51 Ways a Business Can Increase Online Sales20 min read
Large or small, the main purpose of a business is to increase its online sales. So whether you run a small grocery store or you are a mega eCommerce giant like eBay, improving online sales is your ultimate motto.
Increasing online sales looks much easier than it is. But fortunately, there are several ways to get the work done. Some of the tips are so easy that you can implement them right away. And while some tips are generic, some are specific. In this blog, we will be looking at a whopping 51 strategies a business can implement to increase their online sales scale.
1. Stay honest on your sales copy
It would amaze you to know how many sites display products, discounts, and promotions they can’t fulfill. Honesty is crucial for your business’s reputation because it encourages a customer to trust your brand.
89 percent of millennials trust recommendations from their friends and families instead of relying on the brand. So don’t make claims you can’t substantiate and don’t exaggerate. Make your sales copy honest, straightforward, and approachable for all your campaigns.
2. Use Ad Extensions to get more clicks
For selling stuff online, ad extensions are an inevitable feature as they are available in both Bing and AdWords. Extensions allow you to make your ad bigger and appear in more places. It does not cost extra and can increase your ad’s click-through rates! So try them out now.
3. Present customer testimonials
With social media reaching every corner of the world, customer feedback has become very important. Did you know that satisfied customer reviews have been more successful than best-written sales copies?
The good part is that if your customers are happy with your services or products, they can provide you with positive, valuable feedback in the form of testimonials. So make sure you have the best testimonials on your product pages, landing pages, pricing pages, and home page.
Also, if your business has any kind of certification or membership, flaunt it in front of your audience.
4. Create some urgency
It is important, to be honest about your products and services. But there’s no rule against developing urgency to influence customers to buy your products right now.
Several customers react positively to incentives that create urgency. These include time-sensitive offers and limited edition products. You can also use AdWords and customize ads to display a countdown on seasonal offers.
5. Offer money-back guarantees
Often, a customer’s decision for not buying a product is risk aversion to avoid a potential financial loss. Why should one buy your products? What if it does not work as promised? In fact, even small purchases can create the risk of what’s called ‘the buyer’s remorse’.
One of the best ways to overcome this objection is to offer a money-back guarantee option. If you remove the risk factor from your prospect’s decision, they are more likely to buy your product.
6. Limit the number of choices
Many businesses are not in favor of this concept. Business owners think offering more products can increase sales. On the contrary, a larger variety of products can confuse customers. Once the customers become indecisive, it results in the loss of sales.
If you have a wide variety of products, restructure them in such a way that the customer is left with fewer choices. Remember if you provide more choices, the customer might bounce and check other stores.
7. Target audiences on Facebook
You can target similar audiences on Facebook to increase your online sales. Use the data you have on your existing audience to find similar people online. On Facebook especially, you can do this through the targeting of lookalike audiences.
For the uninitiated, lookalike audiences of Facebook are users who have similar behaviors and characteristics to your existing customers.
8. Make a smooth checkout process
According to stats, more than $4 trillion worth online products were abandoned in the users’ shopping carts last year. Of all these products, 63 percent of the merchandise was potentially recoverable. Keep this number in mind to remember how important it is to have a solid checkout process.
Make sure your visitors are easily able to navigate through your site. Try and eliminate any unnecessary steps in your checkout that can make you lose a customer. Skip unimportant fields in forms. And most importantly, don’t time out and make your customers start over from the beginning.
9. Provide an array of payment options
Today consumers have plenty of options to make their payments online. Your business has to accept all kinds of payment gateways. This includes credit cards, debit cards, Google Wallet, ApplePay, WePay, Stripe, and all that you can think of. This basically includes all the latest services especially popular on mobiles.
Optimizing your site for such a wide payment gateway can be hassling. But it is going to beneficial to increase online sales, especially if your site gets the majority of traffic through mobiles.
10. Get quality product images
Evidence states that well-presented food tastes better than shoddily plated ones. Given the importance of appearance to how we perceive things, getting good quality product photographs can shoot up your online sales.
Let’s be honest, poorly clicked shots or tiny thumbnails can be very disappointing. So invest in quality photography and make sure to provide a wide range of images to your customers. Most of the people check a product’s proverbial tires before buying them online.
