10 Ways to Increase Your Online Sales Next Month
E-commerce sales are booming, and there is no better time than now to either start an online business or scale your existing business to take full advantage of this amazing opportunity. In the U.S., Cyber Monday sales just topped $6.6 billion in sales the other day, which is a 16.5% increase from last year, and the previous record.
While the opportunity has never been greater, simply throwing together an e-commerce website isn’t enough. You need more than just an online presence to capitalize and create a thriving business.
Attracting customers to your website is always going to be a challenge, and as new strategies evolve, you must adapt in order to keep up. If not, your competition will blow right by you. What worked yesterday will not always work today, and remaining idle for too long will eventually lead you to a brick wall.
My agency works with several e-commerce brands, from startups to online stores that sell millions of dollars in inventory monthly. I decided to put together a list of ten ways to help you increase your e-commerce sales as quickly as next month.
Implement these ten strategies to increase your online sales and watch your revenue grow.
1. Use visuals and video to explain what you are selling.
A lot of e-commerce store sell one-off products or specialty products, and if this is the case for your store, you might want to consider creating some visual content to help explain what it is your products are and/or how they work.
Rather than just tell you, I am going to show you a great example. Take a look that the video that mattress manufacturer Purple made. You can view it here on the company’s homepage. It’s a great example of how a video can help explain any product, even something as boring as a mattress.
Mattresses used to be something that you bought every 5 to 10 years and you went to a mattress store and spent $3,000 to $5,000 and just picked out whatever was on the showroom floor. Now the internet has changed that and by eliminating the physical retail locations the costs are cut dramatically. In this case, you can get a top quality mattress for about $1,000 and the company’s video shows why they are superior. It would be hard to find a consumer that wouldn’t be sold on a Purple mattress after watching the video. Yes, it is that good, and one of the best examples of the power of video for an e-commerce company.
2. Be 100% mobile focused.
Mobile is the preferred way to browse the internet now, and there are several factors that contribute to this. First, everyone is addicted to social media, and mobile apps allow them to be connected to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat around the clock.
Since they are constantly on their phones because of this, when an internet browsing task comes up, like a Google search or to buy something, they naturally remain on their phone. Since smartphones now have large screens, it makes browsing and buying much easier.
Consumers now demand that a website provide a good mobile experience. If not, they will find one that does. You need to always assume that someone is on your site via their mobile phone. User experience is key and without it you are sunk.
If you are using a platform like Shopify, then their templates come mobile ready, but if you are running a custom e-commerce theme you need to really put the time and energy into the mobile experience. You are pushing away potential sales if you ignore it.
3. Go all-in during the holiday seasons.
There are several holidays that provide you with a much larger than normal opportunity to drive sales. This is where being prepared comes into play. You need to map out ad copy, social media content and your strategy in advance, but doing so will allow you to capitalize on the massive surge of online shoppers.
As mentioned above, Cyber Monday generated $6.6 billion in online sales in the United States alone. That is a huge number, and only represents one day. There are other opportunities, like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, etc. Every holiday gives you the opportunity to leverage the buzz and online activity in order to push more volume.
It’s the perfect opportunity to put yourself out there, because there is naturally going to be more people that could be potential customers. Allocate a larger budget for these holidays and go all-in. I have clients that typically spend $1,000 a day on Facebook ads jump to six-figures on Cyber Monday, and their return is huge, accounting for a large percentage of their quarterly sales in just one day. They have this opportunity because the traffic is 10X, but they prepare for these days far in advance. Preparation is key.
4. Market to your existing customer base.
Low on advertising funds and want to generate sales? Not a problem. There are plenty of ways to generate quick revenue from your existing customer base, allowing you to take the profits and roll them into paid ads to not only increase your sales, but also build your customer base.
Large online brands, like a mega e-commerce website like Best Buy has millions of customers in their data base. Even if they just purchased a $5 electronic part, the company has their email address and email marketing is still one of the most effective forms of online marketing.
So, without spending a dime, Best Buy can put a special offer in front of potentially millions of consumers. Even if they just sent out a generic “5% off any purchase” coupon code, they will generate millions of dollars in revenue in a matter of hours. This is done without any strategic marketing plan or split testing different options.
In addition to email lists, you can use your social media following to create quick sales. Even if you generate a few thousand dollars in profits, you can then use that money to run Facebook ads or other paid media and really improve your bottom line.
5. Learn to create a sense of urgency and a fear of missing out.
It’s important that you attempt to convert every single website visitor on their first visit. Why? Because it is highly unlikely that the majority of your traffic will ever visit again, so you need to do everything in your power to get them to pull out their wallet and credit card the very first time.
The easiest way to do this is by creating a sense of urgency and instilling the fear of missing out (FOMO). Many people, especially those in marketing, will poke fun at countdown times and offers that say they are expiring if the visitor leaves the page. The truth is, these tactics work very well. If they didn’t we wouldn’t see them all over the place.
