Selling software online is not an easy task. How do you make the client truly understand your product and trust it – and your company – enough to pay the price? Like it or not, it’s very similar to selling face to face: the first impression may be decisive for the clients’ future actions. Online, the website is your “face”.
It has to be comprehensible and easy to use. Here are a few tips on how your website should be to sell software better:
- It has to look professional and attractive at the same time.
You don’t have to show off your web designer skills. Too many colours, graphics, flash animations or drop-down boxes can only tire the visitors and make them leave faster. Less graphics will also make the site load faster. At the same time, it shouldn’t be dull, so it needs to be somewhere in the middle.
- Make sure your message comes across loud and clear.
In order to sell more software, information about software products must be easy to find, easy to follow and the same goes for the order process. Since most information is in the text, make it easy to read. Some coloured backgrounds make the text difficult to read, like purples, orange and reds. On the other hand, dark backgrounds may have a depressing effect on the visitors’ mood. The text colour is very important. Keep in mind that different browsers show colours differently, so don’t go crazy with it. It’s better to use Plain fonts, like Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana and Courier, because they’re easier to read. Fancier fonts may be used for headlines, but not full text. Remember though that sans serif fonts are easier to read on screen.
- Easy navigation is law.
Make sure there’s a link to the homepage at the top left of every page, except the homepage itself. Be careful not to have “dead ends” from which the visitor can’t find their way back to where they came from. Place the most important links in the top part of each page. Clearly mark read and unread links, preferably using standard colours.
- Base the site’s hierarchy on your customers’ needs.
Don’t make them search the entire site before they find information about products, prices and payment methods.
- Don’t make pages too long.
A web shouldn’t be more than 2 – 3 normal pages lengths, as no one likes an endless scrolling. If you have information for more than that, divide it into several pages with short information clips on the main index page leading to the second page.
- Check all the links on your website to make sure they lead to a page.
Tags from the navigation menu must be representative for what that page is about.
- Serve friendly error messages.
Don’t let the visitors see a page with “404 not found” written on it. Put your creativity to good use. Error messages may include navigation to documents that do exist, a search box or a contact email address.
- Have a privacy statement and testimonials.
Potential clients must feel confident dealing with you. Having a separate page to express your policy towards their email addresses, how you accept orders and gather information, who has access to information and how you use that information will help you sell more software. Also make a separate page for comments from satisfied customers. Offer to include links to the customers’ websites in return for using their comments.
- Contact information or a link to it should be on every page.
If customers need additional information about the product, contact information like a phone number and an email address should be easy to find on the website. Let people know the hours and days of operation and the time needed to answer their requests. Give a contact name; it makes people have more faith that someone will actually read their message.
- Set up a frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) page.
Base it on real questions your customers had in the past.
Published date: June 27, 2006
Copyright © 2006, http://www.avangate.com all rights reserved. This article was written by a Web Marketing Specialist at Avangate B. V. Avangate is an eCommerce platform for electronic software distribution incorporating an easy to use and secure online payment system plus additional marketing and sales tools, such as an affiliate management system, automated cross selling options, software promotion management, software marketing services as well as consultancy on how to increase online software sales. Read more software marketing articles and learn how to sell software online .
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