Archive for the ‘online sales’ tag
For any business that wants to succeed in the digital era, having a website is a necessity. Converting visitor clicks into sales, however, takes a little more than putting up a working store page. If your sales numbers are not at the level you want, it is time to take a deep look at your website and make a few tweaks to boost your bottom line.
1. Add Video Content
Your customers are busy people who don’t have a lot of time to devote to shopping. Long and wordy descriptions of your products are unlikely to excite your customers. A short and engaging video clip, however, can show your product or service in action. You can also use video content to showcase customer testimonials or tell customers about the history of your company.
2. Include User Guides and Information
Even if your products or services seem straightforward to you, it’s never a bad idea to include helpful information on how to use your products. Your customers may have questions that aren’t answered by the basic product descriptions, and including user guides can help answer those questions and give your customers the confidence they need to complete their purchases. You may also be able to highlight unusual uses for your products that can expand your customer base into nontraditional audiences. Offer these guides in a variety of formats, including illustrated guides and videos, to accommodate as many customers as possible.
3. Embrace a Global Audience
If you want to reach out to a global customer base, your website needs to be usable by more than English speakers. In addition to featuring more languages on your website, you can transform your brand and content to make it more appealing across the globe. For example, if you have a blog on your website and frequently make references to American holidays, your global readers may feel left out. Spending time learning about the meaning of symbols and colors in other cultures can help you come up with a logo that won’t cause cultural issues with potential global customers.
4. Add More Reviews
Few customers make purchases on a whim; the discerning customer likes to read reviews from other buyers. Featuring reviews on your website is a good way to give potential customers the information they are usually seeking. Don’t relegate your customer testimonials to their own separate page; integrating reviews throughout your website, such as on a sidebar on each page, can help more eyes see your customer raves.
5. Use a Clean and Responsive Design
If your customers have trouble using your website, sales will slack. Today, many web users look at websites through the small screens of their smartphones; using a responsive design will automatically scale your website to the correct screen size. Your website should also look clean for all users and feature intuitive navigation. Although a website with a beautiful design may win awards, too much flash and glitter can impact your customers’ ability to shop. Having a search feature on every page in an obvious place is also a good idea to help visitors find what they need.
6. Smooth Out the Checkout Process
Few things inspire customers to abandon their shopping carts like an inexpertly designed and clunky checkout system. Creating a smooth checkout process takes time and more than a few trials. Start by shedding unnecessary steps. For example, forcing your customers to work through an elaborate account set-up process places a barrier between them and a completed sale. Make sure that your checkout pages offer the essential information most customers want to see, including details about shipping and the items currently in their cart. Finally, offer a variety of payment and shipping options for your customers.
7. Beef Up Your Hardware
Customers are used to having instant information when they browse and shop on the web. A slow-loading website is enough to frustrate some customers into completely giving up on your business. Removing unnecessary clutter can help speed up loading on your website. Improving your server’s capabilities, however, can lead to a more dramatic improvement in loading times. Using a stable server is also important; you don’t want hours of downtime to hit during your peak shopping hours.
8. Use Discounts and Sales to Create Urgency
A shopper who is worried about a disappearing deal is more likely to complete her purchase than a shopper who puts an item in a shopping cart and forgets about it. Discounts encourage hesitant shoppers to make a decision so that they won’t miss out on buying something they want at a better price. There are many ways you can introduce more timed discounts to your site, including special sales days and discounts that are only available for a short window of the day. Placing reminders about these discounts throughout the site, including on the checkout page, can remind the shopper of the discount’s deadline.
9. Make Support Easy to Find and Access
Although you strive to offer products and services that will fulfill your customers’ needs, some of your customers will inevitably experience problems with your products. Make it easy for your customers to reach out to your support staff and include a variety of contact methods, including email, phone calls, social media or live chat. Support can help save sales that might otherwise be lost; however, having visible and responsive support options can also give uncertain customers the confidence they need to complete a purchase.
The online marketplace is booming, but it’s also a crowded field. Improving your website and your user experience can help your company stand out from the competition. Designing your website with the customer experience in mind can help you to drive sales to your business.
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