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The Marshall Plan: Finding the Right E-Commerce Sales Strategy

(August/September 2018) posted on Thu Sep 27, 2018

In this online world, an informative, user-friendly website (and store) is more important than ever.


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By Marshall Atkinson

I’ve found that two to four links work for a short post, while four to six are better for a longer one. People clicking around on your site is a good thing; make sure you give them the opportunity. Also, be sure to include some sort of call to action – subscribe to the newsletter, get on our mailing list, click here to buy, that type of thing. Make it obvious and easy for your customers to do what you want. 

Images

Part of your e-commerce sales strategy should address how you plan to use images. Remember, a picture is worth 1000 words. What do you want your pictures to say?

Take time to be sure the image composition looks perfect – that the colors are vivid, the details are sharp, and the image is enticing. Create photos that stand out from the noise of the internet while simultaneously looking like your brand – even when they don’t have your logo on them.

The right aesthetic can make or break the reaction you get from your potential audience. Don’t simply post anything: Curate it. Make it intriguing.

Also, make sure you include your target keyword in each image’s alt text. Many people leave this blank when they post something, but this is a searchable item and can bring more potential customers to your webpage. Optimizing your images gives you a Google search boost as well, so don’t skip this step.

Responsive Design

How does your site look on a cellphone? In today’s marketplace, this is a critical factor for boosting sales. I know it seems obvious, but I’ve looked up plenty of shop websites that still don’t work well on a smartphone.

Give a potential customer an excuse not to do business with you and they will use it. A webpage that doesn’t load properly on a smartphone is a big one. Responsive design means that the website resizes to fit the width of the device the site is displayed on. This isn’t programmed per device, since there are hundreds of different devices that could potentially pull up your website. Instead, a responsive site automatically adjusts to the device that is requesting to view it.



Want to see how your site looks on different devices? Use the Mobile Friendly Test Tool (search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly) from Google and check yours out. 

Putting It Together

While all the businesses in this industry are different, they share one common need – to make online marketing a big part of their sales strategy. It doesn’t matter what you are selling: Your potential customers are going online to find what they need, so getting them to your site is crucial to your success.

Remember, people buy from companies that they know, like, or trust. Your strategy must be fleshed out to build those qualities. SEO helps with the “know” part of that equation – it helps prospects find you. When your customers or potential customers share your story, it further broadens your reach. Are you giving them that opportunity?

“Like” is the next step. When visitors return to your site again and again, it is much easier to make a sale. Think about how you will get that to happen. You could use an outreach campaign through MailChimp or perhaps a newsletter. Assign the responsibility of increasing return visits on your site to someone on your team. Remember, if you have uttered the words “I’m too busy to work on my marketing,” there may be a good reason you aren’t hitting your sales goals.

Next comes “trust.” When the content you are providing or the aesthetics of the website convince customers that you can handle what they need, it builds the trust to buy from you. Use photos or videos in a portfolio section to show your craftsmanship and friendly staffers. Include customer testimonials to prove your awesomeness.

After all of that comes “buy.” It’s been proven in study after study that customers are around 75 percent ready to buy from a company that they know, like, and trust. They’ve already made up their minds. It’s the call to action that pushes them over the edge. Be sure your website has such a call to action that asks them for the sale. 

 

Read more Marshall Atkinson or from the August/September 2018 issue.


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