Internet Marketing – A Virtual Store

Internet marketing is the equivalent of having a store to sell your product or service, except it is online. The challenges with having an online presence are the same as if you had a brick and mortar establishment: Build rapport with the customer, explain the benefits of your product or service, and plant the desire to buy your product or service; retain them as loyal customers. Add to that, provide great customer service, and offer rewards for their business, such as coupons or member perks. With a great internet-marketing plan, you can win customers and increase sales, and gain a regular following.

The first thing to do is to get probable customers to your virtual business. Using search engine optimization, pay per clicks, ads, and email marketing will bring them there. When the public visits your site, it’s up to you to keep them there. How? By having an effective sales and benefits message and by demonstrating how your product or service fills their needs. Design your site to showcase products or services in ways that appeal so that potential customers can picture you as the solution to whatever brought them to your site, to begin with.

In internet marketing, you don’t have a greeter standing by your door. You don’t have a real person building rapport with the customers, so the next best thing is to make your site so user-friendly and welcoming, that the visitor trusts you and what service or product you are selling.

Have you ever walked into a store and known immediately that it wasn’t for you? It may have been the employee’s attitude or the darkness of the store, or the product displays, or the cleanliness, but whatever the reason, you wanted out fast. Well, websites make the same impressions, so be sure that your website is easy to use, welcoming looks credible and professional, and has contact info prominently displayed. Don’t make it hard for someone to reach you.

Best practices always mean adding something extra for the customer, like a pleasant surprise. Follow up purchases with a confirmation, add customer friendly guarantees and return policies, and even free shipping. Keep the customer’s trust and you’ll broaden your customer base.