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A Complete Guide to Product Sales in the Digital World

A Complete Guide to Product Sales in the Digital World

With digitalization, customer experiences are transformed by the creation of convenient self-service and escaping the hurdles of time-consuming transactions often associated with the traditional methods. As a brand, you need to strive to create a product that people would readily want to use.

Why should you read further? Maybe you have been operating in a local shop and you want to try to expand. Or perhaps you are looking to explore places that will offer your brand more visibility. Maybe you want to satisfy your curiosity on more digital channels that can be available to you even if you already have an online presence.

No matter the reasons you may have, you should read on. And if you still have no idea, I think the better question is “isn’t it time you actually took your business online”? Great digital products do not just appear out of the blues; they go through a process and create delightful experiences that continually keep their users coming back for more!

The world as it is today

I will be blunt with you here. The world has changed and this change is in a big way. This is because literally everyone is surrounded by screens. This has been fuelled by the advent of smartphones and the internet; making us all connected in ways we have never been before.

With this massive shift in our daily lives, it is no surprise to note that consumers have become more empowered and informed than ever before. Now, if a firm is not prepared to handle all these changes, the organization will be at a serious disadvantage which will lead to loss of sales.

So, if you ask me what I think about the world we live in today, I will say without missing a beat “it is a world immersed in technology”. Gone are the days of traditional and offline selling. Do not get me wrong; I am not against traditional selling. All I am saying is that organizations who want to grow to the peak have to digitalize their operations.

Offline stores should not compete with online stores but complement each other instead. What do I mean by that? Your brand’s website cannot be compared to the physical feel of your products and services, but through the website, you can gain wider reach than your offline store would have made possible.

With the click of a button from the comfort of your bed, one can make purchase decisions across different alternatives in existence. With websites and blogs analyzing products and making comparisons, your average customer engages with your store armed with information much more than your sales representatives. This is because a lot of research has already been carried out by your customers before they engage in your physical store.

For example, if your target customers are millennial, they are likely to learn more about your product from digital channels before they make a buying decision. How then do you utilize the digital world and make your brand the one that stands out of so many competing brands?

Rules you should never forget in product sales

Your customers are the reason for your existence in business. They are basically the lifeblood of your business and any marketing strategy you decide to adopt must be anchored around them.

First and foremost, you need to make a decision on what you want to sell. Is there any point moving ahead if you do not have an idea of what can meet the needs of your customers? A lot of online stores have their origin from the products of their owners. This does not rule out the fact that you can also sell the products of another party through your website and online platforms.

Trust me when I say that having a great product or dare I say multiple great products will lead you on the right path to success. You can also explore the option of digital products like eBooks, games, and online courses among others.

As a brand, you need to leverage on direct or indirect factors that are most likely to inform a purchase decision. I will explain further. You know there are some salient factors consumers watch out for before they select the product of a particular brand; product features, product reviews, price or an emotional connection. All of these can culminate in closing a sale if acted upon.

Marketing strategies to drive product sales in the digital world

Any product or service can be sold online; think of any and check it out for yourself. Online sales continue to be on the increase year after year. Now, it will not be wise not to take advantage of the channels you can utilize in the sale of your products and services. The selling process is pretty much the same.

Before you think of selling, you should have a customer target in mind and the customer experience should be consistent. At the forefront of your mind should be the fact that you exist to solve a problem and not merely to sell your goods and services. This is why the satisfaction a customer gets grows a notch when they get a product that is exactly right for them in the fulfillment of their needs.

With e-commerce, you spread your brand wings farther than your locality, reaching a global market, thus increasing your sales lead. Selling your product in the digital world makes you available round the clock and guarantees convenience to your customers. This is why you need to get onboard the online train fast!

