Although eCommerce has been on the rise for many years, this is the first time the industry is seeing a significant shift from shopping at offline stores to online. The pandemic pushed customers to either increase their online spending or shop online for the first time.
36% of consumers now shop online weekly, which is an increase of 28% before the pandemic. What’s more noteworthy is that this change in habit will stay even after the crisis is over.
The below image states that more people expect to make a portion of their purchase online post-pandemic than before.
(According to McKinsey, more shoppers will continue using online channels post-pandemic)
This changed customer Behavior towards online channels proved to be a goldmine for the eCommerce industry.
However, this change is also reflected in shattering loyalties. 36 percent of consumers are trying a new product brand, and 25 percent are incorporating a new private-label brand. This means shoppers are shifting brands for availability, convenience, and value for money.
(Reports suggest that more customers are trying new shopping methods)
This leads right into one of your biggest fears – losing customers. As a solution, increasing sales remains your top priority. Not just to survive but to stay afloat within your market territory. Unless you have a clear strategy, it can be hard to retain your customer base and improve your overall sales target.
With this in mind, we have compiled 12 best practices on how to increase website sales. These are some strategies to increase sales that eCommerce businesses across the world are adopting, and it can change the game for your business too.
Here’s a quick index of the ways to increase sales:
- Revisit your Product Offerings
- Highlight Popular Products on Your Store
- Improve Customer Satisfaction
- Leverage Digital Marketing
- Pay Attention to Customer Reviews
- Target Detailed Buyers Persona
- Integrate Responsive Design
- Use High-quality Visuals
- Follow the 80-20 Rule of eCommerce
- Set Clear Navigation
- Leverage Your Store Functionality
- Focus on Shipping Costs
1. Align Your Offerings With The Current Demand to Increase Website Sales
There is a significant shift in what drives your customers’ buying behavior in the last few years. Who would have thought that a time will come when consumers will stock up staples, essentials, laundry detergents, and toilet papers? There are few products that might be irrelevant for the customer. In comparison, others may be more important than ever.
Therefore, it’s time that you re-evaluate your offerings and sell what is more relevant to your customers. For instance, if you own an apparel store, adding face masks to your inventory is a good way to meet customer needs.
When talking about customer needs, it doesn’t necessarily mean the demand for an XYZ product. Most of today’s customers are demanding personalization in products and services. And hence, brands are giving it to them.
Royal Enfield recently launched a personalization platform called ‘Make-It-Yours,’ where customers can customize their bikes and accessories.
From start-ups to big brands, businesses are finding ways to increase sales by offering a personalized product line. Another example is Nike by You that lets shoppers customize sneakers.
(Product Personalization by Nike By You)
Why is Product Personalization a Win-win Solution for Your Business?
‘Ownership’ is a feeling that something is yours. For instance, kids will throw a fit when someone else tries to take their favorite toy. This sense of psychological ownership is a powerful motivational force that marketers or businesses tap into to create stronger ties with the consumers.
The feeling of ‘something is mine’ is developed among online shoppers when they get the power to create a product they’ll eventually buy. And in a competitive B2C world, enabling customers to customize is the key to customer loyalty. Here are some reasons why product personalization is important for your business.
- No Two Customers are Same – Each of your customers has different needs. One shopper might be looking for a plain t-shirt while the other is very precise about the color and design they want on the t-shirt. Satisfying the preferences of customers was a hurdle once. But with product customization, you can offer customers the option to design a product exactly the way they want. 1 in 5 shoppers is okay with paying 20% more for owning a customized product. Therefore, instead of offering a standard product, why not let the customer create something based on their choice?
- Customers Love Products Made by Them – Who doesn’t love a personal touch? Everyone can have the same phone, but customers would like to customize the phone cover by adding pictures or quotes they love. Today, customers prefer customized products. 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a brand that provides personalized experiences. Your customers are demanding personalization in services and products. To increase online sales, it’s high time you think about it.
Product customization is becoming a game-changer for many brands in the retail industry. It can do wonders for your business too. Delivering customers exactly what they want is a viable option to increase online sales and improve customer satisfaction. Let’s find out how you can enrich your brand with product customization. Get in touch with us today!
