In a former life I used to be a behavioral therapist, and used different techniques to modify maladaptive behaviors. In other words, I was taking bad habits and turning them into good habits. It was something that took a lot of practice and patience with the clientele, but the results were significantly positive if they invested the time needed to break the habit. Though much different, the behavioral therapy can be compared to how businesses run their e-commerce websites.
The typical e-commerce site only takes the time to present their product in a “this is what we have to sell you” manner. Remember, you are trying to appeal to an audience, and an audience doesn’t want to hear that you have a product to sell. On the contrary, they want to know the benefits of owning your product, they want to know what the competition’s prices are, and they want to know that the people running the company are trusted. So, you can break the bad habit of thinking like a business owner.
- Introduce a review section for your products — By allowing your clients to provide both positive and negative feedback of products and services you are opening the door to completely honest information that will better your business. Believe me, you will hear all of the bad and good which will allow you to change the way you present products or what products your e-commerce site carries.
- Up-sell and Cross-sell — People want to buy something. That, truly, is the bottom line concept of all businesses. And, one of the biggest hooks is allowing customers to see what other clients have purchased. You can display a “recently purchased” section, or a “Other people have liked” at the bottom of the product page. Overall, introduce more products related to an individual’s interests.
- Find Products Easily — If you have a category search within your e-commerce site (which I highly suggest you look into if you don’t already have it), then list your product in multiple categories. The more face time that product has with the consumer the better opportunity you have to sell that particular product
A significant number of e-commerce websites take their audience through a gauntlet of obstacles in order to purchase their product or service. Take a quick minute and think like your clients (sounds familiar?) and keep things simple! In other words, you need to break the bad habit of complex navigation, purchase pages, and overall site design by:
- Reduce The Total Clicks — This is the easiest thing for you to do, but one of the hardest habits to form. Your customers want to buy something with as little hassle as possible, but you need all of their information. You can get around this by having billing and shipping information on the same page, a checkout page, and a confirmation page. Be sure you are able to minimize the total clicks in a purchase
- Return Policies — Keep things simple with this and include the policies within the confirmation page. This will also allow the customer to only have one print-out instead of two or more.
- Establish a Presence — This time (and one of the only time so far on this blog) we are not talking about an online presence. Instead, place your physical location and contact information in as many obvious places as possible. Again, think like the consumer and make your contact information visible.
All too often, e-commerce websites think that if they build it, consumers will come. I cannot stress this enough (and I apologize for the blatant remark): That Is Absolutely False! If you don’t work for your website, your website will not work for you. In other words, you need to break the bad habit of letting your website run without promotion.
- Social Media Marketing — If you don’t already have a social media marketing plan, please contact IMPACT to get help creating an efficient plan to get you up and running. However, if you do have a social media marketing plan then please stick to it! Think about it, this is the easiest and cheapest form of advertising for you, and you need to take advantage of it. So, plan to take an hour out of your day and network.
- E-Mail Marketing Campaign — Again, this is another cheap and easy way for you to market your website and products/services. You have contact information from your networking and previous sales. Take advantage of that and establish and effective e-mail campaign. Form a consistent behavior or marketing through e-mail.
- Just Talk — You attend chamber of commerce events, you attend social gatherings, you talk on the phone every day. How much of that time do you actually take to promote your company? The vast majority has a learned behavior to sit back and not say anything. Take the initiative and talk about your fabulous e-commerce site and how it can help people who need x, y, and z (and more). And then (get this) ask them to talk about your site for you! And, yes, another free form of marketing is established.
Everything that we do in life is a learned behavior (minus our heart and breathing…which are learned behaviors of survival, but that’s a different subject). Take the opportunity to change the bad habits you have formed and create excellent habits that will launch your e-commerce site to a new level. Remember, think like your customers, keep things simple, and market your site! If you can accomplish changing these behaviors you will be on the right path to success.