The eCommerce industry is growing in leaps and bounds and so you need to know as many things as possible to boost your online sales.
Adobe reports that global eCommerce sales reached $876 billion in the first quarter of 2021, up 38% year-over-year. Driving this impressive boom is a steady stream of customers who have enthusiastically embraced the convenience of online shopping.
As you might know, I started my career working in New York’s top ad and marketing agencies – rising up quickly to Senior VP.
But then I quit in my late twenties to pursue becoming a (hoped for) bestselling author. Plus I wanted to help people – in a more personal way – as a branding and marketing consultant.
Thankfully, my career plan/dream worked out! Now I love to help people create successful businesses.
With this in mind, I created this guide all about the things you need to know to boost online sales.
Pinpointing your target audience is crucial for online success. The time, money, and effort it takes to find paying customers are often significant. Coming away empty-handed or with little to show for your efforts hurts your bottom line. You, therefore, want to invest in people who are most likely to be interested in your product or service, otherwise known as your target audience.
Analyzing your current customer base can give you a solid idea of your company’s ideal customers. Also, understanding what specific pain points your product or service solves can help you figure who would most likely purchase it. Experts also suggest looking at your competition. Examining your competitors can help you uncover prospects that you may have overlooked.
Adding a live chat feature to your eCommerce site can help fire up your sales. Today, customers have more choices than ever. As a result, prompt communication can be the difference between gaining a customer or suffering a loss. By using live chat, brands can communicate quickly and efficiently with customers.
Live chat is also a feature that customers expect. According to CrazyEgg, 38% of buyers are more inclined to buy from businesses that make this option available. Studies also show that a live chat feature can help cultivate more leads and snag higher conversions. For example, the American Marketing Association found that live chat features can increase conversion on average by 20%.
Using a paid advertising strategy like pay-per-click (PPC) can supercharge your efforts to increase eCommerce sales. According to performance marketing firm Valve+Meter, PPC can increase brand awareness by an average of 80%. Improving brand awareness can drive more authentic traffic to your site.
Promoting your business using paid ads can also help foster better relationships. Strong customer relationships often lead to higher levels of engagement. Sales training experts say that strengthening customer engagement helps drive future online sales.
Your online checkout process plays a vital role in improving your sales. Online companies lose a whopping amount of money due to cart abandonment. Global market research company Forrester reports that the loss is about $18 billion annually. Customers point to a complicated checkout process as one of the top reasons they abandon their online shopping cart.
Business sales training programs say keeping the checkout process as quick – and painless – as possible can help combat cart abandonment. For example, keeping the number of forms a customer has to fill to a minimum. Also, skipping a mandatory registration process and offering guest checkout or social login options.
Social proof can push your sales to new heights, say business training experts. What is social proof exactly? It is the scientifically proven idea that how people behave is influenced in large part by their peers. Studies show that sharing social proof can help nudge potential or hesitant buyers to buy an item or service. Or even those who simply don’t want to miss out on what others identify as a great deal.
Social proof works best when it’s plentiful and used strategically. For example, testimonials can be a bit long, so they tend to be more effective on product or service category pages. Also, using customer pictures whenever possible adds credibility.
If you can help your customers feel more secure about what they’re buying, you could grow your sales. Customers love low-risk purchases, and a money-back guarantee is an excellent tool to use to build their confidence in your product or service.
A money-back guarantee signals that you’re committed to ensuring that your product or service meets customer expectations. Making an effort to establish trust during the buying process encourages customers to buy. It could even encourage them to choose you over your competition.
Offering fewer options is a surprising but effective way to snag more sales. Research shows that drowning customers in options often leaves them feeling overwhelmed. Customers end up not buying anything as they are afraid to make the wrong choice. A pleasant shopping experience helps keep customers happy and drives more sales your way.
To put customers at ease as they shop, limit the options you present. According to Barry Schwartz, an American psychologist and author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, the optimal number is between three and five.
Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools for generating eCommerce sales. For one, sending timely emails helps keep your business top of mind. To grow your business, you need customers to think of your brand first when it’s time to make a purchase.
Another great benefit of email marketing is that it is one of the best channels for pushing impulse buys. Impulse buys contribute considerably to online sales. According to Invesp, a leading provider of online conversion rate optimization software, 40% of all eCommerce purchases come from impulse buying.
Upselling is the practice of persuading buyers to purchase a higher-end product or service. In contrast, cross-selling refers to offering buyers items that complement past or current orders. eCommerce trainers say that when done well, both techniques can help increase the value of the shopper’s order and conversion rates.
Upselling and cross-selling are most successful when you offer your best-selling products and services. Also, creating a points and rewards system for your brand can help make upselling and cross-selling more irresistible. Consumers are more likely to accept upsell or cross-sell offers when it helps them get closer to redeeming rewards.
The eCommerce space is fiercely competitive. Online businesses need to be constantly on the lookout for ways to increase conversions and drive sales. When properly implemented, the tips shared above can help boost your bottom line.
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