Last Updated on Oct 1, 2020 by James W
Whether you purely sell online or have a mix of in-store and online sales, boosting profits is always a top priority for businesses. Every company needs a marketing plan to increase sales, and there are several ways to do this. The type of marketing you do also depends on your business and what areas you would like to focus on. Whether you are the size of Amazon or running operations from your kitchen table, every company can take a range of steps to maximize sales and increase profits, and here is a variety of ways to do it.
Some can be implemented straight away, while others take time and a little patience to see whether they will work for your business.
Take a look at the options below:
1. Use suitable sales copy
People can see through copy that is farfetched. Traditionally sales writing was overly promotional and focused purely on the hard sell. However, modern consumers do not respond well to this. In particular, Millennials are more likely to buy from a company that upholds morals and values rather than offer the lowest prices.
Sales copy also has to represent your brand. There is no point in making claims that your company cannot uphold; otherwise, you will lose customers. It is also essential to not undersell your services, as this will also be detrimental to your bottom line.
Sales copy that is relevant, professional, and ultimately written for your target audience will ensure your online sales always hit the right note.
2. Gain trust using reviews and testimonials
Many people purchase products and services through recommendations. Customer feedback has never more critical, and many customers are willing to share their opinions if they receive excellent service and products. Alongside great sales copy, testimonials are like gold to a company, especially when people are deciding who to buy from.
The main element of gaining trust to continue to offer good service and products and professionally address any complaints and feedback. People sharing your company and reviewing your products online also sends vital trust signals in terms of how search engines view your site. The better the feedback and regular reviews you receive it helps to boost your rankings in results.
3. Offer fewer products and choices
Some companies fall foul of offering lots of products and hoping this will increase sales. However, it is not always the case. Too much choice can confuse customers and make your website overwhelming. Focusing on fewer options and making your website user friendly is the best way to improve sales and reduce abandoned carts.
Few products can also improve your reputation and expertise in your niche. If customers know you sell products or provide a service well and are specialists in the area, they are likely to recommend your business and always remember your branding.
4. Use other online sales platforms
A great way to get started in e-commerce selling is to use well-known platforms such as Amazon or eBay. These companies have access to a broad audience and can help you sell products to a global market. Researching the type of platform that suits your business is the best option when using these websites. Some are suited to any kind of business, while others are specific niches such as Etsy. Large-scale e-commerce sites have lots of benefits as you have the opportunity to open your product up to a broader audience. However, competition is also fierce. There is also the drawback that fees apply when selling, including areas such as creating a store within the platform and transaction fees. These costs will come out of your overall profit and need to be included in your selling price to ensure you do not affect the bottom line. This can make them more expensive.
Using these platforms alongside your own website can help drive traffic to your brand. It also gets people interested in your products and may help them choose to switch to you directly.
5. Make sure the checkout process is straightforward
The last thing any company wants is to see people abandoning the shopping cart. However, if you see this a lot in your online store, this is a sign, something is not quite right in the user experience. Some of the leading causes of cart abandonment is a complex payment process. If there are lots of screens just to get the part where they pay, then people are likely to tune out. Customers do not have time to spend filling out lots of detail when they buy online, so simplicity is key.
Another reason why people bounce off the payment page is shipping fees. One of the most ambiguous things you can write on your shipping information page is ‘shipping calculated at checkout.’ While customers appreciate that, some charges will be high if they are ordering a household appliance. In contrast, they will not appreciate that the shipping cost goes up considerably just because they have ordered several small items. If the shipping cost pops up at the checkout and it is not what they are expecting, then goodbye customer. Shipping costs should be clear and understandable from the outset, and not a surprise extra when they come to the payment.
6. Outsource your e-commerce marketing
Nobody is an expert at everything. When you are trying to run an online business, there is a lot that goes into every aspect of how well it performs. You have sales, marketing, logistics, purchasing, technical, and legalities to consider, and that is just the beginning. One of the places people fall foul in this sector is just concentrating on the sales side and spending less time on everything else. However, everything has its place and will boost your business.
To ensure you are getting the most sales for your efforts, marketing is your best friend, but it is not just a case of sharing a few social posts or hoping some Google Ads will work. It takes time and expertise. To utilize it properly, hire the help of a professional.
Marketing experts have the knowledge and expertise in a range of e-commerce techniques. For example, companies such as Nuanced Media can support areas, including Amazon optimization, to help you reach your sales goals. Agencies and specialist services can focus on these areas while you build other parts of your business. It also helps to improve your return on investment in marketing, as testing techniques and mistakes can be costly if you are unsure where to target.
7. Use quality images
They say a picture says a thousand words, and it is true. If a customer comes to your website and sees low-quality images, it can give the impression that your brand is the same. Imagery should be professional and mirror the message you want your company to portray. Like the sales copy, it should be clear and concise and be able to sell the product or service at first glance. Try to avoid using stock imagery from your suppliers too. This can make your website look unprofessional or like a dropshipping site, which can, in turn, make it appear untrustworthy.
Try to use interactive features too. Customers cannot see or touch the product in real life, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to see it in action. In some cases, make a video to showcase what it does, or the main features. Also, ensure they can zoom into the picture to take a closer look.
8. Make your website mobile-friendly
Mobile searches have already taken over desktop, so if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you’re already missing out on potential sales. Customers want to be able to buy directly from their phones. If your site lacks functionality and has poor user experience on mobile, they will bounce right off the page.
The design and branding should be consistent across browsers and have the expected functionality of the desktop website. Work with developers to create a mobile-friendly option and make sure it works on all cell phones. While everyone may have an iPhone, in reality, there are several types of phones that people use. So, it must work across everything.
9. Build an email database
Email marketing is said to be one of the best ways to convert sales. That is because these people have already brought into your products or service. While you should not spam this audience with unwanted emails, you can give them relevant deals, news, and offers that they won’t be able to refuse.
Many businesses lose customers after taking the sale, but email marketing helps improve customer retention. It is also important to pay attention to what they’ve purchased and how often they purchase from you.
There are lots of ways to boost online sales, but it is important to remember that not every technique works for all companies in the same way. Time and investment in the right avenues will help improve traffic to your site and convert customers without the hard sell. Hiring the help of experts will also set you on the right track.
Ryan Flannagan is the Founder & CEO of NuancedMedia, an international eCommerce marketing agency specializing in Amazon. Nuanced has sold $100s of Millions online and Ryan has built a client base representing a total revenue of over 1.5 billion dollars. Ryan is a published author and has been quoted by a number of media sources such as BuzzFeed and Modern Retail. To connect with Ryan, check out @Ryanflannagan on Twitter or via Linkedin