If you are a sales oriented business, then having a great web design is essential, but that alone will not guarantee that you will actually sell. Smart business owners and web masters today realise that an effective sales strategy takes more than just bells and whistles on a web site. It requires a well thought-out plan of attack and professional execution of that plan in order to sell to today’s highly discerning website visitors.
While many websites excel at educating their customer base about who they are and what they do, many fail the “sell test” – where you lead visitors from the website's 'front door' right through to the check-out counter.
Power Charge Your Online Sales
Many web owners think that “Build it and they will buy from you” is the way to attract sales. Unfortunately, that’s no longer an appropriate slogan or strategy when it comes to successful web site sales techniques, especially for online sales focused businesses.
Here are a few suggestions that your web team should consider in order to power charge your online sales:
- Entice: While having a great-looking website might not guarantee sales, it will certainly entice casual passers-by to stop for a minute and browse through your site. Make sure that your web design sends out a welcoming message for visitors to come in and take a look at what you have. Make sure your photos are high-resolution and up to date; make sure your general theme is modern and professional.
- Educate: Once the website visitors are on your website, make sure you provide relevant information about your product/service - not fluff or hype – but REAL information that customers and potential clients can relate to. That REAL information could take the form of a downloadable PDF user manual, an install guide, a comparison table comparing your products to competitor products or a video of one of your staff using or installing the product. Think about your prospective new customer – what information would they like to find on your site? Whatever that is, provide it for them.
- Encourage: Just in case they aren’t yet convinced to buy from you, you need to encourage your website visitors to move further down the aisle – closer to the 'check-out counter'! Make a case for why a buyer MUST use your product/service. Don’t try and “sell”, instead, “market” your value proposition – you could have highlighted buttons or tabs for “Why Us”; “What’s in it for you?” , “How you can save by using our products?” or “How our products last longer?”. Try and 'talk' to the website visitor on those web pages – put the case to them that this product or service really is superior and the overall cost of ownership is lower than competitor products. That's what they want to hear and they want to hear it from you – with examples.
- Invite: Now that you’ve convinced them about the value that your product/service offers, it’s time to invite your visitor to “close the deal”. Do this by creating a professional, effective web shop 'store front' that makes it easy to navigate, simple to place orders and quick to checkout. Any web designer worth their reputation knows that 90% of sales are lost because of clunky, slow and complicated website shops. Gather a few friends and family together and get them to surf your website and use your web shop to buy a test product which you set at a cost of 1 cents with their own credit card. Did they say it was easy? Did the shop store their details for a repeat purchase? Did they find what they were looking for quickly? You need to perfect these simple web shop steps so that the shop is a joy to use.
- Assure: You’re still not home and dry yet though. Even when prospective clients are almost ready to check-out their shopping carts, they could – and do – change their minds. “Is this store front safe?”; “Is my credit card information secure?”. They need assurances.
- Reassure: A great store front experience is likely to give first-time customers plenty of reason to think about using your products and services again. However, once they do become customers, your responsibility does not stop there.
To make potential buyers trust in your store, align yourself with trusted partners. Use only major banks, Credit Card service providers and reputable online payment processors like PayPal, Skrill etc. Make sure there is a “secure padlock” on your browser for every page of your website and try it on a number of different browsers and mobile devices to make sure there are no issues across all the various smart phones, tablet PCs and regular PCs that your customers will use. Everything needs to be checked and double checked to make sure the sale goes through smoothly.
As part of your effective online store front management strategy, your web design team must take steps to reassure clients that once they’ve paid – the relationship isn’t terminated there. You do this by providing clear guidelines about refunds, after-sales service and product returns. Try and get them to signup for the Newsletter too and make sure that has genuinely good offers and articles so that they are really engaging with your and your products/services.
A Final Thought
Just as in the world of bricks and mortar shopping, where buyers don’t like visiting the same shop over and over again, just to see the same old layout, same shelves and tired old banners and posters; so too “stale” can turn off potential online buyers too.
Managing a successful web shop isn’t a one-time process of “build it and you’re done”. It needs to be constantly reviewed by a professional team of web designers, and fresh updates are needed to tickle the curiosity of passers-by to step in again and again. Be aware of your competitors too – what are they doing? As well as keeping an eye on their range of products and services, keep and eye on their website appearance. It really does matter what you look like and you need to be honest with yourself when your website is in need of a new design.
That is the mantra that some of today’s most successful sales-oriented companies espouse. If you want to convert casual visitors into paying customers, then you need to speak with your web designer about all of the points discussed above – plus other nuggets of wisdom that they can bring to the table.
The final step in any successful website shop conversion process usually is welcoming website visitors into your store front. And if you don’t have an effective web shop, all your investment in establishing a web presence will be in vain.
Partner with professional web designing companies to help you get more out of your online sales channel – it will pay or itself many, many times over. If you have any web shop questions we'd be glad to answer them for you on 01-6216866 or firstname.lastname@example.org