Regardless of whether you’re a startup or an established business, one of your goals should be to get more sales from your online store front. Every business goes through boom and slump; however, you should always try to increase your online sales. There are dozens of ways to achieve more sales from your ecommerce portal, and most of them won’t cost you much time or money. It is certainly easier than trying to improve sales in your brick and mortar stores. Here we will take a look at 10 effective ways of boosting your online sales from your ecommerce portal.
1. Build your Brand
Brand awareness helps build trust, and this has a positive impact on sales; this can lead to repeat purchases, and eventually, your brand name becomes even more trustworthy and popular, which again leads to an increase in sales. It’s a cycle. Ok, now that we know we need to build our brand, how do we do it? There are many different ways of doing it.
- Offer high quality, high value content to your users, that is fresh, original, and relevant
- Paid ads – Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and so on depending on your target audience’s preference
- Influencer partnerships – get influencers to vouch for your brand
- Partner with other businesses in the industry
- Optimize your pages for search engines with proper links, keywords, meta tags, H1 tags, alt tags, etc
- Be active on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram
- Display security badges like Verisign, SSL encryption etc. to denote that you take steps to protect customer data
In short you need to work all channels o drive people to your website.
2. Use Email Marketing Effectively
Build your email list and leverage the power of newsletters and effective emails. Though many people tend to think that email is passé, it is still a very effective way of marketing. Remember that these people opted to get emails from you because they are genuinely interested and/or they like your products. This should be a continuous process – keep growing your email list with high quality leads, and use it to build a long term relationship with your customers. If social medial platforms and search engines change their policies suddenly, you may find it difficult to change your tactics suddenly. However, there is nothing likely to change in email, because you ‘own’ your email list. It is also a direct and more personal way of interaction with your customers. You can inform your customers of new products, changes in company policy with regard to returns or shipping, new stores opening, special sales or discount offers, and much more. When you have a list of relevant leads and send them emails regularly, your chances of getting repeat purchases from those customers is significantly higher. Even more importantly, you can coax customers who have abandoned their carts to complete their purchases. Emails can also be sent to thank customers for their purchases, and keep them updated about shipping and delivery – and even to upsell or cross sell products. To build a rapport, you can also send them pictures and stories of life behind the scenes at your company and show them the human side. You can use tools to configure email automation funnels as well as custom product emails.
3. Use videos
Videos are extremely effective, and you would be missing out on a great opportunity if you don’t make videos and use them on your ecommerce site. Videos can give you excellent return on your investment provided they are made well: short, crisp, and providing value to the viewer. You have a much higher chance of getting people to spend more time on your pages with videos. People are more likely to remember what they saw in a video rather than what they read. Product demos are a great idea – how to use a certain product or to assemble it provides useful information, and hence value to the viewer. But if you’re dealing in say food products, or fashion, say, then a how to use video will of course not work. However, you can make videos of how it is manufactured, processed, or even sourced -when it comes to food especially – this helps create trust in the consumer mind.
4.Test more, and frequently
Testing is an excellent way to optimize your ecommerce site and improve conversion rates. You can keep changing your approach and check how each method impacts your key metrics – especially if you are not achieving your goals. Check your analytics, and you will be able to see where the conversion is not happening, and why it’s not happening at the pace you want it to. The next step would be to conduct A/B testing of variants of a particular element and in this manner, isolate the problem. In this manner test different aspects of your ecommerce website, like CTA buttons, product photos, color theme etc. and make improvements wherever required. Testing should be a continuous process, allowing you to make small improvements in the conversion rate steadily, so that the end result is a big leap in revenues. Some things you need to ensure:
- Navigation should be simple
- CTAs should be bold and prominently visible
- Make checkout process simple and quick – make it easy to buy
- Avoid clutter and showcase a clean design
- Compare your site with competitor sites that are faring better
- Ensure your site loads fast
- Users should be able to find what they are looking for quickly
5. Leverage Data Analytics
Tracking analytics effectively can help you scale your business quickly. Data analytics can help you measure how effective your marketing strategy is. It is imperative that you know your target customer well, and then develop a precise attribution system in place.
- You will be able to see which products are not making you money; by reducing your catalog, you stand a chance to enhance profits
- By tracking user activity on your site – pages they spend time on, products they click etc., you can send them targeted offers based on their behavior and preferences via email, social ads, push messages, and so on.
- Use customer behavior patterns to up-sell and cross-sell products; Amazon does this job very well by displaying: ‘Frequently bought together’, or ‘Customers who bought this also bought’ messages.
- Create and sell loyalty and continuity programs to customers, like subscription packages
6. Leverage the Power of Customer Testimonials
Social proof is an absolutely essential element to gain customer trust and boost sales. Potential customers are more likely to believe what other customers say about your products rather than what you say yourself. Make sure to include the photo of the customer giving the review, and mention their name too – nobody will be convinced by a nameless or faceless review. If you can include video testimonials, then nothing like it! This always works best.
7. Create a Sense of Urgency
FOMO – or the fear of missing out is very real. While it is imperative that you are completely honest about your company and products, it is perfectly legal and ethical to make consumers feel that if they don’t buy from you right away, they are going to miss out on something big – that is just smart marketing. I am pretty sure you must have also got taken in by this type of marketing. For example, when you’re browsing a fashion site and you add a shirt to your cart, on mouse hover you may get a message ‘Only 1 left in stock’. This is sure to prompt you to check out your cart immediately. ‘Limited time offer’, ‘limited edition’, discounts for a specific period, time sensitive offers, and so on, are some of the ways you can create a sense of urgency in the prospect to purchase your product.
8. Offer Money-Back Guarantees
Often, customers hesitate to purchase online because they feel that in case they are unhappy with the product, they may not be able to return it and get a refund. This is not necessarily limited to high value purchases – buyer’s remorse extends to small purchases too. The best way to overcome this hurdle is to offer the prospect a money-back guarantee. You can of course make it time sensitive – like you’ll offer a full refund if returned within 14 days of receiving the product, or whatever your policy is. This way you make the purchase risk free, and the prospect is encouraged to place the order.
9. Recognize your Mobile Customers
Mobile proliferation is extremely high today and a high percentage of shoppers – especially the young generation – uses mobile devices to browse and shop – not just computers. Ensuring that your site is responsive and delivers a smooth, consistent browsing experience across devices. Having a mobile friendly site is crucial in today’s world. Alternatively, you could also build a mobile app and offer even more convenience to shoppers. Apps are easier to use, and don’t require to be ‘loaded’; it offers convenience, speed, saving of choices and settings, and is personalized.
10. Offer Multiple Choices for Communication and Payment
Each customer may have their own preference when it comes to communication channels and payment methods. Some may prefer email, some instant messaging or chat, or some may prefer to talk to someone on the phone. Likewise, some customers may prefer to pay by internet banking, some through credit cards, some through online wallets, and there will be some who want to pay cash on delivery. It is prudent to offer several means of communication and payment to your customers for their added convenience. The easier you make things for your prospects, the more likely they are to become customers, and to purchase repeatedly.