2. Highlight the Product That’s Most Popular That Can Increase Online Sales
Have you heard about the bandwagon effect?
For the uninitiated, it refers to people’s propensity to do something because others are doing it. We have all been there – watched a sitcom because 80% of your Twitter followers have.
Let’s apply this to eCommerce. Customers are likely to try a product/service that others are buying or using. So how about highlighting the most popular product on your home page? You’ll be able to get more people to trust your brand. And if you have numbers of the products sold, that would be great! Look at this image where the brand mentions the number of products sold.
(The hanger brand clearly highlights ratings, and number of products sold)
One of the easiest strategies to increase sales is using a crucial numeric proof with ratings. You can show testimonials and ratings on your product pages. You can even incorporate a countdown ticker in the shopping cart. Listing the remaining stock or mentioning free delivery for a limited period of time will create a sense of urgency. Here’s an example of one
(The brand, Hamilton Beach on Amazon, creates a sense of urgency by incorporating the countdown ticker)
One major challenge that retailers who offer self-serve product customization face is that shoppers cannot discover popular products in the store. You can solve this issue by displaying products that are popular among shoppers. For instance, Bostontec, a brand making work tables and desks, offers a ‘popular accessories’ section to highlight what other shoppers are choosing. This gives customers an idea of other options they could consider when shopping. Other ways to increase sales with product customization include highlighting the most popular clip arts or patterns that shoppers are trying on their products. Knowing that other consumers are trying certain designs will surely make your customer try that out.
(BOSTONtech offers a popular accessories section on their website)
Customers rely on the opinions and purchasing behavior of other customers. Displaying customer reviews, popular products, numbers of products left in stock, etc., is an effective way to increase online sales.
3. Improve Customer Service to Increase Online Sales
Years ago, what mattered to the customer was low prices and high-quality products. Today, they stay loyal to the company because of the experiences they get.
80% of customers say the experience a company provides is just as important as its products or services. This shows the importance of keeping customers happy.
Look at Starbucks. The brand is a brilliant case study for customer satisfaction. It shifted from a product-led company selling coffee beans to an experience-led company. The brand’s value proposition is all about the experience you get the moment you enter the store until you exit.
It doesn’t matter what you sell. Improving your customers’ experience is a proven way to improve retention, satisfaction and increase online sales. Here are some practical tips on how to increase online sales to improve customer satisfaction.
1. Turn Customer Survey Data into Action
Surveys that provide actionable data will help you increase online sales. By creating custom questions for your customers, you will get information on why they use your product/service, what they would like more, etc. Later, this information proves valuable when creating marketing campaigns or introducing a new product, service, or feature.
Amazon is a good example of a company doing a good job with surveys. Look at the format and content of their survey. It’s easily accessible and engaging. Moreover, the giveaway alert is a smart way to get more customers to take the survey.
(Amazon’s engaging customer survey with a giveaway alert)
2. Listen to Customer Feedback
‘Spend a lot of time talking to customers face-to-face,’ ‘companies that pay attention to feedback grow faster’ – I am sure you have heard such phrases.
Feedback is a powerful tool that can give you insights on ways to increase sales. It’s especially important now because customers have become more vocal than ever.
34% of customers say they are likely to speak up about their negative experiences. Listening to negative feedback will show you what you can do to improve customer experience. Airbnb offers good learning on how to ask for feedback. The company asks customers to share their feedback after their stay. Below is an image of the feedback form by Airbnb that helped them increase bookings by 25%.
(Airbnb’s customer feedback form)
3. Increase Website Sales by Offering Customized Products
Product customization adds a personal touch to the products you offer. When you give that power in the hands of your customers, you let them take an active part in the designing where they can decide the color, text, image, etc. This in turn improves the shopping experience which is highly beneficial for your brand. One of the biggest examples of a brand offering product customization is Nike. The world’s largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel generated over 22% of its total revenue since the launch of NIKEiD.
