If you have a website, I’m guessing its purpose—apart from making sure your business has an online presence—is to attract potential customers and / or sell online, in other words, to turn it into a powerful sales tool.
Am I right?
If that’s the case, it share’s the goals with any store or physical establishment.
So why everyone keeps forgetting all the principles and good practices that make a store attract prospects and sell when they migrate to the web?
Here are some tips you’ll need to use if you want to make your website an incredible sales tool for your business.
1. Communicate the value of your product or service
It’s a fact: the customer doesn’t land on your website or online store with a clear idea of what you’re selling or what makes your brand different.
If you don’t communicate that unique selling proposition in a clear, direct and persuasive way, the characteristics of your product or service, what makes you different from your competition, and the benefits customers can get from purchasing your products or hiring you… prospect won’t be able to see the value you’re offering.
Let’s face it: no one is going to pay for something they don’t think is valuable or useful.
And this is a principle used all over the world in department stores, where salespeople promote certain products, and talk to customers about all the benefits of the product they were hired to sell.
At this point, it is essential that you put the consumer first—not your brand.
What do I mean by that?
Easy. The way you describe what you offer should be geared towards highlighting what the customer wants and needs.
It should highlight, above all, the benefits that the consumer can enjoy when they buy your product or hire you.
Putting a huge block of text about how great and superior your product or service is, without communicating how you will make life easier or pleasurable for your ideal client, is the perfect way to make them click away from your website.
2. Present your product or service in an attractive way
The next time you go to a mall, ask yourself what it is that invites you to enter the stores or premises. Take note.
You will see that the first impression counts.
If you pass by a messy, dirty store, where the first products you saw didn’t catch your eye, you wouldn’t take the time to go inside. It works the same way with your website.
Make sure the design of your site is attractive, responsive, clean and that the images of your product or service look amazing.
Like any store, you want prospects to feel comfortable and spend more time on your website, getting to know your product or service. And you’ll only achieve this if the design is attractive and user friendly enough.
The copy on your site is also key. Just think about how many times you’ve entered a store after reading “50% off all products in store” or “New spring collection”.
It’s absolutely vital: the copy on your site must strategically create interest, curiosity and desire if your prospects are going to buy your product or hire you.
Not sure how to write copy for your website? These blog posts provide super useful web copywriting tips:
3. Arrange information strategically
The order and structure of the information on your website also set the stage for prospects, and can entice them. How so?
In a clothing store, for example, garments are strategically placed to affect people. You’ll see the same thing in a supermarket. Everything has its reason for being where it is…
Everything should be placed on your website using the same principle.
Ask yourself what the first thing you want to convey to the user is. What do you want the user to do? What is it that you want to highlight about your product, or about anything else? Based on what you want to communicate and achieve, create a strategic structure.
4. The experience of the user is very important
If you go to a store and walk around all the aisles and don’t find what you’re looking for, and there’s nobody to help you or to ask questions to, you’d probably leave the store without buying what you were looking for, right? No matter what the store was selling…
But if you went to a store and were treated like a king or queen, and the way the products were presented was so attractive that you couldn’t stop looking at the products in every corner of the store, you’d be more likely to buy something, and be proud of what you bought.
The same applies to your website. If a user lands on your homepage and it’s not well organized, it’s not responsive, and they can’t easily and quickly find what they are looking for intuitively, they won’t hesitate to leave your website within a few seconds.
Creating a good user experience should be your number one priority.
The rebound rate of your website is a key indicator in this regard, because we want them to stay on your website for longer, and get to know your product or service. Not to run away empty handed!
You could also add a live chat system to your website, to cater to visitors that land on your page and help them find exactly what they are looking for.
5. Security, first and foremost
The number one enemy for increasing your sales is uncertainty and mistrust. They prevent users from signing up on your website and buying your products or hiring you.
Before buying a product or filling out a contact form, the users always asks themselves if doing so would be safe, if their data will be protected, if you’re going to take them for a ride, and whether there’s a guarantee. They also look at what other users have said about you, and so on.
We want users to feel as secure as if they were buying something from a well-known store, where they know that there are return policies if the product doesn’t perform as it should, and where they know that their bank information is going to be protected, etc.
You can help them trust you by including testimonials or positive reviews from previous customers during or just before they begin the payment process, providing guarantees and adding certificates or security seals to your website.
As you can see, there are various different physical store practices you can use and apply on your website or online store to turn it into a sales machine.
Can you think of any other practices that physical stores use that you could implement on your website or in your online store? If so, share them in the comments section below!
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