Whether in an online store or in a traditional store, a merchant always has only one idea in mind: to attract as many customers as possible to increase his turnover. On the Internet, competition is fierce and it is therefore essential to seek to stand out in order to sustain your activity over time. To boost the performance of your online store and increase traffic to your product pages, put yourself in your prospects’ shoes and try to understand what they are looking for.
This is the question that many are asking, how can I increase my sales on my online store? The question is simple, but the answer is a little more complex, because there are several avenues to improve your e-commerce sales. Most will tell you to change your product texts, add clearer and more visible Call-To-Action, etc. These are all valid points, but you’ll get a lot more results if you focus your initiatives on concrete marketing tactics and less on the technical side of your site.
One of the avenues to focus on is your current clientele. The probability of selling to an existing customer being between 60 and 70% against between 5 and 20% for a new customer, this option becomes very interesting when the time comes to accelerate its e-commerce revenues. In case you don’t have a customer base yet, go for acquisition campaigns.
Tips and strategies to increase online sales
Anyone who has a merchant site or an e-commerce store to sell their products is probably asking the same question, at least once a day: how to boost online sales? Of course, there is no such thing as a magic recipe. But some common sense measures will earn you points.
1. Build brand awareness
Brand awareness affects customer confidence (which in turn affects sales), repeat purchases, and even SEO. Simplifying as much as possible we can say that the more people know (and trust your brand) the greater the sales.
To improve your brand awareness, focus on quality:
●the content you produce;
●of the partners you work alongside;
●the suppliers you rely on;
●of the influencers you choose.
Evaluate each aspect wisely, always considering the long-term impact it could have on your online reputation.
2. Create engagement with email marketing
Build a database of qualified contacts, segment the lists according to the characteristics or behavior of the users and create email marketing campaigns to communicate with your customers in every moment of the purchase process.
Email marketing is a tool as dated as it is effective, but too often misused by companies that only send discounts, promotions and marketing messages. Change your perspective and start using emails to build relationships with your customers, offering them truly useful and interesting content to guide them towards the purchase decision.
3. Talk to your customers on social media
Advertising on Facebook is one of the most effective ways to bring traffic to the site, convert leads into customers and engage them to eventually repeat the purchase.
Based on the behavior of your e-Commerce visitors, you can create personalized messages to engage people even outside your site. Set up Ads using custom audiences and options of exclusion or inclusion: Facebook offers increasingly refined targeting options, not exploiting them means missing out on many opportunities.
4. Test, test, test to improve the conversion rate
An online store is never finished. Continuously optimizing the website and the online communication channels is essential to increase the conversion rate. Try to change some parameters and evaluate the impact of the change on sales and analyze the data on user behavior to experiment: from the color of the buttons of the call to action to the photos of the products, every element can be tested. Remember that even the smallest change can generate an increase in sales.
5. Offer excellent customer service
Customer service is also a form of marketing. To be successful it is not enough to acquire new customers, the real challenge is to maintain lasting relationships and ensure a high level of satisfaction over time. This is why customer service is so important.
Invest in technology at the service of customers: apps, chatbots, artificial intelligence … The options available to assist users are many, identify the one that best suits the way your audience interacts, trying to offer support where, how and when it has need.
6. Use delivery as a competitive advantage
The free shipping is one of the most effective levers to encourage the purchase, more than a percentage off the total. Furthermore, delivery costs are one of the main causes of cart abandonment: finding out that you have to pay a heavy sum only at the last moment is never pleasant.
Explain the delivery conditions immediately on the home page of your e-Commerce, trying to be as clear as possible. Take advantage of the potential of free shipping, offering it on the entire product catalog or upon reaching a predetermined amount. And if you have an international business, don’t forget to also include customers outside the country, who, understanding the rarity of free delivery, will buy two or three times more than normal.
7. Create strategic promotions
Create promotions for a limited time, leveraging the sense of scarcity and urgency to attract customers. But beware: promotions must also be used strategically. Always offering the same discount can be counterproductive, which is why you have to study different types of promotions to be offered at different times of the year, with specific durations and frequencies.
8. Know the profile of your buyers
The more your customers will have the impression that your offer was designed for them, the more your chances of selling your products to them.
To prove it to you, let’s say you want to buy yourself a new pair of trainers for jogging. Subconsciously, you are going to look for a product that corresponds to:
●Your training habits
Your goal is therefore to identify your main types of customers: their needs, their wants, their requirements, and how they want to use your products. Basically, the profiles of your buyers represent a “role model”. of people likely to buy from your site. By building your site according to the profile of your buyers, you free yourself from your egocentric point of view.