11. Optimize your site by removing landing pages
We are not asking you to eliminate your landing pages unnecessarily. We are asking you to optimize your online ads to align with the number of consumers that browse and shop online.
Doing this is important because most people don’t want to spend extra minutes browsing through their mobile devices. They simply want to buy your product. Call-only campaigns available on Facebook and AdWords are great examples of how removing the landing page makes your site more optimized.
12. Try email ads
Using Gmail Ads is an excellent way to reach prospects to increase online sales. Go the extra mile and try to reach out to your customers even in their inboxes!
The most effective way to use Gmail Ads is by targeting competitor keywords. So all those who are trying to get your competitor’s products will now receive inbox ads of your products.
You can try this strategy and hopefully change your customer’s minds so they buy your products and ditch your competitors.
13. Keep your messages consistent
Ever found an alluring PPC ad that only took you to a bad landing page or the site’s homepage? Did you buy what allured you in the first place? Probably not.
Understand that when users click on ads for specific products or services, the page they land on should be about that specific item only. Users should be directed to a page with that specific item only, and not to a related category.
That’s why you need to make sure your messaging is relevant across all your campaigns (PPC, social media, etc.). This way all your clicks can turn into conversions.
14. Your copy should answer everything
A dangerous pitfall you can suffer while selling your product online is assuming your customer has complete knowledge about your service, product, or market. Many companies mistakenly assume customers know what products they are selling when they don’t. This results in unanswered questions that are not addressed, ultimately harming the sales.
How do you overcome this?
Think of every question you may have about your product and answer it in your copy or product pages. Likewise, think of every objection your audience might have and overcome it in your copy.
Although you might feel like you are bombarding your audience with a lot of information, you are doing the right thing. You are giving them all the information they need to make an informed decision. This approach will require writing clear, crisp, and concise copies.
Always focus on the benefits of your customers and you are good to go.
15. Give away free stuff
People love free things! The more you give out free stuff, the more favorably prospective customers will perceive your brand. This ultimately results in more online sales.
So always consider giving out anything for free. If you are running a software business, you can offer your customers free trials for a certain period. If not, you can still give out free samples. Free samples not only build your rapport with the customers, but they also tempt them to buy more products from you.
16. Get tiered pricing
Whenever you go to eat out, you will probably choose mid-priced dishes. People tend to avoid the cheapest and the most expensive dishes and choose the appealing middle-tier option. This strategy is called decoy pricing. You can implement the same plan to increase your sales online.
Implementing the third decoy option can help you push customers towards the middle option – the only set of products that you want to sell.
17. Add opt-in pop-up offers
If you want to increase retail sales, use opt-in offers to encourage audiences to sign up for your mailing list, newsletter, or loyalty programs. Opt-in offers can significantly help increase the number of contacts in your database (which can help boost email marketing). Such offers can also help increase online sales in the short term.
While launching the opt-in offer, be sure to test all the elements for maximum optimization. You can make more sales in the future if more people sign up for your newsletter and loyalty program.
18. Consider mobile optimization
66 percent of people’s eCommerce time is consumed on smartphones. This means mobile searches have left behind the desktop search volume. If you want to increase your sales, it is vital to optimizing your site for mobiles.
Source: 1Ditigal Agency
Remember, mobile optimization does not purely concern the technical perspective. Make your mobile navigation as easy as possible. This might require an extensive overhaul of your checkout process.
Consider Amazon’s mobile site as a stellar example of how to implement mobile eCommerce.
19. Use follow-up emails to impress new customers
Often, customer experience ends once businesses get their hands on the customer’s money. This can affect the customer retention strategy of businesses. To increase sales performance, you must use thoughtful, genuine, and send tempting follow-up emails to retain new customers.
So don’t forget your customers the moment you get their credit card details. Your customers will become your loyal brand evangelists once you pay attention to them after they have bought your product. Your customers will become repeaters and will also tell their friends about you.
20. Make your value proposition
So many companies lose sales and waste time by focusing only on themselves. Understand that people don’t want to buy things. They just want to solve their problems. That’s why your value proposition should take center stage in your site content and all the marketing communications.
