Running an online business is both rewarding and challenging. It requires creativity and tenacity as you navigate the complexities of our digital world. As an e-commerce businessperson, you need to ensure that your marketing strategies are cutting-edge. This will help you improve your sales, driving profit and growth. Here are some strategies you should be using to drive e-commerce sales.
Know Your Customers
This might seem almost too intuitive to discuss, but businesses often make the mistake of assuming things about customers. Instead of making assumptions, really get to know your customers. Think critically about who wants to buy your products and talk to people in those demographics. Ask them what they look for in products and their online shopping experience, and take that feedback seriously. Tailor your whole shopping experience to your customers.
Be Mobile Friendly
Having a mobile-friendly shopping experience is a necessity in today’s competitive environment. As of 2016, 63% of millennials use their phone to shop. You need to ensure that your site meets their needs. Does it load quickly on mobile? Do all graphics display correctly?
Google offers a helpful tool to test your mobile-friendliness. If you go to this site, you can test your site link to see if there are any errors.
Google will crawl the page and deliver your friendliness result, as well as a visual snapshot of what your page looks like on a mobile device.
Application Programming Interfaces, called APIs, transfer information between systems. They work like a mailman bringing a package from the post office to your home and carry the information safely between two different locations.
One prominent example of an API is Facebook’s third-party login. This allows you to sign into a site using your Facebook credentials. This provides customers an easier way to sign in, increasing the likelihood that they will continue to engage on a site. APIs like these can make your site easier to navigate, leading to increased sales. APIs can also be used to help customers make a purchase on your site as well, like with shipping. Shipping APIs can bring down your costs, help send tracking information, and allow you to pass on savings to your customers.
Build Your Social Media Presence
Social media is incredibly important for driving sales. Ensure that you have social media accounts on the platforms your target demographic uses in order to engage your audience. Social media helps you increase sales in two ways: it brings in new customers and retains old ones. By creating engaging content that your followers can like and share, you reach their followers as well. This gives you a great opportunity to attract new leads.
Secondly, social media presence builds your relationship with existing customers. Social media content reminds them of your business, allows you to quickly communicate with them, and encourages them to buy again.
Create a Visual Experience
Humans are visual creatures, and creating a selling experience that excites customers visually helps to sell products. List products with vivid, high-quality photos or consider using videos to demonstrate product uses or features to get them excited about the services or products you have to offer. This gives customers the opportunity to interact with your product as much as possible before purchasing. Not only do photos and videos help customers get to know your product, but they also increase their interest in your site. On average, users spend 88% more time on websites with videos. Using videos encourages customers to spend more time navigating your site, possibly leading to bigger sales.
When designing sales, add an element of urgency. Try showing a limited quantity of products remaining on your site. This encourages customers to act fast and buy while they still can. Instead of having sales stretch for a long time, try shorter intervals. Customers feel more urgency if a sale ends at midnight than if it ends at the end of the month, and are more likely to complete a quick purchase. Drive home the importance of buying NOW.
Accept Multiple Payment Options
Many customers feel uncomfortable giving their credit card information to an unknown vendor. They could abandon the checkout process because they feel anxious about their financial security. To reduce shopping cart abandonment, accept payment options such as PayPal and other trusted third-party payment methods. This helps customers feel confident in their purchase.
By implementing strategies like customer research, APIs, and strategic social media use, you can push your sales to the next level. Don’t settle for mediocre sales numbers—push yourself, and your business, to be the best it can be.
~Nick Rojas is a self-taught, serial entrepreneur who’s enjoyed success working with and consulting for startups. Using his journalism training, Nick writes for publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. He concentrates on teaching small and medium-sized enterprises how best to manage their social media marketing and define their branding objectives. Connect with Nick on Twitter at @NickARojas