A company without a website depends on people residing in the same community to earn a profit. Your business can reach a significantly larger customer base, increasing your bottom line through internet strategies.
Overhead is less, since the company can ship directly from the factory or warehouse rather than going through the retail store. If your company is a supplier that sells business-to-business, you will reach a global audience with a website.
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A website offers the opportunity to maximize your bottom line and develop a large following of repeat, loyal customers. Begin by finding your target customer in the online world, which is actually quite easy:
- Start a Facebook page that links to your website. Use Facebook to update people on the newest arrivals. Offer a reward for people to become a fan, such as free shipping on their first order. People like rewards, and they have to place an order to get free shipping.
- Set up a Linkedin profile to meet other professionals in your own and related fields. This can help you in two ways. You might recruit some of these professionals as customers, or you could find a cheaper supplier for your own company.
- Post articles on article directories, such as Ezine Articles, one of the largest. Write a generally helpful article that is not promotional, and then direct the person to your website for products that will solve the problem. This reaches people who might not be on Facebook or Linkedin.
- Buy advertising on popular websites and blogs that relate to your business. For example, if you sell car parts, then do an internet search for hobbyist and car repair websites and blogs. Read several and hone in on those that have a large readership and are active. Look at the number of comments after the posts. Contact the Webmaster or blog owner for permission to advertise on his site, explaining that your product will help his readers.
- Submit your website to all of the search engines, not just the major ones. It will increase exposure as well as create more inbound links to your website.
- If you have the time, then add a blog to your website. Please be aware that it can be time-consuming, as you are expected to acknowledge customer comments, usually within two hours.
Once people visit your website, you need to turn them into customers. Design an attractive website with clear, detailed photos of your products. Post your quality guarantee and return policy prominently, as this builds trust with the customer.
If possible, post testimonials from existing customers about the quality of the merchandise your excellent customer service skills.
There are some other things your website can do to focus on increasing your bottom line:
- Offer a free newsletter or ebook to entice the customer to part with his email address. Promise to not send more than one or two emails a month, as many customers are frustrated with spam.
- Use the newsletter to promote new products, clearance sales or a special coupon for subscribers only. A newsletter puts the company’s name in the customer’s every few weeks, so the customer will think of your website when it is time to make a purchase.
- Send a thank you email immediately after an order has been placed.
Put a survey on your website to get customer feedback on website navigation, ease of reading / background colors, product descriptions, ease with ordering, and whether the product was shipped promptly and properly. This survey will let you know of any internal problems that are hampering business.
Another way to boost your bottom line is by selling gift certificates. Promote them as the perfect choice, so the recipient can choose exactly what he or she wants. Offer the choice of an email gift certificate, available for immediate use, as this solves the customer’s problem of a last minute gift.
An internet presence is necessary in today’s world. People access websites from smart phones as well as computers. Design your website to accommodate the data layout of smart phones, as your customers can now place orders with their credit cards from them.
This is simply a matter of making sure that all content is coded with the correct HTML. Also, choose a website design that appeals to the products your company sells. For example, a website selling wedding dresses should appeal to young women in their 20s and 30s.
Today’s businesses sell globally, as it is an excellent way to increase profits. When reaching out to another country, research its culture so you do not put anything offensive on your website. As an example, flowers have different meanings in the various cultures, so what represents affection in one country can represent grief in another. Taking the time to conduct this research will result in a first-class, global online presence.
What online strategies will you use to start increasing your bottom line?
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