Our Blog

24 Aug 2010

Don’t Just Be an E-Store Be a Resource

So you have an e-commerce site and you sell stuff online.  Great, people go to your site and buy products or services.  Does your relationship with your customers have to end there?  Growing SproutCertainly not.  If your site boasts entertaining, trendy and helpful information, they will keep coming back for more.  Maybe they will also tell all their friends and family how fun and useful your site is.  Now you’re cookin’!

Organic gardening and organic traffic are hot topics right now.  We hear about gardens popping up all over the place, including the White House, and how important it is that they are free of chemicals; in other words, organic.  Traffic to your site that is organic is a good thing as this traffic comes to you from search engines because of the great information, okay—content, you provide on your site.

Cultivation

You could think of your visitors as seeds that end up on your site, or your garden.  You can leave the seeds there to fend for themselves, or you can cultivate them.  Let’s say you choose the latter.  There are a few things that these seeds need in order to germinate and grow into plants, err, customers, and repeat visitors.

Water

H20 is a necessity for those little seeds (visitors).  In order for a visitor to become a customer, your site needs to have detailed product or service descriptions.  In relationship to a brick and mortar store, your site is at a disadvantage because your products can’t be handled or tried on.  A visitor needs to get a good overall feel for a product through enticing product descriptions that include all pertinent information such as color, size, function and features.

Sunshine

Plants need sunshine to grow and stay alive through the photosynthesis process.  Visitors could use a dose of humor and entertainment for the nonbouncesynthesis process.  In other words, keep visitors on your site with relevant trivia, quotes, funny videos, silly stories, games, amazing photos, contests, jokes, spoofs and cartoons.  You could even do something highly unique and trendy like Barney’s New York by formatting their website to be seen in 3D and even offering up the 3D glasses.  This kind of content not only makes your visitors giggle, but it serves to humanize your company.  Just make sure it’s presented tastefully and will not offend.

Fertilizer

In order for plants to really flourish, they need some fertilizer.  For your visitors, this means resources.  Wouldn’t it be great if your visitors thought of your site as an encyclopedia of relevant niche information?  They would bookmark it and keep coming back with excitement to see what you’ve posted next.  This means spending some time on web content development and most certainly implementing a blog and keeping it active.  Here are some resource ideas to get you started (they should be relevant to your niche or industry):

  • Answers or solutions to common problems
  • Current trends or events (highlighting upcoming local/community events is great)
  • Product reviews
  • Success stories
  • Interviews (with customers, industry leaders or your staff)
  • User guides and how-to/tutorials (downloadable or video)
  • Lists (most popular, best, worst, ways to, outside resources)
  • Side subjects (if you sell culinary type items, provide recipes)
  • Histories or “behind the scenes”
  • Share statistics (infographics are sizzling right now)
  • Best practices
  • Finished projects with pictures (if you sell jewelry supplies, show a completed necklace with a listing of the products used; have customers send in photos of projects they’ve made or outfits they’ve put together, etc.)
  • In the news (items that have been featured in the news recently)
  • Upcoming products or services (sneak preview of good things to come)
  • Forum (provide a place for your visitors/clients to ask questions and share information)

You know you’ve always wanted to do some gardening; there’s a little green thumb in all of us.  So, go put on your overalls, grab a rake and get to it!  Cultivate some organic traffic by being a great resource.

2 Comments

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  • Jc Karwoski Jan 07, 2011

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