17 strategies for increasing your online sales Sponsored by Square
Many customers who began online shopping due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders are turning into loyal online shoppers. With some fundamental strategy and marketing tactics, you can capture the benefits of this trend to increase your online sales and build loyalty to your company.
Understand your target audienceunderstand your customers. When you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can have conversations with your customers right there and find out what appeals to them. When your customers are online, you have to proactively take steps to learn about them.
By using analytics tools in your online store and point-of-sale (POS) system, you can identify purchasing patterns and preferences. While nothing can replace a face-to-face conversation, you still have lots of opportunities, including email, online chat, and phone calls, to ask questions to learn about your customers.
Use analytics to learn how customers find your store You want to use your time and marketing resources wisely. By using analytics tools such as Google Analytics to research how customers who make purchases are finding your store, you can then better focus your marketing efforts. For example, if you get a lot of traffic to your cookware store from a blog post about healthy eating, you should write more content on that topic. If almost all your sales are coming from Facebook ads, it may be worth it to invest in more advertising.
Find your unique selling propositionWhat do you offer that no one else can? What is the story behind your store, your products, and yourself?Once you know what makes you different, you need to shout it from the virtual rooftops. You can include it in your tagline, make it prominent on your home page, announce it in social media ads, and highlight it in your email marketing. By building your marketing campaigns and efforts around your unique selling proposition, you give people a reason to come to your online store and, most importantly, buy your products.
Simplify customer experience You want it to be as easy as possible for customers to find what they are looking for and then buy it. If your analytics show a high number of people are visiting your site and leaving without buying, your customer experience may be the reason.
Enlist friends and family representatives of your target audience and watch them go through the process of finding and purchasing items in your online store. Look for areas where they struggle or make missteps. Common areas to fix include your website's search feature, product navigation, and checkout.
Focus on customer service84% of survey respondents reported that customer service is a key factor when deciding whether to purchase. Create a contact page on your website that clearly shows how to contact you. Include a phone number, email address, and chat link if you have one. To help people get answers right away, add an FAQ page to your website.
Most importantly, when customers contact you, respond promptly. Since in-person conversation is rare with online stores, use the opportunity to build the relationship as much as possible.Provide a chat feature on your websiteSince the COVID-19 pandemic began, more customers have started to rely on chat to communicate with businesses. If you don’t have a chat feature, add one to your website and monitor it throughout the day.
Since you can’t be tied to your computer 24 hours a day, include an autoresponder to let customers know when you will return. You can also use Virtual Agent Technology (VAT), which is a plug-in for your website that immediately answers common and basic questions for customers.
Create a simple checkout processWhile the checkout process is part of the user experience, it’s a big sticking point for many sales and deserves extra attention. Offer a guest checkout option so customers can buy without filling in long forms. Break up the checkout into multiple pages or an expanding page to keep from overwhelming the customer with buyer information fields. Keep the text short and concise. Use standard buttons and verbiage, such as a “Buy” button and a shopping cart icon.
Select the right eCommerce platform for your needsBy choosing a platform that has a simple process and management features, your customers can easily navigate your site. Then you can spend more time growing your business instead of growing your store. If you don’t need a full website, choose a platform such as
, which allows customers to pay online without you needing to have a full website. Don't forget SEO Read more: Forbes »
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