact page in your website to direct customers to other pages.

You’re also going to want to connect your business Instagram account to your Facebook account so you can save time by publishing two posts with just one click.

Other Visual Tips

Be sure to include a bio at the top of your profile. What do you want your customers to know in 150 characters or less? And of course, include your business contact information so customers can contact you as well.

As for category, choose what’s best for your business. For example, “Shopping & Retail” might hit the nail on the head, but “Fabric Store” might be an even better option.

Last but not least, keep your display on public (not private) so anyone can see your amazing content if they come across your account.

That’s it for this week. Stay tuned next week for more information on photos, captions, and what type of content to share.

Inspiration for this post came from IG 1, 2, 3 by Kate Colleran, Joanne Hillestad and Kris Poor published in the February 2021 issue of American Quilt Retailer.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Small Business Shipping Logistics

Shipping logistics

If you think your quality product that consumers need can sell itself, you’re wrong. Unfortunately, how quickly you can get the product to your customer plays a huge role in the success of your business.

When figuring out shipping logistics, keep in mind the following.

What to keep in mind

  • Your company’s objective. This will help determine how much to spend on logistics. If your goal is to get your product in the hands of the consumer as quickly as possible, then spend more on logistics. If your strategy is to be a low-cost alternative, you’ll have to find ways to cut on spending.
  • Service sells. Transparency in the shipping process can be the best move your company makes. Often times it’s not possible to get your product to the customer by the next day, but sometimes all customers want is an efficient communication system.
  • Your management system is just as important as your forklifts and storage. It’s easy to pay big money for things you can see, but an effective management system can save costs on both the front and back end.
  • Keep track of your costs. By knowing how much you’re spending on shipping each item, you’ll know where you need to cut on spending.
  • Get competing quotes. Shop around every few years to make sure you’re getting the best help with your shipping logistics for the best price.
  • Plan ahead. By starting the shipping process before the busy season starts, you won’t feel like you’re drowning when more orders are coming in then your business can really handle.
  • Keep up on sales and operations. By accurately forecasting what your consumers want, you can stay on top of inventory.

Third party logistics

Some small businesses have found that working with a third party provider is too expensive for them, but this isn’t always the case. Check out options like UPS, FedEx, and DHL and their small business units to see how they can help. Often these companies have streamlining options for shipping that you may have missed.


Packaging is the perfect time to expand your branding. High quality packaging with your high quality product is just another piece of the puzzle to optimize the user experience.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.