This blog article titled Expand Customer Base By Selling Online is a guest post from David Rodwell. An easy way for many small businesses to expand their customer base is to start selling online. Utilizing this approach can greatly expand your borders and geographic regions your company can service. In order to obtain customer through your website though, it often takes more than just placing your products or services for sale on your website. It this article David focuses on one key ingredient you need to obtain new customers through your website....gaining the trust of website visitors.
When looking to expand your customer base by selling your products and services there are many things you need to look at. Closing a sale with a new customer over the web is a much different process than closing a sale in a face to face interaction. There are many things to consider when obtaining customers through your website but I would argue none are as important as gaining trust. If someone does not trust you website, I guarantee they will not buy from you. Lets take a look at how David suggests that we can build trust with website visitors to turn them into customers. Below is his article.
Why You Must Gain Trust From Website Visitors
From the first moment someone visits your website, they need to consider the site trustworthy before they would even consider buying a product or service from you. Shopping from a website is a different experience for buyers than shopping from a store.
When someone walks into a retail store, they can see and touch anything they consider buying. They can interact with people selling the items, pay in person and receive a receipt – all part of a worry-free shopping experience. Online shoppers need to feel secure that their payment information will be protected during transmission, and that they will actually receive the items they order.
Website's can only show buyers a photograph and description of products they sell, or in the best case scenario, a video demonstration. Shoppers have less confidence that what they are looking at is real or that they will really get the items they pay for. If they don't trust your site – they simply won't buy from you.
How to Get Customers to Trust Your Website
Website security is more than just the technical layers of security that all websites accepting credit cards require; it's also a matter of gaining trust from your customers. Most online shoppers go through the same series of questions in their mind when they're thinking about buying something from a new website. As they're browsing through the products or services you offer, they're thinking about whether or not the site design is professional or if it seems like a scam. Earn their trust by having a professionally designed website without popup advertisements or requiring an email address to access certain areas of the website.
Customers will wonder if it's safe to provide their credit card information on your website. Help them feel confident by displaying your website security seal, which indicates your site has the highest level of security for credit card transactions.
Some customers will want to call or email with questions before making a purchase. Providing poor customer service or no response at all is the fastest way to lose a sale! Be prepared to answer customer emails and phone calls; and make it easy for customers to find your contact information on your website.
In Summary Keys To Gaining Trust With Your Website Are
- having a professional looking website design
- absence of spelling or grammar errors
- absence of pop-up ads
- not requiring an email address to access certain areas of the website
- having a contact us or support page and responded quickly to inquiries or support requests
- displaying a website security seal (such as Paypal, Verisign, McAfee Secure, Truste etc)
Using Shopping Cart Optimization to Increase Sales
If you're selling products or services online, you need a shopping cart that allows your customers to “add items to cart” and then accept credit card payments during the checkout process. Many website owners get their shopping cart set up but then forget about shopping cart optimization as a way to increase sales. Here are some suggestions for optimizing your shopping cart to increase online sales:
Change the Way it Looks:
First, try putting your “add to cart” button in different positions on your web pages to see if more people use it. Try making the add to cart buttons different sizes or colors to see if customers respond differently.
Many ecommerce businesses use cross-selling techniques to increase sales. As customers add items to their shopping cart, you can promote complimentary items. Many big sites use this technique, including Amazon.com. If you're selling cell phones, for example, you may then want to recommend related accessories for the phone – such as additional batteries or a hands-free kit.
You can use your shopping cart to offer customers a premium or upgraded version of the product they've added to the website. If you have products with varying levels of quality, you can always ask the customer if they'd like to upgrade their purchase to a larger size or higher quality.
When customers have trust in the security of your website, they will consider what you have to offer. If you provide your customers with products and services they need, you can then optimize your shopping cart to increase the value of each customer's purchase.
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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. Feel free to connect with me on Google+ or if you are just interested in getting new customers for your B2B small businesses enter your email in the box provided below and click the "Send Me Free Updates" button.
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I hope you have enjoyed this article on selling on line and tips to expand your customer base. As always I love to feature guest posts on my blog. If you would like to write an article that is on a topic that is related to getting new customers, and have expertise to share, I would love to feature you. If you are interested just contact me and let me know what you would like to write on.