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Posts Tagged ‘A/B testing’

Make Me A Clown Now! While You Are At It Teach Me What to Expect When I Start Selling Online Part 2

Friday, October 16th, 2009

This is the second part of the two part posting about starting to sell online. You can read the first part here.

Yes, you can be a clown and you can start selling online pretty quickly. You can even be a clown while you are selling online. The trick is to make sure you do not act like a clown when you get set up to start selling online. This post will cover some key items that every person who wants to take their business online needs to think about as they get going.

Test, Test, Test

It is painful, but you must be constantly testing changes to the website. The tests should not be wholesale changes, but should be controlled. So many people focus on getting the product line-up just right, or the purchase flows streamlined or the website to have the ideal color. The truth is you need to keep testing changes to your website. Nearly every component should be tested to see how visitors to your website interact with the website. Controlled testing is key. That is commonly known as A/B testing and here is a great summary of A/B testing. It basically means you show a change to the website to only 50% or so of the visitors and 50% of the visitors do not see the change. The analysis that is so valuable is what happens to the other 50% of visitors who see the changed website. Do they convert at a higher rate, do they stay on the website longer, do they click the new link that you added etc. This is the value of testing and more testing until you optimize the various areas of your site, but even then continued testing will help you as shoppers’ habits evolve.

Be Flexible

This may be the most important of all. To be a seller online, you need to be flexible. You may think that customers and shoppers will respond a certain way, but you need to be prepared to expect the unexpected. Inflexible folks just can not make it as merchants online.  Even better, if you are flexible and are addressing your customers needs that will create customer loyalty with your business.  Remember customers like to deal with businesses that listen to them and also take action on customer feedback. This flexibility can also lead to your customers being your best advocates through word of mouth recommendations about your business and products.  All of this from just listening to your customers and acting on their feedback!

These are just a few of the things to keep in mind. Do you have any lessons learned from your experience selling online that you want to share?

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