Driving Web traffic is the first big step toward increasing sales opportunities, sales revenue and toward growing your online business. The online equivalent to “getting the butts in the seats,” as the old adage goes, is hard enough as it is and requires a wealth of knowledge about search engine optimization, marketing and advertising. But that traffic alone won’t make your company an overnight success without the proper infrastructure to turn a referral into a sale. And if you want to maintain long-term viability, there are even more potential pitfalls to contend with.
One of the main factors determining a business’s ability to endure and thrive is its customer service and customer satisfaction. As your clientele grows, so does your online reputation, for better or for worse. Online reviews and word-of-mouth retellings of experiences with your company have as much upside potential as they do downside, and if you’re lax about the possible effects of turning out satisfied customers, you’re liable to see the customer pool dry up quickly.
In other words, every moving part in your business — and your website — need to work together like a well-oiled machine. A company providing fulfillment services can review your company’s operations as well as the customer experience from start to finish. These companies specialize in making sure no step in the purchase process serves to deter consumers, helping you maximize your operations efficiency and convert sales at the highest rate.
Consumers like things that are easy. The natural response from businesses is to make the buying process as simple as possible. Fulfillment service companies can evaluate the buyer experience on your business website and advise you on changes that can minimize transactions lost to inefficiency. One of the primary ways these companies improve your site is buy minimizing the number of steps a consumer must endure between the decision to make a purchase and the conclusion of the sale. The longer consumers have to question their pending purchases and the lengths to which they want to go to make that purchase, the more likely you are to lose the sale.
Along these same lines, making products easily searchable is important, and maximizing page loading speed will help you hold on to patrons prone to impatience.
Keep Things Simple
This advice is two-fold: first, simpler websites tend to be more effective than more elaborate ones that confuse customers. You often don’t need a long pitch process to yield a sale, and customers quickly get agitated and leave for other websites if they can’t find what they want quickly. Make purchasing simple and accessible and don’t worry about creating a work of art from your website.
The other consideration is to resist the urge to grow beyond your means. This doesn’t mean limiting the amount of business you are willing to do — never turn away a customer. But when fulfillment like packing, shipping, customer service and other necessary functions are outside your staff’s skill set, don’t take the risk: outsource the work to someone who knows what they’re doing. It may cost a little more than doing it in-house, but you’ll enjoy greater efficiency, fewer errors, and you’ll be able to focus on what you do best.