Getting Started in ECommerce - Part TwoWritten by Heidi Richards, MS
In Part One we talked a little bit about what Ecommerce is, getting a domain name and setting up a merchant account. Ecommerce is more than that, much more. To have a really good online presence that gets people to stop and shop you need a strategy for success. Your strategy must include your USP or Unique Selling Position in marketplace. What makes you stand out from all other online entrepreneurs looking for same type of customers as you? Can you stand out from competition based on quality, price or benefits? Once you know your USP, you can begin monumental task of telling world about your site. A really unique selling position will give you an advantage over all competition – well that and a lot of planning and investing of your time and money.
Emphasize benefits and results customer will get from purchasing from you and using your product or service. You can discover benefits by listing all features and then converting them to benefits. List everything your product or service offers. For each feature list a relative advantage from customer’s perspective. You can discover customer’s perspectives when they buy. Simply ask them, “ Why did you place an order today or use our service?” BE very specific when creating your benefit statements. An example of this is, “You will save $100.00 sells better than “you will save money.” “You will loose 20 pounds in 10 days” sounds better than “you will loose weight.” Rank your benefits in order of importance to customer. If you have enough of them, use bullet points for emphasis.
Emotion sells. People make most buying decisions with their heart and not their head. Paint a picture of results customer will get when they purchase from you. “ You will look 20 years younger.” “You will be $100 richer.”
Make sure you include a call to action. Want them to make a buying decision today? Give them a reason to do so. Offer a bribe (discount, bonus, something for nothing).
Your website must load quickly and function easily. If your site loads slowly people will get impatient and go elsewhere. Do all your links work? Have you tested your order page by running sample orders? Have you tested load time using different connection speeds? You can get a fr*ee analysis by visiting Submitplus.com.
"E-Power" The EZine AdvantageWritten by Heidi Richards, MS
"Regular communication with your customers is essential to your success." - Heidi Richards -
Ezines - The alternative of choice for many companies is a great way to market your company. All you need is an e-mail account and permission from your customers/clients to send ezine. In fact, I have found ezines to be so powerful that I write and produce five a month. They are:
Self-Marketing News www.self-marketingnews.com PetalsNCents (a marketing newsletter for floral industry) - www.petalsncents.com Creating A Legacy (a newsletter for nonprofit community) www.creatingalegacy.com Ramblin' Rose (a newsletter for my customers) – www.EdenFlorist.com
WECommerce News (a newsletter for members of The Women’s ECommerce Association, International) – www.WECAI.org
Since whole topic of ezine production can be overwhelming, I will just touch on highlights to get you started.
The first thing you must do is collect your customers/clients e-mail addresses. We collect them when they call, come in shop, answer surveys, or enter our contests. We ask for it every time we have interaction with them. We tell them benefits. The ezine is filled with product updates, trends, surveys, special offers, testimonials, discounts and my favorite CONTESTS.