At present it’s hard to imagine any credible company without its own website. Neglecting such a great opportunity to move your goods or services online would be a huge omission. That’s why a great demand for really well-built and well-designed websites arises. And whether you already have a website or you are working on it yet, you expect it to work as a sales tool and a converter of visitors into buyers. Here are some useful tips to sell your business, products, or services, using which you’ll be able to reap significantly higher conversion rates. Feel free to use any or all of them, and your website will serve you as your best salesman.
To succeed in Web sales, three key criteria should be met:
1. Good Product and Target audience
Firstly, it’s crucial to choose and position your product for web sales and define your target audience.
2. Website that sells
Secondly, build the site that would generate conversion using all possible marketing instruments.
Once you have great content to share with your visitors, help them to find it, i.e. attract customers to your website.
1. Your Product and Target audience
You won’t get repeat sales if you sell bad products, so the first and utmost piece of advice – don’t try to sell a bad product on the Web. Even if you have a web-site perfectly designed to sell and traffic is sufficient, it’s nothing if your products or services are inappropriate for sale on the Web. People who used such inappropriate products or services will spread their negative impression. And it’s no secret that things like this don’t spread any faster than on the Internet. In the result, the word of mouth will ruin all your endeavors. No matter how trivial the tip may seem, it is vital to remember that when you control your product, you control your income.
Once you have excellent products (services), make sure they are displayed properly. Help your shoppers discover the goods on sale. Show your products. Create seductive product images and descriptions. Don’t simply describe what your products do, use words that evoke emotions and make your site visitors click ‘buy’. Don’t make product descriptions too long, however make sure you’ve included all necessary details such as: clear and differentiated pricing information, product uses, dimensions, product line, stock quantities and other defining characteristics.
Sometimes vivid pictures and descriptions are not enough to give the full insight into what the customer is actually buying. So product videos (e.g. showing a product in action) can also be very helpful in conveying “tangibility” that’s missing so often from online transactions.
One more thing to consider is shipping costs. Providing exact calculations of shipping costs will make the purchase for your clients much more convenient. You may also consider free shipping for orders over a certain amount, which will attract additional buyers, provided that your company can afford it.
It’s also a good idea to ensure the possibility to try your goods by providing a free trial, a free period of service, demo versions, etc. If users are not yet sure that they really want to buy this particular product, you will hook them with this possibility to try and extend the seller-buyer relations, which in the long run will most likely lead to the ultimate sale.
Now a few words about your target audience. If you manage to make your site visitors interested in your offers, thousands of just visitors can be converted into thousands of your clients and buyers. However, to achieve this, it is essential to know your target audience. You should investigate everything about them: what they like, what makes them laugh, what drives them crazy, what makes them buy or hesitate to buy. Speak to their pain, their problems and needs and push the right hot buttons. Thus, before you sit down to build the site and write any content, have a clear image of who your target audience is, and only after that start building your site according to THEIR preferences, but not yours. A clear image of your buyer persona will turn your product-centric descriptions into customer-centric descriptions, which will make them more personal and persuasive.
2. Website that sells
A great-looking website selling proper goods may shape a strong brand and generate sales, but its good looks alone aren’t sufficient to sell the products or services on offer. To achieve this goal, it’s necessary to implement some marketing elements:
– Usability and design
Build a tight, easy-to-navigate and simple-to-use site. If a customer is confused, if he is literally lost on your website, he won’t buy. That’s why it’s essential to optimize your site’s navigation to make it flow to the sale. All obstacles should be recognized and removed not to hinder your clients from buying. In search for creativity, even some major marketers make mistakes and overload the sites. Focus on your product or your services. Don’t forget that your site concept is your product, so do your best to make it easy to use.
– Customer confidence
The key factor of a successful salesman is the ability to make a customer believe and trust him. The same is about your website. Use your website as a tool to build customer confidence in your goods, services or your company itself. It’s a tad more difficult to do online. However, there are a number of ways to build such trust, and almost all are fairly easy to implement.
For instance, you can inform your clients upfront about your refund policy and return terms, so that they could buy things knowing that they can rely on you, if something goes wrong. Or provide a live chat on your website to ensure prompt answers to pre-sale questions of your visitors. You can also include product FAQs, Q&A for your customers to feel more confident in the products they want to buy. Don’t forget to indicate your actual phone numbers and address.
