Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Mike Kavis, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Blog Post

Ways Your Website Can Help You Boost Profits

Turn your website into a profit center

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.

Selling Internationally

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.

More Stories By Alex Pejak

Alex Pejak is an economist currently working on a few projects in Australia. She is passionate about market research and project management. She is also interested in topics related to business IT and career development.

Latest Stories
The WebRTC Summit 2014 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
Even though it’s now Microservices Journal, long-time fans of SOA World Magazine can take comfort in the fact that the URL – soa.sys-con.com – remains unchanged. And that’s no mistake, as microservices are really nothing more than a new and improved take on the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) best practices we struggled to hammer out over the last decade. Skeptics, however, might say that this change is nothing more than an exercise in buzzword-hopping. SOA is passé, and now that people are ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Creative Business Solutions will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Creative Business Solutions is the top stocking authorized HP Renew Distributor in the U.S. Based out of Long Island, NY, Creative Business Solutions offers a one-stop shop for a diverse range of products including Proliant, Blade and Industry Standard Servers, Networking, Server Options and...
SYS-CON Events announced today that FierceDevOps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. FierceDevOps keeps software developers and IT operations personnel updated on the latest news and trends around the rapidly evolving role of the traditional IT worker.
WHOA.com has announced the newest addition to its data center footprint with the expansion into Equinix's newest state-of-the-art facility: DC-11 Washington, DC IBX+. Located in Ashburn, VA, this data center expands Whoa.com's presence to meet rapidly expanding customer demand for secure cloud solutions. Equinix, Inc. operates International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers in 32 markets across 15 countries in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific. Equinix is committed to operating faciliti...
The Open Compute Project is a collective effort by Facebook and a number of players in the datacenter industry to bring lessons learned from the social media giant's giant IT deployment to the rest of the world. Datacenters account for 3% of global electricity consumption – about the same as all of Switzerland or the Czech Republic -- according to people I met at the recent Open Compute Summit in San Jose. With increasing mobility at the edge of the cloud and vast new dataflows being pre...
GENBAND has announced that SageNet is leveraging the Nuvia platform to deliver Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to its large base of retail and enterprise customers. Nuvia’s cloud-based solution provides SageNet’s customers with a full suite of business communications and collaboration tools. Two large national SageNet retail customers have recently signed up to deploy the Nuvia platform and the company will continue to sell the service to new and existing customers. Nuvia’s capabili...
Wearable technology was dominant at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) , and MWC was no exception to this trend. New versions of favorites, such as the Samsung Gear (three new products were released: the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit), shared the limelight with new wearables like Pebble Time Steel (the new premium version of the company’s previously released smartwatch) and the LG Watch Urbane. The most dramatic difference at MWC was an emphasis on presenting we...
"We help companies that are using a lot of Software as a Service. We help companies manage and gain visibility into what people are using inside the company and decide to secure them or use standards to lock down or to embrace the adoption of SaaS inside the company," explained Scott Kriz, Co-founder and CEO of Bitium, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps means different things to different people. Qubell defines DevOps as the ability for the developer teams to do what they need to do to have this level of self-service. At DevOps Summit, Stan Klimoff, CTO of Qubell, demos the enterprise DevOps platform.
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, explored the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, wa...
WSM International is launching a DevOps services division that offers assessment, consulting and implementation to large enterprises and organizations with complex infrastructures. This is the first independent services company to create a dedicated practice to help organizations looking to transition to the DevOps model. The concept of DevOps is to blend information technology (IT) software development with operations to optimize the computing infrastructure according to the specific needs of ...
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cisco makes amazing things happen by connecting the unconnected. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by becoming the worldwide leader in transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborat...
15th Cloud Expo, which took place Nov. 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, expanded the conference content of @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit to include two developer events. IBM held a Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held a Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo floor. The Bluemix Developer Playground, for developers of all levels, highlighted the ease of use of Bluemix, its services and functionalit...