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You got an idea to sell something online and found a way to bring your ideas to fruition. Whether sales are fair or nonexistent, make it easier for people to buy from you.
Can They See You?
There is a well-known educational institute that has the worst web layout for their bookstore. The link to buy books is almost aligned with the web page header. Also, the average reader would have no way of knowing whether it’s a verbal command to ‘buy books’ or an actual link because the fonts are small, not underlined or bold. However, announcements, store hours and other miscellaneous information contain animated text, blinking banners and other attention-getting techniques.
This is one key component of communication. If someone asks you where the nearest place is to get a quart of milk, you are not going to list every store in the county. In this case, placing the objective of the site in its own space is best, preferably as close to the middle of the page as possible. Sometimes, people like to place the link to their wares or shopping cart to the extreme right but if you have your affiliate or link exchange ads in the right column, this may not be a great idea.
Think in terms of people reading from left to right and find a space that will help your text link or image stand out the most.
Can They Find You?
For a new online business, having your own shopping cart may not be the best idea right away. Taking shortcuts is fine for the beginning stages but if you can spare $10/month (average) for your own cart, then go for it.
Using e-merchant sites like eBay, Etsy and some smaller ones is great because it takes little or no money to get started, you can practice search engine techniques and there is a forum to socialize with like-minded persons who can give tips.
Because these sites are easy to join, many have jumped on the bandwagon and though your brand of glow-in-the-dark costume jewelry may have had some success in the past, you will have to step up your promotion game for better traffic. Think social media, articles, videos and anything else that you can do on a consistent basis.
Tell Them What They Are Really Getting
Etsy has a feature that prevents the use of words like ‘diamond’ in the product description. Most likely because the majority of the products sold are low-to-moderately priced. So if you come up with a line of jewelry that resembles a diamond, you have to describe it as an acrylic rhinestone or whatever material it really is.
Some people obviously do not operate this way. While we know that there are no certified (or legal) diamonds that are sold for $29/carat, there are such products advertised and unfortunately, a willing buyer with a valid credit card.
Telling the truth the first time around is important to your reputation but when describing a product or service, don’t be shy with the details. Materials used, color, approximate size and weight. Keep in mind that depending on the merchant or the host of your shopping cart may give a limited amount of space for the description. Also, for SEO purposes don’t start your description with clever or cute sayings.
Show Them Where to Put the Money
One mistake people make is placing their PayPal or Google Checkout badge amongst clutter like ads, banner links and other things that are just a distraction. If you have a limited amount of space, then place your payment link, badge or banner as close to the top of the page without it being close to the header. Remember that people read from left to right, starting from the top and downward from there.