From Marketing to Sales
Today's Internet system is marked by an astonishing development, so it provides new extension dimensions for business opportunities. The last couple of years evolution proves that the Internet has become a very important market that allows businessmen to hit new markets and present their websites, regardless their company size or its geographical location. The conditions set by the new technology age allow the small and medium sized companies to challenge the big corporations.
There are important reasons which determine the companies to initiate marketing and sales strategies through the Internet websites, like many companies are sure that the Internet is the right place to offer services to the customers. They provide details about their products and online answers to the incoming requests. But more and more Internet sites are now intended to perform more than tasks; the role of the Internet sites is evolving from marketing to direct sale.
The ecommerce, in it's simplest form, needs to be a presence in a base network, company's promotion, pre-selling services delivery, and post-selling services. Thousands of small and medium sized companies are already able to confirm that these minimal requirements can be easily and in low costs met by using the traditional Internet technologies.
In contrast, the ecommerce in its more complex form will arise legal, cultural and technological problems. To reach this level, it is mandatory that the company develops its own management system. Due to the large costs involved in the ecommerce, the pioneerdom in this new business domain is owned by the large companies which hold the necessary funds. Even so, in time, the term "traditional transaction" will gradually include the more complex ecommerce forms too.
Most of the users find the ecommerce as a way of doing online shopping, in other words accessing an e-store to order a gift, on the last moment, for a birthday (husband's or wife's) they have forgotten of. But "online" shopping is only a small part of the ecommerce. This includes stock and shares exchange, or direct product buying, without going to a store. And ecommerce also covers the B-2-B relations, which facilitate the purchases for the large companies.
We will give you three main reasons for using ecommerce in business:
- Starting new marketing strategies
- Customerís care
- Increased sales
Most of the well-known ecommerce sites are satisfied today in being just a simple marketing presence.
The website target it's important for web design
Many companies have understood that the Internet is an exceptional resource which can provide services to the customers, details about products can be displayed, answers on FAQs can be given and services and products can be sold in Internet. This has to be the Internet site's target.
Many sites have been developed in order to surpass the simple marketing overview. These not only feature a product, but they also take online orders.
Some sites may have a user friendly order processing system, which includes price calculation and detailed information about selling and shipping fees; others, more advanced, allow an option which provides details about credit card acceptance, while the customer is logged into the siteís database records.
So, when you will start developing your own ecommerce variant, you have to ponder over your objective. Draw up a list with proposals and a plan to put all of them into effect. Decide which the most important part of the plan is and which is the least important. Answering this question will help you choose the right option for your ecommerce site.
Many specialists will offer you their help in designing and choosing the right variant for your website. But, before turning to the experts for help, you will have to decide exactly what you want, because the size and the complexity of a website will vary in a wide range of possibilities. Start with a simple solution and shape it according to your needs and not according to what the experts say it should be.
Renting a website may be a less expensive alternative to the development of an ecommerce variant through self-support. And it is also recommended for those parts which involve human efforts much too great within the company.
How to attract customers "online"?
Keep updating your ecommerce site. An unchanged site will never attract new customers.
Be sure that everything in your site works perfect and looks professional. Don't forget that your site's goal is not only to sell your products, but also to be a reliable source of information.
Keep the site as simple as possible. If it's too complicated, the customers will stop using it and go for another ecommerce site.
Facilitate the search of specific products. Insert a radio button on each page so the customers will be able to find whatever they might be looking for.
Try to ensure the fastest documents download. People hate to queue, so they will also hate to wait for your documents to download.
Your online offer has to match the offer already available in the stores. The customer will choose those stores which furnish the most assorted range of products.
The prices on the ecommerce site have to be at least at the same level with those accessible through other ways or even lesser.
Try to sell only those products which are wanted on the Internet. As a general rule, if a product is well sold through the postal service sales system, it will also be suitable for the Internet sales system.
Try to ensure transactions security as well as possible and notify your potential customers about this concern.
How can you improve your services?
Your website should offer all sort of special services to your customers. The Internet has a lot of possibilities and tools to create quality services for your clients.
First of all, the services intended for the customers depend on the support offered by the company's managers, who have to back you up in your effort to satisfy the customers' needs. If you pay attentions to the questions your customers ask, you will find out that many of them are related to a specific problem. Try to draw up a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) list and insert it into your website structure.
The Internet is a communication tool. So, use the email system as the main communication way. When your customers are using the email system to contact you, instead of the telephone, you must be prepared to answer immediately. Otherwise, your customers will feel mazed without a straight answer from you and they will contact you by telephone next time they will encounter a problem.
Another possibility to improve the services you are offering to your customers could be to use discussion groups in order to provide an online dialogue space to your customers. This is actually a very good idea, because sharing your customer's experience in using your products and services may reveal new aspects of these products and services even for you, and they can help each other to use the products and services in a better way. This is also a way to receive a feed back from your customers and you will be able to improve your services and products.
A website has to be complete and easy to use. Try not to forget that many of your site's users will be more or less beginners. That's why browsing your site has to be as easy as possible free or traps and endless loops. The language you will use on the company's website has to be coherent. Do not forget that it only takes a click to go to another e-store and the customers will not spend too much time to find out how is your site working and they will search for another, easier, website.
Do not insert long overviews of your products and services, but try to emphasize on the security features of your website. Your online buyers think that e-stores are a dangerous zone where the confidentiality of their personal information can be easily lost. It is your task to convince them that the security is one of the most important objectives. This is one of the services you offer through your website and is related to your website's security feature.
Your website's technical support has to be competitive; nothing is more boring than to wait to get some information. You will have to find an ISP, usually located near you, and try to get either hosting your web server or your website, or getting a suitable Internet connection.
You only have one more aspect to take care about: your customers need separate attention. In case your site is able to provide customers individualization, you may take advantage of this feature. A welcoming note which includes the visitor's name will create a pleasant environment. And do not forget! Being friendly is one of the main success sources in sales.
How to maintain yourself in the ecommerce?
In order to find the most practical marketing solution for you, try to experiment your advertisements and carefully supervise how sales are evolving. Try new marketing features: new commercial banners, join other sites' marketing programs, sponsorships - and see how all these will affect your sales.
The overview you made for your e-store has to be continuously updated and changed, as well as the business itself, in order to meet your customers' expectations.
This flexibility is the key to maintain your customer's interest toward your e-business. Even though your products will not change very often, it is absolutely necessary to update and change your Internet website. Identify new qualities and features in your products and try to attract new areas of the market and new customers. The Internet, in its changing course, may sometimes be discouraging, but it is often able to attract new customers, business relations and opportunities which will otherwise be impossible.
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