Today's blog article is a guest post from Lee Topher on how to attract and convert customers for your e-commerce business. I don't have much experience with e-commerce businesses so I am excited about this article from Lee. Here is the article...
The economy may be bottomed out in its ever present pendulum swing, and fiscal fluidity may be static currently; but that does not mean that business and commerce have stopped morphing and evolving. Much like they have been since the very beginning of time, business and commerce continue pressing forward to new frontiers.
As we progress forward into the 21st century the business world has once again shifted. Although trade and commerce have long had their roots in face to face interactions and “hand delivery”, with the exponential increase in technology over the past 10-15 years; business has become in many instances largely digital, impersonal, and expedited.
Thus it is imperative in this day and age for businesses to work on their internet persona and learn to cater to the millions of people who are turning to the web for information, news, and products. More specifically, for those running or starting up e-commerce brands, knowing how to use the tools available to them for online marketing and branding, can be extremely beneficial in expanding and enlarging their business.
Three Keys To Attracting And Converting Customers For An E-commerce Business
How does one go about this process? The first and most basic method in expanding ecommerce business is to network. The reason I consider this to be “basic” is that when beginning an e-commerce business it is very similar to how old fashioned entrepreneurs pounded the pavement, going from door to door in order to promote their new product or business. When starting an e-commerce business it is also a good idea to reaching out to everyone humanly possible to spread awareness about the business. This means starting at ground zero with friends and family. It means creating web pages on social networks in order to spread awareness about the product or business being offered. Once the circle of friends and family has been saturated turn to blogs and other networking sites containing online populations that would be interested in the product or business being offered. For example, if one were to create an e-commerce business based on the sale of specific hydration systems for athletes, one may want to turn to blogs and forums for triathlon athletes or runners in order to get a feel for the products they seek and also to continue networking and spreading awareness about the product. Similarly if your website sold small business accounting software, you might want to network with people who write or manage blogs that provide accounting advice for small business owners. Your goal of these interactions would be to get your e-commerce business featured the these influential people in your niche.
2. Great Delivery Services
Once you have gotten the word out and potential customers begin testing the waters. It’s important to ensure your website makes it easy for potential customers to easily acquire your products or services. In the world of e-commerce, the importance of product transportation and delivery is crucial. Unlike a business that offers a tangible product which is available at a physical location, e-commerce businesses are not only responsible for availability, but also transportation of the products to the consumer. When people do start to flood your website and business begins rolling, the shipping services and methods which a business provides are a crucial aspect as to how many purchases will eventually be made. Shipping practices can make or break a business. Due to the malleability in air freight charges and international shipping rates, if you are not prepared, profits margins could disappear almost overnight. Where you can all deliver to, what you charge for delivery and how fast you can deliver are all critical factors prospects consider when buying online. Take a look at all of your competitors and if you can beat your competitors in these three areas you will convert more customers.
Although it is sometimes a good idea for a fledgling business to actually take small losses on worldwide shipping in the beginning in order to attract a more diverse client base, it is important to evaluate and stay abreast of what your costs are at all times and adjust accordingly. By being knowledgeable and providing competitive delivery services a business can immediately have an impact in a niche market.
3. Accessible Customer Service
One of the quickest ways to lose a prospect is to have them not understand how to place and order, or require more information only to not find the help they are looking for, become frustrated and leave your website. On the other had if you offer support to remove any frustration in the buying process and make it a pleasant process prospects will be excited to buy from you. A great example of this model is Godaddy. They have a customer support line where you can phone 24/7 to have your questions answered about their products or to get help with making a purchase. Once you become a customer you can also phone at anytime to get help with using any of their products or services. I would argue that this service is a key reason why Godaddy is the number one domain name register in the world, holding over 50% of all registered domain names globally. The fact that they are by far the market leader and 3 times the size of their biggest competitor I would argue has a lot to do with their accessible customer service model.
Given some customers are more technically inclined than others, having easily accessible customers service will ensure the amount of prospects lost due to confusion regarding how to purchase on line will be minimal. In addition, being able to get help quickly when you run into a problem builds strong customer loyalty because no one likes frustration, but people feel great when their frustration is removed. Having a customer support line to remove frustration, will associated those good feelings that come from solving a problem to your brand. The important thing is to make sure it is easy for people visiting your e-commerce site to be able to find the information to contact your customer support team. Godaddy does a great job of this as they post their customer support line prominently in the top right hand corner on every page of their website. If you can afford the additional cost of a customer support person or team it will be well worth the investment in the long run.
Although there are many things to consider when attracting new customers for your e-commerce business, networking, delivery services and customer service/support accessibility are three of the most important (and often overlooked) aspects of customer conversion rates. When performed correctly, these three will help a business get off the ground and separate it from the pack.
Topher Lee is a new and energetic entrepreneur, who is currently working on his fourth entrepreneurial endeavor. When he is not pursuing business prospects, he can be found writing for Technected.com.
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My name is Chris R. Keller. I work at Profitworks Small Business Services helping various B2B small businesses in Waterloo and Kitchener Ontario generate new customers. If you are interested in generating new customers for your B2B small businesses enter your email in the box provided below and click the "Send Me Free Updates" button. You will then receive free updates from this blog.
I hope this article on how to attracting and converting customers for your e-commerce business was helpful for your business. Thanks for reading. I am always interested in periodically featuring guest posts on my blog. If this is of interest to you just contact us, put "Blog Guest Post" in your subject line, and in the email describe what you would like to write about.