Ecommerce has already got a big boost since the start of the pandemic. Statistics from Statista show that e-commerce sales have reached $4.2 trillion worldwide! More people buy products online than ever before, which is good news. But there’s a lot more competition too, which is not great. However, there are some relatively easy ways to increase your ecommerce sales in 2022. So, let’s take a closer look at what they are.
The essential thing in any online business or marketing is knowing exactly who your customer is. The internet gives us enormous power to target our advertising message to exactly the right demographic, which means more sales and less marketing spend.
You must know what that demographic is. So, if you haven’t already worked on creating customer personas that define who you sell to, start now. You could base this on your brick-and-mortar business’s customer profile, or you could start using social media, polls, and even surveys.
People like to shop online – but they like to buy from sites they can trust. They want to know who you are, where you are based, and if you are a legitimate company. Security signals like the little padlock that comes with your SSL certificate matter to online shoppers, and being able to contact you by email, phone, or even visiting a branch makes a difference too. Consider using WordPress for a fully customizable site that you can integrate with ecommerce platforms.
Make sure that your customers identify who your company is and that your site is clear and transparent.
If you’ve never heard of a sales funnel before, you need to research what they are and how they work. Here’s a basic overview of what the online shopping process looks like:
Your potential customer might not find what they need at any point along this process. In that case, they will go to the following website on their search results list, and you will lose the sale. You’ll also lose the opportunity for subsequent sales if they’re happy with the product and service.
So, you need to make sure that your website is optimized to deliver at every step of the process.
Online shopping is a lot like shopping in person. Customers look for a price that they can afford or within their budget. Then they take a closer look at the product itself.
It’s essential to make sure that your products are well defined so that people have enough information to decide.
Make sure that your images are clear and that visitors to your site can zoom in to get a better look. Add multiple views to the product page, so people can turn it around the way they would in a store. If you can add a video of the item in use, that’s even better to give people a clear idea of the item they need.
Images are important, but the text content on your product pages matters too. Descriptions should be detailed and enticing. Include a variety of facts, specifications, and statistics. Sometimes, something as simple as the size, weight, or color of an item is enough to sway a customer, so make sure you add all that information on the product page.
Take a leaf from big online retailers’ books, too – by adding related items and upsells onto your product pages too. The longer you can keep your potential customer on your page and engaged, the higher the likelihood that they will buy from you.
While it might not be expected, there are still customers who don’t have credit cards. This means if you only accept credit card payments, you might be losing sales.
Giving customers more than one option to pay for their purchases is a great way to increase e-commerce sales. Consider adding well-known and trusted third-party payment processors like PayPal, Stripe, or 2Checkout. Include an option to pay by credit card, and if you’re willing to process manual payments like checks, you can use that option as well.
Shipping is another huge factor for online sales. Many people say that shipping costs are the most significant factors in their online purchasing decisions.
If you can offer free shipping, that’s the gold standard for online shopping success. But if you can’t, try to provide more than one option. A slower, cheaper option might work for some customers, and faster courier services that cost a little more might appeal to others. If you are willing to offer pickup from your physical location, add that. Many people are shopping online for safety reasons these days, and if they can do a curbside collection, they might still choose to order from your online store for that reason.
People who shop online are not the most patient in the world. They expect you to ship their product within a reasonable time and receive it within as short a period as possible.
If you have longer shipping times, make sure that it’s clear on your website. Place a banner mentioning your shipping time on every page, so there are no nasty surprises after they’ve checked out.
Ensure that you send tracking information for shipments as soon as they are received. You’ll avoid a lot of angry follow-up emails if customers can log in to the carrier’s website and see where their order is.
Customers online are not that different from the ones that visit brick-and-mortar locations. If your customer service is terrible, they will vote with their wallet and take their business elsewhere.
If you make them feel like royalty, answer questions, and solve problems promptly, however, they’re not only more likely to be repeat buyers, they’re also likely to recommend you to other people.
Marketing an online store is a little different from a brick-and-mortar location. You can’t rely on foot traffic and location on the web! But there are a lot of other tools you can use to grow your presence and get more sales. Those include:
People want to be reassured that they’re spending their money on a high-quality item that will fulfill their needs.
A warranty on your products is a good way to do that. So, if you offer a warranty on the items you sell, publish it on your website. Or, if you’re a reseller, make sure that you link to the manufacturer’s warranty or information on your page or theirs.
Returns are another big issue for online shoppers. If the item they bought doesn’t meet their expectations or arrives damaged or broken, who can they speak to, how do they send it back, and who pays for shipping.
Trust is even more important in online sales because shoppers can’t just bring an item back, so be upfront and honest about your policies, and then make sure you stick to them.
Finally, when building or updating your online store, you need to consider pricing and perks.
Some online shoppers are completely price-driven, and they will always buy the cheapest product on offer. Others will consider other factors like your shipping policies, whether you’re a local business, or if you have social projects like supporting charities.
Many customers will also consider “perks” when they are shopping online. So, discounts on future purchases or free items with their order might sway them to choose your products, even if they aren’t the cheapest out there.
When customers are not entirely price-driven, the value you offer might very well be the deciding factor. So, make sure that every time your customers deal with you, they are delighted, and you underpromise and over-deliver.