If you are considering starting and running an eCommerce site, then it is imperative that you have a clear understanding of the game – and one of the most important factors is being able to get into the mindset of your customer.
What you need to understand is that when people shop for something online, and they have a specific product or type of product in mind that they want to buy, there are two key factors that influence their decision to do business with you:
Can they trust you?
And do you have the best price?
So how does one go about creating an eCommerce site so that it is more likely to convert sales? I have put together a few tips to help you along the way…
1. First of all, don’t make your own website. It can take a long time to learn how to design a website properly, so unless you are already a designer, don’t do it. The learning curve is pretty big. The other thing is that trying to sell from a “homemade” looking site can hurt your trust factor.
Whilst it may be true that with some markets, the homemade site can convert well because people feel that someone like them built the site – in MOST cases it’s better to appear professional. And the best way to do that is to have a professional designer build your site.
So, my recommendation is that although it takes an investment to set up a site properly, it is one that will yield more sales and a stronger business.
2. There are some very simple elements you can easily add to your site that will instantly make you appear more trustworthy.
- A 1 800 number in the header. This simple method gives the feel that you are a bigger company, even if you’re running it from your living room. once people assume that you are a “bigger” company is a “safer” company, they’ll be more inclined to buy from you.
- A trust seal and credit card logos. The credit card logos instil trust for a couple of reasons. To begin with, you’re essentially borrowing trust from the credit card companies, as they are known and trusted companies. Secondly, a credit card logo once again gives the look and feel of being a bigger professional company online. People often assume that if you have these elements then other people are buying from you too.
- Live chat. This simple method continues to add to the feeling that you are a larger company with a substantial support team. This brings a lot of comfort to your prospects, even if they never use it. Just the fact that you are more approachable if they have questions helps the trust factor immensely. There are many sites online that offer live chat services. For example, one in particular is liveperson.com.
Many successful eCommerce site owners have extensively used and tested each of these elements You will be amazed at the difference it will make to your conversions if you add them to your site.
Obviously, your eCommerce site will be more successful if you’re selling something that people are already buying. However, the other side to this is that it means you’ll also be selling what other people are selling. So the problem is how to compete when your customers begin price-shopping, without having to cut your prices? Here are two tips:
1. Position your products as unique. Now 99% of marketers don’t make any effort to promote their products uniquely. Most f the time they simply take the photo and description provided by the supplier and use them as is. However, if you’ll take a little extra time, it’ll pay off in huge dividends. Start by changing the stock photo. Test different photos. Avoid using the same photo everyone else is using. Also re-write the description so it’s unique. The other thing you can do is give your products a unique name so that when people price shop products from your site, they won’t find any other products with the same name (clever, huh?).
2. Don’t cut your prices. Trying to be the cheapest source rarely works for long. One, you’re cutting your profits. And two, there will always be someone else to come along who’s willing to sell the same items cheaper than you. One great approach is to try bundling related items into greater bargains for your prospects – this is also known as ‘widgetising’. Using this approach this allows you to set the price you want and it also makes your offer unique.
These are just a few tips for making your eCommerce site more profitable. But there are literally dozens of different ways, just like this, that you can use to have a higher converting site. Stay tuned for further blogs on the topic by subscribing to my RSS feed.