Is Your Website Just Selling Stuff?
by Frank Reed on April 7th, 2010
We realize that this question may seem a little odd and even a little obvious. Most manufacturers and their networks of dealers and distributors would say “Why of course our website is selling stuff. It’s selling OUR stuff!”
That’s understood but there is much more to effective website sales than just trying to sell something in a direct manner. Here’s what I mean. Have you ever asked what are the real reasons for visitors coming to your website? Analytics can show you where they landed and by what keywords they found their way to you but why are they visiting? We all want to believe that it’s because they are ready to buy right then and there and are going to buy from you. Not so fast.
You see, websites that just “sell stuff” are very one dimensional and do nothing to help a real sales message stand out. In other words, if your site is just one promotional item after another your visitor could very well develop ad blindness and your hopes of selling anything are dashed to bits.
So what should you do as well as sell on your website? Here’s a quick checklist.
- Tell stories – Start a blog that talks about your products and your customers using those products. Help someone “experience” the product through your site.
- Build trust – When you are viewed as a place to get information AND to buy products you have a winning combination. Your visitors and the search engines like sites that have more than just sales information.
- Stay connected – One way to make your site more alive is to have other contact with your customers through e-mail marketing campaigns. This reminds people that you need to be part of their routine when shopping for items you carry.
- Sell efficiently – Rather than having a million banners on your site which tells the customer “Good luck finding exactly what you are looking for” you need to showcase your best offers on the best pages or your site at the time that people are most likely to buy. This may require a different approach. Not to brag, but our Dealer Ignition offering does a great job of allowing manufacturers and dealers alike the chance to highlight the best offers available.
So having the mentality that you can take your site, throw everything together and people will get what they need is ill conceived. People are much more web savvy these days. In fact, they want to be treated like a customer in your store when they are on your site. Help them to casually check out what you have but highlight the best and the brightest offers you have as well. When these offers get highlighted they get attention and then they sell.
So make your site a source of information and not just a sales tool. You may find that information is what really sells your product.