How To Maximize Your Wholesale Store Visitors Value

How to Maximize your Wholesale Store Visitors Value…

I wanted to talk about maximizing the impact that your wholesale store or web site has when a visitor first arrives at your web site.

This is a critical e-commerce and selling fundamental and unfortunately, a lot of new Internet entrepreneurs ignore it – at the cost of sales, and ultimately dollars.

First, let me set the stage…

E-commerce store owners, web entrepreneurs, in fact ANYONE who wants to create income online knows the first fundamental –

— You must have a visitor come to your site —

Well, the Internet is full of ways to do just that. Whether you optimize your web pages for the free search engines, use Pay Per Clicks like Overture, Google Ad Sense, FindWhat, Deal Time, Biz Rate, advertise in E-zines – WHATEVER you do, the goal of THAT particular exercise is to get someone to come have a look at what you’ve got to sell…

And this, it seems, is where most people stop developing their sales strategy.

This is horrible. Horrible because traffic to any web site always costs the site owner time, and many times it costs the site owner dollars. And after all of that effort, a visitor, one who has put their hand up and voted with a mouse click, comes to a site where they are met with…NO COMPELLING REASON to come inside.

You see, I get many requests from people who are opening a new e-commerce store, or developing a web site that sells some sort of product, to take a look at their store and give them some impressions of my visit.

A lot – no, MOST of these sites are ignoring the simple, time tested and customer approved fundamentals of SELLING.

After all of that effort, time spent and dollars invested setting up their site and getting a customer to it, they don’t create a landing page that INVITES and COMPELLES the customer to dig deeper – to explore the opportunities and products that the site has to offer.

When I get emails from start-ups asking me why, after all of the traffic they have to their home page, WHY-O-WHY don’t they have any sales?

Here’s what I tell them…

I’m going to use a few examples from other media and industries to make my points, so bear with me here… Besides, you know how long winded I can be!

Our culture has a short attention span, and we are also more decisive than every before.

I’m not going to even TOUCH upon the reasons why (It’s not all MTV’s fault) – we just are.

The effects of that short attention span are MULTIPLIED by the impersonal nature of the internet.

I.e. If you don’t like a web page that you’re on, you click off of it. BUT, if you’re in a store in your local mall that you don’t like, to leave you have to maneuver through the store, past the sales people, through the displays, out the front door, get into your car, and drive to the next store – all in order to look at some other product from some other retailer… So, before you embark on the journey to the next store, you give that mall store a CHANCE before you make your next shopping effort…

My point is, because web shoppers make a decision in mere seconds – WE MUST DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO GET THEM TO LOOK AROUND OUR STORE.

Consider a Newspaper – Better yet, consider this Headline:

“Saddam Captured”

I saw that headline couple of years back in the local Gas Station’s quickie mart the morning the storey broke…

It stopped me dead in my tracks and I started reading the article right away.

My reaction is EXACTLY why all Newspaper Articles are written with Headlines.

Headlines INVITE further reading. And in this case, they COMPELL investigation.

Another example, and then we’ll start to apply this to e-commerce…

Do you get sales flyers in the mail? Sure you do…

The last big sale that Best Buy had resulted in a mega flyer delivered to my snail mailbox… Now, I’m a geek, as we all know, and I love electronic toys. So even though I’ll always shop on the internet first, I still like to take a look at the “Latest-Greatest”.

Now, here’s the thing about these Flyers… When I get them, I always flip them around so that I start on the front page, and then I work my way through the whole thing… And guess what’s on the front page?

It’s always one of more of the following:

The COOLEST-SEXIEST thing in Home Electronics – like a HDTV Plasma Big Screen.

The MOST CONSUMABLE thing in Home Electronics – like Blank CD-ROMs or Printer Cartridges.

The MOST COMMON thing in Home Electronics – like the latest Musical Release that EVERY OTHER STORE has for sale.

The CHEAPEST PRICE POINT for one of the MOST DESIRABLE or HOTTEST things in Home Electronics – Like a new Progressive Scan DVD player… See a pattern? Consider the strategy.

–Best Buy is WOW-ing the reader with the latest cutting edge toys (Plasma TV).

–They are making the experience of visiting Best Buy CONVIENIENT by displaying the availability of Every Day Electronics Needs (Blank Media).

–Best Buy is demonstrating the breadth of its product line by offering recognizable products (New Musical Audio CD’s).

And then, they get your commitment to visit them by offering a HOT product at an IMPOSSIBLY GOOD PRICE (Progressive Scan DVD Player).

This is JUST a formula. It’s how retailers “Lure” the customer to their stores from their advertisements.

And it works… This sort of combination Point of Entry Advertising hasn’t changed – pretty much ever.

