You said it! Write! “But write what?”, you may ask. The answer to your question is (yes, we are reading your thoughts): write articles! Let me emphasize that again. Write articles!
Of course, as a business owner you will also ask, “Why should I bother?”, or, “Why would I do that?” Well, simply because your customers need to see that you’re an expert in the product that you sell to them.
If you are trying to sell me a pair of shoes and I ask you, “Which kind should I wear for basketball and which one should I use wear for running?”
Put it this way, you better have an answer for me! Otherwise I will go to your competitor who knows a bit more about shoes and about which type of shoe I should wear for each activity.
But you may also say, “I give them that kind of advice when they ask for it, why should I bother with the articles?”
Well, if you have a Website and you sell online, how else are they going to know that you’re an expert? Post them articles on your Website and you will see the sales rolling in baby!
We thought you may ask that. Here’s the beauty about this whole article-writing phenomenon.You do not need to be an actual expert--depending on how you define the word ‘expert’.
Here’s the second beauty: If you are in the business of selling shoes, for example, then you probably know enough to answer the most questions customers tend have about shoes.
Heck, you could write an article on ‘how to make your shoes last for 3 years’; the opportunities are endless!
The trick is to start writing articles on the most important topics first, and then learn more about your products as you move along. For example, you could start out with a topic on ‘what shoes to avoid wearing for running’.
You do all of this while you periodically, and consistently write articles on the important topics that you do know and the topics that you learn more about as you roll along.
But where shall you get your topics from? The Internet, of course, has got lots of information on your products through online forums, articles, blogs, etc. So do your research and come up with cool topics to write articles on.
Eventually, after you have written 100 or even 50 articles, let’s say at the rate of two or even one per week, you will by then have done what most of your competitors don’t do. And you will stand out as an expert in your customers’ eyes.
These are all questions that are inevitably going to be asked. You’re convinced on the whole idea, and are not discouraged by writing one to 1-2 articles per week, but how the heck do you write them and where do you place them?
We have only one answer to both of your questions and that is, stay tuned to this blog! This has three hidden meanings, which serve as the answer to both questions.
1) This blog is a live example of how you should write good articles.
2) We will write more articles on fail-poof article-writing tips and techniques for you.
3) After you have had read this article on our blog, have you still not figured out where you could place your articles too?
Ever wonder why your shoppers are abandoning their carts on your online store right before the checkout point? We covered two main reasons for why this may happen and now we present you with the third reason. Here it is, if you are not allowing your shoppers to compare products in an easy manner, then they will most likely go to your competitors. The reality is that a comparison matrix or chart feature is a standard feature among online stores nowadays and if your online store does not have one, you could be headed for trouble.
Simply put, a comparison matrix or chart allows the customer to easily compare a list of products side-by-side which eliminates the need to switch back and forth between product pages. Here is a comparison chart taken from one of our clients who uses the Halixo shopping cart.
Ahaa, you didn’t think that we would forget about this important step, did you? Not at all. The reason why you are providing a comparison chart for your shoppers is to help them make an informed purchase decision in an easy manner, but if it’s hard for the shoppers to get to the comparison chart, then you have defeated the very purpose of providing it. You need to make it easy for your shoppers to choose the products that they would like to compare. Here is how we do it with Halixo:
If you take a look at the green box, this how shoppers are able to click on the item they would like to compare. But with the red box, this what happens when they actually click on “Add to Compare”. This ensures that shopper receives confirmation that they have successfully added a product to the comparison chart.
After your shoppers have added the products to the comparison chart, how will you remind them to view the comparison chart if they get distracted? You’ve got to make sure that you have it in a visible place where they can easily click on a link to view the comparison chart. Have a look at the next screen shot (particularly the red box) to see what we’re talking about.
All they have to do is click on “compare products” and voila, they’ve got the comparison chart we’ve shown you above. Just another strategy to help your shoppers make informed purchase decisions. It also provides users with a better system than using the shopping cart as a holding tank for product comparison, which should improve your shopping cart abandonment rate.
Let’s face it, not everyone can afford to have the same amount of returns and refunds that Wal-Mart can have and still succeed beyond all bounds. And it doesn’t help that the holiday season’s high sales is followed by lots of returned merchandise in the new year. If you think about it on a per-purchase level, it is actually costing you money without a monetary return. You sell the product, then process the order, then wrap up the product, and then ship it. Later on, the customer decides to send it back and then you have to repackage it and put it back on the shelf. Tough, isn’t it?
Here is a fact: as long as you have a refund policy, then refunds are inevitable. Customers will return products for all the reasons in the world. But here comes the diamond in the rough: if you ask the customer the reason for the return then you are sitting on a goldmine of information that help you improve your product pages on your site.
Just like with negative reviews, showing the reasons for return on your product pages shows the customer that you are open and are not trying to hide anything with them. Rather, you are trying to help the customer make an informed purchase decision. You can include the reasons for return into the description of your product or slap it under one of the tabbed boxes (as we discussed in previous blog entries).
Sure, why not. One way of doing it is how Shoeline displays a Return-O-Meter for every product page. This is a great way of showing the shopper just how often the product gets returned.
Or you can do it the traditional way and just display the reasons for return as text just as you do with customer reviews, which of course would entail more details and would naturally provide more useful information for the shopper. Furthermore, if you really want to excel in customer service, then you can respond to reasons for return by providing other solutions or recommending alternative products. Here is an example that was provided by Lindas Bustos of GetElastic.com:
“Reason for return: Brought the desk home and it was not the right white for our daughter’s room. Drawers also a bit too small.”
Staff tip: “This desk is a very creamy white (a bit of a yellow tint) and may not look right if your walls are white-white or the decor has bluish white or grayish white in it. Looks good in rooms with pink, yellow, orange and other warm tones. The drawers are 8×12×6″ which holds items like crayons, CDs, jewelry and small toys but may not be suitable for larger toys or books.”
You tell us. Or should you go visit Amazon to find the answer to this question? We will give you a hint: “What Do Customers Ultimately Buy After Viewing This Item?” Does that sound familiar? If you guessed this same feature that Amazon provides on their site, then you are on the right track. This feature is a cross-selling strategy that can help customers avoid buying the wrong product based on the actions of past browsers of the same product. Have a look for yourself.
It’s simple, isn’t it? The more open you are about why customers returned a certain product, and about what customers bought after viewing that product (as in Amazon’s case), the more trust you will build with your customers. Therefore, they will favor your business over others and make many happy returns to your site, because they know that your site is set up in a way that can help them make more informed purchase decision. It’s a win-win situation!