Moreover, customization gives you an opportunity to charge more. Customers do not hesitate in paying extra for a personalized item. According to Deloitte, 1 in every 5 customers would not mind paying 20% extra for an exclusive product. Also, customization encourages word of mouth advertising because when one shopper is satisfied with your services, they would recommend that to others too!
Brush Your Ideas has everything that you would want from a product customization tool. With diverse features and a vast library of ready-made templates, shoppers can create their personalized designs. Get in touch with us to find out more about how you can enable your customers to shape their designs.
4. Online Marketing to Increase Website Sales
Your digital marketing strategy includes social media, paid ads, emails, etc. But when you look at your peers in the market, you wonder why you aren’t able to increase conversion like them. Sounds familiar? If yes, then you are probably not doing it right. Here are three effective techniques that will help you learn how to increase online sales.
1. Use Ad Extensions for More Clicks
If you have been using Google Ads, you might have faced the issue of limited characters. You’ve got your CTA, phone number, features of the product, etc. You can’t squeeze in much. But with an ad extension, you can fit your business information and create more reasons to click your ad.
For instance, look at this screenshot.
(SEMrush promoting their SEO tool with ad extensions)
The company is promoting its SEO tool. Along with the ad, you’ll see extensions related to SEO tool functions. That’s a good use of an ad extension that’s likely to give a better CTR.
Adding a single new ad extension improves CTR by 10-15%. You would not want to miss one of the best features of Google Ads. Moreover, these extensions don’t cost you anything extra. Clicks on your ad (including your extension) will be charged as usual.
2. Email Campaigns
89% of marketers say that email is their primary channel for lead generation. Email can be a powerful channel with an unmatched reach if you know how to use it. Here are some ways to increase online sales by improving your email marketing strategy
- Writing stellar content copy is undoubtedly important, but what’s also important is to write copies that are suited for your customers. Consider where your readers are in the buying journey. It makes no sense to pitch your product to a customer in the awareness stage of the buying journey.
- Do you want to turn a new customer into a loyal one? Of course, you do! Then one of the best ways to impress them is a follow-up email. A simple ‘thanks for choosing us’ email will leave a good impression on your customers.
- To send promotional content to your potential customers. Email opt-in is a good approach. Opt-in is the process of inviting website visitors to sign-up for your email list often by offering incentives like a free eBook. Weekly tips from the experts, etc.
3. Target the Right Keywords to Increase Online Sales
One of the simplest strategies to increase sales includes adding keywords. Keywords are important. But right keywords are the ones that will turn the tables. If people are not searching for the keywords that you have targeted, then honestly, those are not useful. That’s because search volume corresponds to interest.
A high search volume indicates a high level of user interest. Without an interest in your keywords, your potential customers won’t be able to discover your website. That’s why it’s critical to know keyword intent. To increase website sales, find out the keywords you target that have the right intent aligned with your business goals.
For instance, ‘board games’ and ‘board games for 5-year-olds’ have a different intent. The second option shows a higher commercial intent. They are most likely to invite your potential customers.
Digital marketing yields a high ROI and has increased the scope of audience reach. Marketing the right way will increase website sales, and we can help find the right solution. With the latest marketing trends and SEO techniques, we can help reach your target audience and improve conversions.
5. Pay Attention to Reviews
According to a study by Harvard Business school, online reviews can demonstrably impact your bottom line. Even improving your rating will have a positive effect on your sales. The findings of the study suggest that a one-star improvement on Yelp.com leads to a boost of 5% to 9% on sales in the short term. Some benefits of customer reviews are
- Builds trust between your brand and customers.
- Highlights the features of the product and its benefits to other potential buyers.
- Reviews create social proof that drives purchases.
One of the easiest strategies to increase online sales with customer reviews is to make them a powerful SEO weapon. Online reviews and SEO are closely linked. According to Moz, online reviews make up 10% of the criteria for how Google displays search results.
Whenever a customer posts a review, search engines consider it as fresh content, improving your page ranking. To increase click-through rates, consider integrating reviews on your website.
Secondly, always be active in collecting feedback from customers. Create questionnaires and online surveys, use emails and newsletters to share the surveys with customers. Tip – plan your questions carefully. Ensure you are asking the right questions to know your customers and their pain points.
