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Online Business Tips

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					                        10 Tips for Online Business Success


W       ith so many online businesses selling basically the same products, many at prices
close to yours, it can be challenging to create a successful online business. After a number of
years in the retail industry I have found that many of the business practices can be
transferred from a brick and mortar business to the online world and, if done right, can help
nearly any online business achieve success.

Whether you are selling a product or a service, customers basically want the same thing
from the company with which they conduct business. Customers want to feel important and
they want to know they are appreciated. These tips can help you achieve that and improve
the bottom line of your online business.




Know what your customers want before they know they want it

We are not clairvoyant, but by studying the habits of your customers you will see patterns that
indicate what your customers are not only buying, but how they are buying it and why. Think
seasonal patterns. Study your competition to see when they start pushing different type of
merchandise.


Don’t be afraid to be different

When I first started out with an online business, I tended to follow the leaders. That is, I often
patterned my business model after other businesses that offered the same types of service I was
going to offer. What I failed to realize was that these companies had something I did not have…a
reputation.

Before customers willingly spend their money on what you are offering, they have to feel comfortable
doing business with you. Credibility is an important part of building your online reputation and
appearing just like all of the other online businesses is not going to convince customers that you are
better. Look over your website and find a way to differentiate yourself from the hundreds, if not
thousands of others that provide the same service.


One of the basic tenets of the retail world is to walk the store like a customer

The same is true with an online business. Take an objective look at your business and how the
customer sees it when they first click on your site. Better yet, have a friend or relative look over your
site. As the business owner I knew exactly what was being portrayed but it wasn’t until my daughter,
a professional graphic artist pointed out that many of the offerings weren’t specific that I could see
what was missing.
Simple language can make a big difference in how you present yourself to your customers. While
working in retail, most employees, myself included used “corporate speak” on a daily basis but our
customers had no idea what we were talking about. I learned to explain things to customers in a
language they could understand and it made a big difference in effectively communicating with them.

Recommended:- Bloggers Communication Qualities You Should Adopt


Make your site different

Many websites have taken search engine optimization efforts too far. They have heard that search
engines look for quality text-based information that is relevant to the search term entered and turned
their website into batches of reading material. Frankly, if customers want to read, they’ll go to the
library.

Most people are attracted to a visual experience. Graphic presentations not only draw their attention,
but it helps them remember you. Textual material is important and if you can’t use text embedded in
your graphics, don’t go overboard with text. It may draw the search engines’ attention but search
engines are never converted into customers, humans are.


Make hot deals prominent on your site

Businesses usually lose money on clearance items so they tend to hide them, wanting customers
instead to buy things at the regular price. However, many traditional businesses use discounted
items as loss leaders, meaning they are willing to sell something below cost, hoping customers will
buy other items with a higher mark-up. Make your hot deals prominent on your site to grab their
attention.


Be recognizable to your customers

When customers see or hear your name, it needs to be immediately recognizable. When you are
first starting out in an online business, your marketing will also include some off line efforts.
Your logo, internet address and/or your company’s tag line needs to consistently be present.
Whether you sponsor a local sports team or take out ads in the local paper, when your logo is seen
by potential customers, they instantly think of you.


Let your internet presence be known

Following name recognition is the work you need to do to make sure your name comes up high on
search engine results pages. Before you launch your internet business, make sure the site if SEO
ready. If you have already launched, don’t be afraid to make amends with the search engines. If the
move requires a re-launch, keep your site’s colors and logo the same (remember consistency) and
use the opportunity to send out a press release announcing the new site.

Recommended: Building Social Media Presence


Learn quickly from your mistakes
If you make a mistake be quick to admit it. Mea Culpa can quickly turn a customer around and by
admitting the mistake and offering to make it good, can turn a bad customer experience around,
making a friend instead of a former customer.


Keep focus on back-end operations

Too many online businesses focus exclusively on the customer experience while they peruse a
website. If they have trouble at the checkout, you will lose them. Remember the part about walking
the store like a customer? If they have to stand in line too long, they probably won’t be back. If your
online customers have to surf through too many pages and have trouble figuring out how to pay for
their purchases, they probably won’t make even that first purchase.


Exceed customers’ expectations

Instead of asking a customer, “How can I help you?” Try asking “What can I do for you today? Sure,
it’s a matter of semantics but the customer sees it as you trying to make an effort to help them. I
remember calling an online business to complain about a faulty part on an item I purchased from
them. The handle on the lid of a crock pot came off after the first use. The customer service
representative promised to send a new lid. The very next day I received a whole new crock pot- sent
Federal Express. From that experience I will be a loyal customer.

Constantly seeing what your customers want, and treating each one like they are the most important
person in the world, will turn them into life-long friends as well as customers. From my experience
with that company, it correctly figure that even though they were losing the price of the crock pot,
and the shipping cost, I would come back and buy more.

				
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