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Principles of Online Sales Success
Posted on June 26, 2009 by Cheyne Rood

What makes a great eCommerce website? Leaders in online selling generate impressive revenues every year - What is the secret to their success? Is it pricing? Ease of use? Cross selling? No, these are all merely effects of an underlying cause. Companies that drive new revenue streams and develop new customer relationships with their websites are successful because they commit to a comprehensive strategy. They understand that, out of the many factors, most important is the core function of eCommerce: Facilitating online sales.

In other words, successful companies make every element of their website and every step of the online selling process as easy and optimized as possible. The visual design is clean, professional, and straightforward. Customers know how to find the products they are looking for, gain the information they need to place an order, and easily understand the order process. A great eCommerce website meets its customer's needs, but there's a lot more to consider behind the scenes.

It is easy to ignore the administrative side, which is equally important. All too often, companies put a lot of effort into the customer experience without thinking about how to efficiently administer their eCommerce website. An effective website will organize orders, making it easy to handle purchases and notify customers about order status. Business is constantly changing, and it must be efficient to update inventory information, upload data sheets and images for your products, and change the featured products and information on your homepage.

The final, crucial element in the equation was the focus of last month's newsletter: Getting customers to your website in the first place. Since a great design is meaningless if there are no customers coming to use it, a solid search engine strategy is critical for success in online selling. There are a lot of marketing strategies available to begin funneling in prospective customers from search engines and listing sites, but a search engine-friendly website design is your foundation.

A company profits from its eCommerce website is because it commits to a comprehensive strategy. It understands that, like many things in business, success in online selling depends on a balance of many factors. Building the online branch of your business is becoming more and more important. Whether your company is venturing into online sales for the first time, or thinking about ways to enhance an existing sales website, think about these principles and whether the customer experience, administrative backend, and basic foundation of your website is doing its part to facilitate online sales.

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