How to increase your sales online
When building a brand, it is vital to avoid the “standard” sales tactics that everyone else uses. Our guide will help you understand how to increase your online sales and strengthen your brand. As far as improving your website’s performance is concerned, there is a lot to think about.
Generally, exceptional websites result in a smooth, pleasant user experience, which comes with more sales for your business. For most industries, competition is intense and complacency is not an option. Doing more than expected will make you stand out, gain more clients and increase your activities.
Product & brand
Even if your product is truly unique – there is no doubt that a strong brand is especially important. Indeed, your brand is not just your logo. Branding has to do with how your “audience” feels when they talk about your business. This feeling for your brand is created as time goes by and it becomes a part of your clients’ every day life. The following guide shows you the way and the method to increase your online sales and the recognition of your brand.
Before we begin
First and foremost, it’s important that you have defined some metrics. For instance, if you sell a small amount of products on your website, you must monitor the traffic and the online sales. However, references to your brand would be of little importance. Also, updating your website frequently with new, quality content and improving the user experience contribute to improving your Google ranking and your website’s Conversion Rate.
Imagine your website like a physical store. If you open it in the wrong area of town, you will attract the wrong visitors and even if they come in, they will likely buy nothing. What’s more, if you have only one person working behind the till, there is a long queue and you only accept cash, most people will be dissatisfied from the consumer experience. A website works in the exact same way. It must offer an exceptional experience to the audience that is interested in your products and services.
1. Keep your home page clean and simple
Think of your homepage as your shop window. If you try to cram everything you sell into one and only showcase, the result will be a mess. Your customers would have no idea what to look for or where to start from. Instead, most great retail stores focus on one or two key products (usually bestsellers or latest releases).
It may be tempting to demonstrate everything you can offer to your visitors on the home page, but this is a false marketing strategy. It sounds weird, but reducing the volume of products / services you talk about on your homepage, combined with adding more details about them, will increase your online sales.
It’s all about focus and clarity. Instead of trying to please everyone visiting your website, make sure it’s clear who you are addressing and why your website is the best choice for purchases. And this is where the importance of the brand comes to the fore. If you haven’t realized who you are as a brand, you may have difficulties giving emphasis and clarity around your core products. If you don’t know who your audience is and why you would be the ideal choice – you must redesign your brand.
When designing your home page, take your key products (your bestsellers or those who you are recognizable for) and present them in a unique way, while giving answers to every key question your visitors may have. This is vital for new brands. Lack of focusing and the desire to be everything for everyone will result in being nothing for nobody. If that means launching a single product, focus on it!
2. Create a list with emails
No matter what you sell on the internet, creating an email list is one of the best ways to keep in touch with not only your existing clients, but your future ones as well. Create an email list in the same way you increase your followers on social media. The more value you provide, the more people will be interested in what you do and will be willing to listen to you on a regular basis. If all you do is promote products to them, they will lose interest and stop following you, as you probably would do too. An effective way to get started with an email list is to offer an introductory discount to those who sign up. For example, a ten percent (10%) discount on their first order.
3. Reexamine your offer for an effective email marketing
Promotions are the key to creating an email list. Most brands seem to believe that “Sign up for our latest news” in the footer of their website is enough to create a fixed email list. However, practice shows that this isn’t the case for two reasons:
- It doesn’t emphasize to your visitors why they should sign up (no one is interested in the latest news of most companies).
- It’s hidden and they must look for it to sign up (most likely they won’t do it).
Placing a quality promotion offer will have a significant impact on the number of subscribers you can attract.
- Try placing your email opt in offer in a pop up that appears on your website when a new visitor arrives.
- Try placing your opt in offer in an announcement bar at the top of your site.
- Use a separate sign-up page where you can direct users from your homepage or even from other pages on your site.
- Offer a discount for their first order
- Offer quick access to new products
- Offer exclusive access to the content
Remember, you are asking for ‘access’ to your customers’ inbox. Make sure you offer something worthy of it.
4. Include social ‘proof’
There’s a reason why websites like TripAdvisor exist. People tend to imitate behaviors that work as social acceptance and proof. We investigate what other people do, especially those who are similar to us, in order to validate which decision is right for us. Following the crowd allows us to make decisions
about products or services that we do not have time to understand in depth.
In addition to following the crowd, people are more likely to trust other people and not necessarily the brand itself that sells the product. This is why influencer marketing works so effectively, and word of mouth will always be strong for any brand.
The reviews highlight specific features of a product, as well as how buyers feel about your brand. You can also use Google reviews, which are great for local SEO too.
Depending on the industry in which you operate, awards can play a very important role. The food industry is a prime example of this, as the Great Taste Awards are quite recognized and will immediately show that your products are worth trying!
If your product has certifications that ensure its quality, do not forget to display them on your website. For example, if you claim that your products are organic, be sure to present the relevant certification.
5. Write content that your customers are looking for
Create sales opportunities with exceptional content that helps you build relationships of trust. Content writing helps your visitors understand your product better and at the same time, it’s a great way to attract new customers. You can also create sales opportunities from Searchers who search Google for questions that your brand answers. However, in order to create content that will enhance your brand, you must first realize who you are addressing.
6. Include frequently asked questions (FAQs)
You can start with a very simple FAQs page that includes questions you already know, and subsequently add new ones. A FAQs page also saves you me by answering each question once – instead of hundreds.
