WebMental IT http://webmentalit.co.uk Web Designers & eCommerce Specialists in Bradford & Leeds Tue, 13 Mar 2012 20:54:43 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.1 Designing for eCommerce http://webmentalit.co.uk/designing-for-ecommerce-personalities/ http://webmentalit.co.uk/designing-for-ecommerce-personalities/#comments Thu, 11 Mar 2010 19:22:16 +0000 admin http://webmentalit.co.uk/?p=257 Conversion, return on investment, loyalty, referrals; all of these site metrics are incredibly important to any successful website, and a site that sells product(s) is no exception. In a world (wide web) that’s muddled and overrun with sub-par, poorly designed shopping websites, it’s hard to break away from the mold.

The key is to be informed — not only about designing a better shopping experience, but making that shopping experience more informative and enjoyable for the most important person, a potential customer! In my experience, I’ve noticed five main types of online shoppers. They’re much like normal brick & mortar shoppers, too. So, how do you make the best experience possible for these five types of people?

Bargain Hunter

Bargains Galore

The bargain hunter is just like shoppers you’d see in a supermarket. The one’s who hold up all the lines with their unorganized coupon binder, sets of buy five, get one free items and their rebate stuffed receipts. The same goes for web buyers. They regularly search sites like Retailmenot and Cheap Stingy Bargains looking for free swag or coupon codes to use.

How to help a Bargain Hunter

The simplest way to accommodate the bargain hunter is to enable coupon/promo codes during checkout. Most recent shopping cart software will ship with this functionality (or at the very least, have plug-ins developed that will allow it). You can promote these codes by submitting them to sites, sending out emails with the code and giving a code in an email after a purchase has been made — this will also encourage them to come back.

Window Shopper

I'll take all of them

Have you ever been walking down the street and saw something you just couldn’t live without (then you saw the price)? That, in a nutshell, is the window shopper. Whether they are shopping for a new LCD TV, dress, car or jewelry, this shopper can sometimes get talked into buying something over the course of a few visits.

How to help a Window Shopper

A great way to sell to the window shopper is to describe your products as detailed and precise as you can. List any benefits, positive uses and other things that might be useful to know. That way, the consumer can’t turn down a product that can help them in so many different ways.

Review-Centric Shopper

Lots of choices

Popular sites like Amazon and Newegg use a star rating system that allows customers to rate a product after purchasing. Some people say to take these reviews with a grain of salt, because they might not have any experience outside of the product they are reviewing. Personally, I like reading these reviews because it gives me a wide range of previous buyers that have used the product I might buy.

How to help a Review-Centric Shopper

Obviously, the best way to make your site usable to the review centric shopper is to add a rating and/or commenting system on your products. Along with the coupon codes, many shopping carts will come with the functionality or at least have some plugins that can achieve this addition.

The Big Spender

Serious Spending Power

Ah, the big spender. They buy the biggest, most expensive products every time they go out. They will walk by an area of a store and just throw things in their cart without ever thinking twice. They shop at the most expensive department stores and buy only name brands.

How to sell to a Big Spender

My opinion on the big spender? They are great for your site stats and revenue! On every product detail page, try adding a block of “Related Products” or “Add on Accessories” with a link to add it to their cart right then. The temptation to buy more products is there and the big spender just might take the bait.

The Comparison Shopper

These brands are a little off

In my shopping experiences (online and off), there are usually always two types of products; the name brand & the off brand, with the off brand typically cheaper. When looking at these, the price is usually the deciding factor in which one someone purchases. But what if you are selling the name brand? Can you rely on the name alone to sell, if the off-brand is the same product, just repackaged? In the world’s current economic state, I’m beginning to think a name might not be enough anymore.

How does all this relate to online sales, you might ask? Well, online shoppers are just like offline — they want a solid product at the cheapest price without sacrificing quality. So, you need to prove to them that your product is worth their investment and is a better choice than your competitor’s product.

How to sell to a Comparison Shopper

Firstly, add a rating and review section on each product detail page. Seeing past customer feedback can change someone’s opinion rather quickly. Secondly, try adding an area for testimonials that you can administer. This way, if you get some astounding review from some well known sources, your credibility will be raised instantaneously. You can always style the testimonials to make them stand out as to catch user’s attention, too.

Go Forth and Sell

There you have it. The five main types of online shoppers and some tips to sell to each of them. With a bit of research, creating a user-based shopping experience isn’t very far out of your reach. As a result of your work, you will notice more customer interaction (ratings & reviews), more sales (due to trust from testimonials), and return customers (promo codes and referral leads). Why not take some time and spruce up your shopping experience? Your customers, and your wallet, will thank you!

Do you have any other personalities to add to this list? Be sure to share them in the comments below!

