Sales

HOW TO INCREASE WEBSITE SALES PART 2

View part 1: here.

THE STRENGTH OF TRUST

Amazon is a company which has become one of the most frequented household names in online marketing. There’s thousands of decisions that the company has made, but one action in particular drove them to success: the pursued trust with their customer base.

Amazon stands as one of the most reputable places to shop in marketing, regardless of being online.  There’s plenty of competitors who have thousands of products, and even more who existed long before Amazon was much more than a bookstore, so we know that selection wasn’t the reason that Amazon became a prime example of online business. Customers can go to Amazon and know that they’re going to receive the product, often at a highly competitive price, at a fast rate, and most importantly, with Amazon backing guarantees on the products they sell. As a consumer, you know that you can consistently receive quality service from Amazon itself, even if a third party vendor is performing lackluster on the site, thus eliminating the unease which frequently surfaces when dealing with alternative stores without established names.

Approach your customer’s experience as if it was you shopping at the store. What red flags would turn you away? What services would cause you to be loyal to a company? How would you like the employees to treat you? Don’t focus on nickel-and-diming your way through deals with them, as the repercussions are stronger now than ever with online ratings. The general rule of thumb for reviews is that most people who feel strongly enough to review did so out of a lackluster interaction with the business they’re reviewing. Treat taking the hit for a return as a literal “return investment”, where a now happy customer feels secure purchasing from you, or at the minimum won’t leave a disgruntled review. The more a customer feels like they’re receiving the services they desire, the more likely they are to drive good reviews and referrals towards your company.

ELIMINATING USER FRICTION

Imagine this scenario: You friend takes you to a restaurant which you have never been to before. You pick up the menu, knowing at least that you want a sandwich, and open to the first page to view the table of contents. Proceeding to turn the pages, you begin to notice that not everything matched the table of contents. There were pages with dishes belonging in other categories, spelling errors, lunch specials spread intermittently throughout, and some pages missing entirely. You then ask the waitress about their sandwiches, who then proceeds to describe four sandwiches and eight burritos to you, half of which aren’t even listed in the menu. Ordering food has turned into an ordeal you have to fight for a resolution to, leaving you disgruntled and never wanting to return.

This scenario is the restaurant equivalent of what happens to customers viewing your website if it has a sub-par user experience. The menu and waitress, which are the equivalent of the navigation and search bars, weren’t able to perform their jobs properly because their employer didn’t do their job. Likewise, you as the owner of a website need it to be able to get customers from the menu to the point of sale as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Your website should be taking customers a couple minutes at max to find a product, and even less time to learn the navigation. Some will, of course, spend extra time sifting through your entire catalog to see if you offer additional interesting products, but the majority of web users simply want to achieve their objective as quickly as possible. Examine your website's current layout, and what it has which may cause extended or more difficult stays artificially. Try to look for unwanted qualities such as hidden pages, too much categorizing, or a lack of a working search function.

HOW TO INCREASE WEBSITE SALES PART 1

“People are looking at my website, but I’m not making sales”.

Business owners of all markets and all demographics recite this same slogan over and over again. We, at Osprey, look at their websites and often find them to be lackluster; but some of the sites are well-designed. Why aren’t they driving conversion? 

Businesses are not strictly built on profit.

To answer the previous questions, you first have to look at what propels consumerism. The concept itself if rather simple, yet it evades notice for many: Make the customer happy, and they will reward you. There are three criteria which can help you easily set goals as a business: Revenue, Reviews, and Referrals. Let’s quickly dissect what these three are.

  1. Revenue: We all are familiar with the ultimate goal of every business in existence, and that is to earn money. It’s extremely easy to get caught up mentally in the earning, however, and it causes many business owners to make mistakes without realizing they’re destroying revenue opportunities by obsessing with making a few extra dollars. This mind train has single handedly caused the death of thousands of businesses. To create recurring revenue through your website, you’ll need to aim for more than a one-time transaction by creating a demand for the next two R’s.

  2. Reviews: Possibly the most undervalued concept to those unfamiliar with online marketing, reviews are becoming one of the single most impactful tools for your business. Reviews are easily accessible at any time, which drives the importance of maintaining a high review average. You’re going to receive both positive and negative reviews, so your job is to make the majority of your customers happy enough to at the least not leave a negative review. There’s an importance in the quantity of reviews you receive, but drastically more meaningful is the quality of your average.

  3. Referrals: When your business is referred by one customer to another, you are knocking it out of the park. Customers who are happy enough to refer you to one person are likely to begin referring you to everyone with even a mild interest in your market. This means you have accomplished both recurring revenue and reaching a broader market.

Back to the original statement, “People are looking at my website, but I’m not making sales”. We’ve looked at the three criteria to pursue, and the recurring theme is that you want to make your customers happy with their experience. Your website should reflect the passion of your product as the best possible solution for your customers. As an example which everyone’s familiar with, observe Amazon’s website. It employs intuitive navigation, clean and simple design, and a streamlined sales funnel. If you know what you want from them, you can be purchasing a product within a two minute period at most. So what did Amazon do to cause such a strong name for themselves?