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Five Steps to Successful Online Selling

Copyright (c) 2006-2020

Each year, Internet users purchase billions of dollars worth of products and services online, according to Web researcher eMarketer. Is your business getting its share of the pie?

You can capitalize on the power of the Internet, if you follow these four important steps to successful online selling.

Step 1: Build a site with good design and content

Create a Website with a design that's attractive, well-organized and easy to navigate. This will make it easier and faster for site visitors to find their way around - and shop for your products or services.

And remember: Pictures tell; words sell. So your site also must offer content that makes site visitors want to stick around. You should present clear, simple and useful information…so people will want to buy from you.

Step 2: Get ecommerce-ready

Obviously, you need to accept credit cards, checks and other forms of payments online. This will allow you business to tap into a vast marketplace where millions of consumers spend billions of dollars each year. Plus, you'll be able to make more, larger and impulse sales, as well as enjoy improved cash flow, enhanced credibility and a competitive edge.

You need four key ingredients to successfully ring up online sales:

1. A merchant account for business owners.

2. Shopping cart software that allows customers to collect and pay for items from your online store.

3. A payment gateway to processes your customers' credit cards and communicate between the merchant's Website, the bank holding the merchant account, and the bank holding the financial records of the customer.

4. A secure Website that is communicating with a payment gateway that, in turn, is communicating with a banking computer system.

Step 3: Submit your site to major search engines

Once your site is equipped to sell online, it's critical to submit your Web address to search engines. Eight out of 10 people surfing the Web use search engines or search directories to navigate their way around online, according to the eMarketing Association. And 54 percent of experienced online shoppers primarily rely on a search engine when trying to find a product to purchase online, says Jupiter Communications.

At the very least, you should submit your site to top U.S. search tools like Yahoo, Google, the Open Directory, MSN, Overture and Ask Jeeves.

Step 4: Use email to stimulate online sales

Email is used by 96 percent of Internet users, making it the ideal tool to advertise your Website. You can use email marketing to send electronic newsletters, letters, announcements, promotions, sales and customer support.

An email marketing campaign is easier, cheaper and faster to implement than a traditional direct mail promotion. Plus, the response rate of the typical email campaign easily outpaces that of conventional mailings. Email click-through rates can exceed 20 percent, while conventional direct mail campaign responses are 2 percent, at best.

Step 5: Unleash the power of auto responders to boost online sales

Auto responders let you automatically reply to incoming email requests, so you can instantly respond to the needs of existing and potential customers. They can be your most powerful weapon for boosting online sales.

Here's why: Sixty percent of a site's visitors who eventually end up buying a product or service don't do so on their first visit, says Auto responder Review.com. And in fact, 80 percent of all sales are made on the fifth through twelfth contact with a prospect, according to the National Sales Executive Association.

So if you don't use an auto responder or some other way to follow up with potential customers, you can miss out on up to 80 percent of your potential online sales.


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Copyright, 2006 Kate Smalley - Connecticut Secretary Freelance Transcription Services http://www.connecticutsecretary.com kms@connecticutsecretary.com

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