|By Alex Pejak||
|July 2, 2014 01:16 PM EDT||
If you're a modern business, two things are probably true: one, you have a website, and two, it's not making you as much money as it could. The fact is, most people put up websites without a clear idea of how the site will bring in profit, and for some people the idea of making money off a website is revolutionary. Fortunately, it's not difficult to turn even dead-weight websites into profit centers -- here are a few ideas to get you started.
Driving Sales and Collecting Leads
The most obvious way to increase profits with your website is by increasing sales and bringing in more leads. Each person who visits your website is an opportunity to sell your products or services. If you have the ability to accept credit cards online, your goal should be to maximize the number of people who make a purchase from you on your website.
In the event it's not feasible to allow purchases online (or even if it is), your second goal should be to capture sales leads -- in other words, the personal details of people who might buy from you but who aren't quite convinced yet.
Remember, your website is a remarkable tool for overcoming potential objections, communicating the value you offer, influencing the customer's buying decision, and providing a steady flow of new prospective customer. Your sales team will have a much higher success rate calling on someone who's already expressed interest (by filling in a form on your website) than cold-calling someone out of the blue. The more people who express interest and give you their personal details, the more likely your sales team will make sales.
Your sales team may not speak very good Spanish, but thanks to website translation (example: http://www.simpletranslation.com/webtranslate) your "electronic salesman" can speak it fluently. By making your website available in several languages, you open your business up to customers from overseas, and a flow of new business which it would be very difficult to bring in otherwise.
Up-Sell and Cross-Sell
One of the greatest benefits of selling with a website is you can make one change and have it automatically applied to every future transaction. Your "electronic salesman" will never forget to up-sell a new customer after he or she makes a purchase, provided you set it up that way. When someone makes a purchase, think about what else you can offer them immediately which they would like to buy. Add-ons, warranties, and accessories can incrementally increase the size of an average customer's purchase... and greatly increase your profits.
The same goes for cross-selling. Someone who's interested in one product may also be interested in a complimentary product, even if they haven't realized it yet. Therefore, show them an ad or offer them a discount on a complimentary product at the time of purchase.
Maximize Repeat Purchases
It's very hard to tell whether you're making a mistake offline which is costing you sales unnecessarily, but with a website you can track how it is being used and maximize your results. By looking at how people use your website, you can tell if a particular page or element is confusing or welcoming, and develop new ways to keep bringing customers back.
Once you have a buyer, use automated (but tasteful and "non-spammy") email reminders to alert them to new purchase opportunities. Remember, it's much easier to get a sale from someone who's already purchased from you.
Save Time and Reduce Costs
A website is more than a tool for bringing in sales and leads. You can also use it to reduce the time involved in servicing each particular customer. For service businesses, this may mean offering forms online to reduce the amount of time customers have to spend talking with your staff, and allowing customers to input their details directly into your system. In other cases it may mean offering customer service online, to reduce costly calls into your service department.
Similarly, a simple "frequently asked questions" page can answer the most common questions you get by phone or email. To be sure, some people will never read and simply call, but providing the questions online will reduce the amount of time you spend answering the same thing over and over. You can find some tips on creating a useful FAQ page here: http://sixrevisions.com/user-interface/designing-effective-faq-pages/.
Ultimately, profit is simply income minus expenses. A website can be used to both increase your income and decrease your expenses -- the one by bringing in more leads and sales, the other by reducing the amount of time and cost needed for each transaction.
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Aug. 29, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 294
A producer of the first smartphones and tablets, presenter Lee M. Williams will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, COO of ETwater, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ET...
Aug. 29, 2015 03:45 PM EDT
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Aug. 29, 2015 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 414
Whether you like it or not, DevOps is on track for a remarkable alliance with security. The SEC didn’t approve the merger. And your boss hasn’t heard anything about it. Yet, this unruly triumvirate will soon dominate and deliver DevSecOps faster, cheaper, better, and on an unprecedented scale. In his session at DevOps Summit, Frank Bunger, VP of Customer Success at ScriptRock, will discuss how this cathartic moment will propel the DevOps movement from such stuff as dreams are made on to a prac...
Aug. 29, 2015 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 192
Cloud and datacenter migration innovator AppZero has joined the Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Alliance Program. AppZero is a fast, flexible way to move Windows Server applications from any source machine – physical or virtual – to any destination server, in any cloud or datacenter, using its patented container technology. AppZero’s container is also called a Virtual Application Appliance (VAA). To facilitate Microsoft Azure onboarding, AppZero has two purpose-built offerings: AppZero SP for Azure,...
Aug. 29, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 133
WSM International, the pioneer and leader in server migration services, has announced an agreement with WHOA.com, a leader in providing secure public, private and hybrid cloud computing services. Under terms of the agreement, WSM will provide migration services to WHOA.com customers to relocate some or all of their applications, digital assets, and other computing workloads to WHOA.com enterprise-class, secure cloud infrastructure. The migration services include detailed evaluation and planning...
Aug. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 122
This Enterprise Strategy Group lab validation report of the NEC Express5800/R320 server with Intel® Xeon® processor presents the benefits of 99.999% uptime NEC fault-tolerant servers that lower overall virtualized server total cost of ownership. This report also includes survey data on the significant costs associated with system outages impacting enterprise and web applications. Click Here to Download Report Now!
Aug. 29, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 134
IBM’s Blue Box Cloud, powered by OpenStack, is now available in any of IBM’s globally integrated cloud data centers running SoftLayer infrastructure. Less than 90 days after its acquisition of Blue Box, IBM has integrated its Blue Box Cloud Dedicated private-cloud-as-a-service into its broader portfolio of OpenStack® based solutions. The announcement, made today at the OpenStack Silicon Valley event, further highlights IBM’s continued support to deliver OpenStack solutions across all cloud depl...
Aug. 29, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 188
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
Aug. 29, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 232
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Trel...
Aug. 29, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 192
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Aug. 29, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 101
SYS-CON Events announced today that G2G3 will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based on a collective appreciation for user experience, design, and technology, G2G3 is uniquely qualified and motivated to redefine how organizations and people engage in an increasingly digital world.
Aug. 29, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 432
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 29, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 843
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
Aug. 29, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 175
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes ab...
Aug. 29, 2015 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 575