Getting a customer to visit a website is hard! Most merchants who have stand alone stores spend small fortunes on Google Pay Per Click ads and hours of time building links and SEO to grab traffic.
Even harder is getting them to linger long enough to learn more about the store. Most users click through sites like they are channel surfing on TV.
How do we get them to stop?
Big companies do it with ‘personalization.’ They engage customers by using product relevant recommendations on page (think: customers who bought this item also bought XYZ) and they use product ratings and reviews. Once implemented on a site these tools can greatly increase site stickiness and improve conversion. The problem is that these software add-ons are costly to the small business owner. Combine the two add-ons and you can expect to budget at least $3,000 a month to implement. (If someone knows a less expensive solution, please email me and I’ll post it).
Of course it costs money to make money, and we should never lose sight of that fact.
But…. it might not be practical to jump in right away. That’s my dilemma. I’ve been setting up a Vendio store front (Vendio is offering an amazing shopping cart solution – for FREE). However, with free comes a price – LOL- not every bell and whistle is available. One missing add-on is a reviews feature. With Photobagstogo.com I want to keep my budget modest, but still try and engage my users. So, I thought why don’t I create my own review form?
My form making abilities begin and end with figuring out how to do a Google Search for help. And I found the perfect (free) solution. The company is called WuFoo and they can be found at www.wufoo.com. WuFoo offers two free forms as a trial before you must subscribe to the service. Perfect for my budget! I set up the customer review form – then cut and pasted the code into the appropriate spot in the Vendio storefront template. Once the reviewer completes the form, the submission will be sent to me, and I can then go into the description and update it with the review.
You can take a look at it in action my looking at one of my products in my store at: photobagstogo.com
Of course, there’s a drawback – my time (think, sweat equity) – and, my biggest hope is that I get so many submissions that I have to hire someone to help me…. or, upgrade to a store that will support the add-on. Right now my concern is the lack of Captcha – the anti-spam coding that makes us all so crazy when we fill out forms. But, if I get tons of spam junk, I’ll add one.
That’s my tip: It’s two fold – keep visitors engaged by using reviews plus product recommendations. If you need a form, try Wufoo – it’s super simple. Make the form, cut and paste it and your done.
Up coming events as we roll into the end of September:
One – I’m off to try my new Droid scanning application out (my first phone didn’t survive the new Droid operating system upgrade). Once I do – Chris Madison and I are going to do a free Podcast on PocketProfit for Smart Phones. Watch for details.
Two– -Speaking of Podcasts – a very dear friend and treasure hunter is going to join me for a fun broadcast. Brian has a passion for thrift, second hand or charity stores and has been very happily selling his finds (the ones he can part with – LOL) on Craigslist. I’m dubbing him the ‘King of Craigslist‘ and he’s going to talk about what he looks for when he’s out scouting. Watch for details.
Three – We are officially launching our Web Sellers’ Circle series on How to Create, Produce and Sell Information Products starting the first week of October. This six week course will meet every Tuesday night from 5:00 – 6:30 Pacific Time from Oct 5th to Nov 9th. This is an exclusive series offered only to WSC members. They can join it live or watch the replays later. If this has been an interest of yours – now is the time to join The Web Sellers’ Circle. We offer monthly subscriptions of $27.95 a month or a Super Saver yearly rate of $125.00, you can afford that!
More In October:
The second annual eBay sellers Breast Cancer Charity Event happens in Oct. It’s called Bling My Bra and we invite everyone to come join the fun. To keep up to date please go to: http://www.facebook.com/BlingMyBra and ‘like’ the page or sign up for the newsletter. This will be lots of fun!
I’m a little traveled out this year – but I’d still love to make it to the Mobile Commerce Forum 2010. It’s happening in Chicago October 11-13th. The growth in mobile commerce this year has been amazing – kind of reminds me of those crazy growth days of eBay just a few short years ago. Is anyone going to this event? If not, does anyone want to sponsor me or send me as their representative? Mobile is quickly becoming an essential tool in ecommerce kit – and we all need to hear what’s coming down the line.
That’s it for this week.