Monday, February 20, 2012

Returning visitors

Much advice is available about attracting visitors to your web site and gaining their attention with a view to converting their interest into a purchase. But how do you deal with people who already are customers and returning visitors?

Analytics of established companies indicate that a significant percentage of web site visits are from returning visitors. Enquiry source analysis further suggests that many already know the company. Add to this a review of search terms and there are again visitors reaching the site because it is their chosen destination - they know the company already.

There are several possible reasons why visitors return. One may be that their first visit was initial research to discover potential suppliers and short listed your business as a possible vendor. As that group of visitors moves through the sales process, the web site should make it easy for them to find the specific information they require at various stages in the process including pricing, delivery and ordering details. Another reason is they are customers ready to make a new purchase. Where product values are high and purchase intervals infrequent it is important that returning customers can discover what is new and what developments there have been since their last purchase.  Another group could be specifiers who already acknowledge your company as a qualified vendor and need to ensure that they are using the latest current product data.

Ensuring that both new visitors and returning visitors quickly find what they need will probably mean they will take different journeys through the site so it should be clearly signposted which route to take. Aside from the practical information such as who you are, how you can be contacted, pricing and delivery visitors will need to know about your products.

Where there are product options it is important to provide simple guidance to help them select the right one. Buyers and specifiers are influenced by what the experts of that market have to say about your product and what endorsement they give. Finally what do users and owners of your products have to say about practical experience. The factual, expert and user experience combine to provide compelling copy. One useful way of providing regular updates in each of these three areas is by including a Virtual News Office.

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