Looking for better results from your online marketing techniques?
You need to focus on how to increase website sales!
You can be on Twitter and Facebook 24/7, writing blog posts on a daily basis and building a large mailing list; but if your website is not optimized for sales, you will waste all your other internet marketing efforts.
There are a number of things you can easily do to increase sales on your website. Most are common sense and you’d think that any e-commerce website would already be doing these things, but very often these details are overlooked in the overall website development process.
15 things you can do to increase website sales — with examples of great online shopping sites that do it right:
- Clean up your Homepage
Remove the waffle about how great you are and put your featured products or nice layout of the categories of products so that visitors can start shopping straight away.
- Clear the Path to Checkout
Ensure that it is obvious to visitors how to make a purchase on your website. A clever website design may be a talking point for you and your buddies; but if the visitor has to search at all for where to go to purchase, you are less likely to make a sale. If you think that large ‘buy now’ type buttons are too commercial, just find a design that suits, but is still clear and prominently placed.
- Remove Distractions
Take away any elements on your website that may distract visitors from making a purchase. Twitter feeds, lists of blog categories, blogrolls, etc. will on serve to take the visitor’s focus away from the ‘buy now’ and any distraction may mean that you lose the sale completely.
- Add More Payment Options
People have very specific feelings about how they are comfortable to make payments online. Some people love PayPal because they don’t have to get out their credit card for a purchase, while others are afraid that PayPal isn’t secure. If you only offer one type of online payment, you will lose sales from people that prefer other methods.
- Provide Next Day & Express Shipping Methods & Maybe Free Shipping
If you don’t offer next day delivery options, you will lose out on sales to visitors that need the product quickly. Many people shop online because they are caught for time and are looking for express shipping options.
- Ship to More Destinations
Unless you are restricted by licenses or other trade laws, don’t limit the destinations you will ship to. If you pass on the additional cost of postage, your profit will remain the same.
- Use Great Images and Descriptions for Products
A visitor can’t feel your products or see them in person. High quality images and complete descriptions provide the next best thing and will more likely bring a sale without a need for additional information.
- Cross Sell and UpSell
Create packages of complimentary products or inclusive services (like training, support, maintenance, etc.) that the visitor can avail of at the time of initial purchase, rather than expecting customers to come back. Most Shopping Cart applications have modules where you can show visitors what “users who bought this, also bought…” or let visitors “buy 3 for the price of 2” and other techniques which can help to increase sales, as long as they don’t distract from the sale.
- Don’t Require Registration
Many visitors will decide not to buy from you if they are required to register for your website. Even though they may not need to enter more information to register than just to make a purchase, a more streamlined checkout process will bring more sales.
- Offer a Money Back Guarantee — & Make Returns Easy
Many visitors think that it’s impossible or too difficult to return an item purchased online, but most online retailers find that offering a money back guarantee and having an easy way to make returns gives visitors confidence to purchase.
- Use ‘Live Chat’ as a Virtual Salesperson
For a small monthly fee you can install a Live Chat application to your website so that visitors can get answers to questions straight away. In many cases a visitor is reluctant to ring, either out of inconvenience or fear of a hard sell; and if a visitor has to email and wait for a reply, the urge to purchase may pass.
- Communicate the “Pain that You Heal”
Rather than just listing your products, tell and show visitors how buying the product will benefit them.
- Highlight Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) & Benefits of Shopping Online
Show visitors why they should buy from you rather than the other websites that sell similar products. Do you provide a wider range of sizes, unique products, free shipping, etc.? What sets you apart from your competitors? If there isn’t anything now, there should be!
- Meet Visitor Expectations
Did the visitor come to your site expecting something else? Make sure that all the promoting you do off the website; social media posts and profiles, advertising (online and offline), email marketing, etc.; communicates properly what you are offering and leads the visitor directly to relevant information on the website. ‘Landing Pages’ meet two of my suggestions: no sidebars or navigation to distract visitors and specific information on the product that the visitors is looking for.
- Get & Maintain the Trust of Visitors
Be very clear about what you are offering from when a visitor first enters your site. Some sites use a tactic of withholding pricing or what is involved in purchase until just before checkout, but this turns off many online shoppers. Be clear from the start. Many savvy marketers do hold off on this information until checkout, so this must work in some cases; but you need to be sure that what you are offering is so attractive that it won’t damage your chances with the visitor.
While all of these examples are e-commerce websites, many of these techniques can be used on sites that don’t have shopping carts and are offering services rather than products.