6. Target Detailed Buyer Personas to Increase Online Sales
Visitors coming to your website want to feel that your site has been created just for them. For this, you need to know their needs and goals. And buyer personas are going to help you understand your target customers better.
Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer. They help you align your strategy to suit the needs of your target customers. When creating buyer personas, focus on topics like job descriptions, pain points, like-dislikes, etc.
Now when you have buyer personas, you need to create a buying journey that converts fictional personas into customers. The journey consists of a three-step process:
- Awareness Stage: At this stage, the buyer who is not yet in the market is looking for educational content. Present them the content that builds awareness about your product and how it can solve their problems.
- Consideration Stage: The buyers are aware of your brands and the product/service you offer. Therefore, share specific content that keeps them engaged.
- Decision Stage: Buyers are close to making a purchase, offer content that talks about what differentiates your product from the rest.
7. Increase Website Sales with a Responsive Design
Over the last six months, 79% of mobile users made an online purchase using their mobile devices. The majority of traffic that comes to your website is from mobile. This means it’s more important than ever to pay attention to mobile experiences to increase online sales.
With a mobile-optimized website, your business will also gain SEO benefits. Because of Google’s mobile-first indexation, your site will enjoy a higher rank in the search results.
(Example of responsive website that scales its content to match the screen size)
The easiest way to provide shoppers with a great mobile experience is by making your website fully responsive. So, what’s a responsive web design? In simpler words, a responsive website is a way to put together your eCommerce website so that it scales its content to match the screen size. With a responsive design, you can improve user experience, and it’s important for SEO purposes as mentioned above.
Here’s a checklist to start moving your web presence toward a more user-friendly experience.
- Run a speed test
- Run a mobile-friendly test
- Make sure there is a clear call to action like ‘Call Now’, ‘Get a Free Quote!’, etc., on mobile.
Having a responsive website is not enough. If you are an eCommerce store owner planning to offer personalization, make sure that the tools you integrate are mobile-friendly. Because that’s what’s going to enable users to easily create designs on any device.
At Brush Your Ideas, mobile-first is our priority. Our product design tool offers the ease your customers need to create designs from any place and on any device. From t-shirts to shoes, the product design tool enables customizing diverse products that have a printable surface.
Our tool comes preloaded with a library of 2,000+ graphics. Not just that! Shoppers can add a personal touch to their products by uploading images from their devices. For business owners, the platform provides a custom UI so that you can control the customizations your end-users make. Why don’t you explore our detailed live demo and check out the diverse features!
8. Use High-Quality Visuals
First impressions matter, and that’s why it’s important to make your online store as engaging and attractive as possible. Here’s a sneak peek into some critical stats that you must know
If you are wondering how to increase website sales, leverage the power of visuals. Here are some ways to increase sales by improving visual content on your eCommerce store.
1. 360 Degree Product View
Online reviews are not enough to convince a shopper to buy. Your customers want to experience your product before they purchase it. That’s why visual content like a 360-degree product view helps in eCommerce sales. It gives your customers the same view and feeling as they would get at the offline store. Besides enhancing the overall shopping experience, it dramatically reduces product returns by giving shoppers a detailed view before purchase.
(Heal’s includes a 360-degree product photo animation for many of the sofas it sells online)
2. High-quality Videos
Videos play a crucial role in keeping your customers engaged. If you are just going to have blocks of text with a couple of images here and there, you risk pushing away your potential customers from engaging with your website. A high-quality video will add a visual pop to your website. One of the best strategies to increase sales is to create a short explainer video and add that on your homepage or the product page. You can even make video testimonials and share them on your website. That will help you build brand credibility.
Just like this video on our website, you too can tell a story about what you sell using an animated video.
3. Augmented & Virtual Reality
AR/VR is on the rise. They are quickly finding applications in most product-driven industries. If you struggle to bridge the gap between online and offline experience, these technologies will provide everything you need. A virtual reality product demonstration will give your customers a real-time glimpse of how your product looks. It’s time that you add animated holograms, interactive graphics, and virtual 3D models to boost customer experience.
