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Increasing web sales

Getting customers to buy over the web instead of calling.

   
4:15 pm on Aug 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Background:
Our company offers fairly specialized products, mostly in the B2B market. We started offering the ability to buy our products on line about 2 years ago and current web sales make up about 1.5% of total sales (with web orders being printed out and entered into the sales db manually).

Goals are to increase web sales to about 10% of total, as well as integrating the internet sales process with our phone/fax sales system.

Anybody have experience with working intenet sales into a system that has always been based on salespeople taking phone/fax orders?

What works for you to get customers to buy from your site rather than calling in?

dom

4:32 pm on Aug 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Give them an incentive. When I first started buying online, I preferred to call the 800 number. However, I remember a couple of sites offering free shipping for orders placed online. That got me right away, no phone call needed.
4:34 pm on Aug 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Hello domder, welcome to Webmaster World. You said...

> What works for you to get customers to buy from your site rather than calling in?

That is a tough one, especially when you are dealing with industries that typically do not use the web in their everyday communications.

One of the areas you should concentrate on are the internal staff. They need to be trained on getting the customer to the site and utilizing it to its fullest potential. I field hundreds of emails on a daily basis. Some of those are leads from our Corporate website asking for printed catalogs and/or samples. We know a good portion of those are just lookey loos or possibly even competitors checking us out.

I will normally send them a personal response directing them to our online catalogs and explaining to them that we no longer send out printed versions. Why? Because the printed versions are dated the moment we even think about printing one! Our online catalogs are updated daily and reflect the latest products, services and pricing available.

Another successful method we've used is to offer a discount for orders placed online. We've had promotions where we offer 10% off of a particular popular product and that it must be ordered through the website to acquire the 10% discount. This gives the consumer incentive to utilize the site and also opens their eyes to why they've been calling in orders all this time. The website ordering process is a little more streamlined than the over the phone scenario.

The next time a consumer calls and wants to place an order, let them know that you'll take 5-10% off of their order if they would allow you to take them through the steps of ordering online. This is an effective strategy and one that I train my clients to do. Its worked time and time again!

6:13 pm on Aug 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Thanks for the help. :)
There's definately some good ideas there for me to work with.

dom

6:58 am on Aug 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Try to add live sales / support on your site since you got the staff there already.

[edited by: TallTroll at 8:32 am (utc) on Aug. 2, 2002]
[edit reason] no URLs please [/edit]

6:00 am on Aug 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Make sure you've got adequate support and infrastructure in place before you start trying to encourage online sales - you don't want to suggest that your existing customers start purchasing online (particularly by offering them incentives - which is a great idea!) and give them a BAD experience. Once bitten, twenty-seven times shy - especially if they could potentially by losing money/business/time. The secret to success in e-commerce is certainly to offer your customers a good experience EVERY time.
2:32 am on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator skibum is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Make sure the incentives of the sales staff that currently take care of the orders/selling are setup to encourage them to encourage cusomters to go online (or at lest not to discourage it).
12:45 pm on Aug 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Make sure the incentives of the sales staff that currently take care of the orders/selling are setup to encourage them to encourage cusomters to go online (or at lest not to discourage it).

That's a great point. We will have to make sure everyone here is on the same page for successful changes to happen.