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Online Business Etiquette

business agreementDo your online “handshake” by answering your email well and carefully speaking on social media. Your manner can affect people’s perception of you. Learning the technical side of your business is not enough, but knowing how to deal with people can create a long term relationships with your clients.

To help you more on your online etiquette here are some rules to follow:

  • Be neutral. It is wise to be unbiased when communicating with another person. Do not be sarcastic, aggressive, make innuendos, and most of all, never try to be funny. These tactics could lead to escalation or even misinterpretation.
  • Pay attention to your grammar and punctuation when texting, posting, emailing, or blogging. Write complete sentences and use words that are real and credible. Do not use emoticons. That is good for social media but not in business virtual communication.
  • Do not use social media as a space to write an essay. Post brief messages. Do not use emoticons, shorthand, or other web-friendly irritants that will make you less professional. Also make sure you are familiar with the operational rules before using these tools. Practice self-control at all times. Incorporate important details in your business profile which includes contact information and company news.
  • In all your online dealings, consider the receiver. Know that another person is on the other side. Be civil; show your character but make sure that you are honest.
  • Think about your identifiers for yourself. Choose a professional user name. Never try to be cutesy. It is better if you use your business name as your user name. It is wise to have an email address that has your own domain name.
  • When a conversation needs clarification, it is time to use the phone. Too much text messages may create confusion. Should you need to email, be respectful by making it simple and easy to read. You can use the important information first and then use short paragraphs. The use of bullets can likewise make it look short but organize.
  • When you need to video call your client, do not allow yourself to be distracted. Turn off everything like your phone or your email. Pay attention to your client and look at the face not just the screen. Be interested in what your client is saying or what the client is asking. Be present at all times.
  • Email messages should not be lengthy. Be concise. Again, check your grammar and punctuation carefully. Your salutation should be polite using proper titles such as Mr. or General unless, of course, you are now in the first-name basis. Stay professional and never send chain letters, forwards, and jokes. If you need to send a large file, ask permission and cross-check the software compatibility.
  • Never use negative marketing to showcase your competitor’s shortcomings. Consumers know that you are using the tactics to bash your competitor. Besides, consumers can research online and know if it is true or not. Focus on how your product can meet the needs of the consumers.

More Effective Strategies to Gain Conversions

Sales and Conversions

Tips on gaining more customers.


Online shoppers are very choosy and fickle. They cannot decide what to buy at times and you have to guide them on what they could purchase. These tips will help you on gaining their attention and making them click that add to cart button.

    • Keep it clean.
      White space is a good thing. Do not cause a mess on the homepage. You must learn how to keep the homepage minimal. Like what I mentioned on the previous post, the goal is to show less products so that the customers can have more focus on what to buy. Avoid having too many moving images on the homepage. Remove all the unnecessary details and unrelated products. Always go for a simple, yet professional design. It will definitely help you in gaining your customers’ trust.
    • Only show what is needed.
      Do not show irrelevant details that will not interest the customers. You only need to show the main features of the product. Indicating the technical specifications the beside product is not required. Utilize call-to-action buttons like “Read more…” links throughout the website. CTA buttons are really helpful in organizing the website and know that they are not only limited to the “buy now”, or the “shop now” buttons.
    • Guide your customers.
      Your website should have a certain structure so that they can easily scan the page. It should not be a crowd of different unrelated products and scattered descriptions. There should be a flow on where they need to focus their attention. You can use arrows to point a important video presentation or point out purchase link. Keep the flow going and always suggest where to go next. Avoid a dead end on any web page. Make sure a page leads to somewhere with more beneficial information.
    • Follow the Gutenberg Rule.
      The Gutenberg Rule describes the reading activity of most people. Reading starts from left to right and top to bottom. People usually look at top left first and end at the bottom right. This is why in most websites, the buttons that will redirect to another page usually are placed on the bottom right and the highlighted products usually are in the top portion of the page.
    • Prepare your customers for their next purchase.
      If you have managed to made a sale and the customers are satisfied with their purchase, use this time as an opportunity to present enticing offers to your customers. You can give out discount coupons for their next purchase, suggest special offers that might spark their interest, or even offer a free shipping on the next order. Once they bought a product, they will more likely to purchase more. Use the “Thank you” page to advertise other products.

 

Whatever tips and strategies you might decide to apply, please remember to never comprise the quality of your service. Great customer service is the best tool to gain conversions. Word of mouth is the best form of marketing. Do not underestimate the power of online reviews and testimonials because it will surely help you gain more customers.

Strategies to Gain More Conversions

Charts, Graphs, Conversions

How to gain more customers?

Numerous businesses have adapted the concept of e-commerce over the years. It is evident in the rise of various online stores that are manufactured to sell. However, a good-looking website helps, but it is not everything. You can use these tips to help your business gain more customers and eventually, increase sales.

    • Prevent Choice Paralysis.
      What is Choice Paralysis to begin with? It happens when there is just TOO many choices presented. It is great to present customers unlimited options, but too much might confuse them. To avoid Choice Paralysis, you must give suggestions to what to buy, provide buying guides, highlight bestsellers. For example, let us take a look at bookdepository.com. On its homepage, it gave a suggestion to browse new releases. If you do not want to buy those, the bestselling books are indicated just below it. They also compiled a list like: best books ever, best children’s books, best cookbooks, and so on. All the books are not on the homepage. It is important to present less products so that the customers can have more focus.

 

    • Provide a Preview of the Product.
      Like in most physical stores, customers want to see what they are buying. Same is true with online stores. You must show the product. How? Provide pictures and not only that, customers should have the option to zoom in for better viewing. If you are selling books, provide the final book cover, dimensions of the book, and other details that will help the customer. If you are selling shirts, pictures of the shirts in several colors should be available. Sizing charts also come in handy so that the customers can easily compare the different sizes. People buy based on what the a certain product looks like. Of course, they would not buy an overripe tomato, or a dented can of sardines.

