Where are the Buyers?
So you have your e-Commerce website all setup, payment methods selected, shipping terms defined, and products are uploaded. You’re ready to go and start processing those incoming sales! [Insert Crickets sound effect here.] So where are the buyers? You may even be tracking daily traffic to your website but perplexed as to why those visits are not translating into actually sales.
You may have had your online store up for weeks or months or more … and you are not making enough sales to justify the time & expense to host the e-Commerce store. It’s time to analyze what’s not working and make the needed adjustments.
Your Online Store Checklist
- Attractive Product Displays: Just as in a brick-and-mortar store, you want your product featured in the best possible light, with professional displays, neatly arranged and laid out in a way to invite the customer to examine further. So likewise, your online store’s catalog should be clean, professional, easy-to-navigate, and designed so that the focus is on the product.
- Professional Photos: Either invest in a good camera or a professional photographer because if the photos of your product are blurry, poor lit or out of focus, your product’s value and appeal will diminish greatly. The photos are your customer’s only connection to your product and how they preview your merchandise; so placing it in the best light (pun intended) is your best chance at success.
- Keyword Rich Descriptions: It takes time to write out a well written product description that not only fully describes your product but sells it at well. Include everything they need to know … measurements, weight, ingredients, materials used, usage details and care/cleaning instructions, as well as the advantages and benefits of your product over your competitor’s. Since there is not a salesperson on hand to ask, so do your best to answer all the frequently asked questions online. SEO TIP: You want your customers to be able find the product when they search for it, so use the product keywords in the title, description and tags.
- Accessible Company Information: Include information about who you are as the seller, offer a short bio, put up a picture … connect to your audience. Show company history, mission statement, quality assurance, and pictures of staff/headquarters/office. ALWAYS include address, phone, email and fax so the customer knows they can contact you if there is an issue or complaint (or even a recommendation/testimonial). Again to build trust & credibility, make sure your customers know they can contact you if they feel the need now or in the future.
- Customer Testimonials: Show how other customers have benefited from or used your product. Prominently display customer satisfaction comments regarding their shopping experience, checkout or shipping of your product. If there were issues, show how the situation was handled with successful results.
- The Price is Right: If the product is priced too high, you will lose sales to competitors, if too low, the customer will become suspicious of the quality of product. If you are getting hits, but no sales make sure you are priced right for your target audience. If unsure, do your research.
- Mobile Capability: 15% of users are viewing your site on their mobile device (with that percentage doubling within a year). Can they view your catalog, see product details and successfully complete the transaction from their mobile device?
Online Marketing Ideas for your e-Commerce Website
Offer a Discount or Giveaway: Offer something that users will find useful and instead of selling it, give it to their customers. An example: 15% off their first purchase. Not only do you encourage that first sale, you capture contact information that can be used to advertise future specials. Once a product purchase is made and handled professionally, they are more likely to return and share with their friends.
“If you create something that somebody would pay for, but you give it away, not only are you building trust and a debt of gratitude buy, you shock them into sharing it,” said Joe Chernov, vice president of marketing at development company Kinvey.
Spend Money to make Money: With a well balanced combination of traditional advertising, Pay-per-click advertising and professional organic optimization, you may need to spend money to drive initial traffic to your store. We can assist in planning a well-balanced marketing proposal that fits into your budget. Build up your email database with incentives from the beginning, as Email Marketing is the the most cost-effective marketing outlet.
“The Direct Marketing Association puts email marketing’s ROI for 2011 at $40.56 for every $1 invested.”
Social Media & Blogs: Social Media Marketing is a well covered topic on this blog, and the principles are the same for your e-Commerce website as opposed to a traditional company website. The only difference is that your main focus is your product or service. Engage your audience with humor, inspiration, practical information, discounts & specials and regularly feature photos of your product.
If you’d like a one-hour free consultation of your existing e-Commerce website, please contact Startup Production so we can schedule a time. With a few changes to your website and a well-structured marketing plan, you can convert visitors into customers. It may take time, persistence and consistent monitoring, but your efforts will will be well worth the time.