In cutting to the chase, every online store has one overriding goal: To make sales and more sales. Sales are the life-giving blood of any online business ecosystem. From sales made, profits existing customers, salaries are, expansion is possible and the business to function sustainably.
Online sales are boosted by the internet. The World Wide Web has and continues to change the way people shop for goods/products. Online shopping, which translates to online sales has become the standard and convenient way to connect with a much larger consumer base. The convenience stems from the fact that increasing numbers of individuals are embracing making transactions from the comfort of their home, office or anywhere!
Boosting online sales is given premium attention by many businesses and e-commerce stores. The questions involve what strategies and methodologies work best in taking sales figures northward. There are a number of courses and programmes that offer advice, tips, and tweaks to help increase online sales.
However, if your online business is not making significant online sales, maybe the question you should ask is what steps are you not taking, to put you on the way to super bumper sales on the internet.
What are the online sales strategies your competitors are implementing that you have not identified yet? Maybe it is time you sat back and appraised your e-commerce model and to see the ways you are missing out on more online sales. The ensuing list can serve as a guide:
1. You Have Not Established the Basics of Online Sales
Know that there are no measurable goals
The overall aim of a football game is to get the ball into the back of the net. So coaches and team managers prime their players to achieve this set target. The same ideology holds true for increasing your business’ online transactions. If there are no measurable goals in place, it will be much harder to assess your performance and to make needed adjustments to your online sales and marketing strategies. The more precise your target, the better your chances at not missing out of gaining a chunk of the online sales in your chosen sector. You should also consider the following:
- You can set an ambitious goal, but remember to set targets that are possible to achieve.
- Put in place structures to track your goals. You can install some kind of web analytics software on your site in order to determine how well you have met your online sales targets.
There is no focus on evidence
The last thing you should do in your ecommerce business is letting personal experiences or opinions drive your operations. For instance, because you are piqued by subscription pop-ups or ads, does not mean that every other person is. Rather, you should try out methods that have verifiable proof of being effective and result-oriented. If you are to boost your online sales figures, identify that your personal opinions and prejudices should be left out of the equation. Rather, base your actions on statistics and studies that have been tested and certified effective.
You are offering too many items for sale
Do not be swayed by the belief that offering a deluge of products on your ecommerce website increases your chances of making more sales. It might just have the opposite effect. Empirical studies show that listing too many products is often mentally tasking for the average visitor. This is because of the time needed to flip through product specifications and other such information. Ultimately, such a potential buyer ends up being overwhelmed and leaves your pages without making a purchase.
The rule of thumb in this regard is to place a sizeable number of items, so your buyers can see only the most important options and ultimately make a purchase decision.
You do not have back-end products
This point flows from the one preceding it. From avoiding posting too many products, you might actually be limiting the volume of your online sales if you do sell back-end products to your customers. Backend products are other products you can offer to your existing customers after they’ve made their initial purchase. From the knowledge of the products purchased, you can recommend what other products would complement their initial purchase.
In dealing with backend products, you should take cognizance of the following:
- Offer only products that complement the initial product of purchase. As an example, if your customer purchased golf clubs, you can point him/her to buy a golf club bag. Or you could also offer to sell golf shoes, hand gloves, face caps as well as golf training videos among others.
- Utilize paid subscriptions as backend products. In this regard, you must have become an authority in your field, hence you can offer paid premium access to members and intending members.
- You can also give upgrades as part of the offer of purchasing a backend product.
There are no opt-in offers
If your website has no features that give the opportunity for future interaction with potential and existing clients, then you will be missing out on more online sales. An opt-in offer is a tool used to collect your customer’s email address and other information. With this strategy in place, you can inform them about new products, sales, promotions, and more. In addition, you can receive feedback and suggestions through the same channels, thereby building positive relationships over time. To get started with opt-in offers, you can consider the following:
- Place your opt-in offer in an easy-to-see location on your homepage. Experience shows that users’ eyes often go to the top left-hand corner of a page. This would be a good place to post an opt-in offer.
