10 tips for growing online sales
How to increase your sales online: 10 top tips to help you succeed as an established business owner or as a new business.
Online sales are nothing new; they have been an increasing trend for many years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of online sales channels. It has forced many traditional businesses that had dragged their feet on the issue, to get started with e-Commerce online stored.
So how do you grow your online sales as an established business or as a beginner?
Meet a topical need
One winning strategy is to ensure that your products meet a current need. For example, during the lockdown, many companies have become innovative in how they have offered their services. For example, ice-cream vans have provided contact-free deliveries, and home improvement businesses have adapted their marketing to speak to the customer who is suddenly spending a lot more time at home.
Look at how your products and marketing can be made more relevant to what your customers are currently experiencing. However, avoid offering a product that has no longevity, unless you are confident you can sell all of your stock before the novelty wears off.
If you want your business to last for the long term, then your reputation is everything. Do not fall into the trap of making wild promises in your marketing that you cannot deliver. Instead, be genuine and transparent with your messaging and give your customers more than they expect. Your customers will be delighted and more likely to tell their friends.
Customer testimonials inspire trust
When shopping online, it can be challenging to know which businesses to trust. Good quality customer testimonials will help you to build trust with prospective customers. These can feature on your website, or you can link to an independent review site such as Trustpilot.
Consider offering your happy customers an incentive to take the time to leave a review for your business.
Give a trust-building freebie
If your products and services are high-value items, then it may take some time for a prospective customer to build the confidence to invest with you. One approach to building trust over time is to give them a free value-adding resource in return for them signing up to your email list.
If they receive value from the freebie, and then ongoing benefits from your emails, you will stay top of their mind for future purchasing decisions.
Optimize your online presence for mobile viewing
So many of our online purchases are on a mobile device, so your website and your payment solution must work seamlessly for mobile viewing.
Incentives with time urgency
If you have a short-term need to sell down some stock or to increase sales generally, then a time-limited sale or discount can still be an effective strategy. Make sure that this is not something you offer on an ongoing basis because customers will expect only ever to pay the lower price and your messaging about a time-limited offer will be seen as misleading.
Make it easy for customers to pay you
The more points of friction that there are in your payment process, then the more likely your potential customer is to abandon their cart.
Make sure that you work with a payment solutions provider who offers a high-quality eCommerce Payment Gateway and who offers you an excellent level of protection against fraud. For example, payments experts UTP Group provide a double layer of fraud protection; an established bank backs them with rigorous fraud checks, and on top of this they complete further daily fraud checks on your transactions. This fraud prevention service is a unique level of protection to help you to grow your online sales securely.
One of the barriers to shopping online can be concerns about whether the product or service will work for you. Consider offering a time-bound money-back guarantee and track what impact this has on your sales. As long as you are confident about the quality of your offering, and you transparently communicate this, there should only be upsides to this approach.
Don’t try to be everything to everyone – niche down
The most successful businesses start by solving a specific problem for a particular kind of customer. If you try to offer lots of products or services, attempting to appeal to everyone, then you will likely end up with confused prospective customers, who choose a more specialised competitor over you.
Start with one niche and stack on your success over time.
Be ready for Strong Customer Authentication (SCA)
Strong Customer Authentication is a security standard that is being implemented across Europe to improve the security standards of electronic payments. The UK’s implementation deadline is due to be September 2021. Check that your payments solution provider is on track for your payment solutions to be ready in time; otherwise, you can expect significant disruptions to your customer payments.
Conclusion: start with one option to increase your sales
Every business should consider at least a simple online option for transacting with them. COVID-19 has painfully demonstrated the pitfalls of solely relying on a physical presence for sales.
There are so many options to increase your sales. Start by picking one, implement it well and track the impact it has, whether that be optimising your website for mobile devices, offering a guarantee, choosing a payment solutions provider with compliant and slick online payment solutions or offering a freebie. Once you’ve had success with one option, add the next.
If you are entirely new to online sales, you can find out more about setting up a business online with our beginner’s guide to taking your business online.
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