Website Tips: Make E-Commerce Work for You
Originally found on: http://www.pctonline.com/article/website-tips-make-ecommerce-work/
Here are some of the important areas to consider as you build e-commerce capabilities into your site:
1. Establish trust. Cybersecurity is such a widespread concern that you need to provide visual cues to potential customers to reassure them your site is safe. “Include your credentials as an NPMA member or a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business, for example, and share client reviews to let site visitors know your reputation is solid,” says Rice. “Also make sure you have the security lock icon in the address bar at the point of checkout.” Many e-commerce sites also include trust seals, or trust badges, such as McAfee® Secure or GeoTrust® Secured Website, on payment pages to instill confidence in the buyer.
2. Decide which service offerings you want to offer, and at what price points. This might be the toughest part of setting up your online buying function, since traditional industry protocol would have your technician go out and estimate a job in person. But resources like Google Maps and Zillow offer electronic tools to help your system compute realistic estimates based on the size and location of the customer’s property and home.
“The higher the price for your service, the harder it may be to sell online,” advises Rice. “We’ve found that offering a discounted first service call or a low monthly service rate spurs more sales than, say, a high-ticket annual service package.” Rice also recommends including a disclaimer that the online estimate may be adjusted once the technician does an onsite evaluation of the size and severity of the infestation.
3. Be strategic about online scheduling and payment. A variety of online scheduling tools are available to help you make scheduling easy for customers. Rice shares, “We work closely with our clients in this area. Sometimes we can integrate online scheduling with their existing CRM software; in other cases, we choose an online calendar system. It’s important to make sure that your scheduling function takes into account not only time but also routing considerations.”
4. Payment options are an important consideration as well. Some companies offer traditional credit card choices; others offer PayPal as a convenient option for customers who would prefer not to enter their credit card information.
5. Close the deal. The easier your site is to use, and the more complete the information you offer, the more likely you are to get the customer to schedule and pay for your service. You should also place the button for buying services on every page, so that it’s convenient to order services at any point in the customer’s visit.
Build in “abandon cart” data capture. “If you capture visitors’ names and email addresses early in their website visit, then you have a means for reaching out to them if they don’t complete the transaction,” says Rice. “Many companies offer an incentive — $10 off if you schedule today, for example — to encourage customers to buy.”