Business owners may use any manner of gimmicks to bring visitors in, but it will be all for naught if they do not actually close any sales. Just how do you turn window shoppers into customers? And how do you translate website visits into dollars when you never see your potential clients face-to-face?
You may have the most beautiful website in the world, and your analytics may reveal hoards of visitors, but your design must be more than just show if you want any longevity. It must be fully functional and user-friendly, and it must encourage visitors to make a purchase or call your customer service number. Remember that online customers rarely complain; they merely go elsewhere.
Here are a few tips to help you achieve the sales you want.
Tips for Converting Website Visitors To Customers
- Give customers the information they want. Visitors need to know the basics right away: your services, your prices, and how to contact with you. All of this information must be prominently displayed on your home page and easily accessible. Visitors do not want to fill out a form for more information; they want it at their fingertips.
- Register with Google Places. You may be visible on Google, but Google Places enables web surfers to quickly access your contact information, location (including a map), hours of operation, parking information, and any other pertinent information. One out of five searches on Google is related to location, so it is crucial that information about your business be accessible to customers who are nearby and looking for services like yours.
- Get to know your customers. Study your analytics to find out what your visitors are doing. What search terms are being entered? Is your site addressing the needs of your customers? This is an essential marketing tool.
- Make your URL visible. Your website address should be visible on all shipping materials, invoices and business cards. You can brand your URL as much as your own business name, as is the case with major sites like Amazon.com. Doing so will keep the URL fresh on consumers’ minds when it comes time to shop again in your location.
- Share what others have to say about your products or services. When a consumer visits a store, he can actually hold the product in his hand, feel its quality, envision its use. A website picture rarely creates the same kind of confidence, but other customer reviews may. Consider including a “Reviews” tab on each item being sold so that customers can comment. This will establish trust between you and the customer that will keep them returning.
- Have a good return policy. Although you may be afraid of losing money on an item, the cost of losing a customer is far worse. If you offer money back but your customer has to pay the cost of shipping, he will likely not take the time to mail it back–he will simply never buy from you again. Even worse, he may leave a scathing comment that will deter others from purchasing items, as well.
- Consider offering free shipping. You will have to decide whether or not this is a wise business move, but this can be an enticing point for consumers. If you can’t do this on a regular basis, consider seasonal or limited-time free shipping offers to boost sales.