You can break down your value propositions into the following main areas:
A. Relevance: How your product can solve customers’ problems
B. Differentiator: Why customers should buy your product instead of your competitors
C. Quantifiable values: Specific benefits of your product
Ultimately, enhancing the perceived value of your products and surroundings can help you make more sales.
21. Use the voice of your customer
No matter what campaign you have implemented, the language you use in your campaigns can have an astounding impact on your sales turnover. Use the voice of the customer to make conversions.
The voice of the customer is an effective marketing technique that includes language and phrasing used by customers during focus group testing and market research. This extremely powerful technique can help you boost your sales.
22. Restructure your conversion paths
Sometimes you feel like you are going well, only to see your conversation rates hovering toward bad and worse.
This doesn’t have much to do with the messaging or positioning of your ads but a misunderstanding of where and when the conversations are happening.
Start by examining your attribution models and conversation paths using Analytics. You might find surprising parts of your marketing strategies that can have a major influence on your online sales.
23. Connect with your audience on social media
Actively engaging with audiences on social media is a potential business tool to spike up your sales performance. But since many businesses believe this to have a negligible impact on the sales turnover, the practice is often overlooked. In fact, this is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness, customer satisfaction, and improve sales.
Giving fast and honest answers to the questions that your potential customers have about your products is an excellent way to increase your sales. This technique can also get you unsolicited social feedback among users. Now, this truly is a brand exposure you can’t buy with money.
24. Use remarketing to close deals
Whether you are running a PPC campaign or a Facebook Ads campaign, all the digital marketing initiatives take time to complete.
The single most effective way to increase sales online is remarketing. Without using remarketing, you are hoping for customers to convert immediately, which almost never happens. It will keep your brand at the forefront of your audiences and provide opportunities to convert.
25. Upsell your products
For many businesses, one way to effectively increase online performance is upscaling the product. It can be a more effective approach than acquiring a new customer. The approach involves selling a considerably more premium product than the one the customer’s looking to purchase.
At times, your customer might not know that a premium product is actually available in your store. Or at times, your customer might need a little push to understand the benefits of upgrading to a new product.
Whenever you are trying to upsell, keep these two things in mind:
a. Your upsell should always be related to the original product
b. Be a little of the customer’s anticipated price range
26. Use Instagram to the fullest
Bragging of over 500 million daily active users, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms that connects influencers, brands, and consumers alike.
Source: Fifteen Design
By using compelling and captivating photos, writing strategic hashtags, and posting at the right time, you can easily build a large fan following on Instagram. The secret to gaining organic followers is to engage your users well.
You can roll out contests or shoot some interesting behind the scenes moments for your audiences to view.
For eCommerce marketing especially, you can showcase your products in the form of posts and stories.
27. Reduce abandoned carts
You are losing money every time a customer abandons their cart without making a purchase. Researches state that more than 69 percent of shopping carts are abandoned by customers.
An excellent to reduce this loss-creating process is to formulate a simple email recovery campaign. This can help convince your customers to return to their original purchase.
You can craft an email that allures your customers to return to their abandoned carts by reminding them what they were planning to buy.
28. Set up a Facebook store
Despite all the changes it has undergone, Facebook continues to remain the number one social media platform to improve eCommerce sales.
Making sales through Facebook is very straightforward. You can also integrate your Facebook store with your Shopify store to avoid keeping a separate inventory.
29. Increase your email subscribers
Email marketing, undoubtedly, is one of the most effective ways to increase your online sales and generating repeat customers. As per research, about 17 percent of the digital marketing budget is allotted to email marketing. But this channel contributes 24 percent of the total revenue.
While Facebook posts and tweets can help engage and entice customers, email marketing can connect with the audience on a more intimate level. This is because people are super protective of the messages sent to their personal inbox compared to their online feeds. Plus, emails allow you to say things that can’t fit in social media posts.
You can start email marketing by actively promoting your newsletter, blogs, promotions, etc.
30. Enrich your email campaigns
Having a bunch of emails at your disposal is simply not enough. You have to consistently send emails to effectively market your brand and products to increase your sales.