Because it works.

Now, let’s consider your store. Put on your Helmet… ?

What’s you’re home page look like? What’s your Stores name?

Are there great looking images of some of your products?

Do you have a “Loss Leader?”

Do you point out your selection, or exclusivity?

And finally, DO YOU HAVE A HEADLINE?

Also naming your store is DIFFERENT than naming your business. We specifically say…

“Make the Name of your store be COMPLETELY relevant to the products you’re selling, unless your first name is Victoria and your last name is Secret”.

This is ABSOLUTELY true. I’m not Reebok, or Macy’s, or Littman’s. I don’t, and may never have a “Marquee” company name to advertise. Having said that, I don’t need to.

When a visitor arrives at my site, our LOGO has Swords and Armor in it. So, right away, I get to show the visitor awesome looking images of our products. There is no doubt what I’m selling.

Then, our headline talks about the FULL LINE of Miniature Lord of the Rings swords that we have IN STOCK (These things are really hard to get – anyone looking for them on-line would know that).

With that headline, we are also offering a “Loss Leader”. We don’t really care if we make money on those little LOTR swords – they are so cheap that they usually end up “as part of” a larger order.

The point is, they tell the customer – “Look, we have these, an not only are they POPULAR, we’ve got them CHEAP!”

In your store or on your site, make sure that you are giving your visitor reasons to look further…

Here’s a little checklist of things to do:

1. Open up you sites home page. What’s the first thing that grabs you? It should be your Headline, Your Store’s (Product Relevant) Name, or an Awesome Image of one of your “Marquee” Products.

That’s the FIRST thing you need to do – GET YOUR CUSTOMERS ATTENTION! Validate the clicks that got them to your store by shouting out “You wanted Aromatherapy Candles – THIS IS THE PLACE!”

2. Next, do you have images of some of your products that are not only great looking, but representative of the full range of your product line?

Remember, “Words Sell, but Images Get ATTENTION”. That’s what we’re trying to do in these first few seconds of your customers visit – give them all of the data that they need to “Self Qualify” the time that they will spend on this site… And one of the things that does that well is Great Images of Products.

3. Do you have a loss leader? Here’s a tip – get one. Make it a very common or very popular item. Make sure that it’s at a small enough price point that the customer will be encouraged to purchase other items while they are at your site. Remember, the purpose of the loss leader is to GET THE CUSTOMER INTERSTED in the value that your store or site offers! The loss leader is perhaps one of the most powerful product marketing techniques you can use, but there is one catch…

If a visitor becomes a customer because they purchased a loss leader, you better make sure that you FOLLOW UP with them with Coupons, Discount, Incentives – just about any reason you can think of to get them to come back to your store AGAIN and make another purchase…

That’s the trick to loss leaders. They put the visitor in BUY mode. Loss leaders get visitors CREDIT CARDS OUT! And once you have removed this very real barrier to buying, they are likely to buy more that just your loss leader. However, the real value of loss leader marketing is the LIFETIME VALUE of that customer.

Guess What? You’ve now got them in your customer database. They know you, they have already purchased from you…They might even trust you. Now, it’s your job to send them timely offers via follow up email newsletters or sales campaigns TO GET THEM TO BUY AGAIN!

Look – If you have an e-commerce store or site on the web, you’ve worked hard to get it out there. Getting traffic is really only half the battle. It’s what you do with that traffic when it arrives at your site that will determine the length and breadth of your fortunes.

I realize that after struggling with figuring out what to sell, getting your business all set up, learning new software – in fact all of the things that you might have had to do to get your store running – that messing around with these “Tweaks” might be the LAST thing on earth that you want to do… We’ll friend, this is not a tweak. This is a fundamental. It’s not an upgrade; it’s the heart and soul of internet marketing and home-based business success.

Just remember, when you it comes right down to it, the purpose of your site is to SELL. And if that means the gentle psychological manipulation of a web surfer who spends too much time eating up our pay per click ads, then I say – “MORE POWER TO YOU!”

—– Other things:

I’ve gotten a few questions about Pay Per Clicks lately, specifically, how to raise the quality of a visitor that comes through them.

Here’s one way to do it:

I call it “The Damaging Admission”. Basically, you want to put some sort of qualifier in your Pay Per Click ad. Like “Only Available in New Jersey” or “Now only $79.95” or “Credit Card Purchases ONLY”…

The thing that you want to do is REDUCE the traffic you get by CULLING the unqualified clicks. By adding something like a Price, you’re telling folks “I am trying to sell you something”. That helps get rid of the tire kickers. You don’t always have to be so strongly worded either. You could add something like “Discounted PRICES”. Again, you’re letting the traffic know that you are SELLING a product, even if it is “Discounted”.

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