When selling on the internet, the same sales principals
apply - with some subtle differences.
The demographics of
the internet firstly mean that your potential customers come
from a wider geographic area. Most individuals are still wary
of purchasing on the internet unless it happens to be hi-tech
equipment or gadgets.
Customers need confidence to make a purchase online so you must begin to build trust from the moment they arrive on your web site. This can be achieved by establishing a brand and a good reputation for the brand, offering no-quibble guarantees and using secure servers for transactions.
Remember the key to selling is to offer the customer what
they want, when they want it at the price they feel is good
value for money. If your internet shop does not easily convey
these points to the viewer then they are likely to leave your
shop as the next shop is less than 20 seconds away.
10 things which are proven to turn viewers off are as follows:
- Don't use to much Flash, large images,
entry pages saying click here to enter the site or other
gimmicks. Over 80% of visitors are proven to leave a site
if it takes too long to download or has additional entry
- Getting them to log in before they can look view your
goods. Leave this till the checkout.
- If you want to sell something to viewers, make it easy
for them to find and give all the information you can about
the product / service. A viewer cannot touch it, rotate
it around smell it or taste it on the internet so you need
to make up for it. Signpost your shop clearly too.
- Make it easy to recognise what you sell. If it is a branded
item, display logo's the viewer may not speak your language
so make it easy to see your product by using pictures.
- Keep it very simple. Make it easy for people to add items
into the shopping basket and proceed to your till. If not
they are likely to leave your shop without purchasing.
- Provide easy and fast search facility that covers all
possible options for a product. IE A car could be a 4 door,
4-door, four door, 4 dr.
- Keep your site content up to date. If you discontinue
a line or add a new line update your stock list. Don't forget
to add your terms and conditions of sale. If you have old
/ discontinued stock you may find you can easily sell it
on the internet by discounting and attract regular customers.
- If you have a special offer then make sure it is easy
to find. Again fast moving product lines should be placed
at the entrance to your store. Don't forget to put hot links
from these items to the item in the catalogue.
- Ask permission to keep a customers name and address so they don't have to re-enter it when they revisit.
- Make it clear if you have a guarantee and what it is.
It reassures customers and reduces abortive sales. Happy
customers spread the word, but not as much as a dissatisfied
put products into their basket for many reasons. They may be
competitors, consumers comparing prices or are novice online
shoppers who found your site difficult to use. Customers may
even use the site to fill their basket and then pay by telephone.
An abandoned basket isn't always negative.
Our 10 tips to avoid lost sales are as follows:
- Build trust with the viewer from the moment
they arrive. Don't forget to keep your site simple and easy
- Make sure you have contact details are on every page and
easy to find. Respond to emails quickly and answer the phone
- Explain your delivery costs up front not at the till.
This could cost you a sale. If declared early enough in
the transaction, you may find the value of sales goes up
as the viewers purchase more to justify delivery costs.
- Explain your guarantee and returns policy. Guarantees
go a long way to persuading viewers to buy.
- Don't forget to include your terms and conditions and
- Explain your security and encryption process. Provide
details of the security method, this could be from using
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or bank approved software.
- Provide alternative ordering methods. If you want to maximise
sales, give them details on how to order by phone fax and
post. Make it easier by allowing shopping baskets to be
completed. If you wish to disincentivise this method, make
it clear an administration charge applies.
- Make the site fast. Use graphics effectively and not for
the sake of it. Checkouts should be fast.
- Manage customer expectations. Tell them how long they
can expect to wait for the product to be delivered and what
your order cut off time is each day.
- Customer Service is Key. Encourage repeat business and
referrals by meeting the customers needs. Make follow up
checks by phone or email to check they are happy. If not
rectify it if possible or show you care if you can't. Don't
forget to ask for referrals.
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