Website not selling? Twelve questions you should ask yourself

Written by David Bell

So your website is getting visitors, but not enough are buying. A common online problem, unfortunately. Here are twelve common faults found with websites that don't sell. If you answer no to any of them, you need to take action. 1)Does your text focus on emphasizingrepparttar benefits andrepparttar 135621 resultsrepparttar 135622 customer will get from purchasing and using it? Sales copy needs to be focused onrepparttar 135623 benefits torepparttar 135624 end user, not onrepparttar 135625 features ofrepparttar 135626 product. Listrepparttar 135627 features, and then translate them into benefitsrepparttar 135628 customer will get. Move away from "our Widget does this, this and this.." to "You will soon be doing this .." 2)Does your website convey enough strong benefits? Brainstorm to come up with a list of benefits. Rank them in order of importance. Then mention them in order throughoutrepparttar 135629 text, best first. Summarizing them with bullet points too also works great. 3)Does you text stimulaterepparttar 135630 emotions? People buy withrepparttar 135631 heart notrepparttar 135632 head - so try and stimulate emotions - use words to paint a picture of life after they've bought your product " Imaginerepparttar 135633 freedom of no more back pain..." or " worries could soon be a thing ofrepparttar 135634 past, and you could soon be taking those exotic vacations...". 4))Doesrepparttar 135635 headline grab and draw you in? You've got to try to stop them dead in their tracks withrepparttar 135636 headline. Userepparttar 135637 best benefit of your product, and create interest so they read on. Make it hard hitting, but not unbelievable. 5)Do you have a call to action? People put off decisions, even if they're 90% sold on your product, they may still decide to "sleep on it". Don't let them have time to forget - give them an incentive to purchase now - discounts, bonuses etc. 6)Does your website load and function ok? Slow load times may cause people to get impatient and go elsewhere, even though it registers a visit. Do all links work, and more importantly, have you tested your order page by running dummy orders? 7)Do you have any testimonials from satisfied customers?

Testimonials are everywhere online, and people expect them as a matter of course. Ask those who have purchased what they thought -email them a simple customer satisfaction survey, offer a freebie for replying and userepparttar 135638 best comments. If your product is free,try a testimonial swap with a seller of a complementary (but not directly competing) product -offer to review his product if he reviews yours.

Online shopping – an emotional experience

Written by Steve Hawker

This short essay exploresrepparttar history of online shopping fromrepparttar 135620 author’s perspective. The essay concludes with a list of e-commerce features that should meetrepparttar 135621 needs of emotional shoppers.

A few years ago, someone prophesised that workplace offices wouldn’t need paper inrepparttar 135622 future. The prophecy didn’t ‘come to pass’ though, largely because it overlooked some significant human emotions. One such, wasrepparttar 135623 emotional need for safety and security, which was undermined apparently by new paper-less procedures. Another wasrepparttar 135624 emotional satisfaction that we all derive from manipulating tangible objects, which was also undermined byrepparttar 135625 sudden lack of paper.

Yes, paper-less working was one of those ‘flights of fancy’ often indulged-in by visionaries atrepparttar 135626 forefront of exciting new technologies. These ‘flights’ are forgivable because enthusiasm, even misguided enthusiasm, is a valuable resource in our sceptical world.

I must admit, when I first heard about online shopping, I was more sceptical than enthusiastic. ‘Shop-less purchases’ seemed just a little too much like ‘paper-less offices’. Yet,repparttar 135627 online shopping revolution has taken hold, torepparttar 135628 extent now that some very big retailers seerepparttar 135629 Internet as a viable and important selling channel.

Why was I, along with so many other potential shoppers, sceptical atrepparttar 135630 outset? So sceptical that I held-off making my first credit card purchase viarepparttar 135631 Internet for several years. Even when I did make my first purchase, boxed software as I recall, I experienced terrible feelings of foreboding. The foreboding was worsened byrepparttar 135632 ‘cart’ summarily rejecting my first few attempts to buy online, because I’d left spaces after every set of four digits, as I’d always done when buying by card overrepparttar 135633 telephone previously.

During my long ‘hold-off’ period,repparttar 135634 media had fuelled my scepticism and undermined my enthusiasm, with scary stories of insecure servers, crackable encryption codes and stolen identities. Consequently, one day I’d feel brave enough to make my first purchase,repparttar 135635 next I’d decide to hold-off a few months longer. In all probability, I could have gone ahead with my software purchase without any problems or worries at all, as long as I’d stayed inrepparttar 135636 ‘right’ shopping neighbourhoods.

As with paper-less offices then, whenrepparttar 135637 idea was first mooted, shop-less purchases made me feel unsafe and insecure. This affected my subsequent shopping behaviour. Like other people I’m sure, I wanted to be a part ofrepparttar 135638 ‘dot com’ revolution. However,repparttar 135639 perceived wisdom was that card purchases overrepparttar 135640 Internet were inadvisable, if not dangerous. The whole industry was just too immature initially, apparently.

As well as unsafe and insecure, I felt isolated and exposed inrepparttar 135641 early days of online shopping. I was a hesitant pioneer, wary of being caught out inrepparttar 135642 open by ‘bandits’. I wanted to talk to other pioneers, to share my experiences with them; yes, and to hide amongst them at times. As a species, we humans like to belong to social groups. There’s safety in numbers.

We also like to feel loved by others. However, some of my early online shopping experiences, when customer support was still in its infancy, made me feel more likerepparttar 135643 enemy than a friend. Thank goodness I was an able-bodied, young(ish), white, male Briton with English as my first language. Otherwise, I might have felt totally alienated.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use