E-commerce is a growing industry. Online sales growth over the last couple of years has exploded, and it is only a tiny share of all types of sales! However, with the multitude of websites available, how do you get sales from your website? You need to stand out from the competition. Here are 10 ways to boost your e-commerce sales.
1. Good site design.
You cannot have an e-commerce site that doesn't have meet this most basic criteria. Make sure your website functions normally in all types of browsers. Don't assume that if it looks fine with Netscape, that it shows up properly with Opera. Nothing will make a prospective customer leave faster than if your site won't load correctly. Make sure your site looks good in all browsers. You could be losing sales because it looks distorted in some web browsers.
Make your website more than just e-commerce. Offer information to your customers, and build that up, keeping the theme related to your business. Your customers will bookmark your site for information as well as purchasing, which will lead to repeat business!
Target links to your website can increase you search engine ranking. However, avoid link farms. What you want is a popular website that is of interest to your customer base without being direct competition. Offer to exchange links with this site. However, if their site is very popular, you may need to sweeten the deal with something like a free e-book, or possibly a mention in your online newsletter.
4. Offer a free product, and make it truly free.
Not free with purchase, or a teaser product which requires customers to buy more. A lot of e-commerce sales are the result of trust, so you do not want to abuse this trust by doing a bait and switch offer. So, give your customers a free e-book, or a free trial product, or free personal profile, etc.
5. Create a message board or chat room for your website.
This is additional information or resources for your customers, who often share the same interests - at least as far as your products are concerned! And do not underestimate the power of 'word of mouth' advertising. A prospective customer is more likely to respond to a positive message board post about your company than just reading your ad copy.
6. Ad copy.
What is the feeling that you want your customers to have when they purchase your service or product? Tell them about it! You are selling to the emotions of your customer, and telling them how they will feel can entice them to purchase.
7. Magnify the customer's problem.
Why do this? Well, if you make them think about what problem they have, and offer the solution - the customer is more likely to make action right now, and purchase your product! The bigger you make their problem seem, the better your product will seem and the more sales you will get.
8. Create an e-zine or online newsletter.
Make the subscription free. Use this newsletter to inform customers of special sales, new products, or just industry news. Having the newsletter free of cost will also increase your subscriber base of non-customers, who will eventually purchase if you use your newsletter wisely. Make sure to give the subscriber the option to remove themselves from the list easily.
9. Offer a customer rewards program.
One of the most effective marketing programs you can do is to market to existing customers! They already know your product. So, reward them for repeat purchases with a discount, or a special bonus item when the purchase a specific dollar amount. People love the idea of special treatment!
10. Ask for feedback.
You can do this with your message board, e-zine or newsletter. Your customers are the best source of direct feedback on all issues of your business, from the product itself, to customers service, to the functionality of your website. Listen to them!
Success in e-commerce is the result of listening to your customers, and offering them solutions to their problems. Boost your sales with any of the above tips to stand out from the competition!
Your Independent guide to E-Commerce