Online sales are becoming increasingly important to businesses of all shapes and sizes. As more and more consumers opt to do the bulk of their shopping, searching and booking online, we are only going to see online sales become even more vital to the success of a company, So, what do you do when you just aren’t seeing the kind of online sales you would like?
Hire a Web Designer
The internet is a very visual medium, which means that your website has to look good if you want to attract sales. Not only that, but it also needs to be easy to use. If a website looks bad and cannot be navigated intuitively, anyone who does find it will probably leave before making a purchase and try their luck elsewhere.
Improve Your SEO
Search engine optimization is the process of improving your website so that it is attractive to search engines and readers. The better your SEO, the higher you will rank on search engines like Google, which means that more people will become aware of and visit your online store. Search engine encompasses a range of techniques, from copywriting to link building, so unless you really know what you’re doing, hiring a local SEO company to bring your website up to standard is probably your best course of action.
A big part of any online business is sales copy. This is text that encourages and persuades visitors to make a purchase. It can be tempting to go overboard in your claims and use hyperbole in a bid to boost your sales, but more often than not, this will backfire on you. Customers can see right through dishonest sales copy which is why it is much better, to be honest in your writing. Sure, you should write your copy in a persuasive way, but don’t exaggerate and don’t make any claims you can’t back up. A customer might buy once, but they won’t be back again.
Use Pay Per Click
One of the most affordable and effective forms of advertising is pay per click. This method allows you to advertise on high-traffic platforms like Google and Facebook and you only have to pay when a potential customer clicks your link.
Engage with Customers Via Social Media
Today, social media is a big factor in the business world. If you want to convert more people, boost your brand and see more sales, you need to not only make regular posts on your company’s social media profiles, but you also need to engage with your followers too.
Using social media to answer questions, promote offers and give your brand a personality is quick, cheap and effective. Don’t miss out by not signing up to all of the most popular social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Google.
Identify Your Best Conversion Paths
Online businesses have so many advertising options available to them that it can be difficult to keep on track, but if you want to increase your online sales and avoid wasting time and money on advertising systems that just aren’t working for you, you need to track your conversion paths. The easiest way to do this is by keeping a close eye on Analytics. By doing so, you will be able to identify which kinds of adverts get the most clicks, which convert and which do very little of benefit to your business at all.
Once you have identified what does and does not work, you need to formulate a new strategy which takes into account your newfound knowledge, so that you can take positive action and boost your online sales.
Use the Voice of the Customer to Improve Your Ads
If you’re using PPC, which you really should be, one of the things you can do to make your ads more effective is use ‘the voice of the customer’ to encourage more of your target market to click through to your site.
The voice of the customer is a form of market research that helps you to align your web copy with the wants and needs of the demographic you're targeting with your ads by using the same kind of language they themselves have used in market research focus groups and online surveys. By mirroring their thoughts and feelings, you can encourage them to look more favorably at your brand, and you are likely to see an increase in sales as a result.
Offer Customers Something Competitors Can’t
There are few niches that are yet to have been exploited by online companies, which means that unless you have a one-of-a-kind product or service to offer, you are going to be in competition with several other companies doing similar things. What this means, if you want to boost sales, is that you will need to offer your customers more value than the competition, whether this is in terms of lower prices, higher quality products or another unique selling point.
Not only do you need to be able to offer your customers something that others can’t, but you also need to make this fact obvious. You need to include it clearly in your website’s sales copy and all of your ads. You need to drum it into them that you are a better prospect than the competition, only then will you start to see an improvement in your sales.
Establish a Sense of Urgency
If there’s one thing that will push customers off the fence quicker than anything else it’s a sense of urgency. If you create flash sales, time sensitive offers and limited edition products, you can bet your bottom dollar that all of these people who were undecided about making a purchase will spring into action and give you some of the best sales of your life.
Make it Easy to Checkout
If you’ve noticed that a lot of visitors to your online store add products to their basket only to abandon them a few minutes later, it could be that your checkout process is too difficult. It has been estimated that around $4 trillion of online purchases are abandoned at the cart stage annually. Although some of this will be accounted for by people who have simply changed their mind, a lot of the people who abandoned their carts will have done so because continuing with their purchase was too difficult or time-consuming. If you can make your checkout process quick and simple, you will likely see a boost in your profits simply because more visitors will be more inclined to follow through with their purchases.
Don’t Use Stock Images
Stock images have their place, but when you’re an online store trying to maximize your sales, they’re little more than useless. You see, stock images do not create a good impression of your products. They do not show off the unique selling points of the things you are selling or instill confidence in the buyer like unique images do. So, buy a decent camera, or hire a photographer and take lots of shots of each and every product on your site. It will pay off.
Send Follow Up Emails
If you want to really boost sales, you need to think about the repeat buyer. Customers who have already made a purchase from your store have shown themselves to be interested enough in your products to act. It would, therefore, be extremely foolish of you not to capitalize on this by sending follow up emails. This could be in the form of a review request, newsletter or special offer promotion – all may have a positive effect on your business. Just make sure that you actually get around to doing it. Ideally, emails should be sent regularly, but not so often than they could be considered spam. This might involve a bit of trial and error, but eventually, you will hit upon that sweet spot, and you’ll reap the rewards.
Throw in Freebies
Who doesn’t like getting something for nothing? No one, right. So, if you want to boost your business profile and increase your sales, why not give something away for free? It can be something fairly small and still have an impact. For example, a t-shirt company I frequently use sends a small pack of candy with every purchase. This is enough for me to choose them over other companies, all other things being equal!
Whatever you are selling, you should not go a day without collecting at least the most basic data on your customers, knowing the age, sex and location of the people who buy your goods is a great way to build up buyer persona, which you can use to tailor your advertising more effectively to the kinds of people have been shown to be interested in your business.
As you can see, there are many fairly straightforward ways to start boosting your online sales. Obviously, you don’t have to implement all these ideas now, or even ever, but by at least trying out a few; you can start to see results, that will help your business to grow and prosper, right now.