This is a guest post by Neil. If you would like to contribute too, please contact me.
The goal of any online shop site is to sell. The goal for any online shop store owner is to sell more and the goal of the marketing department is get to get more people to the site. So that is all pretty straight forward so far, everybody knows what they have to do and everybody knows what the end goal is–sell more.
This is where things prove to get a little more difficult, a very small percentage of your traffic will buy from you on their first visit to your site, and some reports claim that online shop sites need to interact with potential clients anything up to seven times before they can secure a sale. This can prove very difficult for an online shop that is selling merchandise that is available on countless other sites and has nothing new and interesting to offer. How can we make people interested enough to keep them coming back to our sites?
The Stickiness of your online shop can prove vital if you want to continue to drive sales both from new and old customers. How can you make your online shop compelling and attractive enough so that customers will continue to return time and time again?
Emails, Newsletters, E-zines
This is probably the oldest trick in the book, when someone check out online you can collect their email address and the send them promotions, product updates, newly added product lines the list here is endless. This method has proven its importance in driving sales for many years now. But what is slightly worrying about this method; is that many site owners only use emails when they want to offer their mailing list a discount. I’m convinced this is a bad idea, because if you do it regularly enough you mailing list will begin to realize that a discount will be coming soon so the will hold off buying that new item until they get a discount for it.
This isn’t a new trick, but a lot of the blogs that are attached to an online shop site do pretty much the same thing, highlight new products and possible discounts, but a blog can be a great way not only to brand your site but to also help put a real face and a personal touch to a site, a blog is where you can give your views not only on the products you stock but you can also comment on a wider variety of topics that may interest both you and your customer base. If people are interested in what you have to say as well as what you sell, a blog is a great way to get the word out and keep your customers coming back.
Social Media, Web 2.0
If you can’t find potential customers on Facebook or Twitter, then maybe an online shop site isn’t the best way to sell your products. As you already have your customers email addresses why not see how many of them are on Twitter and Facebook, if you customer base is between 18 and 35 there is a good chance they are probably on both platforms. Both are not only a great way of connecting with your customers but they can also prove an effective way to get you and your site in front of a group of potential new customers that hadn’t heard of you before, remember people with the same interests usually tend to stick together and if you can get your site in front of one of that group there is a good chance that the others may take notice as well. I would again look at these social media sites as a way to put a real face behind your business. If potential customers can put their faith in a real person instead of a website it can help to drive more sales.
With all this said there are a couple of important things that I think need to be highlighted, the end goal will always remain the same, you need to sell more and using these channels is really just a means to and end. Never get too personal, the last thing you want is your customers thinking they can rely on you to fix any problems they are having with your products. If any of customers have received a poor service from your company there is always the possibility they will vent their anger in these channels, be prepared for this and if any issues do arise deal with them as professionally as possible, show that you are doing everything you can to rectify the issues and make things right in the eyes of the customer. People will see this and hopefully realize that you are willing to go the extra mile.
This is a guest post by Neil from eMobileScan, who are one of the UK leading online retail specialists of handheld computers and barcode scanner. Including the full range of Wireless barcode scanners.
[Image credit: By Maximum PC , ]