Saturday, November 14, 2009

How to Convert a Visitor Into a Customer, and Get Them to Return Again

Your website may represent a major source of revenue for your business. Or, maybe it represents a very small source of revenue. Regardless of what that percentage is converting the people that visit your site into customers, and ideally into repeat customers, is important to the success of your online business.

Did you know that you can actually measure how your website is doing in regards to converting new visitors into customers? It's called a conversion rate. Here are a couple of pointers to get you started on thinking about ways to improve your conversion rate on your e-commerce website.

1. Price your product competitively: This goes without saying. You must know who your direct competitors are and price your product competitively.

2. Offer discounts and coupons: This is a wonderful way to encourage someone who might be on the fence about making a purchase. Offering free shipping can help convince a customer to purchase from you instead of from a local competitor that may have a physical storefront.

3. Make sure that your products are easy to find: Setup and use categories on your site so that your customers can find the product they are looking for easily. Many sites today have a search-like filter feature that allows customers to filter the results returned by options like price, size, or brand.

4. Make customer reviews available on your site: A great price is important to customers but a great product is just as important. Reading what other customers think of your products and service helps potential customers make that final decision about their purchase. Sometimes a customer will even suggest another product that may compliment their purchase!

5. Provide fast, excellent customer service: Another one that goes without saying. Once a customer places an order keep them up-to-date on their order status through email updates. Clearly post your return, shipping and privacy policies on your site.

6. Provide an incentive for them to return: Once a week send your customers an e-newsletter including a discount or offer. Also, designate a section of your site and e-newsletter to include links (and images) to new products.

Follow up by implementing tracking tools to report on visits and conversions so that you can measure the success of your efforts. Happy selling!

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