The days of just building a website and sitting around for the traffic to come pouring in are over and gone for good. For a brand that is just starting out and yet to amass goodwill, it will require hard work, consistency and a lot of marketing strategies to get you to the top. As a brand, you can promote your online store using the following marketing strategies;

Social media marketing

Product Sales

According to a research by Pew Research Center, 95 percent of your regular American teens use the internet. This is a whopping figure and goes to show that of your target customers are teens, you are definitely going to have to become digital to capture their attention. Youths have become so dependent on internet and digital technology in this present generation.

With many social media platforms that enhance connection, it is no surprise to see the increasing number of users. Brands that want to stay proactive are taking their products and services to their customers in the places they are most likely to be.

If you are in the class of people that seems to relegate the social media platforms to the background, I would strongly recommend you have a rethink. Your social interaction does matter on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram among others. If you are hoping to drive more sales to your store, social media can be a huge step in the right direction.

Research shows that about a whopping eighty-one percent of the buying decision of customers are influenced by a friend’s post on social media; little wonder why a lot of proactive firms are taking advantage of the opportunities these platforms present.

The digital world today has left a mark on in-store retail experience in remarkable ways. Through social media marketing, you can also extend your reach on a global scale. Furthermore, your followers can be encouraged to share their views about experiences had with your brand.

Social media also affords a brand the opportunity to closely communicate with their customers and build a good reputation. Imagine if a brand is quick to respond to inquiries made, what image do you think they will present to their customers? Without a doubt, it will show a brand that cares and appreciates all the inputs they make.

Blogging and content marketing

Blogs are becoming the in-thing these days. Through a blog, features of your products can be promoted and their benefits can be showcased. Want to keep visitors interested enough to stick around and become a regular visitor? Create attention-worthy content that can keep them interested enough to come back for more.

Always back your contents with visuals about your product. Product images and videos that are relevant will always engage people more than product descriptions in text only. Testimonials and tutorials on product usage can be attached to your content to make them rich and appealing.

Never forget the importance of connections in spreading your reach. Guest blogging can be engaged in to connect with other influential bloggers within your niche to help spread buzz about your products and services.

Search engine optimization

When you hear SEO, think of it as a technique of increasing the visibility of your website by improving its placement in search results on search engines like Yahoo or Google. Customers are quick to search for information on a search engine. Getting your website to be at the top of the search engine would improve your chances of being seen by a shopper.

Email marketing

As opposed to the old-school view email is looked on with, it is still one of the most effective tools that you can utilize to generate sales lead and pass information across to your customers.

With email marketing, your online store, website or blog can be promoted and discounts can be communicated to target customers. There are many email services that can be used like MailChimp, among others in order to stay in touch with your customers.

Pay-per-click advertising

As a result of cost implications, a lot of people avoid using this platform. However expensive it might seem in the short run, you can be assured of getting your revenue back in the long run and an increase in your Return on Investment (ROI).

Oops, I did not explain this better before yapping about its benefits. When we talk of PPC, consider it to be simply advertising on internet search engine. How does this work exactly? You could pay for your advert to appear whenever a particular phrase or keyword is searched.

The prices are however determined by your selected search engine and how competitive the phrase or keyword in question is. Whenever a shopper clicks on your advert, you get charged a certain amount that is fixed. With PPC, any demographic can be targeted and your website traffic can be increased.

I need to clarify here that the marketing strategies that exist are inexhaustive and only a few of them are discussed in the course of this article. There is much room for learning about each of them in order for you to select the strategies to be incorporated into your marketing plan. All that matters is that you select the right strategy that will be the best fit for your products and services.

Selecting an e-commerce platform for your product sales

If you want to take your products online, the e-commerce platform you select plays an important role. Some of these platforms are paid, some free, some simple while some downright complex. With a lot of options in the market like Shopify, WordPress, Ubercart, Magento, Volusion, BigCommerce and so many others, there are, however, some features to look out for in the selection of a platform.

How easy can it be integrated with the payment option in your country? Often times, businesses are quick to ignore this aspect forgetting that payments need to be accepted from customers in the course of business dealings with them. It is not every e-commerce platform in the market that is easily compatible with every payment gateway.

