Five great tactics to get sales to your online small business

Swinging open your virtual doors and finding no one there can bring down the spirit of any hopeful entrepreneur. People who promised to browse your shop, like your close friends and family, never quite seem to make it through the door. And if you treat online sales like fishing (always waiting for the big one), you'll go home with nothing. Like any small business venture, an online store needs some help to become established on the Web.

Enjoy regular selling sprees by employing these five great tactics for grabbing those important sales.

Don't play hard to get

The most important aspect of your online store is your store's address. If you have a quirky name, one that's hard to spell or to search for, customers won't find you. Get the customer in the door by giving them good directions. That comes from a simple store name.

Be a fountain of information

Ten years ago, slapping up a website and taking a few pictures was all you needed to make a sale. (Well, it might have been slightly more complicated than that, but not by much.) However, today's consumers expect a little more from you. They want information. Providing your shoppers with informative, accurate how-to's or information gives you a leg up on the competition. Articles and blog posts raise your credibility and make you a source for reliable information. That's the perfect setup for getting more sales.

Offer checkout codes

Take advantage of your mailing list. Having a store sale or offering a new item? Send a special checkout code to your best customers. When they go to check out, they'll receive a sweet discount. Include an expiration date for the checkout codes; dates are good prompts for sales.

Make selling social

I love receiving those deals that say, "Get it free when four friends buy one too." I usually post the ad on Facebook and Twitter to all my friends so I can get that great deal. Get more sales by taking advantage of social selling. Make this new trend work for you.

Find reliable affiliates

Depending on one Web presence limits your ability to sell. However, when you've got your product on 10 sites, you've got a greater chance to make sales. Joining an affiliate program is a good idea, but you could also find your own affiliates. For example, if you sell vintage beaded handbags, contact potential affiliates like high-end consignment stores or a vintage clothing store -- expand your network and make more money.
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