June 19, 2011 –
One of the great sales and growth vehicles for your business is via ecommerce. Yet, many companies either do not take advantage of Internet commerce or are not maximizing its potential.
Rieva Lesonsky’s suggestions for improving online sales range from SEO (search engine optimization) to changing the appeal of a website. Her 6 tips are simple and easily done at low to no cost.
We strongly urge all that sell online – homepreneurs or small business or entrepreneurs – to review Ms. Lesonsky’s suggestions and make needed changes to improve online sales and grow your business.
6 Ways to Sell More Online
By Rieva Lesonsky
Is your company selling products or services online? Good for you. Too many small businesses still aren’t taking advantage of ecommerce opportunities. But are you selling as much as you possibly could be? Probably not. Try these tactics to boost your ecommerce sales:
1. Create an appealing site. When a location is well-designed—whether it’s a store or a website—customers will linger, spending more time and money there. Make sure your site is well organized, easy to navigate and fast to load. If your design, colors or images are outdated, it’s time for a makeover.
2. Provide the right information. Your site should answer all the questions customers might have about your product or service. Pay special attention to product descriptions—online, where customers can’t touch the product, descriptions can make or break the sale. Add or link to reviews if you can to help customers make up their minds. Put your phone number, chat links or other way for customers to contact you with questions prominently on every page.
3. Use the power of SEO. What happens when you type your business name or product name into a search engine? If you’re not on the first page of search results, it’s time for some search engine optimization (SEO). You can hire experts to help with your SEO, or learn the ropes yourself by taking a webinar, seminar or class. Check out your local community college’s offerings or contact SCORE or your local Small Business Development Center.
4. Make an offer. Offering discounts, free shipping or buy-one, get-one-free deals are all good ways to encourage customers to buy more—so you make more. Keep tabs on the incentives your key competitors offer and always try to exceed or at least match them.
5. Spread the word. Use email marketing (newsletters and sales announcements), social media (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) and shopping comparison sites such as Bizrate.com and Google Shopping to let potential customers know about your website and products.
6. Get personal. Keep customers coming back for more with a personal touch. Send customers emails targeted to what they bought in the past and suggesting related items they might like. You can interact and get feedback from customers by sending them email surveys, using survey tools like Zoomerang.com or SurveyMonkey.com, posting surveys on your Facebook page, or asking questions on Twitter. As a small business, personal interaction with customers differentiates you from bigger companies and can give you a marketing edge.