Ten Top Tips for Selling Online

For this article I’ll assume that you have some form of web presence such as blog, page on someone else’s website (such as Etsy, eBay or Folksy) or a static website. So here I am going to give you a few tips on getting visitors and keeping them.

1                    Make sure that when you get a visitor he will find it easy to look at the things he wants to see. In other words you must have a navigation menu that is simple to understand. Any small obstacle that you put in the way will mean that visitors will leave before they have even seen any of your wares. It is so much quicker to leave an online store that a bricks and mortar store on the high street. Once they leave chances are they won’t be able to find their way back to you.

2                    Every item that you display on your website needs a photograph and a description. Now the photograph is by far the more important of the two. You must have good pictures. This is not difficult nowadays. With the modern camera you can take many shots of the same thing and then decide which is best. There is no expense entailed once you have the camera. Your visitors cannot handle your products and so you must try to make it feel as though they know everything about them by looking at pictures. Of course, the better the display and the description of sizes and materials the more unlikely it is that you will get returned goods.

3                    If you have a blog it is necessary to keep it updated regularly. This doesn’t mean that you have to write on it everyday. You do though need to pop something on it once or twice a week. People expect blogs to be about what is happening now – not last year. Blogs are great for building a relationship with your visitors. It keeps them coming back for more if you are saying something that they want to hear. The blog itself is not, however, the best place to display your products. By all means say what you are working on, take pictures of the projects you have on the go. The shop needs to be on static pages and purely businesslike. Pretty much the opposite of your blog. So make sure you have both and link them in a way which cannot be missed.

4                    If you can get any of your products into the relevant magazines this will help greatly. Make sure they are going to include your website. It will depend upon your wares which magazines you target. Have good photos printed up and issue a press release. Much of this can be done over the internet but not exclusively so.

5                    Make it easy for your customer to buy your offerings. The simplest way is to open a PayPal account and have a button that can easily be seen. PayPal makes it a simple operation for sellers to choose how they will list their items. You can do it by colour or quantity – or any other way you can think of. People know about PayPal and because of this they trust it. As far as you are concerned as a seller, there are no fees to pay to set up. You only have to pay as and when you sell your goods.

6                    Social networks are a good way of “meeting” people to interest them in your blog and your products. Care has to be taken here that you are not trying to ram your sales patter into followers. They can soon unlike and unfollow when you do nothing but try to sell to them. Again it is about building relationships. So keep all selling low key. Take care though, facebook and twitter can be very time consuming.

7                    Encourage your visitors to sign up for something such as a newsletter or other mailing that will keep you in touch with them and give you their email address.

8                    Have your website url (address) on all your business stationery. It must be on your business cards, flyers, posters, sales slips. You do need to promote your website wherever and whenever you can. Have these advertising aids with you at all times and hand them out freely.

9                    Your shop display should be forever evolving. Although the pages are static you display shouldn’t be. Are you always adding to your range? You should be. Keep trying things out. It stops you getting stale and disinterested and it keeps people coming back to see what’s new.

10               Don’t give up. It can take quite a while to take off but when you do you can go into overdrive. The visibility of your website is nil to begin with. Well the visitors are just you and a few close friends and family. It may seem that on your blog you are talking to yourself. Well you are but then when strangers come a-visiting they will see that you are well established and this gives confidence over your trustworthiness.