9. Prioritize information and guide the user
The design of your site plays another essential role: it shows what is important and must be able to guide a user instinctively. Hierarchy is an essential principle when creating a site. The visual hierarchy determines how humans move and record information.
At first, the eye focuses on the colorful and imposing visual of bed linen (it gives me ideas for my room …). The value proposition is the second most visible element (the -40% reduction). The main button (All the selection) is what we notice in a third step. The fourth element that attracts the most attention is the links to the categories in promotion. Then come the reinsurance factors of the store.
10. Reduce sources of doubt
When you ask people to do something or commit to doing something, you invariably create doubt. It is not possible to completely eliminate the doubts of your customers when finalizing their order, but you can minimize them.
Typically, last-minute questions from your customers look like this:
Is the product really worth the price? Will it break down? Can I trust this company? Will I receive the item on time? What if it doesn’t suit me? Is this a scam? Will she like this gift?
The best way to convert your prospects to customers is to identify the nature of their hesitation and give them as much information as possible. This will allow them to convince themselves.
The usual factors of friction and doubts:
●Long and complicated forms: Quotation requests with more than 10 fields to fill in, ordering processes on 5 pages etc.
●Websites with difficult navigation: When the user cannot easily find how to pay or your contact information, for example.
●Anonymous sites: No name, 0 photo, no phone numbers and no physical address ?? You give the impression that you want to hide something. If you don’t post a photo of yourself, is it because you don’t want to be recognized? This is a bad sign.
●A lousy and amateurish website: Take care of the design once and for all.
●Self-proclaimed the best: If you want to be convincing, use specific terms rather than overly general superlatives. For example: “our pastry is the best in France” is less powerful than “our pastry has won the prize for the best worker in France 3 times”.
●Information that is too vague: Don’t be afraid to give as much detail as possible about your products, even the smallest can make the difference. Studies prove that 50% of shopping cart abandonments are due to too light product information.
●Fear, Uncertainty, Doubts (PID): Anyone getting ready to complete a purchase has PIDs. To remove them, you will have to anticipate and publish on your website all the information that will be able to minimize these last minute questions. Remember to interview your customers to identify these PIDs and integrate them into the texts of your site.
11. Be clear
People don’t buy what they don’t understand. In fact, people fear what they don’t know.
No matter what you are selling, the buyer is human. Whether it’s your grandmother or an engineer, if the content on your site is persuasive and easy to understand, you will increase your sales.
To avoid using too specific jargon, have your friends read the texts on your site. You can also read this text aloud and imagine a conversation with a friend. If a word offends you, remove it and rephrase your sentence in a simpler way. Your content should not require careful thought.
12. Increase engagement rate
What’s your conversion rate? 1%? 3%? Even if it hits 5%, that still means 95% of your site visitors leave it without buying anything. Besides, you may have paid (advertising, affiliate, etc.) to attract these people to your site.
Does that mean you’ve lost them for good? Not necessarily.
Sometimes you have to know how to lose a sale to ensure another later. Do you remember point # 5 on the different phases of purchasing? Rather than trying to get your customers’ credit card number immediately, try to get them to follow you: by subscribing to your newsletter for example.
13. Encourage compulsive buying
Urgency is a powerful motivator, when used wisely. Buy now or you will miss out on this gem!
There are 3 ways to instill a sense of urgency in your customers:
●The limited quantity (as above)
●A flash sale (” Offer valid until tomorrow 4 p.m. “)
●Promotions limited to one-off events ( Special “Mother’s Day” offer -25% on the entire store )
As long as the reason for this urgency is justified and credible, your offer is likely to work. Use this technique sparingly and with common sense to get a one-time increase in your sales.
14. Respect the ergonomics standards
If your site is difficult to use, no one will bother to care about your offer. The best websites offer a fluid, pleasant and intuitive experience. Fortunately, the 90s are behind us. We no longer have to struggle with indigestible sites. In 2010, the average web site usability failure rate was 22%. If you need a serious guide to usability and site design, this article should help. Compare your site according to the different criteria presented and modify it accordingly.
15. Choosing the right social media apps for your marketing strategy
Visitors to your website or blog need to feel confident in purchasing a product first. To lead him to the purchase, offer to reach you via his preferred messaging.
●Google’s Business Messages
In order to put all the chances on your side and lead him to the purchase on your website, multiply the pastilles of these social networks! The more tools you offer to reach you, the better the results will be!
16. Perform page analyzes
In order to be able to tailor your sales pages in an effective and relevant way, you must start by analyzing these pages. You can, for example, use the Optimizly software which allows you to generate different pages and understand which settings work best:
●Is the page more attractive with this or that color?
