The retail e-commerce market is currently worth hundreds of billions of dollars and it is projected to become a multi-trillion dollar industry in a few short years to come. Most people prefer to do most of their shopping online and if you happen to own online business, you are on the right track.
Starting an online business is easy which is a huge advantage but also a disadvantage since it means competition is also high. If you want to make it, you have to be smart about how you set up your business and how to sell stuff online.
How to Drive Online Sales
After thorough research, we have come up with several tips that you can use to drive online sales and grow your online business to new heights. They are as follows:
1.Ensure Product Authenticity
The best way to drive online sales is by offering them a product or service of guaranteed quality. The online e-commerce market is full of quacks and since most customers are aware of that, they try their best to ensure that they are dealing with authentic products before committing.
To show your visitors that your products are authentic and high quality, you can provide them with guarantees in the following ways:
a) Security badges
A security badge indicates that a transaction on your website is private and secure. Having security badges from trusted brands like Norton, PayPal or Google gives your visitors confidence that they are dealing with a trustworthy seller.
b) Money-back guarantees and return policies
More customers will be willing to buy your products if they are sure that if they are unsatisfied with the product, they can get their refund without having to jump through too many hoops. Something as little as a 7-day Money-back guarantee can have a huge impact on your conversion rates.
c) Industry-specific badges
Depending on the industry you serve, there are certain badges that are associated with quality. They could be awards, industry ratings, membership to certain organizations, or accreditation.
2. Design a great website
First impressions matter a lot and if you want your visitors to be impressed straight off the bat, you need to make sure your website looks good and professional. A beautiful design will sell more than an ugly one, which is why you need to ensure that you leave the web design and development task to a true professional.
Here is how to go about it:
a) Hire a high-quality web designer
Your website will only turn out as good as the designer you hire. If you hire a cheap freelancer to build your website, chances are it won’t be good enough. This is one of the things that you need to invest the big bucks in since it will pay off in the long run.
b) Declutter your site navigation
If you want your calls-to-action to be the focus on every page, you need to declutter your website’s navigation menus so that your visitors’ eyes are always directed to the CTAs.
c) Optimize the SEO process
SEO is a powerful tool when it comes to marketing your website. Your aim should be to always appear on top of search results when potential customers search online for topics related to the products and services you’re offering. SEO can help you with that by many ways, like-
I) Image Optimization: For images, the key factor that Google considers to rank is the loading time of the page. If your page loads slower than the competitor’s page, you are likely to get a lower rank on the search page. If product images are large and take considerable time to load, it pulls the rank of the page. So, to boost SEO ranking, you need to have low image size, format so that it loads fast and help you to rank higher.
II) SEO enabled Description: Before making useful description that can help viewers to search you first is proper keyword research cause a product description must include the keywords for which the product can get listed on the Search Engine results that help in getting ranked on first or top pages in the search results which highly increases the chance of getting new users to the product page.
d) Remove friction-creating elements in your checkout pages
You don’t want anything getting in the way of your customers when they finally decide to buy your products. When a customer gets to a checkout page, you don’t want them to be confused, distracted, or irritated by anything. For example, some sites force customers to create an account or fill out a form before making a purchase. This can result in multiple cart abandonment.
3. All-Around Product Image
Ecommerce Product Photography Guide: Everything You Need to Know
Rounded you need to show your customers everything that they could possibly need to see about the product or service you are selling before they decide to buy. The biggest advantage of buying things online is that there is no way to inspect them properly before buying as you would in a physical shop.
Think of what a client would want to see about the product if they were standing right in front of you. For instance, if you are selling physical products like shoes, clothes or jewelry, you should ensure that you have high-quality photos of each product from every possible angle. Here is how to go about it:
a) Replace stock photos
Using stock photos is okay especially if you are starting and you cannot afford to have professional photos taken. However, if you want to boost ecommerce sales, you will need to use real photos of the actual products you are selling as it has been proven to have a positive impact on conversion rates.
b) Use the right camera
If you want to take quality photos, the camera has to be quality as well. You should use a camera with wide-angle lenses and a good zoom to snap the photos. In addition, avoid a wide lens camera for product photography as it might distort the image itself. Here, microlenses are ideal to use, when you are aiming to shoot something which is small in size or shape.
c) Take photos with natural light
To get realistic images it is crucial to ensure adequate natural light that most of the professional photographers suggest. The key to having nice images you need to make a balance between light and shadow.
