Shopping Cart Software

Here’s my top ten tips and rules to successfully sell online.

1.       Inform your visitors/customers
Knowledge is the key, when a visitor can find everything and more about your company and the product they want to buy from you, they will feel more comfortable in proceeding with the purchase.

For every product, write your own product descriptions including everything you know about it and the way it you personally use it. Include common questions, a feature list and maybe even videos to show how it works.
On top of this, make sure you enable customer reviews and questions. New customers are more likely to purchase if they can read real life experiences and opinions of your products. Even if you lose some sales of your mediocre products, you’ll win in the end because you will have sold many more of your superior ones.
Be open about your company and how it started, include an about us page and a contact page with every way they can reach you. Be the only site with related industry news, upcoming events and shows.
2.       Punchy Title and pictures
Research has shown that visitors will scan a page briefly before deciding to read the details that interest them. So write catchy titles and use interesting, meaningful pictures to engage the reader in seconds. Try not to use more than 5 to 7 titles or main features per page as humans can’t often remember and make decisions with any more than that
3.       Five (5) Titles max
The average human can’t recall more than five details if given at one time. I.e you shouldn’t display more than 5 important topics or details on a page at once, otherwise your reader may get confused or simply ignore other important facts you have provided. We use patterns to remember details, the more patterns we make, the more we can remember. Allow them to form a pattern in their mind and then use that to ask them to buy from you.
4.       Call to action
So many of your visitors turn their brains off when they are online, that’s why they need support so often. Telling your visitors what to do next has great value, you can lead a newly arrive visitor all the way to the checkout if you know what they’re after. Common call to action terms are “click here to buy this product” or “buy now”. Without thinking, some people actually click it just because we told them to. Hopefully these stunned mullets will get all the way to the end of checkout without realising why. (of course they must have a clear level of interest in the product first).
5.       Easy, Clear, Memorable Design
Your store design must be related to your industry and products, easy to navigate, easy on the eye and memorable so people can find you again later. How often do you recall seeing a site about elephants but can’t recall the name of it? Sure, maybe not elephants, but the reason is that their design may have not been unique or outstanding in any way. I know I’ve remembered a few sites only due to the colours chosen or a big banner in the header, then in just a few search terms I’ve found it by the impression it has previously left on me.
6.       Domain Names
Your domain name should be short, related and clear. Visitors are more likely to click from a search engine to your site if it clearly relates to what they’re looking for. A domain like looks a little dodgy so it’s better to have something like if possible. Often combining your company name with the products you sell will get a good response and is more easily recalled.
7.       No more than 2 clicks
Our attention span online is significantly shorter than when engaging in a conversation with a good friend. A visitor will get frustrated if it takes too long to find what they’re after, so structure your site navigation to allow no more than two clicks to any page. Better yet, lead your visitor using ‘call to action’ to important pages and generate a sale within two clicks.
8.       Payment and Delivery Options
What better way to lose a sale than to only offer direct deposit? Giving customers options to suit how they want to pay and ship products will result in more conversions and happy customers. Offer bank deposit, Paypal, credit card and possibly COD for available payment methods. Then give a few different shipping options like normal or express post and even via different companies.
9.       Connect with your visitors/customers
Leaving your visitors on site to fend for themselves is like gambling, you simply have no control. Try offering a livechat button so they can directly connect with you in real-time. This way you can solve any lingering questions they may have or even organise a special order for something you don’t have on site. It’s a perfect way to close a sale leaving the customer ecstatically happy with your service. A happy customer will more often than not, refer a friend.
10.   Newsletters
More people will return to a store when reminded by an email. By staying in touch with customers, they will remember your brand, see specials and new products as they are released. A major benefit is that they can visit in their own time by seeing an email waiting in their inbox. Please refer to my Marketing article for more details on how to use newsletter marketing. 
So, to summarise the top 10 tips for successfully selling online: Make it informative, grabby, clear and short, memorable, meaningful, relative, easy, give options and connect with customers.

Author: Brian Altona
Copyright 2010

10 Key Tips For Selling Online

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