9. 80-20 Ratio of eCommerce
Imagine for a while that you are selling athleisure online. Your product line includes yoga pants, cycling shoes, track pants, yoga equipment, etc. You want to increase website sales. So, you add more color options, try out one of the ninja techniques that you read, share more about your brand on social media, and so on. Yet you do not see a significant change. However, you observe that cycling shoes are doing considerably well, and customers like that product.
What should you do?
If you focus on growing your overall collection, it will eat up resources and time. But if you prioritize the product with the most traction, you can increase sales.
That’s what the 80-20 rule is all about.
The 80/20 rule (Pareto principle) states that for many events, 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. For your eCommerce store, start by finding the delta – 20% of resources that bring 80% of results.
So how to find the 20% to increase website sales?
In eCommerce, there are four key parameters to find your business’s Golden 20%:
- Top Locations – Determine in which countries, cities, regions your business is doing well.
- Top Products/Product Categories – You’ll always have a percentage of products that bring the most revenue. Find out what they are.
- Top Traffic Channels – Traffic sources that are responsible for generating conversions. Is it direct, social, email?
- Top Landing Pages – Identify which landing pages are converting the most to optimize them.
Other than these four points, keywords, discount codes, campaigns, and articles can also help you find your golden 20%.
Once you know the golden 20%, it’s time to find out how to increase online sales for those products. Make sure you are marketing those products to the right audience. Consider updating your social media strategy. Find out the right social media platform that has the potential to increase online sales. Get active on the platforms that your target audience engages the most with. Also, make sure you are interacting with your audience. Because the more you interact, the more your brand presence will be.
Consider paid social media ads as well. Social media algorithms can be tricky. There’s no guarantee that your unpaid posts will reach everybody. Social media ads ensure that you get impressions and that your post reaches the specific audience you want to target. For instance, Facebook and Instagram ads allow you to target specific users based on parameters such as age, location, interests, etc. To increase online sales and ensure that you have a clear marketing plan.
Now, let’s talk about what to do with the remaining 80% of products to increase website sales. Instead of immediately jumping to trying out solutions, start by analysis. Identify the root cause of the problem. Why are those products not performing well? What are the factors behind the failure? etc.
To increase website sales, use methods like fishbone analysis to identify the root cause of the problem. Bring together your sales team, product supplies, distributors, designers, etc., to know where the problem lies. Find out if it’s the product material, shipping process, or a poor website interface that’s not bringing in sales.
You can even apply the fishbone theory to identify the root cause of failed marketing strategy. Clearly define your marketing strategy’s overall aim, identify activities or tasks that will drive performance, and define how you will measure those results. Instead of trying to build lasting relationships with all your customers, we suggest that apply the 80/20 rule we discussed earlier. Find your top customers and focus on them. Send periodic newsletters to them, update them about your new products or service via emails, etc.
We help businesses by creating feasible marketing strategies that help them drive desired results. Let’s get in touch to find out what marketing techniques will gain long-term benefits for your eCommerce business.
10. Increase Website With Clear Navigation
If customers can’t find it, they won’t buy it. With clear navigation, visitors can find your products or services easily and faster. If you want to increase website sales, optimize your website navigation.
Start with your home page. If you have a drop-down menu that offers a list of products, you would want to make it simpler for users to navigate. Drop-down menus are complex. Consider replacing them with an explanatory product page. Apple uses this strategy to help users quickly navigate their support menu. As you can see in the image, the top navigation bar doesn’t have a single drop-down menu. But this largely depends on the number of products or services you offer.
(Apple making navigation easy)
Clear navigation becomes all the more important when offering product customization. You have to differentiate general products from customizable products. That makes it easier for the user to act. For instance, cloud9 t-shirt is one of our clients. The Canada-based eStore uses the online product design tool by Brush Your Ideas to offer customized t-shirts. The store has a dedicated category on their homepage for ‘design t-shirt.’
(Cloud9 t-shirt has a category for designing on their website)
When using the tool to design, users can easily select the features they require, zoom-in on the product, add-colors, and fetch the price details.
