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Top 7 Steps for Turning Lookers Into Buyers

By Bob Rankin

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You've created the perfect online store, optimized your pages for the search engines, launched an advertising campaign, and now your site is racking up the hits. There's just one problem... you have too many lookers and not enough buyers. Here are some tips you can use to turn website visitors into satisfied customers.

  1. USE TESTIMONIALS - Follow up each order with a personal "thank you" note. When customers write back, take the "gems" and ask for permission to post it on your site. This takes a satisfied customer and turns them into an evangelist. Put customer testimonials on every page, so the ordering process is augmented at every step by the words of a happy customer.

  2. MAKE NAVIGATION EASY - If customers can't find what they want in a few clicks, the game is over. Provide a consistent set of navigational buttons or links on every page, and use the same "look and feel" throughout the site. Links to the home page from every page are essential, because search engines can bring people directly to any page on your site.

  3. USE LOW-FAT GRAPHICS - Slow-loading pages are a death sentence to any online store. Keep individual graphics under 25KB and total page size (including all graphics) under 50KB. To slim down your graphic files, use the compression options in image software such as PaintShop (www.jasc.com) or visit www.GifWizard.com [http://www.GifWizard.com].

  4. AVOID THE GREEK DINER SYNDROME - Having too many items on the menu can be just as bad as not having enough. If you offer too many products, or too many customization options, the task of fully exploring your offerings becomes daunting - especially for those with slower connection speeds. You may not lose the sale, but the customer is less likely to feel they made the right decision, and may not refer others to your store.

  5. GIVE THEM OPTIONS - Accepting credit cards online for purchases is a no-brainer, but you'll benefit by giving customers other choices. Here are some to consider: Toll-free phone ordering, accepting checks by phone, fax, mail or web, and services that post charges to the customer's phone bill. (See Yahoo for a directory of companies that provide these services.)

  6. DON'T OVER-DO THE TECHNOLOGY - Don't make the mistake of adding gee-whiz Java or Shockwave applets to your site. Those scrolling banners and glitzy gizmos are annoying to most visitors since they load slowly, add little value, and can even crash some browsers. Even Javascript can be a problem... not all browsers support it, and some users disable it. Javascript can really be helpful, but it must be implemented such that your site still works without it.

  7. ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS - Potential customers want to know about shipping options, security, privacy, return policies, and your guarantees before ordering. Most will not bother to email or call to get this info, so make it available on your site, and place prominent links to this page from the product and ordering pages.

Today's Top7Business Was Submitted By Bob Rankin, founder and webmaster of FlowersFast, the popular online florist.
FlowersFast - Online Florist sales@flowersfast.com
http://www.FlowersFast.com Toll-Free: 888-658-9189

Source: http://Top7Business.com/?expert=Bob_Rankin

Article Submitted On: April 29, 1999