When you walk into a retail store you experience the quality of the surroundings, the service level of the staff and the quality of the product. An online store is a vastly different experience for consumers.
As a website owner you need to replicate the items that are critical to a successful sale offline and combine these with what works in an Internet Store.
It is difficult to develop an online relationship based on trust when consumers do not get to meet or interact with a real person. Your website must stand up and communicate why the consumer should trust you and your business.
Here’s how…firstly, look at developing items that represent trust. These could be graphics displaying any physical premises or real people, badges representing New Zealand owned or operated, quality guarantees or money back guarantees. Once items like these are clearly communicated to the consumer they will feel more comfortable that they can indeed overcome the trust barrier of the Internet and trust your online business.
Secondly, you need to offer sales support like a real person. Your website needs to address any questions or doubts the consumer might have as they journey along the sales continuum. During the consumers search phase you need to supply them with the right level of information about your product or service. Too much and they will struggle to make a decision or compare products, too little and they wont take action. The quality of the information is also very important. Ask what questions need answering before a consumer can purchase. What doubts must we address? Another idea is to place an extra incentive in the form of a call to purchase on the shopping cart page, which would help to reduce last minute attrition problems.
There are plenty of things you can do to streamline your website sales. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer, build trust and give them what they want. If you can do this in a way that is unique from your competitors, you are on to something good.
Don’t forget successful business owners are always looking for ways to improve their business and they take action on ideas if they have merit.