IAN FERGUSON: Ways to maximise your online selling


Ian Ferguson

Taking your business online, and using a website that allows customers to access your goods and services, is no longer a highly technical challenge. Globally, most companies that have a physical store have already made strides in incorporating online sales into their business mix.

Having an online presence will open up markets that you otherwise would not have access to. Making your products available online means taking your brand to the international stage. As exciting as that may seem, there are some dangers to avoid in the process.

In order to set up a store that will maximise your chances of attracting customers and generating sales, you will have to become familiar with a few product page basics. This week’s column will help you navigate this process with seven valuable tips:

1 Display the right products

Focusing on things like that will help you to attract more customers and increase traffic to your site. More traffic usually means more sales.

2 Include accurate product descriptions

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when creating an online store is including product descriptions that are not very descriptive. An even worse mistake is publishing descriptions that are just plain wrong. Create simple, accurate and customised descriptions for each item.

3 Display the price

Showing how much your products cost, with up-to-date pricing information, is essential if you do not want to chase off potential customers. The price that you display must be the price that the customer sees when they finally hit the checkout page.

4 Take better pictures

Take better photos to show your products online. Technology has made this incredibly easy to do as smartphone cameras can produce amazing pictures, along with smaller file sizes, making them the ideal choice for taking product photos.

5 Encourage user reviews

One of the best ways to boost your business is to have happy customers, so do not be afraid to let your customers express how much they love your products. Sharing genuine user feedback builds trust, and gives potential buyers a sense of what to expect in terms of product quality and customer service. Be sure to train towards exceptional service standards.

6 Make the most of your social media presence

Social media is a great advertising tool. The best part is that it can be leveraged as a marketing platform that will not cost you a dime. Do not be afraid to encourage your users to reach out via social media channels. If you make your social media presence engaging, your customers will readily use it as a way to get in touch with you. Ensure compatibility between your website and social media platforms.

7 Make it easy to buy stuff

Of all the functions that your website should serve, one of the most important is the checkout step. If your customers have reached that point in the buying process, it is essential that nothing scares them off at the last minute. Ensure that all of your different payment gateways work perfectly, and that any promotions and discounts are working properly.

• NB: Ian R Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organsations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at tcconsultants@coralwave.com.


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