For instance, when the natural light is direct and too bright, you can diffuse it with a white cloth or paper at the light source. You can also plan for a reflector if it’s not bright enough for the product photo. Otherwise, you can place a direct light source at three points to remove the harsh shadow.
d) Show lifestyle images of your product
You shouldn’t just show your products in-studio shots; you should also show the products “in the wild”, being used for the purposes they are intended for. For instance, if you are selling sports supplies, you should include high-quality photos of the products from every angle as well as photos of people using the products in real life while engaging in that sport.
e) Retouch your images for visual appeal:
The chances that your photo images are perfect straight off the camera are very less. You need to retouch images several ways to get a clear, crisp and perfect image. You need to edit to remove backgrounds, remove shadows, dust, dirt to clean up unwanted details.
Ensure that the editing does not cause too much deviation in color, shape or textures which could mislead the customers. Keep a clean and white background and crop all images to the same size and margins. Your images should be consistent in appearance and style to display them online. Misleading images could lead to distrust among your customers.
f) Make your customers focus on the products
When you show product images to customers, ensure to draw and hold their attention to the product displayed. For instance, if you are selling running shoes and you want to have a picture on your website showing how they are used in real-life running, you should make sure that the shoes are the main focus of the picture, not the model or the environment he/she is running in. A great way to make sure customers focus on your products is by making them the colorful and largest thing they see on their web page.
g) Make product videos
Videos tell a better story than photos, especially when describing a service or showing your products in action. You can also use a case study of your loyal customers’ experience to draw potentials attention about your products and the way you serve customers as well.
4. Precise Product Descriptions:
You should ensure that all the information a potential customer will know about your products or services is available and readable. Use powerful words to explain to them what your product is all about, why they should buy it, and all the benefits they can expect from the product.
However, having product descriptions is not enough; you need to ensure that everything is easily noticeable and readable. No matter how good your content is, it’s not going to help you if the customers don’t read it. Here’s how to make sales copy easy to read –
a) Write conspicuous headlines– The first thing that catches the eyes of your visitors is the headlines. Whether it’s the headline for an article, a squeeze page, a product page, or your homepage, you should ensure that your headlines capture the attention of your customers enough to keep them reading more about your products.
b) Make font size larger– Small font sizes may allow for more information, but most people are too reluctant to read. Big font sizes make the text more noticeable and easier to read for potential customers. Consider using large font sizes and increasing the spaces between words and paragraphs for easier readability.
c) Use simple language – People will not buy what they can’t understand. The language you use on your website should be one that can be fully understood by everyone in your target market.
5. Prove Customer Satisfaction
If you want to encourage more customers to buy your products, you need to prove to them that you have a history of happy and satisfied customers. This is important especially for new businesses that want to establish themselves as a trusted brand.
Your proof can be in the form of testimonials, reviews, a list of past clients, industry awards, and case studies. Always encourage your clients to leave reviews about your products and services, both positive and negative. It shows authenticity which creates more trust from your customers.
For illustration, if you are selling an electronic device on your website, a good testimonial would be as follows:
“I was happy with the high quality of the device they sold me and even happier with their level of customer service and commitment to customer satisfaction. I have thoroughly enjoyed using the device and I look forward to buying more from them.”
6. Attach Urgency to increase sales
A great way to convince people to buy products, especially those who are on the fence about whether or not to buy, is by making it seem like time is running out for them to make the purchase and if they fail to do so, they’ll be missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime deal.
For instance, you could have a notification next to each product showing how many units are left before stock runs out (the fewer the better) as well as the countdown of the time-frame which will create a desire to make a purchasing decision sooner by your customers. You can also offer special discounts or coupons for a limited time to convince people to buy before that time expires.
7. Engage your customers
Nowadays, you need to put in the extra work to cultivate relationships with potential customers so that you can gain new customers and retain the ones you already have. Customer engagement simply means providing value to your customers beyond the products you are offering.
First of all, you need to build a community whether it is on your website or on your social media platforms where you can be interacting with your customers. Next, you need to provide valuable content that is entertaining, educational, or interesting enough to spark conversations. After engaging your customers, you can then proceed to make your sales pitch since it creates more impact on your sales.
8. Use digital marketing strategies
There are many digital marketing strategies you can employ to increase eCommerce traffic. Some of them include:
a) Content marketing – This is using valuable content about topics related to your industry to draw customers. For instance, if you have an online shop selling jewelry and accessories for females, you can come up with post interesting articles covering recent trends and fashion related topics to draw potential customers to your site.
b) Social media marketing – Everyone is always on their phone nowadays, scrolling up and down various social media pages. You can easily increase online sales through social media by connecting with customers through various social media platforms and advertising your products and services.
c) Search engine marketing – Paying for ads on leading search engines will put your website on top of search results when potential customers search topics related to your business. The best type of search engine marketing is Google AdWords.
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