- Ensure that your opt-in offer also appears on every page of your site. In this manner you can sure that customers will, at some point during their stay, provide you with their contact information.
Utilize hover adverts
Hover ads are tools that inform the customer about information relevant to the customers, such as a sales promotion as well as product upgrades.
However, use hover ads with caution. Ensure that the ads only gives information to users that will be beneficial to them. For instance, a 30 percent off all sales until Saturday is relevant information that can that you with a hover ad. With this tool in place, you can be sure of turning traffic into purchase decisions.
Your users are mobile but you are not
Take into consideration that the bulk of your users are young and mobile. And that means that these individuals are making more transactions on the move and with their mobile phones. So, if your e-commerce site is not optimized for mobile telephone usage, then you could limit the volume of online sales you are recording.
Incorporate and optimize your website for mobile viewing. Mobile users also have a common habit of swiping left and right to view images. Therefore, instead of putting product images in vertical order, add a gallery so they can swipe horizontally. Once you optimize your website for mobile use, complete with accessible payment options, the chances of posting impressive online sales figures increases.
You do not create a sense of urgency
If your website does not cause visitors/buyers hearts to flutter, it is possible that your online sales numbers will take a dip.
The reason for this is not far-fetched. A good number of buyers are prone to browsing around or abandoning their online collection, with the belief that they can always return to complete a transaction.
But in the ecommerce space, you can trigger an immediate action when you create a sense of your product going out of stock. This piece of information is meant to make customers act quickly in order place an order for a product.
You can set your stock number lower than actual quantity in your inventory. This act creates an impression that your items are in high demand and will soon sell out.
Place a timing feature also adds to the sense of urgency you would want to convey to your customers.
When customers are considering making a purchase, you can show a time-limited offer along with a running countdown timer to motivate them to make an unplanned purchase.
Placing the right product, at the right location along with appropriate promotions have the potential of boosting your online sales volume.
2. Your WEBSITE is not CONTENT compliant
You do not post content regularly
If you do not put up engaging content on a consistent basis, you could be missing out on making online sales. A good way to determine how much you should post is through conducting a poll among your users. Get their input and their specific needs. The goal is to place relevant, but not overwhelming information that is central to their needs.
You should also note that timing is important to placing content on your website or whatever social media platform you use. Evidence shows that Twitter posts are often clicked on after 6 pm, with the platform experiencing heavy traffic on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The best time to place content daily on Facebook is between the hours of 12 noon and 6 pm.
Your content is not shareable
If your customers can not share your products and items to their friends and family, then you could be missing out on making more online sales. In this regard, you should embed social media buttons into the header of your website, your email signature, your newsletter and other forms of correspondence. When visitors can easily share products they like on various social media handles, the chances of increasing your online sales become better.
For creating easy-to-share content on your e-commerce site, here are a few tips you should consider:
- Place social media buttons (which are images of the various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter) in spots that are prominent on your website. If someone wants to share your product on Facebook, for example, all they would need to do is to click on the Facebook logo. Then, a window will pop up allowing them to write a quick post about the item and share the related content.
- It is important that you amass a considerable amount of shareable content, before engaging with the various social media platforms. In this way, users are assured of receiving fresh content on a regular basis.
There is a lack of buyer personas
You should know that having a lack of buyer personas for the various categories of products you offer, could erode your online sales. For example, if you sell running shoes, you could look at demarcating your market into specific user groups. These groups may include fit young folks running 60 + miles a week, casual or weekend running enthusiasts, mountain trail hikers as well as road trip runners among others. In order to optimize sales, your e-commerce site may need to provide different appeal factors to these groups.
One way to go about developing useful content for these buyer enclaves is by interviewing customers in these areas. The feedback you receive should form the basis for creating packages and promotions that appeal to the target markets.
