Posted 08/20/2013 at 9:56 AM
Posted 4 years ago
Your company has one heck of an inventory of great items. Your company offers services and delivers them with gusto. But you want to expand your reach exponentially; you want to compete with the most successful companies because your company is just as good in every department. If enough people knew about your company they would no doubt flock to your base. The brick and mortar is tough to run as it running you down. So you put up the website. And you make the most of your intellectual property. Good organizational skills, motivational staff, high reach seeking individuals dedicated to the company’s herald.
So what will get you the clientele and the exposure your company desires and duly deserves, that steadfast good business practices and a lovely selection alone cannot?
1. A Winning Website
Home base on the internet for your business is your website. You establish a website address, and working with your budget, create essential pages with the help of all your scanned and ready to post information about your business.
Everything: A list of and photos of all your products and all the services your business offers, photos of the staff and any brick and mortar images. Your designer creates a handsome banner that will greet your customers like a mighty handshake when they arrive at your website.
If you’re smart, you’ll invest in a platform like WordPress where you make changes to your site by logging in as the administrator and working the dashboard. Though you may be a winning company you really need a web design company that knows how to get you from 0 to 60 in no time flat.
All the nooks and crannies that go into making a website succeed, is guaranteed by those dedicated individuals who host, post and know the most. You listen keenly to the staunch advice and understand that you must strive to have a very high ranking in the major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Your business will be easily found at the top. And that is where you don’t stop. You promote your website through social media outlets, where they apply, and be sure to supply a steady influx of content writing to build on your reputation.
You make sure that your business can be easily accessed on mobile devices and make a splash by not just having your website as a Facebook business page but rather that you have Apple applications specially made for your business: Now that’s what we call snazzy in the web business. You want to have special widgets and virtually all the bells and whistles that a customer can be dazzled with before deciding on splurging on your inventory’s finest and the services you have to offer being utilized. (Some further advice about this point a little later in this article).
You no doubt have noticed that the easy-to-buy-from websites are the most delightful to do business with. And you keep it simple, basically, and flashy only when you need to flash.
Let’s backtrack a bit at this point as the web provides a level playing field for selling online and offering services. There are millions upon millions of consumers online. There is competition from possibly thousands upon thousands of competitor websites competing for the same attention your business attends. So what to do? The winning website is the best website and you work hard and spend mightily on just what you need to succeed.
Selling products online turns out to be quite inexpensive in comparison to owning and operating a retail store or catalog/brochure mailings. And without the tedium.
And there are easy ways to sell potentially to hundreds of countries at the same time. The world wide web has an obviously globally fantastic reach.
2. Choosing just the right niche.
You’ll be faced with knowing what products sell and don’t sell as well online. Yet it is not about what item will sell more than another online, but rather more about how much each website has done to promote it, and the size of the potential niche you are appealing to. It goes like this, as is usually the rule: The smaller the niche the less competition means you have more chance of the buyer finding you. It also does mean that there will be potentially less buyers. Yet uniqueness and novelty are rewarded in business, in general, and especially online.
You must ask yourself with your business acumen hat on, this question: How can I balance the level of competition with the size of the market?
Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it.
For instance, if you’re considering selling a digital product like software, ebooks or pdfs, or maybe music, which gets sold internationally, delivery is not an issue. Geographical considerations become an issue if you are selling a physical product online as you need to include the cost and logistics of domestic or international delivery. And the same goes for the acquisition of services offered online by your business: It may not be panoramic to the whole world.
3. Ease to Please
Mentioned earlier is a point that deserves more discussion and thus is the third secret to certifiable success online. Keep in mind that visitors to your website or blog have notoriously short attention spans and you have about 10 seconds approximately to grab hold of their attention when they first visit your site. Obstacles and distractions will cause visitors to your site to leave immediately, so make it easy and make it pleasing, adorned in a simple, stately way, like the front room of a house. A good place to stack the coats and hang the hats, to use figurative speech.
