Monday, 9 August 2010

Successful selling online - more than just an online shop

By Jon Paget

I spoke to a business owner recently that sells hand made goods and luxury items through their website throughout the UK and across Europe.

For this to happen the business' website requires ecommerce functionality (which has its own complications). However, there are other, simpler problems that businesses can run into online.

The business mentioned had had a sale had go through from a customer in mainland Europe. The item was shipped and arrived in perfect condition. However the client wasn't happy and returned the item immediately.


The answer is simple. The client thought they were buying one thing and had actually received another.

The explanation starts with the way products and services are communicated online. In this case the image used for the product wasn't clear enough to accurately display the product.

This isn't the only thing to consider though. Here are three things to think about:

1) Does each product have its own page eg:

This is important so that each product page can be very specific and focused upon that sole item. It will also allow you to personalise that page to that specific product including the use of model numbers, brand names, special features, etc, can be used.
This will then directly improve the visibility of the product or service in the search engines.

2) Is there a clear informative description?

Is there enough text and technical information so all the details are passed onto the reader? Are you using the right keywords and/or using each page's meta data in the right way?
Is there a chance to learn more, ask a question, see reviews - there are so many things to consider here but ask yourself what you like about the website's that you use to buy online.

3) Images.

Yes, good quality images are crucial. Are the images consistent (same background, lighting, size etc), can you view more than one angle, can you enlarge the image. What about ALT text?

Whether you're selling online (taking payments) or using a website to simply display your products or describe your services, it's vital to do it effectively and clearly.

Good luck.

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