 

    • Allow Customers to Try the Product.
      When you go to a grocery store, they would give out a free taste of the different products they have. Even online, it’s also important to let the customers try the product. Software companies nowadays provide a free version of their programs. You do not have to necessarily buy these products to be able to use them. If you like it very much, you can choose to upgrade. This is a great strategy because when customers like your product and it is great, they will depend on it. When they depend on it, they will most likely avail of the premium version of the product. Do not let your customers imagine on what the product will be like. Instead, let them try the product and sooner or later, you will win customers.

 

    • Generate a Desire for the Product.
      It is essential to grab the attention of the potential buyers. Once you have it, gain their interest by how these products are beneficial to them, how these products are different from the rest. If they are already interested, create desire for your products. They will act on that desire because they know by now how beneficial the products are. If they are still having second thoughts, you can develop a sense of urgency like a limited time offer of 15%, or an offer of free shipping on the all orders placed within 24 hours.

 

Five Ways to Make your Website more Functional

computer, searching, buying

online shopping

Websites have been a great tool for sales and marketing. Now, people prefer to shop online than go to an actual retail store. They search for directions and contact numbers online before they actually decide to drive for miles just for one product that they have been anticipating for a long time. If you are business owner, this list will give you an idea on how to make your website beneficial and useful to your target audience.

 

  1. Have clear Call-to-Action buttons.
    What are these CTA buttons? These are the “Shop Now”, “Buy Now” buttons customers can click to access your available products online or they can be “Contact Us Now!” sign wherein you added your business’ phone number or email address. Give those important details and make sure they are within reach. Do not make customers click several pages just to get answers.
    Having an FAQ page also helps. You can list all the frequently asked questions in one area and give it a concise answer. Adding fluff and flowery words will not help. These are your action items. You want these items to help your customers and hopefully, they will end up buying something from your store.

 

  1. Do Not Require to Sign Up.
    Websites these days have an option to “Shop as Guest”. Registering before you can buy online is not necessary. If you require customers to sign up, you just made a stumbling block for potential sales. Impulsive buyers will change their minds if the buying process is tedious. Let your customers shop with ease and with less textboxes to fill.

 

  1. Provide Guides.
    You have now a “Buy Now” and customers can shop as guest. The next tip is to educate your customers. Provide tutorials on how to shop smoothly. Help them on how to achieve the product’s fullest potential. For example, if you are selling beauty products, you can include make up tutorials perhaps. You can also provide style guides if you are selling dresses. Give out visual guides on outfits for various seasons. Whatever your business might be, set a page for customers to learn.

 

  1. Simplify your Site Design.
    I have always said this in my previous posts, too. You do not have to choose a colorful design. Embrace the white space so customers can see your products clearly. Allow them to click on images for better viewing experience. Keep the design simple. However, you can make your CTA buttons vibrant. You make these buttons stand out. Make customers want to click that “Shop Now” button. Do not focus on the design; focus on the buttons.

 

  1. Make sure your links work and make sure customers know that these are links.
    Check all your buttons. It would be a shame if someone decides to buy and then, your “Shop Now” button did not work. Verify that these important links get redirected to the correct path. You would not want to see an HTTP 404 or the page not found notification.
    If the customers are searching for a particular item, make sure that these links are visible and that they know it is a link. These links will help them get to a product that they want. If you want to find out if your website has 404 errors, check this out. (I hope I made that link identifiable or else, I failed at following my tip. In case you missed it, this website will help you catch 404s!)

Starting a small business online? Make these investments!

online business

planning an online business

If you are turning a business into something that is accessible to anyone around the world, there are certain things you need to deal with. Time to say goodbye to brick and mortar, and say hello to the world of online stores. What are things needed? The checklist includes: a website design, domain name, good host, and creative photos.

Let us start with the website design. The theme of your website should be simple yet professional looking. Like a house, you need to choose the color palette that suits your needs. The key here is not to get the colorful one, but to get the light and fast design. It has to be responsive in all platforms, whether it will be browsed on a desktop computer or a mobile phone. It is important to consider your mobile viewers. People are always on the go. Here at Phoenix Website Design, we cater to both large and small business. If you are working on a budget, we have various design packages that will be perfect for you.

Next is you have to have a domain name. The name should be, of course, relevant to the content of your website. It also has to be unique. Add your own flavor so your website will stand out from similar online stores. It is going to be your identity so you need to make sure people will recall it. Keep the name simple and short as possible. Remember, no one likes a very long and complicated address. People might not find your website.

A good host means reliable host. If the domain name is your address, the host is your house. If your house constantly has outages, a sparkling address is useless. Ask yourself these questions. Will my website be guaranteed to be running 24/7? If the host cannot provide you good uptime scores, consider other options. Cheap rates are not always tantamount to good hosting. Your business is online now. Your customers are from different parts of the world. You have to be always open for business. Will my website handle numerous orders simultaneously? Make sure your website never goes down despite heavy traffic. For now, you are still starting. Check if hosting is flexible for future plans of expansion. Will my website load quickly? The customers’ time is limited so speed is ultimately important. Go for a host that loads content fast wherever the customer might be.

Lastly, unleash your creativity! Go get your point-and-shoot camera. Upload images with your posts and social media updates. Learn to use photo editing softwares. An expensive program and a DSLR camera are not necessary. You just need a basic photo editor that allows you to add text, resize, and trim your photos. (I have discussed the importance of compressing images here.) If you feel like you do not have the photography skills, do not fret. You can always find stock photos online. You can purchase artistic images for your website. In case you are wondering where to get FREE photos, I have compiled a list here.