Why Aren't They Buying From You?Current statistics indicate that online ordering is quickly becoming a common phenomena among shoppers. Yet, there you are looking at the stats for your Web site with disappointment. Why aren't your customers/prospects buying when they visit your site? Consider this:
Is ordering easy? Companies often put too many steps in their application/ordering procedures, steps that actually take the user and potential customer away from the form itself.
Make it easy for your customers to order. If you send them in another direction to execute a step, they may never come back to apply or order. Don't ask them to leave. Ask for the order.
Are you taking advantage of interactive opportunities? You don't want to miss opportunities on your site to link text to other informative pages throughout their own site.
Keep your prospects involved. Look at each page and take advantage of places where you can create links (within your site) to something that piques readers' interests. First and foremost, give your prospects reasons to:
* Link to other pages within your site.
* See what you have to offer.
* Discover how they can benefit from coming back to your site in the future.
Use a secured server. Everyday, more people become comfortable with submitting their credit card information online. Secured servers are responsible for helping to put their minds at ease.
If you see the locked padlock icon in the status bar at the bottom of your browser, then your site is using a secured server. If not, then check with your host provider about securing your site.
Review your product line. Perhaps people aren't buying because you're not offering what they want or need. Review your product mix and see if it's time to update what you have to offer the marketplace.
Are you staying up-to-date? By now you know that posting a Web site isn't something you do and forget about. It takes aggressive marketing efforts and staying on top of the latest developments.
Be "in-the-know" by constantly reading either online or print resources. You'll learn about everything from the Web's newest browsers to ways for ensuring credit card security online.
From e-zines to magazines, reading whatever you can get your hands on will help you stay on top of your industry and ahead of your competition.
"Business or marketing publications give you a broader view of how online activities fit into the overall picture for other businesses," said guerrilla marketer Jay Conrad Levinson.
You can never learn too much. Although your research may not always reveal a specific tip or trick for you to incorporate on your site immediately, you will inevitably uncover valuable pointers and information on an assortment of topics that may help you in the future.
As savvy direct marketers know, there are various components that affect your results online. Therefore, if your Web site is not performing to your expectations, review it as you would a direct mail package. Look at its components and test various aspects to see what makes the most difference.
The beauty of marketing your company online is the ability to keep your site new and fresh on an ongoing basis. If your customers and prospects aren't buying at your site, then reevaluate and revamp. You may find that not only does traffic increase, but so do your sales.
Debra A. Jason is principal of The Write Direction, Boulder, CO, a direct marketing communication and Web marketing consulting firm. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.