Three Reasons Why it May Not be the Economy that is Hurting Your E-commerce Website

sales growth ecommerce

We meet a lot of people who have e-commerce websites that aren’t making anywhere near as much money as they did a couple of years ago. They are sure it is the economy. I’m not so sure. I think it could be:

1)    When they first started their e-commerce website they had little competition.  Consumers used the website because of the utility value – it was easier to shop on-line then go in person or make a lot of phone calls. Then competition came and someone else started an e-commerce website that sold most of the same products. Now a lot of e-commerce websites don’t have any true value propositions. They are just a bunch of products lumped into categories. Today, you have to have a hook. Why should the consumer buy from you instead of the other website selling the same things?

2)    A lot of e-commerce websites look very impersonal. People want to buy from people. Consumers are increasingly distrustful on the internet and a lot of e-commerce websites don’t display any kind of credibility, values or history. You have to show the consumer that there is someone that can be trusted behind the website.

3)    Search Engine Optimization for e-commerce sites has gotten much more difficult. Many e-commerce websites get hurt because they simply cut and paste the product’s description and photos from the manufacturer’s website. Search engines just see that at as a mass of duplicate content and they don’t attribute much value to that. Consumers move through the website because they don’t see anything they haven’t seen before. It’s a lot more work, but each product has to be individually described in a manner that matches the website’s brand or personality.

Oh sure, the economy has had a little to do with some of the decreased revenue we see from e-commerce sites, but it isn’t as big of a factor as the website owners think it is. The owners themselves and how they are managing the site are a much bigger factor.

Article by Sales Growth Group 

When Is a Virus NOT a Virus

website security

There are certain things you hope you can trust in life: the thermometer that reads your body temperature, your bank statement and of course your anti-virus program.

Many people are finding out that when it comes to Microsoft’s Windows One LiveCare, that may not be the case. This anti-virus software, which failed to meet its original sales goals after a much hyped debut, is reporting that some very common java scripts web developers all over the world use, are viruses when indeed they are not.

So now many businesses are getting calls or emails from their customers or site visitors saying, “Your website has a virus,” when it really does not. Bloggers have flooded Microsoft with calls for them to repair the issue and so far they have declined. That’s not unexpected since Microsoft has announced they are discontinuing support for the product.

Most businesses that have paid to have their website professionally created and have their website hosted in a dedicated hosting environment are probably not going to have a website that is infected with a virus. There are too many safeguards that professional web development firms use and there are many things that happen on the server side of a website that make it awfully tough for a site to host a virus.

Companies can pay to have the java script in their website altered so that Windows One LiveCare doesn’t see it as a virus and consumers will probably need to start relying on more than one anti-virus program for total protection, because if Windows One LiveCare can give a false positive, it most certainly is capable of delivering a false negative.

Work Less by Using Your Website More

Work Less by Using Your Website More

At Sales Growth Group we are always extolling the amazing benefits of making your website do more of your selling, but your website can also do a lot more heavy lifting to make your life easier.

Here are four things that your website can do to make your life easier:
1) Answer Your Most Common Questions:
Are there questions about your product or service you answer nearly every day? List them all and the answers on a FAQ page on your website. People go to your website to research your company and a FAQ page is a nice, neat convenient place for them to get the answers they are seeking.
2) Complete Your Customer’s Shopping Comparison:
You know that prospective customers use the internet to compare your product or service with your competitors, so why not help them with it? Create a page that compares your products and services with your competitors. Make it truthful and honest even if it shows a few places were your company or product is not on top.
Prospective customers will appreciate your integrity and you get to control the conversation.
3) Give Customers the Paperwork or Forms They Need:
Whether it is a credit application, an insurance form, or a form that is necessary to open an account, use your website as a place where your customers can get those forms when they need them. You can put them behind a password-protected area to make sure your competitors can’t pirate your intellectual property.
4) Ask for Referrals:
Sometimes it is hard to remember to ask your current customers for referrals because you’re so busy servicing them, but your website always has time to ask for more business. If your current customers visit your website often, having a simple form that they can use to refer you to someone else can have a big payoff for a small investment.
Your website can play many roles for your company. If it is not saving you time, making it easier for someone to be your customer or driving new sales or leads, you’re missing one of the most powerful opportunities to grow your business.
FREE Website Hosting – Find out how to get free website hosting for an entire year when you develop a new sales generating, time-saving website for your business.

Why This Is A Fantastic Time To Advertise With A Website

Fantastic Time To Advertise With A Website

Remember your high school chemistry? When you heat a gas, the molecules move more and are more likely to collide?

Same thing happens in a bad economy. It might not be visible to the naked eye, but consumers are moving more, and there is a greater opportunity  for you to collide with them.

Case in point: tomorrow, I’m changing my eye doctor. I have been going to my current eye doctor for nearly 20 years, and I thought (and still believe) that he is one of the best. I also always thought he was a little on the pricey side, but for the better part of 20 years that wasn’t part of my decisionmaking on this purchase.

But things are different now. Consumers (and I’m one of them) are re-examing every purchase. So, this new economy made me stop and re-think what had always been a habitual decision. I started thinking, “What am I getting for his higher price”? That combined with the fact that his office isn’t very convenient to where I work or live, suddenly put me in play as a consumer.

I heard an ad for a local eyeglass store that was offering a free exam with an eyeglass purchase plus they were offering two glasses for the price of one. There was a time that even if I heard that ad, I wouldn’t have paid attention because I was satisfied with the relationship I had with my eye doctor.

Today, this economy has consumers re-evaluating almost every one of their buying relationships. This means consumers are moving more. You can get the attention of someone today that you had no shot at one year ago. You have to match their movement with your own through aggressive marketing and experimenting with new offers. Do that, and you will increase the amount of “collisions” you have with new customers.

There’s no better place to start than your website. When consumers are researching alternatives for their existing relationships, they go to the web. You simply have to have an effective website that either by paid search engine marketing or natural search engine optimization, appears on the first page of the results for the phrases your consumers are using. You’ll be amazed at how many consumers you can collide with.