Most websites never make any significant sales.
In fact most so called “ecommerce” sites are costly brochures for overpriced web designers.
If you want your ecommerce site to make real sales and become a genuine lead generator and profit stream for your business you need to give up the idea of making your website look fancy and embrace the idea of using your website as a selling tool.
The first tip to building an ecommerce site that makes real sales is understanding the strengths and weaknesses of internet marketing and websites.
Online you can deliver a huge amount of valuable content to your prospects and clients at minimal cost.
You can pre-educate prospects with text, images, streaming audio and video.
You can send your prospects a series of emails one after the other leading them to this content and you can automate the whole process.
In the same way you can send clients who’ve just bought from you a whole range of information on how to get the most from your product or service.
You can tell them to most common problems and how to overcome them, the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
So delivering information over the internet is a fantastic strength of this media.
But if you try to make all your sales online you’ll be leaving a fortune on the table.
A well crafted online sales letter will never get the same response as talking to a prospect through mail, over the phone, through live chat or in person.
Once you understand this you can analyze the sales process your prospects go through before they buy your product and use the internet to deliver information but also follow up by mail, phone or in person at key times when your prospects are most likely to buy.
The great news here is that after being pre-educated with your online sales process closing the sale offline with your prospects should be very easy.
The second tip for building an ecommerce site that makes real sales is to design your site around what your prospects need at each stage of the sales process.
Forget about looking pretty.
While functional, professional looking web design is important the most effective ecommerce websites focus very heavily engaging qualified prospects with information that is useful to them in a media that appeals to them.
Some prospects love streaming video…some love print…some love audio.
In some cases you might want to give all three options at some point in your online pre-education process.
You need to get to know your prospects and clients so you have a better understanding of the kind of information and the kind of media they prefer.
Always keep in mind that while we justify our purchases based on rational reasons we actually make our purchasing decisions based on emotional reasons.
So presenting your information in a way that has more emotional impact…through engaging real life stories, through video and audio…is far more likely to bring your prospects to the point where they’re read to buy.
The third and final tip for building an ecommerce site that makes real sales is to have a definite call to action on every one of your website pages.
If a page on your website is there to entice new prospects into your sales process then give them a valuable incentive for sharing their name and email address to get more information from you.
Tell them to enter that name and email address and tell them about the valuable gift they’ll get in return and the valuable information you’ll be sending them by email in the future.
If you have a page that’s further on in your sales process designed to get your prospect to finally take action tell your prospect to call you on the phone for a free quote or for a free personal consultation.
If you don’t have a strong call to action on your web page then your prospects are most likely to do absolutely nothing.
You need to build trust in your prospects then get them to take the next step.
That’s how you build an ecommerce site that turns prospects into eager paying clients.