by Siouxie Boshoff
The first thing to know when creating a website that is supposed to sell a product or several products, is that first and foremost, the website is supposed to SELL a product or several products. In other words, a person should be able to come to the website, find what they are looking for, and buy it. That is the simplicity of it, and that is what we always do here at Visual Edge Design, Inc. (www.visualedgedesign.com) when building sales sites for our clients. Sounds pretty straightforward, but you may be surprised to know that websites are created every day that do just the opposite. The fact is that omitting certain things on a SALES WEBSITE can kill the sale in an instant.
To create an effective SALES GENERATING web site, there are specific points that MUST be included in the web site that will:
- Make it easy for a visitor to see what is for sale.
- Instill confidence that they are in a REAL store that is legitimate.
- Give them a compelling reason to buy the product(s) at that store.
- Make it easy for them to actually BUY the product(s) from that store.
If any of the 4 points above are omitted, it is VERY likely that the visitor will leave the web site without buying anything.
Let’s take a real life retail store-front for example:
Say you wanted to buy a new pair of shoes today. You would either go to a shoe store you already know of and trust or you would look online for a store near you, or simply open the yellow pages to find the nearest shoe store.
In any case, you would find a shoe store nearby. Now, if that shoe store was hard to get to, you might try another store somewhere else. However, if you arrived at the store, but there appeared to be very few shoes, no cash register, no signs indicating that they take any credit cards, and no one to help you, you might turn around and walk out. What if the shoe racks were disorderly, and shoes were NOT sorted by size or style? What if there was a “store clerk” that had NO register, was dressed slovenly and then asked for your credit card, which he took in back and then came back after a while with a “thank you” note, but no receipt? What if there was NO sign indicating that anything in the store was guaranteed? What if they had a NO RETURN policy? What if the store had hand-written signs with marker on cardboard throughout? What if they made you give them your credit card and purchase the item BEFORE they told you how much you were spending? Would you feel comfortable shopping at such a store? I know I wouldn’t.
Believe it or not, there are many on-line stores that are the equivalent of such a store. In other words, you get to the website and it is difficult to find what you are looking for, there are no indications of how to pay, no guarantees, no phone numbers to get live help, no contact information on the website, no privacy statement or ordering information, and in some cases the store is set up so that you “add the item” to the cart, then checkout and give all your contact and credit card information BEFORE you can see how much you are spending. All of these points create an unfriendly shopping environment and REDUCE the confidence in the person who is trying to buy something. These seemingly simple points when overlooked can cost a website 75% OR MORE of their sales. I’m not going to go into great detail on perfect design, professional sites, etc. as these are a given.
Part 2 Explains in greater detail what MUST be included in a website so it can sell. Click here to read part 2