You can send emails for these occasions:
a. Send a welcome email the moment a new customer signs up.
b. Promote coupons and exclusive promo codes through emails.
c. Regularly send newsletters, discount offers, product tips to the customers.
d. Always share relevant content.
e. Don’t forget to thank your customers frequently.
f. Ask for as much feedback as possible.
31. Craft wish list reminder emails
The wish list reminder email works closely with the abandoned cart email. Both are drafted to incite customers to buy the products they initially showed interest in.
Do you have a product on sale that has made to a lot of wish lists? Has it been a while since a customer checked their wish list? Whatever it is, send an email and let your customers know!
This small trigger is all that it might take to make them purchase your product.
32. Have a user-friendly web design
If your store is suffering from a hard-to-read font, lacks a clear value proposition, and has confusing navigation, you are losing your sales.
If you are not segmenting your products properly, are unable to strike the balance between texts and visuals, or putting too many products a page, you need improvement.
Make it easy for customers to buy what they want. With a poorly designed online store, you are losing a lot of customers.
33. Introduce the live chat feature
You can engage your store visitors with the live chat feature. This can be done for all the customers who are not in your email reach.
There are several live chatting tools that help you target browsers after they have been on your site for a certain period.
Using live chat, you can directly have conversations with all your customers. So this way, you can address your customers while they are contemplating buying your product.
34. Anticipate sales in the future
If you want to expand your product line, first evaluate the market demand and see it is all worth it.
You can do this by implementing keyword researches, social media trends, geographic validations, and more.
The best way to test your market is to presell your product to see how many people place their orders. You can also list your item as “out of stock” to see which product gets the most attention with back-in-stock notification requests.
Whichever product gets the highest requests, prepare to sell that.
35. Have a content marketing plan
Blogging is an important component of content marketing. With blogging, eCommerce stores can connect with their customers to rank better in search engines. If you have the content ready, start featuring it actively on your online store.
Other than blogging, you can try out these content marketing strategies:
a. You can start a podcast.
b. You can publish guest posts on other websites and generate backlinks.
c. Create long-format content, such as guides, to inform and educate customers about your product.
36. Introduce personalization
Drive your online sales by embracing personalization. By gathering behavioral data, online stores can serve personalized experiences to the visitors, depending on their past actions and preferences.
A report states that personalization can increase 10 percent of overall sales for a company. And as of today, only 15 percent of eCommerce stores are using this feature.
While using personalization, don’t forget to account for the location of the customer. For instance, customers in South Carolina might be looking for bathing suits while Maine customers might be looking for winter wears.
37. Make use of user-generated content (UGC)
UGC is one of the best ways to generate social proof. If a new customer sees more people are regularly buying products from you, they will feel more confident in doing the same.
As per statistics, over 54 percent of customers trust information from online reviews and recommendations from their peers. But only 20 percent of customers trust the brand itself.
There are many forms of UGC, but the most popular one remains product reviews.
38. Have a local appeal
Online stores can localize their approach to increase their revenues. You can start by figuring out what’s your personal definition of local by analyzing this:
a. Figure out where you have a large concentration of customers and run discounts and promotions there. Also consider local seasons and events to promote sales.
b. If you have a warehouse, then promote free or discounted shipping to customers in the vicinity.
39. Optimize your product pages
The practice of optimizing your site for on-site conversions is called conversion rate optimization (CRO). You can implement CRO to identify problematic areas on your site.
Qualitative and quantitative research is carried out to understand why you are losing sales. This includes who’s dropping you off and what opportunities you are missing on.
Once you are research is done, you can formulate a hypothesis and test it to see which approaches generate more sales.
40. Always optimize for mobile
According to Statista, more than half of online shopping is expected to happen on mobile devices by 2021.
Optimizing for mobile means you are designing your site with only mobile visitors in mind. It requires having more than just responsive design.
For instance, you can have a bigger ‘add to cart’ button on all your pages. So your visitors can add your product to their cart without zooming in. You can also change the format of your images so that they load faster on the mobiles.
