17 ways to boost sales in online stores
17 ways to boost sales in online stores
Increasing sales is the goal of every salesperson, e-commerce manager and everyone else employed in this industry.
So how do you do it?
By attracting new customers? Not necessarily. Although the answer is the most obvious, it doesn't mean it's the best.
Rather, consider how to convert users who visit your site into paying customers. It's much cheaper and often more effective than acquiring new ones.
1. Increase sales by creating a buyer persona
You've probably heard about it a hundred times but, if for some reason you haven't done it yet, it's time.
Knowing who buys your products will help you create personalized messages and attract valuable traffic to your site.
How do you create a marketing persona?
Knowledge about your clients comes from the data you have.
Of course, you should first look at Google Analytics, where you can examine the demographics of your potential customers, their interests and what devices they use.
Social media is also helpful. Does your company have a Facebook profile? Check who's following it. You can use ready-made Facebook reports or simply view several profiles.
You can also use the free persona creation tool, Make My Persona. I recommend visiting it at least once, even if just to see what questions are worth answering while creating the profile of an ideal customer.
Personas ready? Time to get work.
2. Create a great site
We all know that the first impression is the most important. Since you managed to attract a user to your store, you have to make sure that they stay.
Highlight your UVP (unique value proposition). Why should someone decide to buy in your store? Can you offer him something he can't find somewhere else? If so, users visiting your store should be able to see this immediately.
Yes, the site should be nice, well-designed and, above all, functional. The user has to navigate it in an intuitive way, and all necessary information and functionalities should be one click away.
It has to have all the elements that will allow convenient and quick shopping, namely:
an easy to find search engine that will allow efficient searching for specific products
clear division into product categories
an "Add to basket" button that stands out
a visible basket, ideally placed in the upper right corner of the page
Visual selling and merchandising on the website also can significantly increase your sales. You can read more about different techniques and tips about how to use your homepage as a display window, how to make an efficient top menu or how to properly pick colours and product images in the article shared by Visme.
3. Be mobile-friendly
You can increase sales in online stores by responding to the needs of modern internet users. More than half of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices.
Optimization in this respect is, therefore, the absolute foundation of online stores today. Users with smartphones or tablets should be able to make purchases with the same minimal effort as those using desktops.
Beware! Don’t expect users who are browsing your mobile version to convert right away. Often, they will only review available products before moving to a computer and finalizing the transaction.
4. Use web push notifications to communicate your message
Web push notifications are small messages that are displayed on the screen of desktops and mobile devices. They are based on the principle of permission marketing, meaning that users must agree to receive them, and they are only one click away from learning more about you and your offer.
What kinds of messages can you send with web push notifications?
recommendations based on recently viewed products
special offers for upcoming events (Valentine's day, buyer's birthday, etc.)
information about discounts available in the store
reminders about abandoned carts
Thanks to web push, you can increase user return rates to the site, run retargeting and remarketing campaigns and build customer loyalty.
5. Always be ready to answer questions and respond to issues
Web push notifications give you the ability to send messages to users both when they are on your store's website and when they are browsing the competition's offer or at any other time.
However, you must also ensure direct communication to be able to be in touch with customers at all times.
Solution? Live chat, and if no one is in the office - chatbots. Once you know your clients' most common questions and concerns, designing conversation scenarios is easy.
6. Clean up the shopping path
Increase sales by making it easier to complete one. The fewer steps customers have to take on the road to a purchase, the more likely they are to finalize it.
First of all, give up the obligation to set up an account. Give your clients this opportunity and communicate the benefits it brings, but do not force them under any circumstances.
7. Better product descriptions
Product descriptions are of great importance not only because of SEO. You need to make sure that they contain all the necessary information that will make it easier to make a purchasing decision.
Make sure the product is properly presented. Use attractive photos, and even better - use videos.
8. Build trust through reviews and recommendations
No form of marketing works for consumers quite like the instructions of others. This applies to every industry.
Share the opinions of satisfied customers and make it easy to leave reviews.
Don't be afraid of the negative reviews. When they appear, there will also be supporters of the brand or product who would otherwise be silent.
9. Get noticed - generate real traffic
It is difficult to imagine running an online store without conducting SEO and PPC activities at the same time.
However, it is not about just implementing campaigns from these areas. It's about reaching the right audience with them. Discover the real interests of your customers, and bring only those who have the chance to convert to your site.
