8 Ways to Increase Web Sales
In many respects, there’s no such thing as a stand-alone catalog company these days. The value of multiple channels, particularly the Internet, has been readily adopted by most catalogers. So the role of the catalog, while still critical, has changed. It no longer serves as the sole driver of sales, but now also acts as a vehicle to push sales to the Web. Jeff Haggin, president/CEO of the multichannel direct marketing agency Haggin Marketing, offers several tips on how best to convert this consumer traffic into sales when it gets to your site.
1. Limited-quantity specials. Let your customers know your site has deals they can’t find anywhere else, Haggin says. Make it hard for customers to resist with access to up-to-the-minute inventory, especially when given “exclusive access.”
2. Product demonstrations. While catalogs give a front view of your product, there’s more to it than that, Haggin says. Use a 360-degree photo tour or a video of your product in use.
3. Customer ratings. If customers rate and review products on your site, tell your catalog audience about it, Haggin advises. They can find out which products get the best reviews and give feedback on prior purchases.
4. Sourcing stories. Start a story (e.g., how your company’s green initiatives benefit the environment) in the catalog and tease the full version online, Haggin says.
5. Loyalty programs. Catalogs are a great place to encourage customers to visit your Web site to track points, redeem gifts, and get information on exclusive offers and events, Haggin notes.
6. Personalized URLs (PURLs). These Web pages are filled with merchandise based on the individual’s past purchase behavior. PURLs have proven to engage customers at a higher rate because of this level of personalization.
7. E-catalog. The e-catalog combines the page-flipping catalog experience with the click-and-buy e-commerce experience. It can also be used to incorporate multimedia to enhance the customer’s product consideration experience, Haggin says.