When people think of increasing their web sales, most automatically think
they have to increase spending to attract more people to their web site. Do
you think that? What if I said you don’t need more traffic to your site to
increase sales, would you think this old marketer has gone nuts?
I want you to think about it hard, do you really need more web traffic to
increase your sales? You may not; you may just need to close more sales from
the people that are already visiting your site. Until you’re squeezing out
as many conversions as possible from the traffic you already have, you’re
wasting money attracting more.
I hear from people all the time that tell me they need more traffic to their
site so they can sell more product. But many of them have nothing in place
to fully capitalize on the traffic they are already getting.
Part of the problem I see is that many websites have no easy way for
customers to ask questions, no phone number to call, with email question
submission forms that just reek with the feeling that you’ll be waiting days
for an answer. The inability for people to ask questions while they are at
your site, itching to make a purchase, is a sales killer. If you’re not
there to answer questions quickly and easily, you are going to lose that
sale and a new customer; a customer that has long-term-value!
Sometimes it seems that the only thought on the mind of many web merchants
is, automate…automate, come to my site and buy, if you have questions…to
bad, you’re not for us…go someplace else. And people do.
Remember, web marketing is mail order marketing (direct marketing) you are
selling at a distance; you must eliminate all obstacles in the way of
someone wanting to make a purchase. A retail store has a clerk to ask, and
mail order catalog has plenty of copy to describe a product and its
benefits, and if there is a question, there is a toll free phone number to
call and ask.
To compound the problem, many websites have severely inadequate product copy
and descriptive details for making a purchasing decision, which in turn
leads to more questions. Combine this with no easy way to ask questions and
you’re really fighting an uphill battle for converting visitors to
Customers will not wait for you, you already know this. I’m here to tell you
right now…you are leaving money on the table. Instead of focusing solely on
how to get more people to your site, you should first be thinking about how
to convert more of the ones you are getting into customers. In case you’re
wondering, a 3% conversion rate is average for retail websites according to
Internet Retailer Magazine.
So if you could raise your conversation rate, just think of the added net
profit you would gain upfront, not to mention the future residual income
from another new customer on the books.
I think you get my point, so I’m not going to drag this article out, what I
recommend you do is implement a Live
Customer Service feature to your website, often called
Chat. And I recommend you do it before you spend another penny on
driving more people to your web site.
We implemented a live help service a few months ago using a service called
WebsiteAlive and it has really paid off.
They have a 10 day free trial and a 60 day money back guarantee. So there is no reason not to
test this type of tool on your website. It’s a no lose situation. And you
don’t get that very often in business.
The other important thing about using this type of service is that you get
to learn first hand what the real questions your visitors have. This helps
you trouble shoot your site for shortcomings and continually fine tune it.
Finally, make sure you continue to refine your product copy and
descriptions. Putting good copy to each of your products is time consuming
and expensive, but it needs to be done. And make sure when you’re doing it,
you use keywords for search engines.
If you missed my last Expert Advice Article on
Web 2.0, A Six Week Plan, you can
click here to read it. I cover important points that must be part of
your website optimization tactics.
To your success,
John D. Schulte