However, in spite of that, many online businesses are still doing well. Online shopping was up over shopping in traditional retail stores (Cyber Monday was up 15% over the previous year).
People don’t stop searching the web just because times are bad, and the number of searches per person are on the rise, so there is still plenty of traffic to be had. Then it becomes the job of your website to convert that traffic.
What you need to know is that people tend to shop differently in a poor economy. They research more, they comparison shop more and they look for more value for the money they spend.
It’s true, individuals and businesses are trying to cut costs – but most people and businesses can’t stop buying. There are still supplies, inventory, services etc that we need – to function and to run our business. So when people go to purchase these products and services they are more likely to look for discounts/sales and to search and compare on multiple sites.
Now is the perfect time for websites to step up and provide potential customers with the information and incentives needed to get the sale. Do a marketing review of your website and make sure your site is compelling, informative and offers a great deal.
You should look at what special offers you can afford to make to entice people into doing business with you. You can also set a deadline on the special offer in hopes of getting people to just buy right then rather than comparison shopping.
If you know for sure you are cheaper than some competitors place your own price comparison chart on your site so they can compare you to others without leaving your site.
You may also want to consider revisiting your keyword phrases and add phrases that include words like: sale, discount, free shipping on, best price on, cheap, etc. People are more likely to search for products or services combined with these kind of phrases in hopes that they will quickly come across a great deal.
Create a marketing campaign with a special discount for people that have already ordered – offer them a discount for their repeat business. Remember everyone is looking for a good price right now, so reach out to them and show them what you have to offer.
Don’t forget Blogging. (By the way, If you don’t have a Blog get one up and running – it’s a great way to get more traffic into your site and to connect with your visitors.)
You can create your Blog posts around keyword phrases that are highly trafficked and bring in new traffic quickly (Blogs often get ranked very quickly these days.)
Another great idea is to become a resource for people on saving money in their industry – for example if you sell paint, you could offer a report that shows people how to get the most out of their paint can – show people just because times are tough it doesn’t mean they have to live with a room or even a whole house that needs work. Top off the special report with a coupon for that can of paint they need. You’ll help people, get new business and possibly even gain attention from the media. The media is so focused on reporting on the bad economy and they are constantly looking for new stories related to these hard times.
Being a great resource for people on saving money in a certain industry should garner some attention. The more creative you are with your money saving ideas the more exposure you will get out of it. You could also start a regular “column” in your newsletter or on your Blog that shares money saving tips for people.
The key is to get creative – know your customers (what are they afraid of, what are their needs, what can they do without during rough times and what do they absolutely still have to have) and then come up with a campaign that ends up helping them and you. A great win-win!
Jennifer Horowitz is the Director of Marketing for EcomBuffet.com. Since 1998 Jennifer’s expertise in marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has helped clients increase revenue. Jennifer has written a downloadable book on SEO and has been published in many SEO and marketing publications. Jennifer is the editor of the popular Spotlight on Success: SEO and Marketing newsletter. Follow Jennifer and stay current on SEO, marketing, social media and more. http://twitter.com/EcomBuffet