Close More Online Sales
For some reason, many marketers forget some of the most basic order-handling practices when taking orders via the Web. Similar to early disclosure of S&H fees, applicable order discounts should be calculated and shown to the customer as soon as possible.
And of course, when operating in the online space, it’s wise to take a tip from Amazon.com once in a while: Don’t miss the chance to cross-sell at the close of the sale.
Amy Africa of Creative Results in Williston, VT, suggests that catalogers upsell three items at the end of the order. “These items should be things that everyone needs and/or wants. Test related and unrelated items to see which ones work best.”
An order confirmation is another basic practice not to be neglected. Have your CSRs mention to customers that an e-mail confirmation will be coming their way, and if it’s not received, they can e-mail or call to be sure the order has been placed. “A good, speedy confirmation process makes up for a poor ordering process,” says Africa, who points to Crutchfield as one marketer doing a fine job with its order confirmations.
Another way to help close the sale is to identify product availability. This should come before the customer confirms his or her order. “Inventory counts,” says Africa. “Don’t make the user go through a whole order only to tell her at the very end that you don’t have the product.”
Office-supply merchant Staples (www.staples.com) offers inventory availability checks by ZIP code. The Staples site works with existing inventory management systems to determine product availability and delivery times for customers. Staples’ officials had to work out some bugs in the early stages to ensure customers understood the process. It seems that some customers originally thought Staples was implementing a way to capture demographic data.