●Is the visual more welcoming with this form or this one?
●Does it make more sense to place the contact form on the right or on the left?
Sometimes a simple detail of color or placement can make a huge difference to your online sales.
17. Create a blog
You can also drive traffic to your site by creating a blog related to your business sector to position yourself as an expert in your field. Knowing that quality content is increasingly valued by Internet users, this allows you to generate more traffic and more potential customers. If users see your product knowledge well, you build a trusting relationship with them. They will be more inclined to test your products. Also, as we mentioned earlier, starting a blog allows you to improve your SEO with keywords.
18. Take a look at the competition
Analyze your competitors:
●How do they promote their products?
●How do they build their reputation and their image?
●What are their communication strategies?
●What are the aspects that can block you in their stores as a customer?
Based on your findings, you can list your benefits and quantify them. Highlight your singularities. Your benefits may, for example, relate to:
●the scarcity of products
●the speed of delivery
●the many payment options and their security
19. Retain customers from the start
Retaining your customers is also a good way to increase your sales. For this, you can use emails or even a newsletter, in order to keep them informed of your current promotions or company news.
Also think about allowing the creation of a loyalty account: you get many email addresses to establish your emailing strategies and customers will come back to you easily until they benefit from a reduction or a product offered. You can retain your customers from their first purchase by offering them samples of their choice, or a welcome gift. They will remember this little attention to them and will call on you again on their next purchases.
20. Show customer reviews
Your products are well presented, your store is ergonomic and your customer service works wonderfully. But how do you convince new buyers who have never heard of you? Have customers do this work. Through the reviews and ratings they give you during the buying process, after their purchases, and through customer service, you can build a brand image. Show positive reviews on your site to entice future customers to test your products. You can also display a 5 star rating in Google search results. To do this, configure your Google My Business listing so that your rating appears in the results.
21. Use video
A convincing way to communicate can be video. Video content is the most popular and engaging type of content. According to a Vidyard study taken on SEMRush, the click-through rate of businesses using video increased by 27% and their conversion rate increased by 34%. The video format makes it possible to catch the eye of the consumer as well as to present the product in a more dynamic and fun way.
22. Organize contests
The best way to engage your customers and boost your online sales is to organize a contest. You will find many contests organized during the end of year celebrations, summer holidays or back to school.
Depending on the type of products you offer, you can organize contests under your conditions:
●Ask users to make videos with products from your online store
●Include surprise vouchers on certain orders for a limited time
●Simply suggest that they register for a raffle
The contest is a great way to market yourself and generate more traffic. By creating enthusiasm around your brand, you increase the number of visitors and potential customers.
23. Offer shipping costs under conditions
Another simple technique to increase the price of the cart is to offer the shipping cost beyond a certain purchase amount. This prompts customers to increase the price of their cart to be offered delivery. You now have all the cards in hand to develop your business and increase your sales! By understanding your customers and presenting your products effectively, you boost your online sales and boost your store’s notoriety.
24. Shorten the customer journey
There is nothing more disheartening for a potential customer than a lengthy buying journey. Here is the most common mistake, and undoubtedly the most fatal for online sales sites: forcing the creation of an account before payment by credit card. Indeed, this barrier maximizes the risk of abandonment of the basket. To boost your online sales, you have to bypass it by offering a connection via Facebook or Gmail. You can also count on the new sales tools offered by Instagram, with an express checkout integrated into the social network.
25. List price and sale price
Our brain works with the concept of anchors or comparisons. Since he has to make decisions quickly, then he is based on confrontation. How do you know if it is profitable or not to buy a house in a particular neighborhood or a share in a company? Simple: do a price comparison.
Well: people compare competitor prices and list prices against a discount. Therefore in your product sheet always put two prices, one of which is crossed out. It works! Pay attention to the prices you set. If you want to increase online sales you must have prices in line with the competition, not higher. Unless you’re Apple, no one cares about buying products from your online store that they find everywhere. So if you live in the monopoly you can do what you want, if you live in a supply / demand situation where supply is greater than demand, then you have to adapt to the prices of online competitors.
26. Interesting content in the product sheets
If your product sheets do not explain what you are selling in great detail, it is useless to drive traffic to the site. People come, look and if they go. Content is key. Imagine having the customer in your shop. What would you ask before buying? Well, write those things in your product sheet. It takes time? Of course it takes time! Does it take people who do it? Sure, it takes people who do it and who know what they are doing! If you sell clothing, rings, bracelets, you must indicate the lengths or sizes so that the end customer can be sure of the purchase. Use the “Satisfied or reimbursed” formula to break down purchase barriers and any doubts. Never take anything for granted.
