The better way to sell online

Pay attention to the small details

There are many issues you need to contend with as an online business. When you look at the whole picture — it’s easy to forget the “Big Picture” is made up of smaller details.

There are many issues you need to contend with as an online business. When you look at the whole picture — it’s easy to forget the “Big Picture” is made up of smaller details. By paying attention to the little details — it makes the whole image of what your business is about more attractive to your visitors.

Proper product presentation is a virtue

One problem we see regularly on websites is product presentation and proper information about the products. Quite often merchants simply use the same text content, images and other material given to them by their distributor or supplier. If your supplier has a short intro about a product and hands it over to you, or you simply copy theirs, it does nothing at all to distinguish you from the rest of the sites who have also done the exact same thing. This is an ongoing problem on the internet, and even the search engines are addressing the issue by weeding out duplicate content between similar sites.

Try adding more detailed information about your products — chances are you probably know more about the product than the distributor or supplier. Your distributor or supplier is not consumer sales driven and will always do a mediocre intro for their product.

This also goes for photographing the product yourself, since one of the annoying things about shopping online, is that every store uses the same supplier shots. Merchants often do not offer a range of different views or even show the product in actual use.

Videos can put customers off if not done properly. Text and Bullet points are quick to read and not invasive. By all means have a video, but don’t have it as your main selling point or medium.

Remember, some devices are unable to display video properly. Flash websites fall into this category and templates in ShopFactory 9 now perform the same tasks natively in HTML as opposed to relying on Flash. For older browsers such as Internet Explorer 8 ShopFactory even has a fall back which uses Flash if needed. Most tablet devices using Windows run Internet Explorer 9 or above.

For markets with varying age groups, you no longer need to worry about font sizes. User can easily zoom the page on almost all devices in the market these days.

Adjusting font sizing is also a thing of the past. Most visually impaired users have larger monitors which are set to a low resolution. Some of the same users also have their browsers set permanently to a larger zoom size. Some legally blind users actually use tablets and just zoom with the fingers and use HD TV’s to browse the internet. Viewing web content on HD TV’s will become and increasing market trend over the next few years since most new TV’s are being sold with network connection options already installed.

Developing brand trust is most important

A website needs to ensure customer trust right from the start — We’re not talking about putting large Starbursts saying “trust us!, secure!” or other known markings for security...

What we’re talking about are key indicators which show professionalism on your website:

Consistency across your website

Show you are professional, organized and not a fly by nighters. This includes easy to navigate and organized departments and sub-departments. And any sub-page should have the same look and feel across your entire site so your customer always knows where they’re looking for specific key information.

Provide the right information

Show your visitors you know about your product - inside and out. Offer more information than your competitors and make sure it’s accurate down to the last feature.

Accessible Contact Information:
Your ‘contact page’ needs to be visible and easily accessible — to show you are just as trustworthy as a bricks and mortar shop.

Here is a hint, don’t look at your site for a week — not even a peak — and then in one visit, note down the aspects you are not happy with, as a customer and not a merchant. Customer trust is the main result of branding which will result in constant customer base. When someone trusts your brand, they will — without thinking — just go straight to you and not your competitors.

Work other avenues of building your business

Don’t just rely on search engines to bring your customers to your website. After all, you want to sell more product, correct? Keep up with SEO and the rest of what you normally do. Here is another trick...

There is a huge expansion in social media. You can pair your product with Santu links and enable people to buy your product directly from that user base. As you know, has a lot going for it and if paired with your ShopFactory website, which is the equivalent of your bricks and mortar shop, your Santu links will extend your brand awareness as well and increase loyalty — especially for the younger ‘I/me’ generations.

Also backup your brand in the offline world, where links excel so don’t forget print. People are not 100% focused on their computers and see real life advertising as another avenue to find out about products and services. Print does not have to cost much — as opposed to some very old beliefs. If you are smart enough to push your limited budget, you can work wonders in increasing brand awareness. You can easily start by printing bumper stickers, business cards, point of sale material, etc.

Here is a new interesting aspect which some large commercial chains are starting to set up.

In September, a large group called Myer (In Australia) will be opening a smaller store about half the size of all their other stores. Sounds strange?

Here is the twist — they will have a limited display line in their new smaller stores, eg.: One size of each product. You can try it on and then order online right there, or, pick-up at another store later on. Customers are also given tablets to to assist in shopping while in the store.

How can this example help you? Keep on going with your online shop, but open up a very small outlet — or even a spot in your garage — so people can view and see your product in person. Even if people don’t tend to visit the store, they will see a true life location they can go to if need be. People are sometimes scared of spending big money on “imaginary items”. Products sold online are ‘imaginary’ until they see it in person at a store or until they physically receive it.

The more you search out and pay attention to the smaller details, the brighter the larger picture will be for your business.

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