For a growing number of consumers, shopping means searching online for the perfect gifts as much as it means walking through brick-and-mortar stores.
Try these seven tips to help capitalize on shoppers in the online segment.
Include a strong call to action. Do you clearly tell users what you want them to do, such as buy now, sign up for your service, or email for more information? Make sure your call to action is posted in a prominent position at least once on each main webpage.
Offer special deals. Everyone loves to save money, especially when the economy is tight. Perhaps you can take a cue from other e-tailers and offer free shipping. If you're worried about covering your costs, offer it on only certain items or set a minimum purchase amount. Alternately, consider running a deal of the day.
Simplify your content. Help make your webpages easier to read by keeping paragraphs short—no more than two or three sentences per paragraph. Emphasize certain keywords by bolding or highlighting them; this also helps break up the text. Use short, catchy headlines that speak to visitor needs, and always include images so they can visualize what products look like.
Provide checkout support. Even if your Web store includes thorough product descriptions, shoppers may still want reassurance when finalizing their purchases. Live chat can be a very effective website feature for driving sales. If you can't implement live chat, provide a phone number or email address so people can contact you if they have questions. Notify buyers by email when their orders go through and when they ship.
Create a "Contact Us" page. Create an easy-to-find contact page so visitors know what to do if they have more questions. Include a frequently asked questions section that answers basic questions so your customer support team can spend their time dealing with more involved issues.
Help make it safer for customers to shop. An eCommerce site should, at a minimum, encrypt order information from customers and include fraud protections, such as human image verification and the option of not storing customer credit card information. A Web hosting service that offers solid security features and a website that is professional looking can go a long way in gaining shoppers' trust.
Post product reviews. Consumers are increasingly turning to reviews to help decide if they want to purchase items. The more information you can provide about a product, the better. Consider posting reviews on your site, and send product samples to third parties (including bloggers) who post reviews online. You can also post testimonials from previous buyers or users that provide others with proof of your credibility.
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