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Do you need SEO? http://webmentalit.co.uk/do-you-need-seo/ http://webmentalit.co.uk/do-you-need-seo/#comments Wed, 10 Mar 2010 21:52:01 +0000 admin http://webmentalit.co.uk/?p=113 If you run a website, one of the most obvious ways of blowing some of your marketing budget is on Search Engine Optimisation, but how do you know if it’s a service that will benefit your business? Is the money better spent on other methods of online or offline advertising and marketing? This is an interesting question which we will address in this month’s SEO article.

When considering search engine optimisation, you need to ask yourself a few questions which will help determine if it’s a viable return on investment:-

What do I want to achieve?
Take a look at your website, is it an e-commerce site or what is known as “brochureware”? Get a few quotes from SEO firms and then work out how many visitors / conversions you would need to justify the cost and get good value for money. For example, if you sell a very niche product such as a specific bolt that only fits a certain type of door, are people searching for your product? The more competitive the area you are in, the more you are likely to need search engine optimisation to drive traffic to your website from the major search engines.
Is my website ‘sticky?
‘Stickiness’ is the expression used by Internet marketeers to describe how appealing the content of your website is. Does it draw people in? Do they visit several pages in a single visit? You can spend all the money you want on SEO but if the website is not appealing in terms of content and presentation then you will get plenty of traffic, and they will just leave very quickly without converting into a sale or a call to action for further information. Make sure your website is sticky before considering promoting it via the search engines.
What is my monthly budget?
There are numerous SEO companies who will either focus in a niche field such as pay per click management, or handle all facets of SEO which would include PPC managementOrganic optimisation (the normal search results), and the link building which is an essential part of SEO today. These facets are modular in some much as you can get benefit from all 3 independently so consider whether you can afford the link building, the PPC’s and the organic optimisation. If you can’t then which one should you go for? PPC management is very quick to become active and provides total control over how your listings are presented to the users, the downside is that competitive phrases can be expensive ‘per click’ and it is a system that is open to abuse in the form of fraudulent clicks (people paid to click on your listing and waste your budget).

Organic optimisation is a very good long term investment, but can take a few months to begin to become effective. You also have a lack of control over how your website appears in the rankings and for what phrases. A good SEO firm will target realistic, accurate but searched upon phrases to generate you business, so when looking, be careful to make sure that the phrases being targeted are competitive “Kitchen Worktop installation in Kent” is a phrase that, while it may be relative to your business, doesn’t generate any searches. So make sure your SEO firm do their research and don’t take the easy option of gaining you high rankings for relevant phrases that no-one uses.

Inbound links can be useful on their own as a form of increasing your rankings, specifically for the phrase used in the anchor text on the link, so for example “No Win No Fee Solicitors” hyperlinked to your website from other websites will improve the ranking for that phrase with the engines, as they view your as an authority on the keyword used in the link.

Inbound linking in itself is a newsletter on its own, so just briefly for now bear in mind that this is one of the 3 areas of SEO that can consume your budget in no time.

The best to look at depends on factors such as time and cost, if you want customers in a hurry, then PPC is your best option, however never think that any of the these 3 is the be-all and end-all as you will be missing out on business if you select one but not another.

While there are some companies on the Internet who have built up a brand, the majority of shoppers still go where the deals are, so search engines represent an excellent place to be found for that browser who is looking for a DVD player for example, but want’s to compare prices between websites. SEO works best for companies selling B2C goods. After all, CEO’s are hardly likely to use Google to find the best provider of web hosting to multi-national’s for example are they? So if you offer a service or range of products to consumers then there is a very good chance that search engine optimisation will be highly beneficial in terms of driving new customers to your website.

Always bear in mind though that no matter how successful you become in having high search engine placements, that it’s not the holy grail of marketing, its merely a portion of it, so don’t go and blow all your money on this one area. Be careful, do some reading, and you will understand whether SEO is right for you, and how much to spend on it.

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10 Reasons to Have a Website http://webmentalit.co.uk/why-should-my-business-have-a-website/ http://webmentalit.co.uk/why-should-my-business-have-a-website/#comments Thu, 05 Nov 2009 22:34:47 +0000 admin http://webmentalit.co.uk/?p=21 Do you know that now at least 60% of UK companies have a Web presence? Your competitors may have already been in that sixty percent. If they have not had a website, chances are they may not be very happy to know that you have one!

1. Your website is your business card to the multitude of people who are online searching for the product or service you are offering.
2. After your customers finds your product or service, your website will allow them to contact you easily and quickly you via your channel of choice (email, phone or fax).
3. Your website is accessible to your current and future customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
4. A quality website adds credibility to your business (and badly designed website will hurt your credibility).
5. Your website allows you to introduce yourself to your customers in an image rich and descriptive way.
6. Your website allows business owners to reveal their personal side and or community activities engendering trust and loyalty in their customers.
7. In today’s business environment, businesses are expected to have an online presence. This expectation will only increase.
8. Your website is an extremely useful tool for answering your customers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
9. To enhance and extend all printed marking materials with a link to your website.
10. Your website is the cornerstone of any current or future online marketing campaigns.

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