Modern e-commerce is developing rapidly, competition in each niche is growing more and more, new sites for buying and selling appear. That is why marketers have to devote more time and effort in order to distinguish the company from competitors and increase sales in the online store. One of the most important points is studying the psychology of online shoppers and identifying aspects that influence the decision to make a purchase. Having a unique high quality product is only half of the success. The remaining 50% is a good online store with a well-thought-out user-friendly structure, correctly designed product cards and high-quality photographs. In this article we will try to give a detailed answer to the most popular question that is asked by most marketers around the world: "How to increase the sales of an online store?"
How to increase sales of an online store, and what scares potential buyers?
The number of users of online stores and their trust in online services is increasing every day. Shopping through online stores has become an integral part of everyone's life. You need to understand that there is a lot of work behind this to eliminate various problems and obstacles on the way to buying. Let's figure out how to increase website conversion and online sales. What pushes away users often:
1. The lack of stock of the product that interests the visitor
2. Incorrectly indicated price of the item
3. Incomplete set of goods
4. Incompetent service
5. No quick response during ordering
6. Difficulties with the ability to return or exchange goods
7. Delivery problems.
These are the most common online shopping problems that need to be addressed first. If you are not familiar with any of them, then you are on the right track to increase online sales. Now you need to finally understand how to sell more. Imagine yourself in the user's place and decide what else can hinder the attraction of new customers. Let's take a closer look at the factors that you should definitely pay attention to.
Correct Operation of the Site and Ease of Use
An attractive design is not enough to make purchases through an online store. It should also be convenient and understandable for the visitor. Statistics show that 75% of users close sites and never return to them if they find it difficult to find the desired product or any information. It is very important to understand the psychology of visitors here. Check if all the functions of the online store are working correctly: if there are any errors during registration, if the "Add to cart" button works, if e-mails are received to confirm an order, if some pages give 404 errors.
Also the key point is the PURCHASE button. Place it on the page correctly (not on the side or bottom of the page), but above the scroll line. The presence of any of these problems can lead to the loss of the buyer. If you are not a technical expert, it would be best to order a usability audit from specialists who research the site and give detailed recommendations on how to improve its performance.
Your online store visitor shouldn't get lost in the endless array of products. Create separate categories and subcategories for each product group. If you are selling furniture, for example, separate pages should be created for sofas, beds, wardrobes, etc., and for each category there should be subcategories. For example, if there is a category "Beds", then there should be subcategories "Double beds", "Single beds", "Children's beds" and so on. This will make it easier for your visitors to find the products they need and improve behavioural factors, which affects the promotion of the site in the TOP of various search engines and Google.
Pay Attention to the Quality of Your Photos (Video)
Users of online stores are very demanding on visual information. It should be clear that product images play a key role. It is the photographs that enable the visitor to visually get acquainted with the products. Use only high quality large format images that will allow you to see any element of the product.
More Informative Content
Each page of the online store should carry useful information for the user and answer all their questions. If this is a section with a certain group of products, then let them know which product he can find here and from which manufacturers. Don't forget about the importance of the texts on the product cards. The presence of selling texts increases the conversion of the site as a whole. Let's give more specifics for each product: detailed characteristics of composition, materials, weight, dimensions, information about the manufacturer. A visitor who has entered a certain card should receive as much information as possible about the product they are interested in.
Write Texts for People, not for Search Engines Bots
Modern search engines are designed in such a way that sites with readable and useful texts for people are more prioritized than resources with spammed materials. In addition, overspam is a direct road to the "ban" of search engines. There are various filters that analyze text content and impose sanctions on such articles. And this leads to the disappearance of site pages from the search results. Write only such texts that will be understandable to people and that will benefit them.
Divide All Text Content into Blocks Using Headings and Subheadings
It is known that 99% of users never read the entire text from beginning to end. Everyone has their own individual questions in which they are looking for answers. Therefore, on each page of the site, try to give answers to all the questions that your potential customers may have, and separate them with headings and subheadings. As you write each heading, it is best to familiarize yourself with the basic searches for the page. Headings help the visitor to understand in which part of the text to find the information of interest.
Informative Home Page
All sites that offer purchases and sales on the Internet, the information content of the main page is important. No obscure phrases, only specifics! When a user comes to the main page of the site, he should immediately receive information about where he went, what he will find here and how can you be useful to him. It is important to reflect on the page not only company's competitive advantages, but also the benefits for potential buyers, to prove that the store can satisfy their needs or solve a problem.
Show the visitor the bestselling products, add related products to them. Show all the benefits of your product. You can post a high-quality video. Make sure that the internal search on the site is working correctly: each request should lead to the desired page. Your company logo and signature are also important (best placed in the upper left corner).
