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How to Attract Customers Online

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Online spending is growing rapidly in the UK. E-commerce in 2009 will be worth over £20bn workshifting-laptop.jpgand, experts say, by 2013, online spending will make up for 10% of total retail sales. If you have a product to sell, you’re in a good position, but how to attract customers to buy?  Today I’ll share some of the tips that I’ve seen be the most successful.

1. Make offers

Offer to write content and guest posts for blogs and sites where you know your customers are hanging out. Offer discounts to member groups and communities and offer links to other important sites, in exchange for them linking back to you. The more inbound and outbound links, the higher you’ll appear in the search results.

2. Make some noise

Why not carry out a poll on your site using a service like Survey Monkey and use the results as the basis for a press release. Another tactic that will have you mentioned in the media is celebrity endorsement. This is what Lyndsey Young has done with her product, Count On It, which has received glowing testimonials from the likes of Amanda Holden and Janey Lee Grace, to profitable effect.   

3. Make the most of social media

 

Have as many sites driving traffic to yours as possible. And this is possible by making the most of social media and creating communities on Facebook and Twitter.  Facebook has become the top social network with over 200 million users and growing at approximately 700,000 new users per day.  Twitter is one of the fastest growing and most popular, receiving a lot of traditional media coverage.  Therefore, both of these networks, as well as many others, are important to have a presence on.A number of online businesses we profile have their own site as well as a presence on a trading platform such as eBay, BT Tradespace or, for the arts and crafts sector sites such at Etsy, Folksy and MyEhive.  Review sites such as The Good Web Guide are also useful for bringing attention to your online store. 

4. Make friends with your customers so they keep coming back

Have your existing customers return by keeping in touch with them and connecting customers to each other. Again, this is where cost-effective technology tools play their part; why not introduce an e-newsletter to your site using a service such as Mail Chimp or add a community feature such as that available from Web Jam - you can go as far as inviting customers to meet each other ‘virtually’ face-to-face by adopting Tiny Chat.
What other tips do you have for helping to attract customers online?
Photo by: ajleon

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