Ecommerce merchants face a ton of competition in achieving high search engine visibility for keyword phrases that prospective customers are searching for. That’s the harsh reality of getting noticed and making sales on the World Wide Web. The good news is that with a little research, planning, and follow-though, the goal of moving ahead of the competition and generating some targeted Internet traffic becomes surprisingly attainable.
Building an ecommerce website and then getting it indexed by Google is the first hurdle in gaining visibility on the Internet and attracting a decent number of credit card wielding customers. But with thousands, if not millions of other ecommerce merchants clamoring for the attention of the same online customers, how does the little guy on the Web stand a snowball’s chance? Well, the beauty of ecommerce marketing is that there are no “little guys” — only website owners who don’t know the basics of search engine optimization, web design, and sales conversion principles.
Wait a minute! What was that last thing — sales conversion principles? Is that something I need to go back to college for? Fortunately, no advanced degrees are necessary, although continual self-education is highly recommended! The main skill you need to convert web site visitors to customers is imagination — if you could call that a “skill”. To sell stuff to people on or off the Web, you need to have the ability to see things through their eyes. Stop being an e-marketer for a few seconds, and try to imagine what a first-time visitor to your site is going to see, think, and feel. Will their first impressions be that you’re trying to sell them something? That, of course, is your intention, but keep in mind that ecommerce is a two-way street; people aren’t going to buy what you’re selling unless several conditions are met; and the art of written persuasion is definitely part of this ecommerce marketing strategy.
If your web set has been written and optimized in a way that will bring in people that are ready to buy – or at least are predisposed to buy what you’re selling – then your only task is to convert them from a site visitor to a paying customer. Easier said than done, right? Although entire books have been written on the subject, in the interest of time, I’m going to boil it down to three C’s: “Clarity”, “Confidence”, and “Comfort”.
“Clarity” refers to the fact that you have to make it clear what you’re selling, how it will benefit your customers, and why it’s as good as – if not much better than what the competition is offering. Instilling “confidence” is your prospective customers is also crucially important – especially on the Internet – because they want to know that the transaction will be secure and that you have a customer service policy that will come into play if they have a question or problem with their purchase. The third element — “comfort” factor — is what happens when you’ve mastered the “clarity” and “confidence” portions of the equation, and have convinced the customer that they’ve made the right purchase from a trustworthy web site at the optimal time. Perception may not be everything, but it may be the single most important ingredient of a successful ecommerce marketing strategy.