Whatever your business or brand, the ulitmate goal is to increase more sales and customers. Get your website and eCommerce up to scratch with these 14 essential tips on how to boost online sales:
1. Page Speed
Make sure your website pages load quickly. Slow to load pages will see your potential customers click away from your website before they’ve had a chance to see what you offer. A slow website is just handing business to your competition.
2. Make it Easy
Make it clear and Easy for visitors to your website and landing pages to find your products, categories and services. This includes good, well organised navigation and a clear layout for the landing pages. = User Experience (UX) Design .
Consider removing any rotating banners on landing pages. They not only slow down page speed but generally your audience won’t wait for all slides to load. You can still display welcoming and informative graphics that make it easy for the viewer see what you have to offer from the get-go.
A cluttered design without clear and easy navigation will likely frustrate your potential customers and result in a higher bounce rate (the viewer clicks away from your page or website).
3. Be Honest in Your Sales Copy
This might seem painfully obvious, but not only is honesty in your copy crucial to your business’ reputation, it also fosters and encourages trust in your brand. Don’t make claims you can’t substantiate, and don’t use hyperbole lightly – today’s consumers are hypersensitive to marketing BS, so be honest, straightforward, and approachable in all your sales copy, from your homepage to your email campaigns.
This principle also applies to how you position yourself as a business. Don’t try to be something you’re not or offer something you can’t supply.
4. Invest in Quality Product Images
A picture paints a thousand words, – Customers want to see what they’re buying before they purchase. Give as many different angles of the product as possible. For example, if you’re selling jackets, let the customer see the front and back at least and be able to zoom in to get a close look may be invaluable. However, you can only do this if your images are of a good enough quality and standard.
Grainy images, low light or just unprofessional looking photos will most likely turn away sales. The images on your website are not just for viewing before purchase but it gives the customer an overall sense of how professional your business is.
Given how important appearance is in relation to how we perceive things (including other people), it stands to reason that investing in quality product photography will have a similar effect on visitors to your site.
Regardless of what you sell, including high-quality images of your products is a must.
4. Create a Sense of Urgency
Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) creates sales.
Limited time offers/ sales and limited edition products, for example, can entice customers to buy from you.
There are many ways to accomplish a sense of urgency, some strategies may be more effective than others. For example, if you don’t (or can’t) make a limited-edition product to entice prospects, maybe you can offer a financial incentive to customers who commit to a purchase right away, such as free shipping or a discount.
5. Offer an easy Returns & Refund Policy
Oftentimes, one of the most powerful factors in a consumer’s decision not to buy something is risk aversion – the desire to avoid a potential loss. Most times, this perceived risk is a financial one. Why should someone buy your products? What if they don’t work, or the customer doesn’t like them? Even small purchases can carry the risk of “buyer’s remorse,” so overcome this objection from the outset by offering an easy returns and refund guarantee.
The more risk you remove from the prospect’s decision, the more confident they will feel and, therefore, are more likely to buy from you.
6. Mobile Optimisation
The number of online businesses with poorly designed, badly optimized “mobile” sites is astounding.
Mobile search is the more popular than desktop searches these days, by far. If you don’t want to leave sales on the table, it’s vital that your site is optimized for mobile.
Make it as easy as possible for mobile visitors to buy whatever you’re selling. This may involve an extensive overhaul of your checkout process or the design and launch of an entirely separate mobile site. Mobile page speed, (see point #1) is vitally important.
Think of your mobile visitors and do everything you possibly can to make it effortless for them to buy from you while they’re on the go.
7. Shipping Fees
The price of shipping added on at checkout can sometimes put customers off. Try offering flat rate shipping for national customers or free shipping if they spend a certain amount.
Research has shown that these kind of incentives can be the difference between a sale or an abandoned cart.
8. Discount Codes
Another big incentive is to offer a discount. Doing this by way of discount codes can help you tailor the offer to match your marketing. Discount codes can be used on your direct email marketing, newsletters, website and other advertising (traditional as well as digital). You can choose to offer the discount to a certain group of customers, like a loyalty / membership group, new signups, or link it to specific products or make it time-sensitive.
