How do you know that an eCommerce website is successful? You see it in the sales. The measure of success is not in the traffic analytics or the number of user comments on products. It is in the money in the bank after you promote your online store.
If your sales is not where it should be and you want to earn more, read on. I have 10 time-proven tips that can help you.
1. Prioritize Visual Presentation
As more and more people flock to visual social channels like Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat and Youtube comes the need for a more visual presentation of products in online stores. While the old way of product with white backgrounds work back in 2008, it will hardly catch the attention of consumers these days. Why? Let’s just say that customers have now been trained to catch visual elements like photos and videos but ignore text. Thus, it is the eCommerce marketer’s task to do something to catch their attention.
One way to do this is to create a catchy visual presentation of products. Visual presentation is more than just photography. It is the way the product is portrayed that will make the consumer feel as if he is touching it through the computer screen.
This can be done in different ways. First, it can be done though big images of the product in different angles. Second, images can also be put together to create packages. This will make the product more enticing especially if this is coupled with a discount. Third, you can also play with color by alternating the colors of your products in a particular category or by applying the same filter all throughout.
Going the extra mile for visuals may seem like a waste of time but it is not. Sometimes, visual elements are the only reason why customers buy. So don’t be lazy and make sure that your products are presentable before you sell anything.
2. Focus on Benefits
In the world of eCommerce, it is easy to see product descriptions that are packed with features. It is like saying a Powerbank has 5000 MAH and a smartphone has 5GB RAM. The focus is on the specifics.
While doing this for the geeks is great because they get to see all the specs in one page, it does nothing for ordinary customers who just want to buy a product for its function. They will not care if a Powerbank has 5000 MAH or even 100,000 MAH. What they want to know is how long it will last. In the same way, they won’t care if a smartphone has 5GB RAM, what they will care about is how many apps can they open at the same time without its battery getting drained. See the difference?
Make it a habit to focus on the benefits. Customers buy because of it. Think about the problem that your product solves and focus your description around that. Forget the confusing numbers and terms.
3. Make a Clear Proposition
Do you know what the greatest salespeople have that others don’t? They are straight to the point. They don’t beat around the bush by listing the features of their products before selling them. They state the benefit and ask for people to buy right from the onset. Like hunters, they shoot to kill. They have their eyes on the prey and they are ready to shoot anytime. They don’t go into strategy mode to think about where the prey will run and what they will do after that. Instead, they shoot right away and know quite well that their bullet will hit their target.
A good way to know if your descriptions are not confusing is to ask someone else to read it. It can be your sibling or a friend. Ask them to read it and ask them if they got what the description is saying. If they got what you are saying without asking a question, you’ve got it. After all, a description’s role is to communicate the value of the product. As long as it is properly understood, it’s okay.
4. Too Many Choices Causes Customer Paralysis
If you enter a department store and you are greeted by 10 salesladies offering 10 different products, how will you feel? For example, you go to the clothes section and you are interested in buying a pair of pants. Then, you saw these ladies offering you 10 different variations of the pants you wanted. How will you feel? I’d bet that you will dismiss the idea of buying anything and just run out of the store as fast as you can.
The same thing can happen online. When your customer visits an online store and found that he is instantly greeted by 4 other variations of the products when he did not even ask for them is just plain annoying. When this happens, he will usually feel one of these two things: first, he may feel that the decision is just too complicated and just too hard to do and second, he will think that he is missing out on too much even if he decides to buy. Both are painful to the customer and this will lead him to dismiss the idea of buying anything. Remove the choices. This will increase your chance of closing a sale.
5. Let User-Generated Content Help You
User-Generated Content, more commonly known as reviews, can help you generate more sales. The only prerequisites is you need a product that is worth selling. You may have seen it on Youtube and Instagram. When products are able to generate enough buzz, it will usually result to more people buying that said product. If you are the only person selling that product, then you can expect tons of sales coming your way.
This comes from the customer’s need for social proof. When a customer is on the fence on buying, they will usually need a push towards the buying direction. Social proof can push him in that way by showing proof of a customer’s user and product experience. If your products are able to generate tons of positive reviews, this will make buying a no-brainer. When people see your product and they need it, they will automatically buy.
