With the Internet being now a major player, if not the number 1 player, in the sales of almost all types of goods and services, customers are becoming more astute and harder to please while on the other side of the spectrum businesses are trying to save when it comes to marketing. So how do we go about balancing out this situation?
Starting with website marketing – nowadays there is no excuse for claims about not knowing whether your marketing works or not with so many monitoring tools available out there.
Businesses can obtain an amazing amount of data about their website users or/and customers. However, such data is only valuable if it is effectively analysed and subsequently used to create and implement your next marketing campaign. Failure to recognise the value of collected data is a major shortfall of a lot of businesses when it comes to their online activities and sales.
Collated data can reveal a lot about your customers and potential buyers, their needs, wants and of course their buying habits. The information we get from a number of website analysis tools clearly show us what really influences online shoppers.
Furthermore, there are forums, blogs and social media sites already set up to reveal any potentially useful information to all online shoppers, such as your website useability and credibility, product quality and satisfaction, customer service and delivery options and many more.
With this mind, businesses wanting to sell online need to take their website activities at least as seriously as they do their face to face selling, if not more seriously due to the speed in which information spreads across the internet should something go not quite according to plan.
So whilst with online sales you may save on personnel costs, thinking you can get away with poor customer service and no after sale service is a big mistake.
When selling online, remember:
- Have a well-designed and well-structured, easy to use website
- Do not forget about security and privacy protection when selling online
- Invest in SEO and advertising platforms such as Google Adwords
- Make sure you deliver on your promises (delivery timescales etc)
- Ensure your customer service is of a very high level
- After-sales service should always be a part of your online sales strategy
- Actively seek feedback from your existing customers (helps you improve your product and service)
- Analyse data you receive from your website monitoring tool and use it in your next marketing strategy – this is a huge part of your ROI apart from the obvious – revenue
Finally, the best way to make the most of your website in terms of sales is to invest in a good quality website and its online and offline marketing together with high level customer service. Think about this when creating your next year’s marketing strategy and deciding upon the marketing budget. If you cut corners you will cut your ROI.