Ecommerce business can mean big money with extremely low running costs, but how can you continue to drive online sales and make your website consumer-friendly.
Here are 8 ways you can make boost your online sales figures:
Optimise your product images
In an online business the product you are selling is only as good as it looks. When it comes to buying on the internet the tangible and tactile experience of shopping is lost; the only sense shoppers have to rely on is sight.
You must use high-resolution imagery that shows the product off to its full potential. A minimum of three images should be included on each product, offering customers a complete 360-degree view of the item.
Size matters when it comes to a product image; it has been proven that bigger images result in higher conversions. Justuno, a Conversion Rate Optimisation company, states product photos should be anywhere between 1080 to 1600 pixels on the longest side.
Retailers could also offer a user-controlled zoom function on their product images, which allows shoppers to see a close up view on a particular part of the product.
Including an in-context shot, for example a woman modelling a necklace, will also allow consumers to see the product in use. It also allows retailers to create imagery or a look book for the brand that will appeal to your target audience.
Depending on the item, a mini demonstration video of the product in use could also prove to be a useful sales tool. However, ecommerce technology company, Salsify, has carried out research that shows only 30% of survey respondents said that video influences their decisions to buy products online.
This is low in comparison to the 66% of consumers who say they want to say at least three images of a product while shopping, proving video is less impactful in comparison to product photos.
Be clear and concise
Potential buyers will want to know the key facts about the product without being bombarded with lengthy text or mislead with witty product descriptions.
Clarity is key; be clear in your writing so customers know exactly what they’re paying for. Make sure your product descriptions are concise, and try to think of questions a potential shopper would ask and include that information in your write up.
Test your tech
Once a shopper has managed to miraculously find your site over the trillions of other websites out there offering similar products, you want to do everything in your power to make sure their shopping experience runs as smoothly as possible.
If your product is too hard to buy, for example the payment page isn’t user-friendly or there is a glitch in the software, then shoppers will quickly look elsewhere.
You must regularly test your website for bugs and technical issues and make the process from selecting an item to payment as easy as possible.
Shopify has been named as one of the UK’s biggest emerging platforms in recent years for ecommerce retailers, especially among small business owners. If technology isn’t your strong suit, paying a monthly fee for an ecommerce platform could be worth every penny. A key reason to Shopify’s popularity is its ease of use, making it a popular option for ecommerce entrepreneurs.
Be interactive with the industry you are in – whether it be fashion, gadgets, beauty or running a wholesale business – sending samples of your product to influential figures, such as bloggers, journalists or a leading brand in your sector, is a great way to build relationships and generate reviews from significant figures or companies.
Acknowledging that a person has knowledge or expertise in a certain field, and offering your gift of a sample, will hopefully lead that person to promote your brand or product on their website or social media page.
Tapping into a vloggers’ extensive fan base could not only give you a spike in social media followers, but you’ll also have a seal of approval from industry experts. Sending free samples also offers the opportunity for specialists to provide useful feedback on how to potentially improve your product.
Show off all your reviews
Customers are becoming increasingly likely to leave reviews on products or services, while more and more people are choosing to buy certain items or book a restaurant based on previous reviews.
A 2016 survey conducted by Bright Local, a citation building service and data aggregator, found that a majority of 7 out of 10 people will leave a review if asked to, and 74% of consumers said that positive reviews will make them trust a local business more.
Shoppers are becoming increasingly more informed about the decision they make, so be sure to include any reviews that customers take the time to leave on your website. The survey also found that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Offer customers an incentive to leave a review, such as a discount on their next purchase. And don’t be scared of bad reviews; see them as a tool to improve your business, and posting them online shows that you are running an honest and fair company.
How you deal with bad reviews is also an important way to improve your customer relations, reply to someone that has left a bad review and ask them how you can make their experience better; this will be sure to boost your online sales.
Communicate with your customer
There is a lot of valuable business advice you will receive over time; one key tip that every business tycoon will agree on is the importance of communicating with your consumer.
Set up a blog and give your website visitors an insight into your brand’s personality. Writing blog posts also helps to drive traffic to your website; every time you write a post, it is one more indexed page on your website, which means one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website in organic search.
You can use your blog posts to write about your products and services, especially new lines. Sending out this content in an email newsletter or sharing it on social media will proactively reach out to your customers to pull them back to your site.
Use social media channels to promote offers and new products but also to address customer concerns. This will all feed back into making your customers feel like you are a trustworthy place to spend money.
Endless payment options
Provide as many payment options as possible. PayPal is a secure, renowned online payment method, but there are many other services that are worth considering when setting up your payment page. Square is PayPal’s chief competitor and offers transaction rates to rival the industry leader.
Another payment service called Stripe has checkout codes designed to keep your customers on your website, and not redirect them to its own site to complete a sale. Take the time to research all your payment options and offer as many as possible to your customer.
Don’t lose a customer because they can’t pay using their preferred payment method.
Presenting the customer with related products during their searching experience, payment process and in an after sale email could all lead to an increased spend and longer lifetime value.
Once your customer makes a purchase on your site, you should be doing everything possible to tailor your marketing to suit that individual.