How to win customers online and make them stay

Government e-commerce promoter UK online for business has produced a free guide for small businesses on how to optimise online sales and get their sites noticed.

UK online says that 75% of internet users don’t go beyond the second page of a search engine’s results and consequently businesses are losing out on a potential £57 billion of sales. The guide, called Top Tips for Selling Successfully Online,is aimed at reducing these statistics.

It answers some frequently asked questions about online retail and contains advice on attracting people to sites and improving search engine results.

Having an appropriate website name, offering mutual links with complementary sites and using key phrases that are likely to be searched for can all help with this.

Once the customer has reached the site, the guide has tips on “turning browsers into buyers,” avoiding “abandoned shopping carts,” showing customers “you care” and several other issues. A golden rule is to “keep it simple” with obvious and easy to follow links.

The guide also advises not hurrying customers into giving their details and allowing them to look around the site first.

Other considerations such as security, shipping and distribution are dealt with as well as how to cope with busy times. If you require any further information or advice there is a network of trained advisers available to help.

See also Business Technology section.

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