As generic as this title reads, I promise not to talk to you about “10 methods to make money on the Internet”. As a matter of fact, what we do is far from it. I’m not in the business of selling phony books for 30 or so dollars and what we do does not take $30, but rather thousands of dollars.
How much does it cost to advertise in the yellow pages, on the radio or on TV? If you already do not have the answer, it costs thousands of dollars. Of course, in all advertising and marketing, there are no guarantees. There are just too many factors such as demographics, audience, income level, education etc. However, all marketers know that the best advertisement is a targeted one. If I’m looking for a wedding gown, and you show me mail order brides from Russia, as appealing as it might sound, I will not take the offer.
Marketing for E-commerce sites has the same concept. It must be targeted or you cannot make money. Be aware that there are thousands of competitors online and they’re all trying to sell a product. You have around 5-20 seconds to spark an interest for the potential customer because there are hundreds of alternatives. I know I must sound very pessimistic. However, certain factors will win you the game.
You have to prove that your website is reliable and you will be in business 2 years from now. Customers are picky but, believe it or not, they want to order from you, avoiding the hassle of looking for another reliable site. So, help them out. You should have an easy access 800 number and your address published on your website. Also create a sincere About Us page to show the user who you are and are a serious and reputable business.
Online fraud costs more than one billion dollars to merchants, buyers and to the Economy domestically in 2007. Identity theft and credit card fraud is at an all time high. So how can your site be more secure and provide the needed peace of mind?
Make sure that you have an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) installed to make sure that the private information entered by the user such as an address, phone number and credit card is secure. Check your website for security issues to avoid access from hackers. There are a couple of services online that you can use such as Hacker Safe.
If a fraudster happens to stop by your site to use a stolen credit card, let them know that you do not tolerate fraud. Display a message on the checkout that states something similar to, “All fraud orders will be reported to Law Enforcement Authorities.”
Install Google Analytics on your site and look out for flags. Review all your traffic and where it comes from. Check landing pages, enter and exit points and the most popular pages of your site. This is a key to success. Review pages with a high exit rate and find out why users do not like those specific pages. Make some changes and test to optimize and improve them.
Build strong relationships with both your vendors and customers. Working with vendors will enable you to stay on top of specials or discounts so you can attract more buyers. If PS3 is being released, try everything to offer it for sale; customers remember sites with specials and first time releases.
This is probably the most important factor. You must have a clear return and shipping policy accessible by the user at all times. Try to offer a reasonable return policy; this is one of the factors that affect conversions the most. Reply to requests and emails from the customers promptly.
Know exactly how much money you are making from sales and what your expenses are for those sales. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Do not forget, you have to invest money to make money.
by Duran Inci