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4 Reasons Why People Buy Online - And How You Can Turn the Odds In Your Favor

by Monique Harris
Online Sales Power!

A client of mine recently told me that her mother made a purchase from a Web site because they had a secure server. Nothing unusual right? What makes this story so remarkable is that her mother paid an extra $30 for the product - (to order from this particular vendor) - because the first one she went to didn't have a secure server.

She preferred to shell out more money, than order from a server that wasn't secure!

The moral of this story is... Little things really do mean a lot. Here are some suggestions for encouraging and increasing the sales on your Web site:

  1. They See Something That's Not Readily Available Offline.
    The Internet has allowed vendors from all parts of the world to inexpensively showcase their goods, in a central marketplace. As a result, there are products galore online, that many people may not be able to purchase locally.

    So if your product or service is something that is sold exclusively through the Internet, or it's relatively hard to find otherwise, mention this fact on your Web site. It could create an even greater demand for what you're offering.

  2. They Know and Like the Person Selling the Merchandise.
    As a participant on several discussion lists, I've noticed that the more you contribute to the well-being of a group, the more likely they are to do business with you. That's because they get to know you - (in a virtual sort of way) - and eventually like what you're doing.

    In order to get people to 'like you' online, (seeing as there are no face to face meetings), simply help them. If you're on a discussion list and a question arises that you can answer, take a few minutes and respond. If you run across a good book, or a helpful Web site, don't be afraid to contribute this bit of info to the rest of the group.

    My motto is, "Everybody's favorite mentor, is also everybody's favorite vendor."

  3. It's Easy to Buy Online. Some sites make it incredibly difficult to order online, and for no apparent reason! There are so many little things that you can add or do to your site, for little or no money. Here are a few of them.
    • Maintain a link to your ordering information on every, single page of your site.
    • If you have more than five products, make sure you have a shopping cart on your site. Don't expect prospects to write down names of products and buying codes.
    • Offer prospects the opportunity to order by secure server, telephone, fax and snail-mail. Some vendors I know even allow wire transfers, and payment by Western Union.

  4. They're Emotionally Charged to Buy the Item.
    A writers' magazine that I was interested in subscribing to limited their number of subscriptions to 1,000. They made it perfectly clear that if your order was 1,001, you were simply out-of-luck. (They may have had 10,000 subscribers for all I knew.) But I still rushed to key my order in. I kept thinking that if I didn't subscribe I'd be missing out on some good stuff. They got me hook, line and sinker.

    You can instill the same type of fire under your prospects butts by carefully crafting the copy on your Web site. Use catchy headlines, and motivating descriptions. List testimonials from satisfied customers, and if you have them, before and after case studies.

    These types of things tend to excite and entice potential customers.
    �1999 by Monique Harris. All rights reserved.

    Monique Harris is the author of "How to Make $50,000 a Year (or more) Creating and Selling Information Products Online," which offers dozens of ideas for selling books, manuals, audio/video cassettes, e-books and other brain food on the Net. Get your FREE 12-page excerpt by sending an e-mail to [email protected] or see her Web site at

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