- Group questions related to a specific category
- Put your questions in the order that would be asked ‘naturally’
- Provide links in different areas of your website that help users find more information
- Answer the questions as simply as possible
You will have encountered this tactic more on sites like Amazon, where they offer “similar” products or products that “others have bought”. If you sell a number of products on your website, let your customers know that they have shown interest in a similar product. However, note that your sales should look and feel completely ‘natural’.
8. Use quality photos
When Airbnb first launched, the founders offered to take photos of the spaces to ‘make them more attractive’. This changed their business dramatically for the better. When selling products online, quality photography can make a difference!
- In e-Commerce – we recommend using a white background because it allows your customers to see exactly what they are buying, in every detail. Research shows that 22% of online customers who returned a product did so because the one they received looked different. To avoid large numbers of returns, make sure the photos of the products depict exactly what they look like. Also, include different angles and shoot them with the best lighting possible.
- In Lifestyle type – we suggest images that match the product’s environment. If it is about clothes or glasses, they will be items on models in real locations and not in studios. In case of functional products, these shootings will show the product in use. Photos act much like the reviews. They help customers realize if the item will fit their style by looking at it while in use.
- Brand images – these are images that extend your brand identity to other areas. An example of this would be sea images for an Outerwear brand. No product, no models, but with the product environment. Although the use of stock photos is not preferred, for some companies it is necessary in order to keep the costs realistic. The key to using Stock Images properly is to make sure the images you use enhance your brand communication. If you can not find those images that express you, do not settle for those that are closer. Find a way to get the images your brand needs.
9. Try one step at time
When trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t on your site, it is tempting to make a lot of changes together. However, many changes will make it almost impossible to draw conclusions. You will save time, energy and capital by trying one change at a time.
When it comes to increasing internet sales, the goal is to convert traffic into sales. The percentage (%) of the website traffic that is converted into sales is the Conversion Rate. To improve your conversion rate, it is important to consider when users leave your site and why.
10. Better product descriptions
Research shows that 98% of a website’s visitors did not complete a purchase due to incorrect product information. If a potential customer has reached the product page and leave at this stage due to lack of information, you need to redesign your page immediately.
In physical stores, shoppers have the opportunity to ‘experience’ a product. When shopping online, they must rely on the visual and verbal data available on a website.
11. Make your contact information easy to find and use
It may sound obvious, but many websites hide their contact information in a series of links that make them almost impossible to find. Therefore, present your contact information in all the footers of your website.
12. Improve your branding
Your corporate identity says a lot about who you are as a brand and who your product is addressed to. If you do not understand who you are and who your audience is, how will you build your brand? Branding helps your customers immediately understand that they are in the right place. Your brand, regardless of the industry you belong to, must reflect you and ‘speak’ to your audience.
13. Optimize your site for Google (SEO)
SEO Marketing means optimizing a website for search engines. When Google is provided with quality content, it can show it to all those who do relevant searches.
No matter what you sell online, a great amount of your traffic will come from Google. Combine this with the fact that the first five (5) results of the first page of Google results are 67% of all clicks! That’s why optimizing your site is so important.
14. Make sure landing pages fill your ads
If you work with Google Ads or sponsored ones on social media, you need to think about the entire path of the user and not just the ads.
When someone clicks on an ad, they expect to see more information about the topic / product that caught their eye from the beginning. If the pages on your site have nothing to do with the ads you are running, you will end up with a high bounce rate (large number of people leaving your site immediately).
15. Create offers that are for a limited time
Deadlines typically encourage your customers to act sooner rather than later. You can also use limited numbers of products in each batch to achieve a similar result.
However, if you produce a small number of products, and they run out, be sure to inform your customers on time, as well as for your next batch and new offers.
16. Offer a money back guarantee
When making an online purchase, there is always a risk that influences consumers’ decision as to whether or not to make the purchase. The money back guarantee improves the consumer experience. This is another way to build trust with your customers, and strengthen your brand by building a loyal customer base.
17. Offer free shipping
Survey results show that 47% of shoppers would abandon an e-cart if they arrived at the checkout and found that free shipping was not included. For some companies, offering free shipping is not an option. The key here is to be clear from the start about how your business operates.
- Offer free shipping when an order reaches a specific amount or more. This makes sense for companies that ship heavier items and therefore would lose money if they provided free shipping to everyone.
- Add shipping costs to the cost of the product. This simplifies shipping, but also means that your products now cost more. The brand plays an important role here. If for a small additional cost in shipping, your customers choose your competitors, then you do not have a strong brand or loyal followers.
18. Make the Check Out process very easy
A difficult checkout discourages buyers. You could have thousands of visitors to your site on a regular basis, but what’s the point of a website where everyone leaves due to a “difficult” purchase?
19. Improve your customer service
Good customer service should be a role model for running a business, not just a sales technique. It’s easy to set up an online business these days, but it often lacks a basic understanding of human trading behavior. 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Yes, 86%!
Of course, there are different levels of customer service depending on the size and activity of your business. Actions speak louder than words, and the right actions will increase your customers.
20. Increase relative traffic
If you know your market, you can focus on channels that will increase your site traffic. It is legitimate to have thousands of people vising your site every month, but not if they are not buying anything or showing no interest at all in what you have to offer.