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Patricia O'Loughlin
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Word concubine since 1989.
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5 Tips to Boost Your Online Store Sales

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Recently, I wrote about ways to decrease your bounce rate and ensure visitors actually hang around your website. While this is certainly important for your online store to secure good SEO rankings, your ultimate goal is of course, to surpass the browsing stage and generate a sale.

In a physical store, a sales team can offer advice and help shape a customer’s decision. Conversely, the online store must speak for itself. This is where things can get a little tricky when it comes to encouraging customers to make a purchase.

Hence, it is worthwhile to consider the following strategies for increasing those online sales and helping your business prosper:

1. Make the most of email receipts. Chances are you’re sending off email receipts to confirm an order and inform a customer that their purchase is on its way. However, this is also an ideal opportunity to include other value propositions that could induce a returning visit, such as:

  • Product recommendations based on the current order
  • Discount codes
  • Feedback requests asking for the customer’s shopping experience

It’s a small amount of effort, but marketing reports have shown great results when online businesses add these kinds of features to the typical email receipt.

2. Nurture cart abandoners. One of the major problems of online shopping is the ease at which customer can abandon their virtual shopping baskets. In a brick-and-mortar building, you can’t just drop your cart in the middle of the aisle – in the online world, however, this is common practice. Make sure you are sending customers a friendly email to remind them of their incomplete purchase, in which you offer your help and invite them to contact you if they have a reason for abandoning their cart.

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3. Make friendly upsell suggestions. When a visitor lands on your checkout page, you can uplift those conversions even further by showing them products that can be bundled up with their current purchase. If, for instance, you run a clothing store, you can make automated suggestions of accessories to match an item of clothing. Similarly, if you operate an online car parts manufacturer, you could recommend cleaning and maintenance gear to complement different products.

4. Highlight your special offers. It’s important to make sure your special deals aren’t going by unseen. Often, some simple graphics can be the key to getting people to click on deals and actually make a purchase. Good places to advertise your latest offerings are:

  • Pop-up ads – just be careful not to go over-the-top and thrust them in your visitor’s face
  • Your info bar – obviously this is one of the first places the eye goes to, so it makes sense to advertise deals here
  • Your sidebars – if you want to include an image without coming across as too distracting, a sidebar advert can be the way to go

5. Include product videos. Photos are important, but people lurrrrve videos. They offer a nifty 360-degree view of the product in question, therefore boosting trust and helping potential customers to solidify their decision. In fact, reports show that 58% of shoppers perceive companies with product videos as trust-worthy, while other stats show that video viewers are 64-85% more likely to purchase a product. Of course, producing a professional product video can be expensive – if you’re restricted for budget, simply employ this strategy for some of your top-selling products rather than using it as a blanket approach.

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An example of a product video from WME (click image to enlarge).

By making just a few simple changes to the online shopping experience your business offers, you can watch those click-throughs turn into sales, and those website browsers turn into loyal customers eager to return to your digital store time and time again.

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By Patricia O'Loughlin


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