Test different strategies, from countdown timers to showing the inventory of your items slowly disappearing, indicating just a few in stock. You can also use a social proof plugin, which shows when people buy an item on your store. This helps to create an environment that is active and you will see impulse purchases because the consumer doesn’t want to miss out on a deal or they want to be part of the buying action.
6. Accept multiple payment options.
The payment gateway debate is one that I hear often. Some e-commerce store owners swear by PayPal and some despise it. Guess what? You can’t let personal opinions get in the way, because if you don’t accept a payment option simply because you don’t like it you are leaving money on the table.
There are some consumers that will only use PayPal and there are some that will only use a debit or credit card. Offer both. There is no other option. You have to offer both, and you also need to offer alternative options like Apple Pay and Bitcoin.
Since more and more users are shopping on mobile, they will want to use Apple Pay and Bitcoin is becoming more mainstream. Options like Stripe make this process very easy, as you simply just enable Apple Pay and Bitcoin in your settings. At the end of the day, you receive the funds the same way directly from Stripe.
7. Offer instant discounts to every visitor.
Everyone likes to feel as if they are receiving a special discount, so make sure every single person that visitors your website is presented an offer. You can either give out the offer without any gateway, or you can require an email address in order to claim the special discount.
There are pros and cons to both.
If you require an email address, you have the potential to build your list, but you also risk pushing potential buyers away simply because they don’t want to submit their email in fear of being spammed with offers.
If you don’t gate it you don’t collect emails, but on the plus side more people will take advantage of the offer as each person is presented with it. You can use a sticky floating header offer to display a discount code for everyone to see, or you can use a popup or slide out offer if you are going to require an email address.
8. Make sure your visitors trust you by displaying badges of trust.
Competition increases daily as people launch drop shipping stores. The barrier of entry is very low. Anyone can launch a Shopify store using a free trial and drop ship, which doesn’t require any inventory investment.
Before the internet, someone would need to sign a long-term commercial property lease and then dump money into outfitting that store and then stocking it with inventory. It was a huge financial gamble, so the competition was very low.
Without that financial risk, there are new e-commerce stores springing up in every niche every day. You need to make your visitors feel comfortable, so do things like join the Better Business Bureau and local commerce organizations and then display those on your site in the footer area so they are visible on every page, get yourself featured on publications such as Forbes, Inc and so on.. display the “As featured on” badge on your site. SSL certificates and secure credit card badges are also a good idea. Anything you can show to make your visitors feel comfortable buying from you is suggested. You can never look and feel too secure.
9. Use real customer testimonials (pictures or video).
Have you ever seen a testimonial on an e-commerce website that looks like this?
“This is the best product ever!” – Joe
They look so fake and actually do more harm than good.
Testimonials are excellent, but only if they are real. In addition to a well written testimonial, you want to include a real picture of the customer or better yet, a video of them. It’s easy to tell a real one from a fake one, and most consumers are smart enough to smell bullshit.
Also, don’t buy testimonials from Fiverr, as that can backfire big time. I’ve seen the same person review multiple products and if you get caught doing that it will ruin your reputation.
Want to know how to get real testimonials in a matter of days? Send out an email to all of your customers and offer rewards. Higher discounts or rewards for video testimonials and a lower lever reward for a written one with a quality picture. Consumers can do this easily on their cell phones, so if the reward is enticing enough you will be flooded with testimonials.
10. Highlight your best-selling products.
If you have a product or a price point that you feel is better than the other options out there, make sure you highlight it, making it easy for your visitors to come into contact with it.
Every store owner assumes that people will hit their site and search every corner of it. This just isn’t the case, as most are lazy and strapped for time. You need to place the most enticing offers directly in front of them. Even something as simple as a “what’s hot” section in the sidebar that has your best-selling items can trigger impulse buys.
You can also experiment with popups that have special offers. Try different strategies to put offers directly in front of your visitors and always remember that most visitors need their hand held during the entire e-commerce experience.
E-commerce is an up and down landscape that requires constant testing and adaption to the latest trends in order to grow. You don’t always have to go searching for brand new customers. Sometimes you can leverage your existing customer base to drive new sales and up-sells, creating more revenue without the additional customer acquisition costs.
Your website needs to look amazing and make the shopper feel safe, as there are many of options out there, and consumers have no loyalty when it comes to the safety of their personal information.
Remember that more and more e-commerce sales are originating from mobile and tablet devices and that number will only continue to increase. Spend the time to make the shopping experience flawless on smaller devices to ensure you never push away a potential sale.
If you have any questions drop them below in the comments and I will do my best to help you get them answered. Who here is currently running an e-commerce business? Let me know what kind of online store you have below.
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