Creating a marketing persona, of course, will help you with this.
10. Use Facebook ads to increase your reach
Facebook offers several interesting solutions for increasing sales. Here are just a few:
A store section where you can add products along with photos and descriptions. After clicking on a given product, the user is redirected to a subpage of the product on your website.
Tagging products in posts and ads.
The use of reach campaigns targeted at a specific target group.
Creating a community around your brand and building relationships with it.
Social listening - join sales groups of people interested in a given product category to additionally promote selected products, e.g. discounted ones.
Instagram is also a great tool for e-commerce, especially in the beauty and fashion industries. By publishing appealing photos, creating appropriate hashtags, or regularly adding Instagram Stories, you can encourage potential customers to follow your suggestions, and perhaps even make a decision to buy in your online store.
11. Save abandoned carts
According to research by the Baymard Institute, 69% of purchases started result in the abandonment of the cart.
Making even a quarter of those people abandoning shopping carts return to the site and finalize their transactions is a great opportunity to increase sales.
But how? You need to eliminate all the reasons for leaving the store in the first place.
Do what you can to encourage users to return to the site, reminding them about unfinished shopping. You can do this using web push notifications, paid ads or newsletters.
You can read more about this in our article - Abandoned carts recovery.
12. Use better content to increase sales
You can use content marketing at every stage of the funnel. It's a great way to attract customers and build loyalty.
Imagine you are selling cameras. It's a purchase that requires deeper reflection. Therefore, right from the start potential customers will look for a lot of information online. Take a look:
That is why you should make sure that your site has guides, reviews, and rankings that will help customers make the best decision.
Has a customer made a purchase? Great - time for tutorials that teach the basics of photography or how to care for the equipment. This will not only help in building loyalty, but it can also contribute to upselling, provided that the texts well present related products.
13. Offer free delivery and returns
Even if you can't afford free delivery on all purchases, try to enter it from a certain amount that makes it worthwhile. Customers are more willing to spend money on an additional product than on the transport of purchased items.
By setting such a threshold, you contribute to increasing sales since shoppers will add items to reach the free shipping minimum.
You will hardly earn a fortune on free returns, at least not in an obvious way. However, customers are certainly much more likely to make a purchase when they know that they will be able to return a product that turns out not to meet their expectations in an easy and trouble-free way.
Remember that information about free delivery or returns should be visible immediately after entering your store's website.
14. Create a sense of urgency
Use psychological strategies that will encourage customers to buy. One is urgency, which you can achieve in several ways:
Notifying them about a limited number of available products (possibly their sizes or colors).
Informing them about how many times a given product / object was bought / booked in the last 24 hours.
This is a well-known technique used by the largest players on the market - including booking.com and Airbnb.
15. Announce when items are back in stock
Lack of a size or color are common reasons for leaving the store's website, and thus a missed opportunity to sell. A user who does not find a product tailored to their needs will probably look for it elsewhere.
This can be avoided. How? By sending information about the re-availability of a specific product, which is possible by tracking user behavior on the site.
Remember that the purchasing process usually lasts a minimum of several days, so when a given variant appears in your store again, let your customers know as soon as possible.
Notifications about product availability are best sent via web push notifications and newsletters.
16. Use a limited product range
Yes, that’s right. While most people might think that the key to starting an online store is to increase the number of products available, this is not always true.
Unfortunately, it often happens that the more options a user has to choose, the longer he takes to think about them. It may end with postponing the purchase or, worse, checking the offers of other stores.
Don't worry if you have a really large product range. Just divide it into many detailed categories. This will affect not only the speed of customer decisions but also SEO.
17. Use remarketing
Increase sales by encouraging customers to shop again. After all, acquiring a new customer is several times more expensive than keeping an existing one.
Remarketing activities should be based on paid ads, web push notifications and email marketing, which will all enable you to reach various customer groups.
Track user behavior on the page to send personalized product recommendations. Be careful to not recommend products that the customer has already bought. Remember to keep your remarketing list up to date.
Increasing sales in e-commerce - summary
The ideas listed here are just a few ideas of the ways you can increase online sales. I assure you that there are many more and it is simply impossible to describe them all.
The most important thing is to realize that there are really 3 key methods to increase sales:
1. Increase the number of customers.
2. Increase the average cart value.
3. Increase the number of repeat purchases.
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