Selling online isn’t the same as offline. You’ve got a whole different set of calculations to consider. For example, when you sell offline you’ve only got the people who live near you to sell to. Obviously, that limits your market. Less obviously, that also limits your competition, as they can only sell in their area as well.
Online that isn’t the case. You can sell to anybody – as can everybody else. That matters as when you can sell to everybody, only a small percent of the sellers are going to get the lion’s share of the sales, while everybody else fights over crumbs.
You have to make sure you’re in that top percentage if you want to get ahead. The question is, how do you do that? How can you make sure you’re one of the lions? Here is what some e-commerce experts have to say on the matter.
Think like a customer
The first thing that you need to do is understand that it’s not you buy your products, but your customers. For that reason, you have to know what motivates them and, more importantly, what most certainly does not.
This second point is important as bad weighs far more heavily in our minds than good does. If something bothers us, then everything else is largely unimportant. So remove the annoyances first. Then start working on improving what’s already good.
One way to find out what people want is to ask them. Use a survey service, for example. There is one thing to note about this strategy, however. And that’s that often we don’t know what we want. A great example was where people were asked to choose a product from a lineup and then explain why they chose it. They came up with all sorts of reasons; like the cut of the fabric was better on the product they chose. The thing is, that was pure nonsense as all the items displayed were exactly the same.
Instead, people were more likely to choose the item further to the left, as that was the first item they saw. And yet, not a single person in the experiment pointed to that as the reason for their choice.
For that reason, make sure you also get some unconscious measurements of how people look at your product – for example through such software as crazy egg, which lets you see what people do on your page, rather than what they think they do.
Understand the psychology
Since the competition is so fierce, you have to be used what we know about psychology to make your strategy as effective as it can be. Even if such tweaks only make a one or two percent difference that can be the difference between being a huge hit and never be able to rise out above your costs.
For that reason, find out how colors affect your audience. Realize the importance of anchoring and how we don’t do enough to adjust to them. Furthermore, you need to understand such things as the foot in the door techniques as well as how showing one product which is overly expensive can make another product look far more appealing in comparison.
Most people will not buy your product on the first time through. This is why most e-commerce sites use what is known as a sales funnel. Here, the idea is not that you move them from the visit to buying from their first visit (though of course, the option is there). Instead, you move them ever closer to a purchase by bringing them into your funnel.
The first step might be to get them to sign up for your newsletter, after which you can ping them again and again, build trust and familiarize them with your product. In this way, they’ll move ever closer to actually purchasing your product.
The first step to effective sales funnel is to realize that if they leave your site without you getting some kind of information from them so you can get in touch with them again is bad news. So that should always be a part of every page and website design.
E-commerce has an incredibly low barrier to entry. That’s great when you’re getting into the market, but it’s less advantageous when more competitors are considering jumping in. Therefore, make sure that you can get whatever edge you can get. That means, giving customers what they actually want, making sure they come back often to your site and using the psychological tricks available to you to make sure that you’re actually getting the most opportunity out of each visit.
Only in that way can you become a lion in the e-commerce game. So go for it. Try out new things. Keep tabs on what you’re doing. And remember, a mistake is a learning opportunity. So don’t worry if you’re making many. Just make sure you don’t make them twice.
Angela Baker is a self-driven specialist who is currently working as a freelance writer in SmartPaperHelp.com and trying to improve herself in the blogging career. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth and is convinced that it’s always important to broaden horizons. That`s why Angela develops and improves her skills throughout the writing process to help and inspire people.