Do You Shop Many Websites?
Online shopping habits decide an e-commerce site’s fate. Do you shop many websites?
If you shop online you know that trust, price and quality and seller rating make shoppers return to e-commerce websites.
A shopper remembers a website and will go back if it’s a great experience. This is the goal of every e-commerce website owner: Return visitors.
Is there an online store you liked best and will go back to because of what you bought? Or would you return to the e-commerce website you trust? Price and trust are the top issues surrounding e-commerce and shoppers are divided into shoppers and loyalists who count on quality and reliability. Both demand a secure shopping experience.
Give Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse
If your website’s goal is sales, then you’ll rely on a percentage of repeat customers. You have to give visitors a reason to return. CRM, customer relationship management aka reward programs. What are you doing to recognize your shoppers.
If you’re selling anything online today, your competition can and will undercut your price with one search and in 24 hours can gain part of your market share with a simple price switch.
How will you reach the buyers to let them know there’s a deal for a second purchase? Did you create a buyer reward program online? What will keep and retain your clients if you have no plan?
If your goal is to reach as many targets as possible for information regularly, then you’ll track the habits of return visitors. You’ll provide incentives and track user habits to establish your customer relationship marketing plan.
Visits, visitors, age, location, language many elements can be tracked in analytics showing visitors and return visitor user habits. After a set timeframe you’ll see a trend that should reflect the marketplace.
For example, if you’re a Madison, Wisconsin, realtor with MLS listings on your website, return visitors’ behaviors can be tracked down to the amount of time spent on every page.
You’ll find that the Wisconsin real estate market will help to forecast your real estate visitors. If the market is down, website business will be down as well. Locally.
If you sell any real estate, you need research to forecast your market. Local investors are not the only buyers in an online market.
Let’s say you sell foreclosure, HUD and short sale property. It’s important to know and research the market to understand and try to predict or at the very least track the market and then plan accordingly.
Security is No. 1
Providing a safe and secure shopping experience is the top concern of all online shoppers. An e-commerce site has got to have all the big name, standard forms of verification that the site is properly secured with all the requisite online, hacker-safe and completely secure information protection.
If you’re getting dropoffs and bounces throughout your shopping cart process go first to your product. Then to your security. Hire an outside firm to test your site and provide feedback. If your website doesn’t provide all the bells and whistles that make shopping safe and sound, you’ve wasted your efforts. Security first.
Standing Out From the Rest
Ensuring that visitors will find a Madison real estate website is another challenge. You’ll need to set aside budget to advertise your website and in today’s market most of that advertising is done online through SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing).
The extensive research done to prepare an SEO and SEM marketing plan will direct the activities that are needed to bring traffic to the website. If you’re selling an item and it’s not the only one offered, then you need to know your competition.
Find out how many websites there are within the category you’re in by doing a Google search. Do several searches clearing your cache each time so that you’re not getting personal results in your search. The results, your competition, will be in a number at the top of the page.
How Many Websites Are There?
There are billions of websites. Three years ago there were hundreds of millions of websites. Search engines have many choices, but based on what is typed into or spoken into a search engine, results will vary. What will you do to get your share of the online business?
Online in 2013 There Are:
- 2.7 Billion Internet users vs. 1.5 Billion in 2011
- Mobile media (smartphone and tablet) use is up 500%
- 4 Billion videos seen on YouTube daily vs. 1 Billion in 2012
- 400 million tweets daily vs. 2.5 million in 2012
- $224 Billion expected to be sold in e-commerce in 2012 vs. $112 Billion in 2011
- Forrester says U.S. web shoppers will spend $262 billion by year end 2013
Source: Google Analytics, Forrester
Start With Introductions
You’ll have to properly introduce yourself online. There’s a soft launch, a formal launch, public relations. When visitors first come to the site what will you say first?
How do you present your message? It may be through a video, or maybe just pictures and copy. If you’re trying to sell to commercial buyers and consumers you’ll need to address content to each. You will need to focus on a male or female audience of a certain age, income, and other demographics that play into what your message will be and how it should be presented.
Hit the Target
For example, men of a certain age prefer learning through video to reading. Women prefer reading—but use written and spoken audio. Will you provide all forms of communication to include copy, video and audio?
You ARE NOT your target nor can you or should you ever try to predict or claim to understand their website use habits. Without research, it’s a stab in the dark at an unknown target.
For example, if you decide without research that your target is only local, then you’ll budget for a local or regional client. But why would you stop there if the website is an international sales tool? Real estate has an international market. Wouldn’t it be great to reach investors in parts of the world where the U.S. economy doesn’t impact their buying habits? But how can they read your website if it’s not using elements necessary for the search engines most used worldwide. Everyone is NOT always using Google.
Marketing Goals Are Always Sales; Be Specific
Marketing worldwide is possible as long as there’s a strategy reflective of the research, budget and goals set for the plan. At the end of the day, the goal is always sales. You have to specify sales with projections, product pricing, competitive and always changing margins, product demand, product shortages, product liability.
Client Loyalty Program
Customer relationship marketing is the scientific name for a client loyalty program. The challenge online is to find a way to become the product of choice to the target audience. Just as television is changing offering viewers online episodes of what used to be watched on TV, there’s a challenge in keeping the attention of the audience. The audience is able to get the product when they want and where they want. The success was in diversifying the viewing options.
Growth and diversity comes at a point of company stability and before the target goes somewhere else for the product. The scarcity and demand for a product raises prices. Excess product will drop the price on product and knowing the market quantities is important. Understanding demand and determining what a reasonable market share in a set timeframe is part of the online marketing plan.
The combination of website structure and advertising copy, video and message makes a website visitor’s experience positive. But The Marketing Square makes sure that all websites:
- Function smoothly and quickly
- Share compelling information to engage visitors and guarantee a return
- Advertise without selling by telling the company story
- Are unique in design to wrap around a company’s image
- Have solid, powerful coding and programming as a foundation
- Offer user-friendly interactivity: strong visuals, social media, video, blogs, pictures, product