Are you struggling to make sales in your eCommerce store? This year, eCommerce is set to do billions of dollars in sales but if you’re seeing little or no sales in your online store then this article may be for you. Working with tens of eCommerce store owners, I’ve seen first hand how implementing simple ideas can get the sales going. Follow along as I share 5 ideas to help you jump-start eCommerce sales in your online store.
Who are you selling to?
Before we go forward, you need to have a clear picture of who your ideal/typical your customer is. I know you’ve heard this before in sales but just tag along with me and you’ll see why this is important. Humans are creatures of habit, as much as we don’t like admitting it. By understanding your customers, and their behaviors, you’ll be able to nudge them to take actions that are within their domain and thus get them to make that sale. Your customer might be a new mom who is balancing a career and raising her son. Or, your customer might be a small business owner with 2 – 10 employees and who is overwhelmed with all he has to do to keep things going. Do you get the picture? Good. Let’s continue.
What’s the pain?
Now that you have a clear picture of the customer you’re targeting, you need to look a little deeper into the pain that they’re dealing with. On the surface, we’re all good and things are great. We seem to have it together. If you dig a little deeper, however, you’ll find that it’s not all good. We could all use help in one way or another. Going back to the examples I gave before, a new mom who just went back to work can be worried that she has a lot to catch up and is missing the first moments of her son. The overwhelmed small business owners could be dealing with burnout and they’re just bearly holding on.
So far, we’ve established the customer profile and the pains they’re dealing with. With these 2 pieces of information, here’s are some ideas to use the information to best serve your customers, new and old.
#1: Clarify your messaging
A lot of businesses waste precious time trying to reach anyone and everyone. Quickly, the marketplace learns to tune out these types of messages because they are too broad. The first thing you need to do is clarify your message so that when your ideal customer hears it, they immediately relate and want to connect. As humans, we have an innate desire to be heard and understood and we tend to follow those who speak what we’re thinking. It’s a powerful way to connect and shows your prospects that you not only understand their pain but also have a solution to ease this pain.
#2: Social proof
It’s amazing how many online stores don’t take advantage of this. Consumers are trained to look for social proof from a third-party to confirm that your product/service is really as good as you say it is. Many people have been burned before when they bought products/services that just didn’t live up to their expectations. While social proof doesn’t totally guarantee that what you buy will work flawlessly, it gives the buyer an idea of what to expect. Collecting testimonials is a great way to offer social proof but don’t stop there. With the improvement of technology now you can capture photos and videos much easily than you would in the past. Depending on your product/service, you may need to ask for specific feedback as relates to your company.
#3: Checkout upsells
Do you want fries with that? We’ve all heard the phrase at some point in our lives. There’s a simple truth to this phrase that can generate you more sales. First, notice that you get asked at the end of making an order. Many eCommerce software today have an upsell feature. All you need to do is upsell the right products for the items already being ordered. Think about what goes well and is a natural fit for what the customer is ordering. This could also be a great time to think up and develop add-ons if you don’t have one yet.
#4: Develop a great follow-up
You’re 6 times more likely to sell to existing or past customers than you are to sell to new ones but many online stores have no plan in place to follow up with these customers. Every time someone buys from you, you should gather at the very least an email address. Then add them to your newsletter or just the customer list. With their consent, you should follow up in a few days or weeks (depending on the type of product/service rendered) after the sale and see how they like their purchase. This is a good time to show that you care and stand behind your product. If they have an issue, work it out with them so that they’re satisfied. If they’re happy with your product, then ask them for a testimonial and talk to them about other offerings that your company has.
Using email marketing tools such as Mail Chimp and ConvertKit, set up a newsletter that goes every other week or on a monthly basis and use the newsletter to share more about your company, product and services, and customer experience. By doing this you’ll stay in the memory of customers so that when they or their friends need something you provide, they’ll think of you. A mistake many businesses make with newsletters is making every newsletter about a sale. This only turns off customers resulting in them unsubscribing to your newsletter. Instead share customer testimonials, how-tos, and other useful pieces of information.
#5: Your website
Lastly, you should review your website to make sure it’s in the best shape possible. There are a few things you need to check for:
- Your site should be mobile responsive. Test out your website on your phone and see how well the images and text display. Test out checkout to make sure payment processing works well. If you find any issues with this, have a web developer fix them for you.
- General site speed. Use tools such a Pingdom or Google PageSpeed Insight to test the loading time of your website. A slow-loading website is not only annoying to visitors but also affects your search ranking according to Google. If your website is built on WordPress you can use caching plugins to speed up page load.
- Add how-to and other value-adding content. One of the main barriers to purchase for visitors is the fact that they’re not 100% sure the product or service will meet their needs. So, add useful information to your shop pages such as how-to videos, size charts, instruction manuals, and other supporting documents so that the user is not left wondering if the item will work or not.
Well, that’s it for today. Thank you for reading this far and I hope you’ll implement one or all ideas from this article. When you do, please let me know how it all turned out. Here at Front2Back Studio we build and maintain eCommerce websites and would love to do it for you. If you have a question please contact us. Peace.