9 Online Strategies to Increase Sales
The retail industry has undergone major changes in the last decade, opening up more space for e-commerce. But while the internet presents companies with a whole host of exciting new opportunities to increase sales, it is not without its challenges.
With an estimated 12 to 24 million e-commerce sites worldwide, competition for customers is fierce, and entrepreneurs need to diversify their sales and relationship strategies if they want to attract and keep their customers.
Increase sales: 9 ways to sell online
The trade of products and infoproducts online is fierce. The good news is that the internet also offers a whole world of marketing possibilities that help increase sales.
Below, we’ve organized a list of nine strategies that will help you boost your online sales in the short and long term.
1. Create an email marketing list
Let’s start with one of the most basic and important marketing techniques: building an email list. This list of contacts (leads) is essential and can be used at all stages of your sales strategy.
Other channels like social media come and go, but you can always rely on your email list to increase sales.
The most effective way to get new subscribers is through content generation. You can offer an ebook, for example, to people who fill out a form with their contact details.
You can also use exclusive giveaways, sweepstakes and discounts to encourage consumers to share their information with you.
Who sells online courses and publishes content on YouTube, can leave the subscription link in the video description itself, with the proposal that the subscriber receive exclusive materials and news about your product.
2. Personalize the shopping experience
With four out of five (80%) consumers saying they are more likely to make a purchase with a company that offers a personalized experience, you’d be crazy not to!
By gathering customer data and combining this with automated marketing tools, you can give your visitors a unique shopping experience that not only boosts sales but encourages them to come back.
There are lots of ways you can personalize the online shopping experience for your customers, but some of the best ways include:
- Offering seasonal promotions
- Giving them tailored offers and discounts based on past purchases
- Pop up live chat windows/messages offering help when they are browsing your site
- Abandoned basket reminders
- Follow up emails post-purchase, thanking them for their visit and purchase
3. Utilize the power of social media
Social media is a very powerful tool when it comes to marketing your brand and boosting your sales. These platforms can help generate an e-commerce sales funnel when used correctly.
To do this, first and foremost, you need to ensure that your brand has a strong presence on these channels. This has become the norm in today’s digital world and consumers often don’t trust brands without any sort of social media presence.
Also, this is the first type of channel that many people use to research the brand and the quality of the product/service offered, looking for reviews from other customers.
So use social media to promote your products, engage with customers and encourage them to leave comments. These feedbacks serve as social proof, and are one of the most valuable sales tools today.
Another resource for faster results is sponsored ads like Facebook Ads, which have become a major driving force behind sales in the last couple of years.
These combined strategies form the marketing framework that will work to drive more traffic to your landing pages and increase sales.
4. Seize opportunities to up and cross-sell
Through the user journey, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell to your customers.
Real-time visibility of a shopper’s basket, combined with the data and information you have about past interactions, can help you to target these sales opportunities. For example:
- Cross-selling: If a shopper places a certain item in their basket, you can suggest similar items or value packs that are relevant to the products they want to buy.
- Up-selling: If you see they’ve put a product in their basket or purchased a product in the past, initiate a pop-up that suggests a newer or more up to date version of that product.
- Relevant offers: As a customer demonstrates intent to buy something by adding the item to their shopping cart, make offers that encourage a larger purchase, such as offering a second online course at a percentage off.
5. Gamify the shopping experience
Thanks to technology, people now have shorter attention spans than ever before. In fact, when it comes to browsing content online, you only have eight seconds to grab and keep a consumer’s attention.
This time pressure means you need to quickly engage the consumer if you hope to convert them to a sale. One way to do this is through gamification.
Basically, gamification is about adding game mechanics and techniques to non-game environments. For example, adding games or interactive features to your website to encourage visitor participation and interaction.
Some great ways to do this include:
- Visual progress tools at the checkout
- Points systems for loyal customers
- Competitions and giveaways
- Spinning wheels for prizes and discounts
- Referral rewards
- Quick quizzes and surveys
6. Retarget and reengage your customers
There are two powerful strategies to re-engage a customer who hasn’t purchased from you or hasn’t purchased from you in a while: remarketing and retargeting.
Remarketing seeks to engage people who have already shown interest in the brand, using email marketing.
The main purpose of retargeting is to reach users who have abandoned their shopping cart or who have accessed the site showing interest in a particular product or service, but have not progressed through the purchase process.
Re-engaging and retargeting consumers through these strategies helps you reach potential customers who haven’t converted yet but have a good chance of making a purchase in the next approach.
7. Use FAQs and chatbots
Having an e-commerce store means that it is open 24/7. But you can’t be expected to work 24/7 and have a team answering customer queries around the clock.
Unfortunately, when customers are browsing your website and have questions, they want answers quickly.
In fact, nearly half of all consumers (46%) expect companies to respond to their questions in less than 4 hours, with more than one in 10 (12%) expecting a response in 15 minutes or less.
This is no good in the middle of the night, but if consumers are unable to find the answers they are looking for, they are more likely to abandon your site and shop elsewhere.
As such, automating your website FAQs with chatbots can be very helpful. They can give advice on:
- Delivery charges
- Payment methods
- Product availability
- Promotion running times
- Returns and refunds
- Usage Mode
- And much more
This can be enough to keep people on your site and convince them to make a purchase with you.
8. Harness the power of influencers
Did you know that 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations when shopping online? And more than this, 40% have purchased something after seeing it on Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.
This shows the power that social media has over consumer behavior and justifies why partnering with an influencer is a powerful way to increase sales.
These pseudo-celebrities of the virtual world tend to have a lot of followers who trust what they say and want to use and do the same as them.
If your budget is low, look for micro-influencers or well-known people in your field. Another idea is to invite them to participate in a Webinar or Live with you.
Whether it’s reviewing your product or talking a little about your brand, these all make great promotional content as they influence other people to look for what you’re offering.
Through content, particularly videos, influencers can help you increase brand awareness, reach new audiences, and increase sales.
9. Stand out with interactive ads
Finally, we couldn’t help but mention the power of Google Ads, but why not take it a step further with interactive ads?
This is a similar technique to gamification in that these encourage viewers to engage with some video or button presented, rather than just displaying text or a static image.
Interactive ads are a feature of Google that allows you to include other forms of media such as video or animation in your advertising.
The benefit of these adverts is that they are more attention-grabbing and, therefore, more likely to cut through the sea of online content that we consume each day.
Plus, they allow lead capture to take place outside of your website and typically receive a higher click-through rate.
This means more traffic to your website and an increased chance of making a sale faster.
Invest in the growth of your online business
All the strategies mentioned above are already proven effective by thousands of brands and entrepreneurs.
Some require more time and consistency to give results, others are conducive to faster results, but require greater financial investment.
Our advice is that you always work with as many strategies as possible to build a solid digital marketing framework for your business, ensuring lasting results.
And always keep an eye on the news from the digital world, you never know which channel will help your brand increase sales.
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