Hoping for a quick spike in online sales is the main goal of any successful business, but frankly, it’s easier said than done.
First off, we know that growth isn’t consistent all the time. Even if shoppers are spending more money online, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily spending on your business. You will need an effective strategy that develops over time as your business and customers’ needs change.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Below, you’ll find simple ways to start increasing your online sales.
Improve Site Navigation
When potential customers visit your website but can’t figure out where to find what they want or need, they’ll leave. And that’s the last thing you’ll want to happen. Find a way to keep people on your site and give them reasons to make a purchase.
A rule of thumb: Your website navigation structure should lead visitors to land on any page of your site and find what they need within 3 clicks.
Anyone who visits your site should have a good user experience. Many elements of web design and development influence user experience, including:
- Headlines and call-to-actions
- Colors, fonts, and images
- Page speed
- Form design
If you’ve done your website well, visitors will leave with the intention to come back and even buy something from you.
Show off Testimonials
Compared to when customers buy in malls or groceries where they can physically touch the product, the case is different for online stores. Most buyers based their decisions on customer reviews. Whether positive or negative, these reviews significantly affect your online sales because buyers will look for feedback to ensure they’re not wasting money.
The average consumer reads 10 reviews before trusting a business (Local Consumer Review Survey from BrightLocal). The great news is, about 68% of customers are more than happy to provide feedback. Don’t be afraid to ask customers a favor – because chances are, they’re likely willing to share their positive experience.
Offer Plenty of Options for Payment
Limiting payment options for customers can cause inconvenience, which may lead them to abandon their shopping carts. Be sure to offer payment options preferred by customers to make it easy for them. The simpler the payment process is, the more you have money coming in.
However, be careful of not overdoing it with offering payment options. When deciding which options to offer, think about whether or not it makes sense with regards to cost.
Customers want assurance that when they buy your products, they’re not making a big mistake. They need to know that they’re spending their money on something that will last – and this is where guarantees come in. However, before providing warranties on what you’re selling, make sure to determine if it’s worth it.
- Manage Expectations – Let customers understand what they’re getting into if they ever need to fix or return an item.
- Protect Both Parties – Customers know that if there’s a problem with the products, they can rely on the company. On the other hand, the company should spell out what they’ll cover, so customers can’t claim anything not stated.
- Get Leverage – When customers have the choice of two products of similar price, and one company offers a warranty while the other doesn’t, they’re going to choose the product with protection.
- Repeat Sales – Customers who know that they can trust the business will definitely go back to buy again.
Here are some samples:
Lowest Price Guarantee
Invest in Quality Images
Let’s face it, as visual creatures, humans give utmost importance to appearance. Hence, what your customers see in your online store has a great impact on your success. In fact, a study by Forbes says that 91% of consumers prefer interactive and visual content over traditional, text-based media.
High-quality images can form impressions within seconds, transcend language, and allow for a greater understanding of what is discussed. So what makes a high-quality image? Usually, it’s associated with the following:
If you put an image that has no relation whatsoever to the surrounding content, then that page is likely better off without it. Placing random or mismatched images only serve as distractions to people viewing your products.
No one wants a blurry or skewed image. For a business that mainly relies on its website to make online sales, the value of having sharp, professional photos shouldn’t be understated.
What’s the point of having a good image if the user leaves the page before it loads? Speed is a crucial factor when placing images on your website. The smaller the file size is, the faster it will load – find a balance between the two to maintain a sharp image.
Make the Checkout Process Easy
Roughly 7 out of 10 shoppers won’t complete the checkout process – according to Baymard Institute research studies. The data is calculated from 41 different studies where they found that the average cart abandonment rate is quite high at 69.57%.
The common reason why people abandon shopping carts is the poor checkout process guide. The customer’s journey from awareness to purchase consists of a series of decisions made based on the checkout path you’ve provided. Any misstep on that journey can mean the loss of sale.
A typical checkout process has this flow:
A boost of even 5 to 10 percent of your checkout completion rate can already mean a lot to your business. But don’t just focus on the checkout process, you should fully optimize your eCommerce store to accelerate your online sales.
Bonus Tip: Another helpful tactic to reduce cart abandonment is by implementing exit pop-ups. You can create free pop-ups for your PinnacleCart store even in just less than 2 minutes.
Keep Messaging Consistent
Everything you do represents your business, so if you want to convince potential customers to buy, you need to paint a picture again and again that your product is worth buying. This is why brand consistency is important – to keep messaging aligned across all facets of the business.
You can build trust by using a consistent voice in all your content to seem more credible, and prospects can easily identify you. Here are best practices that can help keep your brand messaging aligned.
- Understand your message – What kind of message do you want to convey to your customers? Are you going for a serious tone or a light-hearted feel? If you’re unsure about your message, your customers will be skeptical as well.
- Know your audience – Who are you selling to? Being an effective brand doesn’t mean you target everyone, it means you stay consistent for the specific demographic you intend to target.
- Align your actions – Your messaging shouldn’t be all over the place. Whether it’s a company policy or a social media post, every action should be done with your brand in mind.
- Interact actively – People won’t stumble upon your company in an instant, you need to go out of your way to get them. Be it on social media, within the community or the industry, make your presence known. Interact with your target audience on multiple platforms to have a better opportunity of reaching people.
Set up Ad Campaigns
To increase brand awareness and profits, setting-up ad campaigns are an important part of the picture. Doing so enables your products to reach the right customers and increase their awareness.
Here are two of the most popular types of online ad campaigns that you can try:
This is a paid search advertising platform that allows a business to place sponsored ads in search engine results and Google Display Network. Google Adwords uses a cost-per-click model in which your keywords and paid ads are matched to a user’s search query. Owning 92.71% of the search market share globally, using this platform gives your ads a broader reach.
Facebook is the most popular social network. It represents a huge potential audience for your ad campaigns. Facebook ads make it possible to be specific with your ads by targeting based on people’s age, demographic, income, interests, job, hobbies, and much more. Compared to other advertising platforms, it’s also highly cost-effective as you can run a campaign based on the budget you have.
Once you run your ad campaigns, collect data and metrics on how people interact with them. This will help you optimize your ads to get better results at a lower cost.
Address Every Customer Query
Customer service should be the heart of your business if you want them to feel valued and respected. According to Microsoft 2017 State of Global Customer Service Report, 56% of people stopped working with a company because of poor customer service.
You can start by answering every query. Customers should know that they can rely on you to answer them whenever they have doubts or need more information about your products. Once you get customer service right, you’ll stand out from the competition, keep a positive reputation, and encourage existing customers to purchase again.
Your goal should always be to:
- Understand customers’ needs and wants
- Act on promises made to customers
- Handle complaints and returns diligently
- Treat customers with respect
Apply Tiered Pricing
You can apply tiered pricing for your products or services by giving your customers different purchasing options. For each “option”, you add more value as you increase your price.
One example is Poptin, as a user-friendly lead capture platform, it offers 4 packages for clients. Each package level includes more services, features that customers can choose from.
On a Final Note: Increasing Online Sales
Increasing online sales mean you have to start trying strategies that your competitors haven’t tried yet. Whichever method mentioned above you want to try, make sure to base it on research and test it yourself. If you see that it increases your conversions, keep it. If it doesn’t, move on to whichever works best in boosting online sales.
Mayfair Dela Cerna has been working as an SEO Content Writer for clients who want to improve their search rankings. Her MBA has given her a broad base to approach many business-related topics, and currently, she is focused more on providing unique, high-quality content for PinnacleCart.
Tags: customer experience strategy, ecommerce, online sales