Images are under-utilized
Visuals are a credible force in the e-commerce world. If you do not tap into the power of imagery you might as well be underperforming in your online sales. Empirical evidence shows that image-based posts generate over 50% more likes than regular posts.
The rule of thumb is attaching some kind of image to an announcement regarding a new sale, product, or anything else related to your business.
3. Your Strategy Is Not Geared Towards Achieving Additional Sales
You do not have enhanced purchasing buttons.
If you do not move your visitors to make a purchase with the right enhancement options, then your online sales figures could experience a dip. Note that there are a number of ways to get users to make a purchase. Take the color orange as an example. Using this color for purchase buttons is proven to cause people to make a purchasing decision.
Another area that you could enhance is the use of language. Experts advise that you use specific and active phrases. For example, if you are selling a sports product, do not use the words “Complete Sale”; rather you should opt for the phrase “Get it NOW”
Your web pages lack a personal touch/feel
Everyone loves to feel comfortable flipping through the pages of a website. This comfort often stems from the fact that the content of the site connects with the visitor on a personal level, so much so that they are moved to making a transaction.
Tweaking your use of language will do the trick in this regard. Instead of writing “Your shopping cart,” write “My shopping cart”. Instead of writing “Your Wish List,” write “My Wish List.” Writing in the first person creates a deep and powerful connection with your visitor.
The presence of Inconsistencies
Consistency should be the watchword of your e-commerce website. If the language, tone, and style differ from one webpage to another, you stand the risk of coming across as unprofessional. Viewers expect the pages to look and sound the same. Anything short of this expectation may cause the user to leave, thereby hurting the volume of your online sales.
When you do not run a loyalty/reward program
One of the more notable business truism states that it is easier to retain and sell to existing customers than to a new customer. Therefore you should focus considerable energy on keeping your present bunch of clients happy and contented. One of the ways of achieving this is by instituting a loyalty/customer reward program. The overall aim of a loyalty program is to motivate customers to spend more or make repeat purchase to earn reward points.
By asking your buyers to join a loyalty program, you can precipitate impulse purchases for earning advertised rewards, thereby turning them into loyal customers.
4. When your website does not provide a concrete sense of security
Have you conveyed the impression of trustworthiness?
It is a given that potential and existing customers will leave at the slightest hint that their details (financial and otherwise) are not safe/secure. It is important that you show your customers that you do care about their safety and privacy online. Put in place structures and processes to safeguard personal information and other details, especially such details are used in sending spam/unsolicited correspondences.
There are a number of ways to gain the trust of visitors. You can make use of customer testimonials. This is one of the quickest and most effective means of building up your site’s trust coefficient. However, endeavor to use only genuine recommendations and always seek permission from your intended customer.
Secondly, you can never miss the mark when you dedicate a part of your online pages to talk about yourself. This should include your qualifications, ideas, visions, and goals in setting up your business.
Putting these in place will make users feel more confident in your business and what it has to offer. This trust, more often than not, translates into more online sales.
Are you missing a trust seal?
As an extension of the previous point, customers demand to see that you have taken practical/concrete steps in keeping their vital information safe and secure. One of the ways to achieving this is through the use of trust seals. Trust seals are usually small graphics that say that a website is trusted/validated/verified/secure. This validation comes from trusted 3rd party authorities in online security and safety processes.
Note that once customers are satisfied with the level of safety measures implemented, you can rest assured that your online sales will definitely witness a rise.
For good measure, there are categories of trust seals. These categories include standard trust seals, security seals, privacy seals as well as business seals.
As a business, you must select the most appropriate trust seal that suits the operations of your business.
Identifying these focus areas and more should give you an idea of the changes needed to bring about an improvement in online sales. While you should not expect a sudden increase in online sales volume immediately after implementing the above recommendation, persistence and determination are key requirements. Staying the course and evaluating performance parameters will ensure that you achieve, maybe even surpass, your online sales target.
Now that you know how to figure out if you’re missing out on sales, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.