41. Reward your loyal customers
A cost-effective way to increase online performance is by focusing on customer retention. Return customers account for 22 percent of a store owner’s revenue. It also makes up for 11 percent of the total customer base. And these customers are expected to spend 15 percent more over a year’s time.
One of the best ways to reward loyal customers is by organizing customer loyalty programs. These programs are developed to give loyal customers extra incentives whenever they make a purchase.
You can choose how frequently to reward your customers and for what actions.
42. Adopt minimalism
A clean eCommerce web design is important for user-friendliness and site performance (in terms of speed). If you stuff your site with tons of images, your site will become difficult to navigate and appear cluttered. No consumer has the time and patience to de-clutter through your site and waits for it to load.
20 percent of online shoppers admit the reason to abandon a cart or shop from the competitor is bad site design and navigation.
So go minimal, and remember to have adequate spacing between page elements. Nothing hurts your online performance like a confusing site.
43. Have compelling visuals
Investing in high-quality photography can bring in more visitors to your site and increase your online performance. Try to present images in large formats and give them adequate room to shine. Don’t forget to add the zooming functionality. Also, provide views from various angles so that customers can have the best look of the product.
If you have a clothing business, try to incorporate featured videos demonstrating how outfits look when someone moves around with it.
44. Incorporate eCommerce SEO best practices
Search engine optimization is a widely used method to gain organic traffic on websites from popular search engines. To optimize your site for SEO, focus on page types. Then layer them with segmentation by product categories. This can give you more actionable and granular sites.
45. Use your homepage for internal linking
The majority of your external links will land on your homepage. So why not make your homepage with the most SEO value? To improve your performance in conversion and SEO rankings, link out to top categories.
Don’t forget to regularly link out to new keywords. This can help you accelerate their indexation and search engine rankings.
You can also MINE your search engine marketing (SEM) efforts for data. You can then repeatedly test your CTAs because the performance will differ based on the product category.
46. Give SEO-friendly product names
Whether you are selling your products on a site like eBay or have built a custom eCommerce solution with an eCommerce API, giving your products SEO-friendly names can do wonders to increase your online sales.
For instance, a product named ‘pink cashmere sweater’ is far more discoverable than something called ‘rose-gold cardigan’.
47. Get rid of sliders from your homepage
Most of the recent web design tips suggest including a slider image on your web page. Sliders come with a bunch of benefits. After all, they allow you to display a number of products and features on your page.
But if you want to increase online sales, remove sliders from your web page. There are no studies to show sliders can increase your sales.
48. Include all your contact details
The common frustration listed by potential customers is the absence of proper contact details. The best tactic for a B2B company to increase its online performance is including clear contact information on the website.
As per research, the one thing users find most lacking on websites is contact information.
Include as many contact details as you are comfortable sharing online. At a minimum, include a contact gateway that’s easily accessible. To get more sales, include a full mailing address, phone number, and email address.
49. Match your landing page with your ad
If you are using paid ads to increase online sales, match your landing page with your display ad. Don’t split-test a variety of ads and landing pages, instead make them correlate to each other.
This congruence will help users sign up and buy more of your products.
Make sure your landing page resembles the layout and color scheme of your ad. Also, market your landing page with the same copy as your ad.
50. Show trust icons on checkout pages
A key psychological reason to improve your online performance is building trust in your customers.
A study reveals that 61 percent of online shoppers chose not to purchase because a site didn’t have a trust seal.
There are many ways to instill trust in your customers, one such being including a brief description of your security measures.
When a customer thinks they can trust you with their credit card details, you certainly will skyrocket your sales.
51. Use a personal call to action
It is time to get away from using the generic ‘call to action’ buttons and try something new. You can incorporate a call to action that comes with a personal flair.
Try using first or first and second-person pronouns such as ‘my’ or ‘you’. These words make your buttons sound less like a cold command and more like a friendly recommendation.
For instance, you can use something like ‘Start Your Program Now’ instead of ‘Start Program Now’.
If you want to increase your online sales, you need to try activities that your competitors have not yet tried. For this, you might have to implement a trial and error method and unleash all your creativity.
In short, if it increases your creativity, keep doing it. And if it doesn’t, drop it and move to another way to boost your online sales.