Top ten tips selling on the internet

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Top ten tips selling on the internet

  1. 1. John Owens © John Owens 2012
  2. 2. Top 10 Tips for Selling Online
  3. 3. Tip 1 - Do you have a viable business?What are you going to sell?What’s your unique offering?Who are your suppliers, do you have to hold stock or are you drop-shipping?Downloadable products?Do you already have experience selling this product?What are your current routes to market?Who are your competitors?What are your targets for sales, costs & margins?What website traffic and conversions do you need to achieve these targets? You could practice on eBay...... If you can make money on eBay then you probably have a viable business model
  4. 4. Tip 2 - DIY or outside developer?Do you already have a shop (real or online)?Are you diversifying (product and/or route to market)?Which resource is in shortest supply – time or money?If you can afford it –use an agency for the technical stuff i.e.building the site, driving traffic etcIf you have to do everything yourselfthen there will be a steep learning curve –setting up and selling online, then runningthe businessFocus on what you are best at –get help for the rest!
  5. 5. Tip 3 – Plan itSet your objectives and strategy to develop your businessDo your researchPrepare a web development briefGet contracts in writing - include technicalspecification, dates & ownershipDeveloping your marketing planUnderstand your sales funnelSales targets and average order valueProfitability on each productCost per acquisitionConversion rates on your site (and other methods such as email)Traffic required to your site to achieve sales targets -Methods and cost of acquiring trafficMarketing plan and budgets (online and offline)
  6. 6. Understanding your sales funnel Marketing feeds the funnel Number of times your ad is seen Number of visits to your site Numbers of enquiries Numbers of sales Cost per sale (acquisition) <Profit
  7. 7. Tip 4 - Brand & design itDevelop your logo, brand and lookWho is your target audience?What are your competitors doing?What personality are you trying to project?What does your brand stand for?Develop your website designFirst impressions count & affect conversionsIs the aim of the home page to maximise sales orproject your brand?If you only have the budget for an off-the-shelf ecommerce website package then youmay be limited to a few simple templates and limited design options!Your website needs to have the right balance between design, content & functionality –The Magic Triangle
  8. 8. The “Magic Triangle” of web design Design – first These approaches are often impressions counts used by different types of web designers or developers and can conflict with each other Functionality – Content – whatwhat does the site does the site say do for the user to the user and and your search engines? business?
  9. 9. Same software – customisation of templateswww.nitrosteamengines.co.uk www.burnsidehighlanddress.co.uk
  10. 10. Ecommerce site aimed at parents and kids www.justchildsplay.co.uk
  11. 11. Ecommerce site to maximise sales www.appliancesdirect.co.uk
  12. 12. Emphasis on branding and imagery www.johnlewis.com
  13. 13. Tip 5 - Site BuildingSoftware options – generally as thefunctionality increases so does the cost!1. Simple link to e.g. PayPal or Google2. Off-the-shelf or ecommerce software package.3. Use of free open-source ecommerce software (e.g. OSCommerce)4. Bespoke ecommerce website built specifically for you by an agencyIf you have a limited budget you should start with a simple ecommerce systemSome software packages may not be search engine friendlyIf you are having a site built, get a detailed specification and a written contract
  14. 14. Tip 6 - Money issuesMerchant bank accounts and taking credit card paymentsApply for your merchant bank account early –this can take up to 8 weeks to organiseIf you are a new business or you are rejected by your bankyou may have to use PayPal, WorldPay or a similar paymentgateway (payment service provider)If considered high risk, you may have to wait to receive your cash, or you may need totake out a bondThe choice of merchant bank account will influence the choice of Payment Gateway andin some cases even your shopping cart
  15. 15. Tip 7 – Watch out!Fraud - Watch out for:Fraudulent credit card transaction, especially overseas sales and returns“Odd” transactions – e.g. a violin business being asked to supply10,000 violin strings to Indonesia on a US credit card......Some countries /areas have a higher risk profile e.g.:Africa in general/ Amsterdam! / Russia/ Pakistan / Egypt/Indonesia / Eastern Europe in general / Israel / China /Malmo in SwedenNot every order will be fraudulent from here –(but not every order from elsewhere is safe either)There are many other forms of fraud:“Phishing” (getting you to add your details to a fake website) and“Passing off” – setting up a site to scam your customers by pretending to be you
  16. 16. Tip 8 - Compliance issues Company registration and VAT details on all electronic communications Data Protection Act & Privacy Policy (for customer details held) Terms and conditions on your site – to include elements of the Distance Selling Regulations(and any changes to your terms for Business customers) Avoiding email spam – Electronic Communications Directive VAT – when to charge Credit card transaction – when to charge back Accessibility and Disability Discrimination (DDA) Cookie regulations International regulations –
  17. 17. Tip 9 - Customer service issues Managing your stock levels or use of drop-shipping Delivery, carriage and postage (especially international sales) Quality of goods and problems with returns (need for a returns policy) Ability to answer questions and deal with complaints (via email and the phone)
  18. 18. Tip 10 - Getting visitors to your siteA new website will probably not get much traffic from the “natural” results in the search engines for at least 6 months– so it may be necessary to buy some traffic in the first yearImmediate and short term techniques of customer acquisitionrequire money and time:Pay per click – Google AdWords etcPay per conversion - affiliate marketing, Amazon,Feeds to other sites – Google products, shopping comparison sitesLong term techniques, such as search engine optimisation and social marketing takesustained effort and time, but on a limited budget they may be your only option
  19. 19. Tip 11 - Maximising sales conversions You need to use Google Analytics or another package 30- 50% of visitors “bounce Conversion rates on ecommerce websites may be less than 1%So – give them a bit more(tip 11 of 10....) Target buyers rather than browsers Promote products with high profit margins to cover cost of acquisition Impact of the design, usability and calls for action Use free delivery and other promotions to increase average order value Shopping cart design to minimise abandonmentUse of incentives, discounts, promotions and competitions to encourage registrationCustomer loyalty schemes and ongoing discounts and promotions
  20. 20. Tip 12- “Don’t make me think....”If your website is not easily usable –.........people won’t use itBuy a copy of Steve Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think”and “Rocket Surgery Made Easy”(I’m not on commission!)
  21. 21. Thank You
  22. 22. John Owens tel: 01522 822 302 mob: 0780 9631597 email: john@johnowens.biz web: www.johnowens.biz“Converting the online..... .....to the bottom line”

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