Your site is finished and your online store is up and running, but your work is just beginning. Your next task is to optimize your site to maximize sales and focus on customer conversion.
Here are a few suggestions on converting click-throughs to purchases.
Clean design and easy-to-understand navigation is key to a successful e-business site. Your customers need to be able to find your merchandise quickly and get around your site easily. If customers don’t find what they are looking for quickly, they may leave your store before making a purchase.
Compelling copy can also help you optimize your sales. Spend some time fine-tuning your site’s content to make sure that it is appealing and helps sell your products. Good copy is informative, short, and to the point, listing all of the key details of your products in an easy-to-read format.
Once your copy is written, analyze it to make sure it is optimized for search engines. The best way to ensure you get your fair share of traffic from search engines is by placing appropriate keywords throughout your pages.
When search engines index sites, they go through pages looking for keywords and rank Web pages accordingly. If you have popular keywords throughout your copy, search engines will include your Web site in search results for those terms.
Now that the mechanics are out of the way, you can focus on increasing the appeal of your products by offering free gifts or running specials. The best way to entice a new customer to purchase from your company instead of your competition is by offering them something that they can’t get anywhere else. Here are a few examples.
- Sales: The old standby, the sale, works just as well online as offline. If your business is seasonal, offer a discount during a traditional slow period. Alternately, if you have too much inventory of a particular type, you can mark it down dramatically in an attempt to move it.
- Free shipping: Instead of offering a discount on your products, you can discount your shipping for a limited time, or offer free shipping for purchases over a certain amount. Offering free shipping on orders over $100, for example, may encourage a customer to add to his or her order to get free shipping.
- Coupons: Coupons are a proven way to increase return customer sales, which can keep a business going for a long time. If you can keep your existing customers happy, they can provide a large percentage of your sales.
- E-books or e-newsletters: Free information related to the products you sell can be a cost-effective way to keep customers coming back. For example, if you sell home furnishings in your store, you could offer a free e-book about interior design principles.
If you don’t have time to write an e-book, you may be able to find existing copy to redistribute to your customers. Try researching topics for items that you sell and see if you can find anything that ties in well with your store.
Additionally, e-mail newsletters are an excellent way to keep in touch with your customers in a relatively unobtrusive manner. Newsletters can be used to communicate information about sales, featured items, and general news, as well as deliver targeted marketing.
Updating your site regularly is critical to keeping your customers coming back. Employing the techniques above will force you to keep your site fresh, as you rotate your offers throughout your business cycle. New content lets your customers know that your online business is thriving, and will let them know you are in it for the long haul.