The way people relate to brands has changed. We are in the era of an omnichannel customer that researches prices, sales, and details of a product online, checks such products on physical stores, and finishes the purchase wherever suits their needs best. And the same goes for services: you’ll get more clients as long as you have an excellent value proposal and an amazing user experience.
It sounds like a recipe for a winning company, but it is not as simple as it sounds. With a world full of options, it’s not enough to have a beautiful web page; it’ll also need a robust infrastructure, which will take time and money. So if you want to play with the big boys, consider financing your business to get there.
Room in the budget will help you build up a communication channel with your customer, understand what they want, and provide for their specific needs. And remember a golden rule: you’ll get more sales as long as you make it easy for your customer to buy.
Stop thinking about your web page as a window for showing what you have to offer and start thinking of it as a way to grow your business. Online, everything is measurable, trackable and the results are full of insights to discover.
So let go of cheap and easy blog pages for your online business and build a web page that can be easily used, receive payments, and has an open window of communication between you and your customer. And it all begins with proper programming for the search engines like Google.
Rumor has it that if you want to bury a body without anyone finding it, do it on the second page of a search engine. People will click on links at hand and rarely look for more results than the first ones on the browser. And for you to appear there, you need to optimize your page with:
- SEO description in home page and other important pages
- Titles with keywords on every page
- Alternative titles on pictures
- Personalized links
Intuitively build your page so every visitor can find everything they’re looking for. Menus with actual links attached to them, a dynamic flow of information, and, as a cherry on top, a shopping cart and an easy way to check out, like PayKickstart for Services or PayKickstart for Goods.
Even if you have an excellent web page, the competition out there is brutal, so you’ll need to stand out. Yet, there are plenty of tools at your disposal and, the best thing is that, since everything in digital is malleable, you can try, learn and try again at a lower cost than if you were to rent a billboard or a television ad.
Take your online game to the next step with a publicity strategy such as PPC (Pay Per Click), where you hire a position on the Google search page, and you’ll pay a predetermined amount every time a possible client clicks on it. And this strategy will also allow you to be on other pages that have to add spaces with Google.
But how much money should you spend on this? Well, as said before, there’s a lot of experimenting to do. First, you need to consider that this adds work as a bid. That means that you establish a daily amount you want to spend, and, according to that money and the usual searches, the algorithm will show your ad a certain amount of times. And you can change it daily if you are not getting the results you want.
Now, to establish your budget, you need to set your goals. Be specific with the number of items you want to sell, how many days, pricing, and even how much it will cost you to sell each one. For example 50 t-shirts in the next month, at 5 dollars each with a cost of 50 cents per purchase.
Check your analytics to know the percentage of buying customers among the visitors and calculate how many people need to come into your site to sell these shirts: If you have 1% of buyers, you’ll need to bring your traffic up to 5,000 visitors. To establish this budget, you have to consider:
- Average Order Value. This is your average sale ticket.
- Cost per acquisition: how much money are you willing or already spending on acquiring a client in the past.
- Production costs of each ítem.
- Gross Margin Percentage. For this, you have a formula:
Revenue – Cost of production
And now, assign your budget. As you can see, every ad campaign is different. There is no golden rule that says that if you invest 10 dollars, you’ll get 10,000 back. The ads apps can help you optimize the budgets, either on Google, Facebook, or other platforms. You can also tweak it a little and change it as many times as you like. Experimentation is part of the process.
As a bonus, these experiments will give you data that you can analyze and apply to your next campaign, like how many men or women are clicking on it, your biggest geographic markets, ages, and other demographics you can learn from.
It is not enough to have the information of your company at hand. Let’s face it; people don’t care about that, so a good “About Us” page and contact channels are not enough. What people want is to see what they’ll buy. The show, don’t tell. These tips will help you build a better page:
1. Focus on your offering. Have a concept, don’t sell whatever comes to mind, make choices easier for visitors, and use tools to show the product’s qualities. If a t-shirt comes in various colors, don’t set different clicks for each, but use a run-through button to change colors.
2. Have analytics. Learning about the behavior of your clients inside your web page will help you understand what’s better for them and adjust your online strategy accordingly. For example, they’ll let you know the best spots to place sales or information you want to be very public.
3. Have positive comments or reviews. Place a review or comment box on every product page in a prominent place. But make sure to program your webpage so that you’ll have to approve the content of the comments. This way, you can weed out the bad ones.
4. Hire a robot. Yes, a well-programmed online bot will help you achieve wonders because it will answer all your client questions with minimal effort. If you don’t like the experience of a pre-scripted bot, hire someone to answer live chats of all of your customers. You can even use a WhatsApp plug-in to a business account. This way, they will feel like you are taking care of their needs.
5. Find your own incentives. This will be according to your strategy, but you can offer 10% off in the first shop, a reward scheme for being part of a newsletter, or free shipping. The goal is to convert those indecisive visitors into big spenders.
6. Know your audience. Make sure you have polls, social media links, or an actual functional inbox so that you can hear what your clients liked and disliked. Analyze the answers and respond with adjustments. On or offline, your job is to listen to your client and offer them what they want, not what they think they want.
With a good website, attention to detail, and a solid client base via newsletters, you can grow your business and implement digital marketing techniques that will take you from a blog to an ever-growing industry. Now small business financing doesn’t sound so bad, right. On the contrary, it’s the tool you need to make this happen.