Focus on Shopping Safety
Due to the fact that fraud is "flourishing" on the network, users of online stores must be 100% sure that they will not be deceived. Provide them with as many facts as possible that the purchase on your site is safe. Visitors very often pay attention to such things as the physical address of the company, phone number, information about the delivery or return (replacement) of the product, the guarantee of confidentiality. It is also worth posting real reviews of your customers (preferably with a name and photo). It will be good if you show the faces of your employees on the "About Company" page. This way, visitors will understand that real people are behind the brand. Product warranty is also an important factor in making a purchase decision.
Influence the Increase in the Average Purchase Order
Always offer related products to the customer. An unpleasant situation often arises when a customer, for example, buys shoes in one store, and a bag, scarf or belt in another. If a person makes a purchase from you, offer them additional products that will be useful in combination with the first one. Do not forget to talk about promotions and motivate to make a purchase.
Give the Visitor an Opportunity to "Touch" the Product Online
In an online store, unlike stationary stores, a potential client does not have the opportunity to fully assess the quality of the product. Therefore, it is important to write a detailed description of it with all the characteristics. It will be ideal if you shoot reviews (video) for each product (at least the most popular). This will help form a clearer understanding of the product.
Accompany a Potential Buyer throughout the Entire Visit to the Site
Use psychological calls to action on every page of your site. Wherever the visitor of the online store is, offer various promotions, special offers, bonuses, etc. Constantly stimulate them to purchase.
Always Offer Help
If a user is on the site and is looking for a specific product, often he recuire help or advice. Online consultants will help you with this. Using an online consultant who regularly offers chat help has a positive effect on website conversion. It helps the user to instantly get an answer to a question. But this is an option only for those sellers who are able to answer the question right away. If this is not possible, then it is better not to use an online consultant.
The only thing is, don't overdo it. Often, pop-up forms tend to annoy visitors in most cases. Everything should be in moderation. Again, don't forget about prompt feedback. Be online around the clock, because not all potential buyers can go to the site and place an order in the morning and afternoon.
Reduce the Number of Fields in the Feedback Form
One of the most common mistakes of most online stores: to get feedback, you need to enter too much data (name, surname, phone number, email address, message field). Most of the users do not fill out such form and often leave the site for this very reason. In order to be asked to contact, one field with a phone number is enough.
Share Useful Information with Your Audience
Content marketing helps sell, that's a fact. On the site you can start a blog, write interesting and useful articles, make product reviews, give advice and recommendations. Modern users appreciate the care and free useful information. This will increase brand loyalty and trust. If you give people useful or interesting information, in many cases they will want to share it on their pages on social networks. So let them do it.
Save Your Visitors from Advertising of Extraneous Resources
It is clear that everyone wants to make money and sometimes resort to some actions that only harm the site. In the case of online stores, this is a permission for search engines to place advertisements on their resource. Remember that most of the users do not like constant pop-up ads.
At this stage, we analysed what internal factors you need to pay attention to in order to increase sales in online stores. But do not forget that in addition to internal factors, there are also external ones. To ensure maximum sales growth, it is necessary to resort to marketing moves and work on brand awareness, as well as increasing loyalty and trust in the company from potential customers.
External Factors that Affecting the Efficiency of an Online Store and Increasing Sales
In order for more people to know about the brand, it is necessary to use external tools to attract customers. Spreading information about the company on various online platforms will help you to get closer to the target audience and reach more users. Let's consider the most effective tools for increasing online store sales.
Well-set search engine ads bring new customers within hours of launch. In addition, the most popular and powerful search engines, such as Yahoo and Google, have their own networks of partner sites that allow you to post contextual ads. This is a profitable advertising method that requires constant investment. The speed and efficiency of getting the result is an attractive advantage of contextual advertising.
Let your audience find out the news of the online store, get acquainted with new products in the catalog, receive information about discounts and promotions, read useful articles, because such mailings do not lose their effectiveness. When done right, email marketing becomes a powerful and relatively inexpensive tool for acquiring new customers, and is also a great motivator for repeat purchases.
Native (Organic) Advertising
A way to increase online sales that has been gaining popularity lately. It is famous for the absence of annoying direct advertising. In this case, you negotiate with popular bloggers and platforms so that they mention your brand name in their articles and videos. This presentation of information is unobtrusive and natural. It was found that 53% of users prefer native advertising rather than banner ads. And there are 18% more people who are ready to make a purchase after watching such ads. The effectiveness of this method is also manifested in the fact that most popular bloggers, for example, are "opinion leaders", and any information they say is instantly picked up and remembered by fans. Many collaborate with thematic blogs. For example, on the Instagram page of TV presenter or a celebrity, several advertising posts a day are the norm.
Social media is an effective tool that will help you make friends with your target audience, increase its reach and set up direct communication with it. Create engaging posts, advertise products, run contests and promotions. All this will positively affect the promotion of the online store and increase the level of loyalty and trust in you. The main thing is not to turn the site into a dump from a continuous advertising of goods. The audience should be interested and comfortable following your activity. Also, most of the popular social networks offer convenient advertising accounts for launching targeted ads. Flexible functions allow you to set up an advertising campaign for a narrow target audience.
