E-COMMERCE 101: 31 EASY WAYS TO INCREASE SALES ON YOUR WEBSITE
As the owner of a marketing and PR firm, I often hear prospective clients ask, “How can I increase sales on my website? What do you think I should do to get more people to sign up for my email list?” And my response is generally the same every time –
“What are you doing differently than your competition? What makes your brand or boutique so unique? Why should consumers buy from you over the competition? How do your products or services solve your customers’ problems?” Many times, they don’t know how to answer me.
To help you eliminate the guesswork, here are some basic steps you can take to improve your sales and generate more email subscribers now.
1). Know why you’re in business. What do you do best? Who wants your products or services? How can you reach more customers? How much are they willing to pay? How much does it cost for you to acquire a customer? If you can’t answer these questions easily, then this is where you need to put your effort first. You need to know why you’re in business.
2). I know it is time-consuming but you should add new content daily to your website for continued growth. If you have a blog, post it as often as you can to keep your website content fresh and up to date. You should also post all of your social media channels daily to increase your overall reach. Pay attention to the time to find out when your audience is most engaged.
3). Create short pieces of content that can be digested easily with video. With consumers’ shrinking attention spans, this means that people have less patience to read long pieces of content. Periscope.com, Facebook.com Live, and Vine allow you to create and post video clips that can be shared easily on social media sites.
4). Make sure your website loads in three seconds or less; otherwise, 57 percent of visitors abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds according to the article5 Tweaks to Your Website That Could Increase Sales 300% on Mashable.com.
5). Reassure your prospective and existing customers’ information is safe and their privacy is respected. Let them know you will never sell their information or send spam. Consumers want to know their personal information is safe.
6). Make sure the copy and design of your website are consistent. If your brand is feminine and fun, make sure the images and colors match. Make sure your brand colors and copy are consistent across of your social media platforms as well so the user has a consistent experience.
7). Offer an easy return policy. Offer a no-questions-asked refund policy (if possible). This helps minimize risk on the consumers’ end.
8). Add product reviews or testimonials to increase social proof. Use the strong testimonials/reviews on the landing page and use product reviews on the product pages. You can include reviews on your email opt-in page as well.
9). I see so many e-commerce websites not include the benefits of their product or service. They only include product or service features, which is important, but it’s even more important to tell prospective buyers exactly how your product or service will solve their problem.
10). If you have calls-to-action, try to put them above the fold to increase conversions. Let your visitors know exactly what you want them to do next – whether it’s subscribing to your email list or reading a blog post. Note-opt-in boxes should be placed prominently on all pages above the fold on all web pages.
11). Focus on clear, action-oriented writing that helps increase sales conversions. Leave the hype out – today’s consumers are too savvy to fall for hyped-up copywriting.
12). Test variations of your call-to-action buttons. “Sign up now,” “Get instant access,” “Buy now” or “Order Now” buttons can perform differently depending on where it’s placed on your site, the color, and how large it is. Test out different variations to see which ones perform the best.
13). This is similar to item 1 - make sure your unique value proposition is on your “About Us” page. Tell prospective customers what’s special about your company, product, or service.
14). If you want to increase conversions, you should offer various payment methods. Not everyone wants to pay with PayPal.com, or just Visa or Mastercard. If I am shopping online and a store does not accept American Express, then I don’t make the purchase.
15). To answer questions or concerns, offer a live chat box for prospective customers.
16). Show the human side of your brand and put a headshot on your website. Consumers like to know the people behind the business.
17). Make sure you have your contact information visible on your website. You should add it to the footer of every page and have a separate “Contact Us” page. Include your name, email, phone numbers, and physical address.
18). Eliminate the registration process in order to buy. To increase conversions, let customers “Check Out as a Guest”. If I have to fill out additional forms to check out, then I won’t. Less is more here. Make it easy as possible for your customers to buy from you.
19). Make sure the layout of your website is clean and easy-to-navigate. Again, less is more here. When consumers are offered too many options, they often get confused and overwhelmed and will not make the purchase at all.
20). Add a guaranteed security seal on your website. This helps build trust with consumers.
21). No one wants to read long text, so add bullets to each product or service description to make your content easy to read. Limit your “About Us” copy to a few paragraphs.
22). Increase engagement and click-through rates with show product videos. Videos give the consumer a sense of what the product looks like, how it can be worn, or demonstrate how it’s used.
23). Try using a pop-up opt-in form. They can help boost email subscriptions. Just make sure to limit the information field to just their email address. The more information you ask for, the less likely people are to sign up for your email list.
24). Offer free shipping and returns. Offer a free gift with when a customer spends a certain amount of money.
25). Here’s my personal favorite: if you have a lengthy check out process, add a progress bar to show what steps they need to take to finish the transaction.
26). Add an FAQ section to your website to minimize customer inquiries, questions, and/or complaints.
27). Offer a coupon code in exchange for someone’s email address.
28). Make sure there is a place on each product page where customers can leave reviews/feedback.
29). If your site has been featured in many media, showcase that coverage on a separate press page to enhance credibility and authority.
30). Always check your pages for errors. Make sure all of the links are functioning properly, as well as images and pages load in a timely fashion.
31). While there’s no one magical or one-size-fits-all solution to increase sale conversions, the best way to do is to test every piece of your website from the headline down to the layout. Once you figure out what works the best for your customers, run with it.
What tips will you use to increase your online sales this new year?