I don’t recommend this be your ONLY point of sale – but it can be a lucrative point of sell if handled correctly.
The biggest challenge, after driving people TO your site, is to close the sale. Statistics show that 68% of shoppers leave a site without making a purchase. That’s not so good! Why?
The largest number surveyed by the Baymard Institute (58%) indicated that they were so turned off by unexpected costs that they refused to buy at that site. And, they indicated they would never go back. Other reasons people indicated were factors in leaving their purchases behind, included priced too high, website too complex, or concerns with the payment security.
So, keeping these “categories” in mind – get your readers and keep them! According to Penny Sansevieri of Author Marketing Experts, the following details are among those that matter most to your readers:
Overall look of the site – professional sites fuel trust. Nobody wants to buy from a site that looks – and acts – sketchy. Don’t require your reader to sign up or sign in. If you are selling books and merchandise, set up a “Store” so they can browse.
Include reviews or testimonials – always a good way to build trust and relationship, which will translate into readers buying your books, a good deal of the time.
Shipping and handling – If you can, offer free shipping for a certain number of books purchased, or promote Free Shipping Friday or something that doesn’t break you, but shows customers you value their business.
Free giveaways, newsletters or coupons – Some studies have shown that customers will have to visit more than once to make a purchase. It’s all about the getting to know you, trusting and liking you factors. So, why not give readers a reason to return? Maybe a free short story? A coupon offering a 5-10% discount on their first purchase? Or, maybe you have a dynamite newsletter and they can sign up for that!
Offer a deal – since buyers can get their books on Amazon, why should they shop with you? Okay, on Friday’s you ship free – that’s cool. But is there something else you can do? Can you offer a two-book deal? Maybe one is a print version and the other is a PDF. Offer your books with an autograph and a cool bookmark. Or,
Safe and easy checkout – Include a professional, secure merchant site which will include a security certificate, an easy way to put things in their “cart” and to check out. Use of PayPal these days keeps costs down, offers top-of-the-line security, and no longer requires payee to have a PayPal account. Shopper conversions are very high with PayPal merchant accounts.
You’re in business, now! In today’s fast-paced world, we all want safe, easy and a great deal! Offer that in your “store” and you’ll enjoy increased sales through your website!
Resources: Author Marketing Experts. See entire article: http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=14aa1ed268746f2f95111e155&id=f12e5ae381&e=02c271573d
Internet Retailer: http://www.internetretailer.com/2012/02/27/e-retail-spending-increase-45-2016
Baymard Institute: http://baymard.com/checkout-usability
Keep reading and writing! Nancy Q.