How easily can you create and manage your products and product content? You need a platform that lets you easily create pages, contact form, and attention-worthy advertising copies. You also need to check how many products a platform can handle to reduce response time. Nothing can be as frustrating as an unresponsive site, thus driving customers to that of a competing brand.

You need to know the hardware and software limitations of any e-commerce platform you decide to use as well as its ease of maintenance. The easier it is to maintain, the easier you can manage your e-commerce operations.

How secure is your store? When you hear technical phrases like PCI compliance or SSL certification, it is enough to make one dizzy especially if you are not tech-savvy. The PCI compliance are standards that are applicable to websites that accept and store payment information while the SSL certificates are data files that allow the processing of online purchases as well as other sensitive transactions.

With digitalization, one cannot ignore the importance of data, which means that data security is highly important. Customers need to be confident in your store. Some e-commerce platforms offer more security features and perks like fraud protection among others.

 Do they offer online support and documentation? You need to keep abreast with the support facilities an e-commerce platform can offer. Support like Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), audio and video guides, Q&A segments should be checked in any e-commerce platform you are considering.

At the end of the day, you will do well to select the platform that affords you room to grow as a brand and is peculiar to your needs. You should have the flexibility to add new features and extensions to the existing platform without the hassle of migrating to a new one. As your business grows, the chances of your brand outgrowing the functionalities offered by most e-commerce platforms are bound to increase. Hence, you need to select one that will offer a cost-effective solution for your expansion needs.

Establishment of a secure payment gateway

Of course, with selling comes the transfer of funds from buyer to seller. Think of your payment gateway like the regular hardware POS terminals that are used in physical stores. The basic function of a payment gateway is to verify the credit card details of your customers and ensure that you get paid for every sale made. They basically approve or decline transactions.

Before you confuse them with merchant accounts, let me briefly clarify. You already know what a payment gateway is all about, so I will just skip right to the merchant account. A merchant account holds your funds until you are ready to deposit it into your bank account. Their transactions charges are less than that of the payment gateways.

Some payment gateways like PayPal for example, can function without a merchant account and transfers the funds directly to your account from your customers.

Conclusion

With all these information shoved in your face, it can be a little bit overwhelming. The truth is that selling your products in the digital world is easy and not as complicated as it sounds. All it needs is one step and the next and voila! You are on your way to earning money round the clock.

For your website to occupy a distinct place in the minds of your customers, you need attention-grabbing contents and attractive images. Having your website increases your professionalism and people are quick to buy when they know they are buying from a professional. There are numerous website designs available on the web that can be customized to suit your needs or you can outsource the creation of your website to a third party.

Armed with images that just scream “look at me!” and captivating content, your website appears interesting enough to warrant attention. You can upload information on your site with regards to your product images, product description, pricing, and shipping. If you have a good e-commerce platform in your pockets, it becomes an easy step.

With this digital world comes the birth of consumers that are very strict with their demands for better services or the switch to an alternative brand is readily considered. This has led to an increase in the messages that are all competing for the attention of the consumers. This means that brands do not have captive audiences waiting around for brands; instead, brands have to be extra remarkable in order to capture the attention of the consumers.

Brands that have this idea and have implemented practices in place to guarantee customer delight on digital platforms are already reaping the rewards in huge folds with the explosive increase in product sales.

There should be a way to measure impact when entering the digital world. This will go a long way to show you how your brand is perceived by the consumers. This impact can be measured in terms of downloads, shares, views, followership, ratings, and reviews among others.

Your offline marketing should not be relegated to the background, even in a digital world. Your web address should be included in all printed advertising materials as they can help generate sales lead.

Finally, ensure that any contact with your customers ends in the creation of delightful experiences that will always keep them coming back for more. Adopting a customer-centric approach in your marketing approach will earn you loyal customers who will turn into brand ambassadors, creating a buzz that is sure to generate huge revenue in the long run.

 

Product Sales

Product Sales

Product Sales

Product Sales