With a platform like YouTube, you can reach a large audience by capturing and posting helpful videos, such as reviews of your products.
Publishing promotional articles in print and news sites will increase brand awareness. The materials should not carry direct advertising, but more useful or entertaining information that may interest your audience. The mention of the online store and its assortment is more relevant to place at the very end, and it should take the form of an offer to help in solving the problems indicated in the article.
Catalogues of Online Stores
Another way to make yourself known is to place your site in specialized directories. But here you will also have to work hard, since most sites work on the principle of rating. And the most popular are online stores with the highest positions in the ranking. The ratings themselves are often based on reviews, prices, and the number of orders.
How to increase sales in your online store? The answer is simple: use the advices above. All of the tips on internal and external factors that we have covered in this article are built on our long-term experience with clients and the experience of world famous online stores.
How Popular Online Stores Increase Sales
Online store of designer goods Gilt.com
In 2010, the online store generated over $ 400 million in revenue. The company has won the trust of over 2 million regular customers. It’s easy to guess that the whole team put a lot of time and effort to achieve this success. Let's analyze what exactly attracts users to the online store Gilt.
• Use of high quality photographs. If you go to the site, you will not see a single blurry or distorted photo. All product cards are accompanied by bright and thoughtful images. In addition, the company's content managers change them DAILY.
• Promotion of purchases. Great welcome - limited time for storing goods in the "basket". Thus, the online store shows that there are other buyers who would like to buy this item, so there is no way to wait long for a purchase decision.
• Reward for attracting new customers. An important point that for some reason is ignored by most companies. If a Gilt customer brings a new customer to them, the company will give them $ 25 bonus as a thank you. This stimulates customers to massively disseminate information about this online store.
• Daily email distribution. Every day, the company's employees send letters to registered users, informing about new promotions and sales. Also, each client has his own number in the queue if some product is out of stock. As soon as it appears on sale again, employees immediately send information about this to each client in the queue.
• Ability to make the client feel unique. As part of the project, there is an exclusive club that offers participants special discounts. You can enter this club only by invitation of other members. In fact, there are other ways to join the club, but Gilt's goal is to give each customer a sense of their own exclusivity.
Online store of household appliances AO.com
AO.com is one of the world's best home appliance sales projects. Let's see what techniques they use to attract their Clients massively.
• Competent broadcast of USP (Unique Trade Proposal). The main advantages of an online store are located in the "header" of the site. As soon as a user visits the site, he immediately sees the company logo, followed by a list of benefits. In addition, the advantages are present in each product card: low prices, recycling, credit program, after-sales service. It is striking and easy to remember.
• Caring attitude towards Clients during their entire stay on the site. The entire online store is designed in such a way that every visitor feels comfortable. On each page there is an opportunity to verify any information of interest with the help of an online consultant. In product cards, you can see popular products that other users are interested in.
• Fast and easy site search. High quality and bright images. There is a video review for each product. The section "Questions and Answers" and detailed descriptions with a list of all technical characteristics that have been implemented. Experts constantly monitor the behaviour of visitors to the online store and improve the site taking into account their needs.
• Customer service at the highest level. The company set up its own logistics firm to avoid the hassle of delivering goods. It works seven days a week until 22.00. The client can request any delivery time that is convenient for them. The online store also offers various economical rates, discounts and credit programs.
• Ability to influence decision making by using social factors. On the main page of the site, it is proposed to go to the section with reviews of real customers. Moreover, the block itself consists of their photographs. The block is supplemented with selling headlines: “We are trusted by millions of satisfied customers”, “1000 products in search”. Also, the online store has a successful experience of promoting on Facebook. Now the number of subscribers is over 1.5 million people.
• Using customer ratings. Each product page has a customer rating with their product reviews. This technique also has a positive effect on the speed of decision making.
You can consider 1000 more successful examples of working with the audience of online stores. Each company has its own experience. But all that connects them is the desire to be on friendly terms with their Clients, and not just make money. For this, it is important to consider the factors that we have considered in this article. Use these tips to attract new customers and retain old ones, which will lead to more online store sales.
Online Store Text Optimization
So how to set up proper text optimization.
Be sure to consider the following points
• Make a clear main navigation page. It should be organised in a way that it will direct customers to the right product or service.
• Distribute product categories by BRAND. This will give you the opportunity to separate subcategories by other characteristics of the product, which will facilitate the search and make it user-friendly.
• Personalize, specify tags (title and description). Create the tags of the main and general pages on search suggestions, and on their basis create more specific tags for categories and subcategories. There, it is necessary to concretize the models and other characteristics of the product, keeping the static part of the tag.
• Headings are built according to the same principle: attach specificity to the main text, indicating the exact models or characteristics.
This text optimization option will allow you to work with a large assortment, saving resources. Work with an online store for traffic. Constantly update product cards and simplify the site. This will attract more customers.