Last updated on April 18th, 2019. Posted in Web Design For Business.
If you're a small business owner who’s serious about selling online, then you're in the right spot! When you're getting your business online and up and running, there's so much to keep in mind and try to keep track of. In this video, we'll cover some specific website features that are key to helping your customers and taking your business further. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have a solid grasp of four essential online business features that you can include on your website that'll ensure your customers are getting what they need, and that'll help you grow your business.
Alright, are ya ready? Then let’s jump into it!
Okay so, what key features can you add to your online business to help drive sales, improve your marketing, and help out your customers and visitors all at the same time. Well, I have four of these, in fact, to share with you.
From a techie standpoint, these website features and website add-ons may come in the form of a module that you activate on your website, they could come in the form of a block of code you need to insert, or they could be some kind of add-on that gets installed and activated. The actual, technical how-to stuff is beyond the scope of this lesson though...all I want to do here is give you some ideas about what you can include on your website to help your customers.
Okay, let's take a look...
You are of course familiar with product reviews and product ratings online. Product reviews are central, for example, to Amazon and the way they run their business. Encouraging your satisfied customers to return to your website and leave a glowing product review can become a very strong component of your online marketing strategy. After all, it's one thing to listen to a company tell you about how great their product is. It's another thing all together to listen to what an actual, paying customer has to say...what they liked, what they didn't like, etc.
And don't be afraid of poor reviews or negative feedback. That stuff's golden! It's direct, unbiased critical feedback from the market telling you how you can improve your products and your business. In other words, critical feedback is telling you, albeit sometimes harshly, exactly what your product's missing and how you can improve it.
So, adding the ability for customers to leave product reviews and product ratings on your website provides you with great market feedback. But in the context of our broader conversation here, it helps other potential customers and visitors to your website make a purchasing decision.
Of course, the downside to allowing product reviews on your website is that they can be abused. One of the problems Amazon has faced for years is people leaving fake reviews on products, or even abusive reviews. To combat this, you'll have to moderate all product reviews before they get published on your website.
Used properly, product reviews can become a key feature of your online business website.
Here's another online business feature that I'm sure you're familiar with, discount coupons. In another tutorial, we'll be going through some important e-commerce and online business statistics. And one of these statistics relates to how many, many buyers head online because they believe they can get a better price and a better deal on a product online than they can from a regular retail store.
Do you ever do this? I do it all the time! If I find a product online that's significantly cheaper, then the battle in my head becomes, "Do I want to go buy this thing and bring it home today, or do I want to save $50 or $60 and wait a week or two for it to ship?"
So you can leverage this knowledge and attract people who are in a buying mood by offering coupons and discount codes for your online business. Discount coupons are so popular online, that I'm sure you're familiar with the concept.
From a technical standpoint, a discount coupon code is generated in the back-end of your website, that includes some kind of a discount. These discounts typically come in three different kinds: A percentage off, a fixed-dollar amount off, or free shipping. There are other creative ways to offer discounts, but those are the three most common.
So, to entice sales on your online store, seriously consider offering discount coupons. Use them to run a promotion, to generate sales during a Cyber Monday-type event, and so on. And think of some creative ways that you can make use of them in your business.
Next, here's an online business website feature that you may not have heard of: Tell-a-friend. A tell-a-friend feature allows your website visitors and customers to, as the name suggests, tell a friend, a co-worker, a family member—anyone, really—about your website and about your products.
Marketing research shows us time and again just how powerful word of mouth can be to help promote businesses and products. Entire businesses are built around this concept. After all, the people you know and trust in your life have far more sway and influence on you than a strange, new company you've found.
A great example of this is TV shows and movies. Did you start watching Game Of Thrones, Stranger Things, or whatever else because you saw a commercial for it? No, it's always a friend or someone saying, "You've GOT to check this show out!" Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising. Again, we trust our friends, family, and people we know more than we trust faceless companies.
