Prioritizing online sales will broaden your reach and harden your business against negative impact in almost any economy. The trick for increasing sales of an eCommerce website is to plan strategically and implement actionable steps that will take you from a shaky startup to a solid enterprise. Your strategy should also be executed methodically to minimize risk and to track the impact of your actions.
In addition to getting professional business consulting and financial advice, incorporating eCommerce best practices will help you build a viable brand. Here’s a five-step plan that will transform your vision of eCommerce success into a reality.
Step 1: Know Your Audience
The Most Important Part of Increasing eCommerce Sales
When there are thousands of competitors and millions of consumers to contend with, no one has the time or resources to cast a wide net and hope for the best. The best answer when the question is how to increase eCommerce sales? Know your audience!
If you’re in a saturated market, look for ways to serve an under-served segment of that market. Constructing a typical client persona is beyond essential to identify specific pain points and aspirations, and then craft a marketing strategy that addresses them. Create content that engages your audience and meets them wherever they are on their journey. Use social media to create buzz, obtain valuable feedback, and foster brand trust.
Step 2: Optimize Your Website
Your website is often the first; possibly the only, interaction you’ll have with customers. You have less than a minute to make a good impression in the real world, and the digital world gives you only fractions of a second.
Make sure that you choose secure hosting and an eCommerce platform that has the resources to handle regular traffic and surges that follow a successful marketing campaign.
Your platform should also feature the latest marketing tools, or have the option to integrate them. There’s nothing worse than seeing the introductory pop-up all over the page every time you open the website! It’s the little things that turn people away, so educate yourself about these features.
SEO and On-Page Optimization
Optimize your pages for speed and ease of use. Your customers should be able to shop and check out within three clicks. Showcase new product launches with SEO-oriented landing pages. Add customer service-focused functions like live chat. Create clear calls to action and a visible means to follow through.
Increase Your eCommerce Sales with Business Advisory
Step 3: Building Trust
The internet is filled with honest, hard-working entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, we share our space with fly-by-nights, scammers, and people looking to make a quick buck. In the best of times, these are nuisances. When the future seems uncertain and unstable, it’s more important than ever to differentiate yourself from the mass of similar businesses and slick sales tactics.
Trust and authenticity are two things that will help your business stand out and support a growing base of loyal brand ambassadors.
How to build trust to increase your online sales:
- Offer round-the-clock customer service from multiple avenues (phone, email, live chat) or stipulate when customers can contact your company and be sure that someone will answer them. Consider outsourcing your sales team to offer more customer support.
- Be sure to put all of your contact information on every page.
- Include FAQ and Terms of Service pages so that customers can get quick, accurate answers.
- Add customer reviews and other user-generated content to your pages. This shows social proof.
- Opt for real images and video rather than stock footage. Users want to know how things look in real life!
- Address any negative reviews or customer concerns quickly and publicly. Never delete negative feedback – reviewers can just go to another platform and then users won’t trust your reviews are sincere.
Step 4: Add Value
No matter how great your products are, customers still need an incentive to choose you over the other guy. In addition to transparency and trust, adding value to every customer interaction will increase eCommerce sales and bring an ROI beyond revenue.
How do you add value?
Increase eCommerce sales and add value through incentives like customer loyalty and referral programs, discounts and exclusive deals for first-time buyers or returning customers, and bundling products or services. Offer subscriptions where possible – if you’re selling a product someone can buy repeatedly (like shampoo). Users may also want to purchase a product they like as a gift, so offer them the option so it’s front-of-mind.
Don’t display offers for first-time buyers where repeat customers can see them as this can alienate your valuable customer base!
Free shipping is always a bonus. If you can’t afford to incorporate the cost of shipping into every order, try making it free with purchases over a certain dollar amount. You can also improve your eCommerce sales by offering coupons when people check out – users hate seeing an empty discount code field, so giving them a discount code is always a good idea.
Step 5: Don’t Go it Alone
Even if you’re a solo professional, no business is an island. Behind every successful brand is a network of loyal customers, advisors, industry peers, and others who are invested in your success.
Your focus shouldn’t only be on brand building but on forging solid business relationships. Outsourced accountants and financial advisors provide objectivity and help with business planning. Loyal customers and industry peers become brand ambassadors who help with marketing by providing social proof. These are the relationships that carry you through hard times and share in your prosperity when business is booming.
Get the Guidance You Need to Increase eCommerce Sales
Your success depends on getting accurate information so that you can make data-driven decisions about your business. Whether you’re just starting or looking for ways to manage growth, insightful guidance backed by cutting-edge technology will put your enterprise on a solid, sustainable path.
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