It is one thing to drive traffic to your website. It is a completely different thing to get them to buy something. Once you’ve managed to get ample people to see your site, your next goal should be to convert these casual surfers into buyers.
Converting browsers to buyers is more than a one step process. It requires constant attention and effort to build a relationship with the customers while making your Web store feel like a place that they would wish to do business.
Foster a Relationship with Potential Customers
You may have run a successful marketing campaign and achieved a high quantity of website traffic, but you probably won’t convert a lot of sales right away. People are most likely going to check your site out a few times and those of your competitors before they choose to buy something. You need to make sure that they want to buy from you.
Customers are more likely to buy from someone they trust and feel comfortable with. A fantastic way to get the customer to feel this way about your site is an e-mail newsletter. Put out a monthly e-mail newsletter that has a primarily informative purpose. Give information about the benefits of certain things that you sell, perhaps explaining why one kind is better than another. The key is to make the newsletter an informative resource rather than an advertisement. At the bottom of the newsletter, offer information or links about any current sales or deals that your might be offering. Once the customer feels that you and your newsletter have their best interests in mind, they will feel good about buying from you.
It is important that you remain a credible source of information, both in your newsletter and on your website. Make sure to eliminate things like spelling errors and grammatical miscues. Make sure that your newsletter and website have a “professional” feel to them through the proper use of graphics and colors. Make sure that the customers have an easy way to contact you if they have any questions or concerns. You might even consider devoting a section to testimonials and other positive feedback that you’ve received from satisfied customers. Nothing makes a customer feel better about a seller than hearing good things about them from other customers.
Once you’ve earned the customer’s trust, it is only a matter of time before you earn their business.
Is Your Site User-Friendly?
Nothing turns customers off quicker than a website that is difficult to use. You want your website to be so easy to use that the customer never even thinks about it. The only thing you want the customer to think about is shopping.
Sharp graphics may seem like a cool, professional thing to offer on your website, but they can also drastically increase the load times, especially if the customer has dial-up access to the internet. Make sure that any graphics you use aren’t so intense that they lag the user’s system. A long load-time for the page is often enough to make a customer impatient and cause him to search somewhere else.
Server connects can also slow down the load time of a webpage. If you have several banner ads that are hosted on another server, the user has to wait for them to load while his system connects to that server. Move the banner ads to your own server to optimize these load times.
When using banner ads, be careful not to inundate the customer with them when he or she first comes to your website. The person might click one of them before he gets the chance to buy something from you. A visitor might also get turned off by the clutter. Be reasonable in the number of ads you place on any given page.
You also need to ensure that your website is easy to navigate once it has loaded. Make sure that everything is easy to find and every process is clearly explained. Keep your navigation as simple as possible so that getting from point A to point B isn’t a complicated process. Your customer isn’t going to buy anything if he can’t find the check-out page.
The construction of the website isn’t the only key to being user friendly. You also want to offer customer-friendly options such as multiple ways to take payment, several shipping options and contact information for when the customer has more questions. The more options you can offer a customer, the more appealing it will be for him or her to do business with you.
The customer will usually do business with the seller that has the most to offer. When you can offer an informative and simple shopping experience that has multiple options geared toward meeting the customer’s needs, you greatly increase the odds that you will convert casual browsers of your website into repeat customers.