27. Beautiful images with the same mood
We know very well that for images it is a mess. If you are a producer you have to take pictures. If you sell drills, let me see the drill from various perspectives. If you are a distributor, please post images with the same style. If you don’t have them, take pictures. Build yourself a small set and take these blessed photos!
If the images are missing or ugly, don’t sell. If the images on your site are awful, well your online sales will be too. PS: The photos with the heads cut off and the homemade photos are horrible. Images are essential in online sales.
28. Delivery times
Basic rule: the sooner you deliver, the better. If you have a product that you deliver in 30 days, declare it openly. Maybe claim it takes 31 days and then deliver it the day before. Your customer will appreciate it. What will happen? Customers who can wait will wait, others will look for another site.
Delivery times are important: sooner is better than later. After it is worse than before. If the express delivery costs you, then enter multiple shipping methods at different prices. Each client will decide based on his portfolio.
29. How to make the package
Buy from your competitors and easily find out how they pack. Is useful. If they have been selling online for longer than yours, they are certainly more experienced. Buy, look, compare, think and then act. The package is important and transfers the image of your company. What do you want to convey? Think about it, it’s important.
30. Customer happiness
Do you have a system that allows you to receive customer feedback? No? Then set up your own system (send an email a few days after delivery) or use a system such as Feedaty or Ekomi. They call it social commerce but it’s actually a simple system. You send an email (automatically) to the customer after the purchase asking what they think of the purchase. Sites like Booking, Amazon, Zalando, etc. do this regularly. It serves to show other customers that you are trustworthy (Ebay was the first to invent the trustworthiness of the seller through public comments) and it serves you to constantly improve your sales. How happy are your customers? Find out with feedback.
What is an e-commerce?
“E-commerce can refer to all transactions for the marketing of goods. and services between producer (supply) and consumer (demand), realized through the Internet ”
In general, we can say that this definition is correct, even if many variables come into play that it does not consider. An e-commerce is composed of many factors, for example affiliate marketing, which differentiate the type, and involves different disciplines: from technical information technology to communication, from marketing to graphics, up to regulatory and legal issues.
It is also necessary to take into account the reasons that lead a company to choose to sell its products or services via the internet, and identify which ones really base a large portion of their business on online presence.
Different types of e-commerce
There are different types of electronic commerce, but we will focus on showing the most common:
Business to Business (B2B): is the exchange of supplies, products or services between one company and another. This type of trade is often automated thanks to the internet, and includes a much larger area of exchanges than those that take place directly to the final consumer, as each company has specific needs, such as transport, technical or IT services. These needs are obviously met by other companies or businesses.
Business to Consumer (B2C): this term indicates all forms of online sales intended directly for the customer. Thanks to the web, the sale becomes faster, skipping the intermediaries and often guaranteeing more accessible prices and customer assistance 24 hours a day.
How e-commerce works
Now that we know the definition of e-commerce we need to talk about e-commerce services. In fact, it is the latter that make the difference: ease of use, customer assistance, free shipping, the possibility of returns, are all aspects of the e-commerce service nowadays useful for being successful with your e-commerce business. In addition to the product and the way in which it is presented to the potential buyer, numerous factors also influence the online purchase decision that have now become an integral part of the policies of the largest online stores such as Amazon, Zalando, Yoox, Privalia, Asos, etc.
Advantages and disadvantages of an e-commmerce site
When a company decides to open an e-commerce it must first of all understand what are the advantages that this tool can bring to the business, and at the same time keep an eye on the disadvantages. Here is a list of general positive and negative components to consider for any online sales initiative.
●Reaching a greater number of potential customers: whether it is a B2B or a B2C, there is no doubt that the network opens the doors to an infinite potential of people who can take advantage of e-commerce to get to know the company, ask for information or buy.
●Cost reduction: maintaining an e-commerce does not cost as much as supporting the costs of a physical store, because the online management costs are significantly reduced.
●Adding an important piece to communication: having an e-commerce for a company that has already started is a good way to achieve further visibility on the web, reaching a greater number of people and taking advantage of the opportunity to generate online interactions
●Online payments: it must be taken into account that, despite the growth there is also in Italy, many people are still wary of buying online, because they do not know the procedures well and are afraid of being able to spread their banking data on the web.
●Unfair practices: in addition to not running into unfair commercial practices, you need to know how to manage customer requests, which sometimes are not exactly in line with what is expected once the e-commerce is opened
●Business plan: even to manage an e-commerce you need a strategy, as well as time and staff resources that deal with legal or marketing aspects.