Customer reviews and social proof are definitely another useful approach to make people feel comfortable. Providing visitors with the possibility to comment on your products or leave ratings can help boost their confidence in your store. Social proof on your product pages will reinforce your clients’ level of credibility and will positively influence their decisions to buy, provided that the reviews and comments are positive. In case they are not, make sure you respond to every negative comment. Some highly undesirable comments can be removed at all, but do not remove all negative comments, because absence of bad ones, on the contrary, makes your clients question the truthfulness of such customer reviews.
– No registration
When visiting websites with obligatory registration, in most cases people quit such websites. A person doesn’t want to either waste his time filling in all the forms and questions or have another username or password to remember. Forcing visitors to sign up for an account or to register is too intrusive, and it’s can be a major conversion killer. So don’t repeat this mistake, don’t put up a wall like that preventing your online customers from making purchases.
– Provide a clear next step. Calls to action
Build your website in the way that when your customer is ready to buy, he doesn’t look around for the next link. You should always provide clear next-action links or buttons to your clients, so that they do not feel confused about what to do next. Such buttons direct your customer to the next page necessary to complete the purchase. Use specific and clear calls to action such as:”Proceed to checkout,” “Ask the expert” or “Add to Basket.” Don’t use just “Continue” because it looks ambiguous and makes your clients guess. Continue what? Continue to checkout or continue shopping? It is the main thing to be specific. Choose words that sell, but don’t be pushy when selling. Your words have to act like a personal salesman. They should make your products intriguing. That includes knowing what to say, and how to say, when to walk up to the client and how to whet the customer’s appetite for buying your products.
However, do not be tempted to use too many actionable next steps. Don’t make a confusing mess out of them. Remember that focus and clarity are two critical sales-builders on your way to success.
– Typography and colors
Typography is essential because if your descriptions of goods or services are hard to read because of the font used, then your visitors will most likely not become your buyers. The same thing is about the colors used. If you use a pale color for letters and your visitor has to slit his eyes to make out what is written, you are at risk of losing him as a buyer. So be careful while choosing fonts and colors not to flush your potential buyers out, but on the contrary to pull as many visitors in as possible.
– Easy payments
Make the payment process easy for your customers. It may sound obvious but there are lots of sites where you need to provide too much personal information and to fill in too many gaps to complete the payment, or you may need an account to pay. Be wiser than your competitors, make it as simple as possible and allow your customer payments without requiring an account. Moreover, provide several payment methods so that the customer could choose the one that suits him best.
– Page loading speed
If you don’t want to see your potential customers irritated or to lose them at all, don’t make them wait for your website page to download for too slowly. The page loading speed may be a determining factor as to whether the purchase is closed by your visitor, or your visitor leaves your page for good. It’s essential to pay attention to loading speed when building your website, especially if you are going to place lots of images or video. Don’t keep your visitors waiting for too long if you don’t want them to bail without making an order.
OK, you’ve delivered and positioned a great product and you have a killer sales site. Now it’s high time to attract targeted and motivated traffic, because no traffic means no sales and no conversion. To spread information about your website you need special attractors that will bring customers to your website.
– Search Engines (SEs)
It’s a good idea to use search engine optimization (SEO) for the content of your online store. SEO tactics will provide your business with a higher ranking in search results on Google, Yandex or Yahoo. For this purpose you can choose an ecommerce vendor that uses SEO automatically. Pay attention to the keywords you choose. Forget about “buzz” words that can be used by any person in any situation or context. For example avoid word combinations like “number 1” and “individual approach” , instead say more specifically “Our company sells X to people who work at Y.” State exactly what you do or what you offer and don’t be ambiguous. Generate keywords correctly and they’ll drive desired traffic to your website.
– Social media sites
Create Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube accounts that will represent your online store or your company. Take time to update your company’s social media sites a few times a day, and it will capture attention of your visitors to your daily deals, promotions and news.
– Blog posts, articles, newsletters, webinars
Even though it may seem to be time-consuming to write all these blog posts, articles, or newsletters, it is definitely worth it. Make these instruments a reason to visit your website. The more attractors like this you generate, the more people know about your business and your website and the more you can sell online. Don’t forget to place links to your website in your newsletters or blog posts to encourage those visits. Moreover, even when an article is created by someone else, not you, but you are referenced in it, that can also refer visitors to your website.
All three criteria described are equally important to make a website your best salesman, and without one criterion, two others wouldn’t work effectively. A web-site might seem like a lot of work, but at the end if it’s done right it will pay off in some pretty amazing ways. If designed and used correctly, a website will serve as your best salesman attracting motivated, interested customers, generating significant web conversions and driving your site’s sales power. Definitely it requires time and effort, but the rewards will be tremendous.
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