You can offer a monetory value, for example, “$10 off” or a percentage of the sale, for example; “Get 5% off”.
There are many creative ways to used discount codes.
Having a specific code that the customer needs to add at checkout it also great for tracking and analytics for your marketing.
9. Add an Opt-In Pop-Up Offer
If you’re looking to increase sales in retail, don’t ignore the potential of opt-in offers – prompts that encourage people to sign up for your newsletter, mailing list, or loyalty programs. Using opt-in offers can not only significantly increase the number of contacts in your database (a major asset for future email marketing campaigns), but also increase online sales in the short term.
Prospective customers who are on the fence about buying from you may well be swayed by a well-placed opt-in offer for, say, free shipping, or 10% of their first order. Even if they decide against the purchase at that time, but do sign up for your opt-in offer, you’ve still added them to your database and they may choose to return later to complete the sale.
When launching an opt-in offer, be sure to test every element for maximum optimization. Test the phrasing of the copy, the position at which it appears on your site, and the flow that visitors are directed through the process. A/B test different offers and see which ones yield a greater volume of sign-ups. Consider having the pop-up be triggered by a site exit so visitors see it just before they’re about the leave the page. The more people that sign up for your newsletter or loyalty program, the more potential sales you can make in the future.
10. The Checkout Process should be Quick & Easy
According to Business Insider, approximately $4 TRILLION worth of online merchandise was abandoned in incomplete shopping carts last year alone, of which 63% was potentially recoverable. This is a truly jaw-dropping statistic, and one that reveals how crucial it is to nail your checkout process.
Similar to the point above about user experience, reducing friction in your checkout process can have an incredible impact on your conversion rates. Just as you should make it as easy as possible for visitors to use and navigate your site, you should make it even easier for them to actually buy what you’re selling.
Make it easy for the customer to find the checkout or cart link. Make the checkout happen in as few a steps and as quickly as possible for the customer. Skip unnecessary fields in forms, don’t limit there checkout time so they don’t have to start again if they weren’t quick enough and make it easy for them to find payment options.
11. Provide as Many Payment Options as Possible
Okay, so your business takes credit cards. What about PayPal, Stripe or Apple Pay?
Some customers don’t feel confident in putting their credit card details on a website, so they may prefer using their PayPal account where they can keep their private info in one place only.
And also, by offering more payment options, including newer services that are becoming increasingly popular on mobile, you’re making it easier for prospects to give you their money.
12. Reinforce Security
Another concern for customers is online security. We all here about websites getting hacked – and that includes major brands, not just the small guys. So some customers are, understandably, hesitant to purchase online. Especially with a business they’ve never purchased from before.
Of course, it’s your job as the business to have as secure website as possible and to ensure the safety for your customers transactions and personal details. But is it obvious on your website? Make it crystal clear that your website is safe and secure to give your customers more confidence.
This can be done with the use of graphics at the bottom of your website, like a ‘secure’ seal. And also a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page – this can answer any concerns that a potential customer may have, including security.
13. Give your Customers enough information to be confident with your business
What do your potential customers really know about you? How can they find out or feel confident that your legitimate and that your website is secure before they give you their money?
As in point # 12, a Frequently Asked Questions page is the perfect way to answer a lot of your customers concerns and general pre-sales questions.
You can also have individual pages for these items that can be linked to from your FAQ page for more in-depth info.
Let them know about your returns and refunds policy (point # 5), that your website is secure, what payment options you offer, the shipping process and about you.
14. Contact and Support
Let the customers know that they can easily contact your support if they have any questions or issues with their order. Don’t leave your customers high and dry with no way of contacting you, this will result in a bad reputation that can appear on any of the multitude of review websites available today. It would certainly result in lack of future sales and return customers.
Your ultimate goal isn’t just for the initial sale, but return sales, loyalty, trust, referrals and positive reviews.