So you own a website
to sell products or services online and really want to increase
those holiday sales? You've come to the right place, in this 7
step guide, I will help you increase those holiday sales and
help you convert website visitors into website customers.
Step 1: Refresh the Site Design.
Constantly changing and updating your website is not only
important for Search Engine rankings, but also helps keep a
fresh image and customers returning to your site.
Step 2: Add High Res Thumbnails and Update Product
I do a lot of my online shopping by browsing through product
images and reading product descriptions. Nothing bothers me more
while browsing Sharper Image or SkyMall's website than poor
images and non-descriptive product titles or descriptions. Every
product should be listed with a clear and sharp high resolution
thumbnail image (compressed for faster loading) and a
descriptive product title or description. These two items alone
will increase customer conversion rates and increase online
Step 3: Add High Resolution Product Images and allow Zooming.
When a customer clicks on a product image to enlarge it, the
image should enlarge - not full screen, but enough to
distinguish from the zoomed out and zoomed in views! Make sure
that you are adding High Resolution product images to your
website so that customers that wish to zoom in can do so.
Step 4: Optimize your Images.
Optimizing your images in Photoshop or other graphic editing
software can drastically improve your website's load time and
allow customers to browse faster, more efficiently and with less
stress. This is a simple process and should be done to any and
all images on your website. Your customers will thank you!
Step 5: Smooth out the Checkout Process.
There are numerous industry studies and reports that say
shorter, fewer page checkouts improve conversion rates. I
personally think the ideal is a two page checkout- Enter your
stuff, confirm, you�re done.
We have a lot of experience with setting up shopping cart
systems and many code hints, tips, and tricks. We specialize in
making the checkout, account creation and making the customer
log in, etc. a smooth process. It's a great thing and I would
say a requirement for anyone wanting to run an online shop of
Step 6: Promotion.
Internet promotion is great because it allows you to target your
customers without the large budget requirements such as print or
television and radio advertisements. This allows you to spend
more on inventory, employee holiday bonuses and other business
expenses. The first and most important form of internet
promotion is Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine
Optimization is the technique of developing quality, accurate
and reliable content on your website. Search Engine Optimization
also includes, Title, META and ALT Image HTML code tags which
Search Engine spiders use to rank your website. Search Engine
Optimizing helps your website place higher the keywords you are
Other forms of internet promotion include affiliate programs
which offer commissions paid to outside resellers or partners of
your website who refer new customers to your site. PayPerClick
(PPC) campaigns is another avenue which allows you to place in
the top one or two spots on a particular Search Engine result
page for a set amount. Participating in online forums,
communities and discussions related to your business’ subject or
target audience and writing online articles such as this one
will increase links back to your website and generate holiday
Its easy to forget
to add these crucial items to your website. You spend weeks,
months even, tweaking your site, two months adding products, and
you just want to launch that puppy and let it fly. However,
these are documents that your customers are going to read when
deciding if they want to give you their email address, credit
card number or address.
Statistics show that while more and more people are buying
online, an increasing number of them are even more wary about
Privacy Policies, if they can return an item, and how their
credit card information will be handled.
Do your customers a favor and put these policies in place, even
if its only to cover your own butt. That way if there ever is a
problem at least you have a published, established policy you
can point the customer to and not come off like you are trying
to pull the wool over their eyes and take advantage of them.
Copyright 2007 MJM Design. All rights reserved. This article was authored
Matt McWilliam is the owner of MJM
Design located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Read more about