No You Don’ts: You don’t force visitors to register when they first visit your website. That could be rightly remembered as the too-quick-for-exclusivity clause. You don’t make the navigation on your website or blog complicated. What you do is put the navigation at the top of the page. You don’t make the buying process long-winded and don’t try to collect a lot of information from buyers. The more steps and information requested, the greater the friction, and the more lost sales you will have as buyers abandon their purchases.
Be aware that a lot of e-commerce software isn’t that easy to use from a buyer’s perspective without them having to think about what they are doing. Be able to be the buyer and see if you can do it without thinking, and quickly and easily. Buying should be simple, quick and easy. The results of less friction is less fiction and more sales.
And the clearest path to your services offered is one where you don’t give the buyer too much to buy into before they, metaphorically speaking, bite.
4. Service with a Smile
Offering great customer service is the secret smile down of success. When people purchase from a website, they are looking for reassurance before they purchase. So that’s what you do; you provide reassurances. Let customers know that there is a guarantee surrounding the sale of products and services offered, if they are not satisfied.
Let the customers/clientele know that they will get a refund and that there will be no questions asked. Make sure to show that your site is secure and verified by trusted third parties like Symantec or McAfee.
If credit card information is being handled, your website will need to be on a secure server and PCI compliant. You may want to look into a payment systems that handle the credit card payments for you, without your needing to do anything to your blog or website.
When selling online digital products the delivery process should be automated. And conversely, if selling physical products prompt shipping is important, as is providing the buyer with the ability to track their shipment.
5. Promote Thy Business
Just when you thought that having a winning website was great enough, you’ll need to know the fifth and final secret to selling your products and services online like a true champion.
You need to attract people to it and you want people to make purchases and make use of the services offered. So put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. They will most likely do a search on Google or Bing. They will ask for advice on a forum or seek the advice offered on social networks like Facebook or Twitter. And the prospective buyer/client will seek recommendations or reviews from other websites and/or social media.
You will need to invest in a considerable amount of time and energy each week to promote yourself. Writing relevant articles or posts on your site and doing guest posts on other websites that your prospective clients/customers visit will bring in the bacon as you will see as your business grows and grows and moves ever onwards towards loftier heights of success and establishment.
Get other people to review your products and services on their websites. The focus should be on getting potential consumer visits to your blog or website. Google Analytics should be checked to see what sources bring the most prospective customers and which convert the best for sales. Google Analytics is free, by the way.
The tried and true industry standard for businesses on the web in achieving expansion and the realization of their goals is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short.
Don’t be cheap. Spend money on advertising your website on search engines or other websites. This technique is called Search Engine Marketing or SEM for short.
The two big advertising networks are Google Adwords and Bing/Yahoo Ads. Educate yourself by learning about Google Adwords and what practices work best before spending too much without a complete grasp of how it all works. It’s not that hard though with all the great tutorials online for everything and anything,
Another thing that has a great ring to it, is ‘repeat business’. Existing customers are your most profitable. Encourage customers to regularly visit your site. Change the content regularly and talk about new products. Post relevant news that is interesting to your base buyers, while always freshening up the areas that are lacking. Once again check Google Analytics for all the relevant stats.
Personal endorsements and recommendations can be extremely valuable and will convert well as a source of new customers, so encourage them to buy from you and use your services repeatedly to share a link or three on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You’re not asking them to make a purchase of any kind, inasmuch as you are asking them to share your online store with their network.
Finally, be patient. Slow and steady does indeed win the race, and in turn, net the capital.
It’s gonna’ take work, and quite a lot of it, as well as time to really build that audience in turn building the business.
Don’t ever give up. Keep moving up the ladder of success by taking on the challenges and reaping the rewards.
Selling your products and services online by using the secrets I’ve presented here will help bring in new and repeat customer/clientele.
Get set for a steady climb with your business.