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8 Tips and Tricks Small Business Owners Need to Know

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This is a guest post by Narine Karapetyan. If you’d like to contribute to our blog, feel free to get in touch with us.

tips-and-tricks-for-small-business-ownersSome fifteen years ago online business wasn’t that developed and in order to buy something you had to go out of the house. Having nothing against the traditional shops and valuing their advantages, let’s focus more on the benefits of online purchases or combining offline marketing strategies with those of the online marketing. Surely, in today’s world traditional and online marketing techniques don’t exclude, but fulfill each other. So, as an online shopper, try to combine both of them to ensure your online selling process serves its purpose to the best possible extent. If your purpose is to develop and expand your business through building customer engagement, then let’s scrutinize some points of importance to be considered to achieve this goal.

Firstly, let’s address issues in relation to website structure. There are a few features to make a marketing-friendly website serving as an incentive for your visitors to convert.

#1 Describe your Products in Detail

Probably, the only disadvantage of buying online is that you don’t really see the goods. Instead, you see the picture of them, but usually, when you receive the ordered item, it turns out to be somewhat different from what you saw. There is also another case when a product isn’t described in full, some points are missing and buyers can’t have an idea that something of importance to them isn’t included. That’s why it is important to provide product descriptions as thoroughly as possible.

#2 Have a Punctual Shipping and Return Policy

To provide quality shipping services, any small business should target its local audience. Determine how far you are able to deliver your goods so as to serve customers at your best. An important aspect in relation to shipping is being honest. Accordingly, when you say that the item will be delivered the next day, be kind to conform to the specified date. If you are up to your ears in work, be honest to specify the time you will be sure to deliver the product. Also, it will be great if you could afford not to suppress your purchasers by too high shipping prices. Don’t let your customers find any disadvantage in buying online. Essentially, take care to mention about your quality shipping services on your web store.

Even in traditional shops, a buyer has the right to return a product during a 14-day-period if they have discovered some shortcomings they weren’t informed about during the purchase and if they haven’t already used the product. These conditions may vary according to different legislations but the general rule is that returns must be accepted! So, the statement “Returns are not accepted” is illegal. Also, don’t forget to mention on your website about the pliable return policy you offer to your customers.

#3 Use Strategies to Excite a Feeling of Urgency

  • Psychology of bidding or winner psychology

When you provide a bidding option to sell your products, you attract a lot more customers by “playing” on people’s emotions. Participating in auctions and winning is attractive to many people because firstly, it evokes excitement to win and secondly, it gives rise to a sense of urgency. Knowing that the offer will expire soon and another buyer will avail of it by defeating you in an auction makes you feel competitive. Anyway, you do not want to allow another person to outperform you in setting up prices ready to pay. The more superior and generous a buyer wants to be, the more he or she will be ready to spend.

  • Using a countdown popup

Another option to inspire a sense of urgency is using a countdown popup – a small and compact window that appears on your website or on a specific product of your website. What you need to include in your popup is a deadline for your offer so as the visitors of your online store hurry up to avail of it. The hours, minutes and seconds on the popup keep decreasing, and finally, zeros are shown when the offer ends.

countdown-timer

  • Giving a gift card mentioning a date of expiry

Through email marketing and social media marketing strategies, you can offer your customers gift cards on special occasions like birthdays, life events, state holidays, or your company events. There are a number of advantages of this method over the discounting of prices. To support this further, being offered a discount may not be so persuasive as compared to giving a card as a present with an expiry date. Having some amount of money on their cards subject to spending at your store and being given the deadline for the offer to expire will be an incentive and encouragement for clients to make a purchase before the specified date.

  • Today’s or this week’s offers

Include a section for discounted offers with a certain expiry time. If you include this section, most of the visitors will visit it and great is the possibility that they will buy something if you make really valuable offers at discounted prices. Also, keep your word so that the offer expires the next day if the section was labeled as “Today’s offers” so that customers have a feeling of urgency and do not rely on the hope that the offer may continue.

#4 Have a Blog Page on Your Website

By making engaging posts and providing useful info on your product, you make your website visible in search. But for this purpose, you also need to add a relevant category and tags to your post so that it is found and sorted, to improve the user experience. Also, do keyword research, as it is also important for running successful SEO campaigns. Use free keyword research tools to find out what keywords are the most demanded ones. In addition, keep in mind that the more relevant your content is to your anchor text (clickable text in a hyperlink) keywords, the better will be your chances to occupy high-ranking pages in a google search.

keyword-research-page

#5 Use a Live Chat Service and Serve Politely on the Phone

To enjoy a better customer support experience choose a live chat service to greet visitors with a small window at the bottom of your page. This helps to keep visitors engaged and assists them in making correct purchasing decisions. For this purpose, train your agents to get familiarized with your products. Also, don’t forget to provide high-quality service on the phone. As research shows, older people still prefer being consulted over the phone.

live-chat-statistics

Infographic source (sujanpatel.com/marketing/growth-hacking-live-chat/)

Apart from website structure, apply strategies that will help you inform people of your business to make your website visible.

#6 Get Involved in a Directory

Directories collect databases of organizations operating in different spheres. These companies provide information on different organizations serving both over the phone and maintaining and updating the lists on their websites. So, specify the most famous local directory and get involved there so that your potential clients can find you better.

#7 Place “Refer a Friend” Section on Your Online Store

It is well known that people tend to trust their friends a lot. That’s why placing a “Refer a Friend” section on your e-store is super effective. How is it done? If one of your customers refers your service to a friend, encourage this customer by offering him a discount. In turn, your customer’s friend will receive a discount too. So, as you can see, all of the three parties are pleased and happy. Your customers can refer your page to their friends using different networks such as Twitter, Facebook or else, they can send your website link to their friends in any other possible way – via messenger, sending an SMS, or just informing orally.

refer-a-friend

#8 Get Involved in an Affiliate Marketing Program

When involved in an affiliate program, you get a chance to represent your website and display your services or goods on an affiliate website. In case customers come from an affiliate website to your own website and make a conversion, you will be responsible to give the affiliate website owner a commission. To get a better idea of what you earn by becoming an affiliate merchant, have a look at the following screenshot.

affiliate-merchant

To recap, there are numerous tricks used by other businesspersons and many articles written on this topic. What you need to do is to research and find strategies more suitable to your business. Thus, always look for techniques used by other businesses but remember that you yourself should determine which strategies will work better for your business. Similarly, when you use social media strategies to spread the word about your product or services, opt for those platforms where you have the most user engagement. You are the owner of your business and surely, you know what will benefit it at its best. So, be confident to make research and integrate appropriate solutions.

Author Bio:

My name is Narine. I am fond of listening to music, reading and sports. I love riding a bicycle and I have recently launched my own website where I give bicycles for rent, organize biking tours throughout Armenia, have a special offer of a guide to introduce to the places of Interest of our country. As to my other job, I love blogging and writing poems. It’s a great pleasure for me to share my knowledge and be helpful to newbies.

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