The key to this is to first encourage user reviews in your online store. Allow users to leave ratings and detailed reviews in your products. While there is a chance for negative reviews, you can always go out of your way to talk to your customers when this happens. Another way is to request for some blogpost reviews from bloggers in your niche. This will often be more detailed than the review that you can get in your website.
6. Go for a Smooth User Experience
A website’s interface can also discourage a customer from buying. If they found that they cannot add their desired items to the virtual shopping cart or found an error in the computation of their invoice, they will stay away. Also, some users find it hard to buy online. They find that the process of clicking on items and adding them to the cart before checkout can be somewhat daunting. When this happens, they are more than happy leaving the website than buying anything from it.
This is the reason why a smooth user experience is a must for every website. If you can, test your system as if you are the customer. Also, open your website for feedback. Give your customers an online chat area or a contact form so that they can contact you when things go wrong. Just be sure to reply to their inquiries in 24 hours or less.
A bad user experience is the most common cause of cart abandonment. Cart abandonment can make an eCommerce website owner lose as much as 40% of his daily sales. So if you can improve the user experience of your website, you can also decrease your cart abandonment percentage.
7. Catch Exiting Customers
Another reason for cart abandonment is the lack of exit strategy. When a customer suddenly decides to not proceed with their purchase they will often click back or the ‘X’ icon. When they do this, you should have a script that will prompt them with a message. This can be a simple ‘come back’ or a ‘bribe’ that gives them a discount if they proceed with their purchase. This will often lead the customer back into the website and gives you a chance to make a sale.
This is important because it transforms a non-sale into a sale. Instead of allowing the customer to freely click ‘X’ or move to another tab, you ask them to do continue their transaction. Then, you hit them with a bribe that will encourage them to do that. If it so happens that they need the item, they would be happy to receive the bribe and proceed with buying.
8. After Sales Customer Service Must Be Done
What separates snakeoil Internet salesmen from good eCommerce website owners? It is the after sales customer service. Most marketers are trained to work to get the sale. They will use just about everything. From semantics to words, they will try to lure the prospect into buying. But when the customer bites the bait, they will just forget about that customer and move on to look for another prey. This is not a good way to do business. The problem with this approach is it will often lead customers feeling abandoned and used. Trust me. No one likes to feel that way.
A solution to the customer’s victim syndrome is after sales customer service. More than asking how they are, you will go out of your way to answer all the questions of the person who has just bought from you. You continue being nice to them and you try to give them all that they need. Instead of being a salesman who just talked to them for money, you will be seen more as a friend who authentically cares for them.
What will this mean for you? More sales of course. Think about it this way. If a customer sees that you are authentically concerned about him, he will feel the need to reward you. He can do this in two ways. He can either buy from you over and over again or he will recommend you to his friends. Both are beneficial to your business.
9. Discounts Often Seal the Deal
You may have seen discounts in the biggest eCommerce websites. BestBuy, Walmart, Amazon, you name it – They all have discounts. Why do they keep on giving these continuous discounts even if they will lose some money if they do it? Well, it is crazy effective.
You’ll know the importance of discounts if you put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Let’s say that you want to buy a certain computer game. You saw an online store selling it. Then, you compare the price with another online store and found that it is more expensive in the first store. But then, you saw that the first store is giving you a 20% discount. Upon computation, you saw that the price will be lower in the first store. Plus, it has free shipping too. What store will you choose?
It is only obvious that the first store is the right choice. Although the price is initially more expensive, the discount is often enough to get the customer to act and seal the deal. That goes to show how powerful discounts are.
10. Have a Referral Program for Faster Growth
What did PayPal, Uber and AirBnb did to get more customers? They had a referral program. This is where they paid their customers for every new user that will register in their website. Yes, they paid. They got their own money to pay for every person who will join. The result? Millions of referrals and users that granted these technologies instant growth. So if you want to grow your customer base at a faster pace, there is no better answer than a referral program.
Money is definitely scalable in eCommerce if you know what to do. I hope that you find these tips helpful in generating more money in your eCommerce business. If you have questions, feel free to ask them below.