So, including a tell-a-friend feature on your website allows you to key into all of this. Essentially, this site feature allows your visitors and customers to send an email about you, your business, and your products to a friend or family member. This is essentially exactly what a referral system is all about. And perhaps there's a creative way that you can reward people who refer new customers to your business.
Whichever way you decide to implement it on your website, using a tell-a-friend feature is a powerful way to grow your online business.
Okay, we've got one more site feature to take a look at...
Have you heard of up-selling before? Well, maybe not in those terms. But you've definitely experienced it. This is the classic, "Would you like fries with that?" Or, "Would you like to super-size your order?" shtick. In fact, most of us know this so well, that it's almost a cliche.
If you want to consider using this in your business, you've gotta keep two things in mind: 1) That you're in business to serve and help your customer, and 2) The mindset of your buyer. Let's talk about the mindset of your buyer, first.
There's a point in your customer's mind (and this happens to you and I as well when we're shopping) where their brain clicks and they decide, "Yup, I'm going to buy this product." It may happen early on for them in the decision making process, or it might happen later on. Nevertheless, at some point, in their minds they commit to purchasing. Someone driving down the highway might be thinking they should stop and grab some lunch. Someone pulling into a drive-through has already made a purchasing decision—they've already decided that they'll buy. That's what I mean.
Someone who's already decided to buy is already imagining what it will be like to use your product. It's at this key moment where you can introduce up-sells, or add-ons, to their purchase.
But at the same time, don't forget one of the big reasons why you're in business: You're in business to help and serve your customer. So if they reach a buying decision, you can further help them along to enhance their purchase even more. And I want to be clear here, you're not a fraud or a sleaze bag who doesn't intend on delivering as you promised. You're there to serve them as best you can. Adding an up-sell to your website is a genuine, honest opportunity to further help the customer add something else to their order, which will enhance their experience and their purchase, which they wouldn't have thought of asking for themselves.
Here's a quick example: I have to replace a faucet in my house. So I go to Home Depot and talk to the guy in the plumbing department. He helps me find the right the faucet, and then asks, "Are you installing this yourself?" I say that I am. He then says, "Okay, in order for this to fit properly, you'll need a few extra small parts." We then head down the aisle, where he starts fiddling with couplings and fittings. "Lemme see your faucet again..." He's kinda tinkering and fiddling with parts. And then he says, "You'll need these and these," as he hands me some small parts, "and you'll be good to go."
So he's not trying to sell me extras that I don't need or being a sleaze bag and selling me junk I don't need. Instead, he's genuinely providing help to an otherwise clueless weekend fix-it guy like me! He's making suggestions to me to help me even more. That's what I mean by add-ons and up-sells—honest add-ons and up-sells that help the customer, that they wouldn't have thought of themselves.
Only you know your business as well as you do, so you know what products of yours go together or how you can further help your customers get the results they want. So, this could come in the form of bundling products together, adding a smaller, lower-cost product or two to their order, increasing the volume of their order, and so on. So you'll have to figure out how you'll do this if this is something you want to do in your business.
Remember, it's all about, "How can I help? How can I serve?" Use up-sells on your website to further assist your customer get what they want.
Okay so there we go, there are our four website add-on features that you can include on your website to further help your customers and help increase sales. To recap the four website features you can add to your online business, they were adding product reviews and ratings to your site, offering discount coupons, including a tell-a-friend feature, and using up-selling to further help out your customer. I hope you enjoyed.
I want to be clear, too: You don't have to add all of these site features to your online business. You could select, say, the one or two that appeal to you most, and that fit with how you want to run your business. And of course, there are even more features that you could add to your site that we haven't covered here.
The important point here is to get your wheels turning. This, to me, is where business gets creative and fun. Ask yourself, "What else can I do to help my customers? What else can I include for them?" Decide for yourself how you want to run your online business, and which of these site features will work for you.
See ya next time!