If you run an e-commerce site then I’ve got some amazing news to share with you.
Did you know that online sales are due to hit $2 trillion in 2015?! Yes, you heard me right, that’s not $2 billion, but $2 billion. That’s 12 whole zeros after the two!
And I bet you would just love to capture as much of that as you can!
Well your luck’s in as I’m going to show you a few nifty tips and tricks to increase online sales!
Less Options = More Sales
When you’re searching for something to buy online you want to get the whole affair done pretty quickly.
But you’ll find that many sites put up page after page of products.
Sure, this potentially covers every base, but it can be at the expense of customers who don’t want to wade through endless reams of copy.
You see, each item presented to a customer has to be evaluated by that customer. So, if you have 10 items to view and it takes 30 seconds for each item, that makes about 5 minutes viewing time.
If you’ve got 100 items to view then that’s 50 minutes! And it’s way too long! You’ll lose that customer long before the halfway mark!
Therefore, try to specialize in certain ranges and products rather than EVERYTHING to keep those buyers on track in the conversion funnel.
Don’t Hide Any Costs
Sales is all about honesty, so you have to respect your customer at all times. A sale is not an excuse to sneak in hidden extras.
There’s nothing I find more frustrating than finding an item at a bargain price, getting ready to checkout but then being hit with a huge delivery charge.
To remain transparent, you’ll find it really pays dividends to have a clearly marked page for costs such as shipping and insurance etc.
With this info to hand, your customers will feel more informed, be less likely to see you as a shyster and willing to hit that ‘BUY’ button.
Format Your Copy to Sell It
Customers online tend to scan read copy. It’s not like reading a book where you digest every word. Instead you want to provide easy to digest, quick to read copy to grab customers’ attention.
The last thing you want to do is put off customers with a huge block of text, so try breaking it down into bite size sentences which emphasize the product’s features.
Using bullet points is an even greater way of hammering home the main selling points of your product, so make sure you use these. But, seriously, please limit them to around 5. A long, lengthy set of bullet points will put people off.
And don’t forget to make key words bold and italic to really stand out and grab your customer’s attention.
By making your copy more snappy people are more likely to engage with all of it and understand why they should buy from you.
Offer Different Payment Options
You may well have a wallet jam packed full of debit and credit cards, but not everyone else does.
This means you’re potentially missing out on vital sales as customers are unable to make that big purchase.
What you want to do, therefore, is offer more than one option. Checks are perhaps a little outdated (and slow) now, but what about Paypal or Google Wallet?
Both these alternatives open up your products to a bigger audience, so you want to consider them.
Tempt People into Buying with Coupons
Coupons are a great little trick you can use to boost sales, so don’t discount them as a meaningless gesture.
The main thing to remember is that you want to limit the life of these coupons, so make sure you always set an expiry date of between 10 -14 days on the coupon.
Meanwhile, do a bit of analysis to find out which are your best selling products and raise their cost for the period of the coupon’s life.
You’ll find that your less successful selling items then have a better chance of selling. You see, humans love a bargain and will want to use that coupon at all costs! They’ll instinctively head for your cheaper products and snap these up.
Once the promotion is over, you can lower the cost of your best selling products again and be safe in the knowledge that your customer base has increased.
Aim Your Copy at Your Customers
You need to remember that your customers are the ones reading your copy. It’s not you reading to them.
That’s why you need to personalize the copy towards them. Put the focus on them by using the terms ‘you’ and ‘your’ rather than ‘me’ and ‘I’.
You’ll make your copy more conversational and the buyer will feel like they’re the center of your attention.
Absolutely No One Loves a Slow Website
Life online is very hectic. If you’re not signing into a social media site, you’re blogging or researching your favorite soccer team.
That’s why time is of the essence. And the last thing you want is to be slowed down.
A slow website will test a customer’s engagement to the absolute limit. No one wants to be confronted with a ‘loading’ bar which goes on forever and ever.
The following changes to your site’s design can really speed it up:
- Use optimized images. You don’t have to use bitmaps and they don’t have to be humungous. Experiment with different formats such as .png
- Get some decent hosting. If your hosting company supplies you with low bandwidth and uses cheap hardware, you’ll find that your website lags. And can you afford that?
- Keep your coding streamlined. Bloated HTML code can really slow a website down, so make sure you keep it lean.
- External media. Using media from external sites such as videos and images may seem like a quick way to liven your site up, but what if this media isn’t optimized? It’s going to grind your site to a halt, so test all external media before adding it.
Don’t Force an Account on Users
You know what I find really refreshing? When you buy something from a site, but don’t have to provide a million details to register an account.
Some people may want to set up an account for their own peace of mind, but sometimes people just want to get in and out as soon as they can.
By offering your users an option of going ‘straight to purchase’ you make their lives much easier and they’re more likely to buy.
Optimize those Sales
As you can see there’s plenty you can do to revitalize your online sales, so try these tips out and let us know how you get on!