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"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible"

~ Anonymous

Tea Time with Liv

Nobody is buying? Let's talk about it.

I have talked with several women with the same issue. Nobody is buying products from their site. Most brush it off to bad economy. If that is the case, nobody would be buying anywhere but that is not the case. Small businesses are still booming even in a lower economy so lets see what we can figure out.

The first, Is your website complete? Any part under construction? This gives customers the impression the site is not ready for them and there may be more products coming so they wait. If you have an empty category, remove it or fill it. Never leave it empty.

Check your spelling. Nothing can kill a website faster than bad spelling. If your spelling is not top notch, have someone proof read or even write your home page, policies, and descriptions. If you have no outside help available, pull up your Microsoft word or equivalent. These have spell check and will create a top notch read.

Don't overwrite your pages. There is no reason to go into a long history to precede the shopping experience. While some customers are very interested, others only see it as a nuisance. Put this on your "About Us" page. Keep everything else short, sweet, and to the point. If a customer has to dig through your writing to find where to order, they will only become discouraged and leave.

Can you easily find products on your site? Maybe they seem easy to you but ask others to navigate your site. Do a scavenger hunt for potential customers to complete and enter to win a prize. This can be a good indicator on how easy it is to find descriptions, products, policies, and so forth. If your customers cannot find it, they will not buy.

What does your site look like? Does it have a lot of glitter graphics, graphics made for social networks, all one color, loud prints? Fun graphics you use on your social network profiles and comments are great for personal but never for business no matter how many you see doing the same thing. Avoid one color or too light of a color. Websites should be colorful, bold, attractive, inviting, fit your products. Avoid busy prints. These can be distracting. Prints may prove difficult to read through. Checkerboards are no nos here. Why? They make people cross-eyed. Someone who has glasses, depth perception problems, even seizure issues can mean an instant click off never to return again. Too many prints gear towards amateur. Amateur is what you do not want someone to think even in the WAHM world. Even in the WAHM world you are expected to be professional at all times.

One thing that some never think about is what is so special about your product? Ok you sell candles but why are your candles better than the rest? Why are yours so much better than ones you pick up at the local discount store? If you can't answer that, how can you sell the product to your customer? Get the answers. Know your products and why they will benefit your customer.

Know your market. Know how many sell the same product not only online but also locally. You should ALWAYS be a working owner and sell your products locally. Know the need of your target customer base. If your target base is women 20-30, how many need a 5lb hammer.

Pictures. Pictures are so important. Get rid of the background clutter. Keep it clean, keep it simple. Light colors are best. Preferably white. You want the customer to see the details not be distracted by what is going on in the background. Whenever possible avoid dark backgrounds unless it enhances your products. If the product is dark, a dark background is a no no even if you love the color or it matches. Stay neutral.

Does anyone know about your business? Ask your neighbor hey did you know I sell ____? If they say no, educate them. Then go out and tell everyone. One thing you can do is take a walk on a beautiful day. Take flyers or business cards with you. Brochures are better. As you walk by someone tell them "Morning/Afternoon/Evening what a beautiful day, here take one of these to read on your way home. Some will say no thank you, some will be grateful for the kind offer, others will stop and want more information. It is that simple to get the word out. Make sure EVERYONE you know KNOWS your business.

Advertise, advertise, advertise. You can get free advertising at places such as http://sochicbagboutique.gotop100.com/. This is a great start to getting your name out there. The never fail free advertising is your email signature. Every time you send an email this is being shown to the recipient. The value of this is priceless. Don't waste it. Free advertising is great but don't ignore paid advertising. While you may not have thousands to pay I am sure you can find $5 a month to advertise on a high profile site. As your sales go up, ad a new ad to your list. Don't go spend your profits as soon as you get them. Reinvest. It is well worth it and you will see not as expensive as you thought.

If all of the rest have been tried and failed (a good try not just once and give up) check your pricing. Are you offering magic knit gloves for $5 a pair when you can go elsewhere locally and not pay shipping for $1 a pair. If it doesn't make sense for them to buy, they won't. It doesn't matter your reasoning for the pricing. Only offer products your customers need and will be willing to pay the price.

Offer a contest. Offer a sale. Offer a survey with a % off coupon just for completing. Offer a referral program. Offer a frequent buyer program. The opportunities are endless and not always do they cost you money up front.

If you are out there working your business, advertising ever chance you get, and paying attention to those details, your business will boom with good old fashion hard work.

Get out there and sell!

Olivia Vidal
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