One of the hardest things in ebusiness is building a customer base and keeping it. The very nature of the internet can lead many consumers to inherent mistrust of all online merchants, especially if they are smaller companies. How can you ensure that the people coming to your site will actually press the Buy button?
First, you will need to make sure that you have a user friendly website with a professional appearance. Place your contact information in a highly visible location on your website and dont be afraid to post a phone number for voice communication. Many people still prefer talking to a real live human being rather than receiving information by email.
Next comes the dreaded price point. In some cases, all that stands in the way of making a sale is a few cents. It may seem silly to you, but your customers want to save every penny and most will continue on to a different store if they can get the same product at a lower price. Even if it means less revenue at first, you can ensure future sales and more business by setting a lower price point.
Now that the simple things are out of the way, here are some techniques to ensure your success:
Putting a time limit on a special price, or a special offer can be the nudge that your customers need to get them to push that button. Be firm on your timeframe and dont forget to make the change to your site once the sale has ended. Dont fall into the trap of offering so many sales that customers just wait for the next one to roll around. You can either run a sale periodically or set a special price that stays the same and offer a special gift for a limited time to cut down on this common problem.
Bundle your product with several free offers or gifts. By offering your customer a package deal with your product you can sweeten the pot so to speak to make the sale. Many sites offer free magazine subscriptions, free trials for services and other products. You can normally sign up as an affiliate with many of these companies and they will actually pay you to bundle your product with their offer. You can actually make more money using this method than selling your product by itself.
Affiliate yourself with a well-known company. If you are having trouble making the sales yourself, you may need to look into an affiliation with another company. For example, if you offer discount books for vacations, contact travel agency websites, and local hotels. Many companies will accept a mutual link program where they will place your company name on their site in exchange for a mention on your site. You can gain credibility this way and reach a whole new market.
Build customer relationships. Get out there and chat with your customers, reach out to them and they will begin to feel more comfortable with you. It is a lot easier for someone to trust a company with a real person that they know and feel they can trust. If your website projects a faceless exterior and your customer service is lacking, you just cant get ahead in ebusiness.
Use graphic product descriptions. When you describe your product, dont just let the text speak for itself. You have got to have pictures and graphic descriptions when you are selling a product a customer cant touch or feel. It can be very hard for a consumer to picture something in their home if they dont have enough information to go on. This is the one downfall of ebusiness versus the traditional mall or corner store. You can overcome this if you practice describing your products to friends and family until you get it down to an art.
By using a combination of these techniques you should be able to begin to make more sales and increase consumer confidence in your business.
About The Author
Julie Martin is the publisher of The Iscaweb eZine a weekly eZine dedicated to increasing your online profits, no matter what you are selling. Julie also uses the Plug-In-Profit system to GREAT effect!