11. Leverage Your Store Functionality
We talked about the importance of eye-catching visuals and high-quality videos. Along with a robust user experience, you need to ensure that your online store is fully-functional to fetch more sales. These are some essential features that you should consider when offering product customization to increase website sales.
1. Make Social Sharing Easy for Your Customers
Your customers would want to share their creations with their followers on social media. By providing them with social sharing, you get a chance to attract more customers to your stores. When customers share good reviews about their experiences, it will encourage others to explore your brand and try out products. For instance, Nike By You lets users share their customized sneakers on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
2. Provide In-context Education
When a customer walks into an offline store, the sales representative interacts with the customer to help them find what they want. They’ll explain the product, provide options for color, size, etc. You can provide the same kind of consultative experience online by giving the customers in-context education. When shoppers get detailed information about the product, they are less likely to leave the shopping cart. Consider including in-context education for product customizers. You can even add a direct consultation to answer customer questions as they customize their products.
3. Allow Customers to Save Their Creation
One way to encourage users to return is by allowing them to save their customized products or styles. This feature of the product customizer works similar to the Wishlist. It enables users to save their styles for future purchases if they can’t commit to a purchase at that moment.
To encourage shoppers to make a purchase, plan an email strategy around the saved items. Remind them about their saved products with a discount offer. Also, ensure that the save feature is mobile-friendly and easy to find.
Shutterfly is a website and app that allows you to personalize photo books, coffee mugs, etc. The brand gives an option to save the design for future reference.
4. Offer a 3D Preview
Customers have higher expectations of your brand. They want to interact with the product before they make a purchase. That’s where a 3D view will help. With an interactive 3D view, customers can see the product from every angle. However, if your product has complex internal features, then a 3D view may not be enough. Therefore, consider offering an explosive view to customers. The brand Xenith, for instance, offers a 360-degree explosive view of the helmet. Shoppers can view every minute detail of the helmet.
(Xenith offers a 360-degree explosive view of their products)
5. Design Templates
Sometimes the abundance of choice causes users to pull off a decision. One obvious way to ease the decision process and increase website sales is to offer your customers fewer options. When offering product customization on your online store, start with a template to create personalized designs. Customers can choose from the ready-made templates, or you can provide a blank template using which customers can design their product.
At Brush Your Ideas, we brainstorm market demands and analyze user demands before introducing any feature. If you want to know more about the features that will enhance product customization in your store, get in touch with us.
12. Increase Website Sales With eCommerce Shipping
There’s no hiding from the truth – shipping charges kill conversion. Despite the best products and great customer service, customers still balk at the cost of shipping, even when it’s nominal. More than 50% of customers abandon their carts because of shipping costs.
To increase website sales, what should an ideal shipping strategy look like? Let’s find out. But first, let’s see what customers are expecting from eCommerce companies.
Providing free shipping is one of the best strategies to increase sales. However, do consider these ways to increase website sales
- Orders over a specific amount – Many shoppers are likely to add additional items to their shopping cart for free shipping.
- Buy two or more products – Up-sell using a free shipping campaign.
- A predetermined time – Offer free shipping during a specific time frame.
Here are some best practices to reduce cart abandonment and increase online sales
- Money-back Guarantee – It’s a standard practice that most eCommerce businesses offer. When you offer a refund, you come across as a brand that is confident about the quality of the product/service they offer. However, to reduce perceived risks of few shoppers trying to take advantage, decide a time such as refund within 30, 60, or 90 days of purchase.
- Simpler Checkout – Make your overall checkout process as clear and transparent as possible. Communicate details like delivery date, shipping costs, return policy, etc. The majority of customers will purchase their phones, so make sure the checkout process is mobile-friendly.
Are You Ready to Increase Website Sales?
When the world was almost falling apart, and small businesses were closing or struggling, the eCommerce industry had a field day. If we go by the reports, 10 years of growth happened in just 90 days.
Do you know why eCommerce survived? That’s because of the industry’s ability to adapt and evolve. Trends like product customization augmented reality, and 3D configuration are some strategies to increase sales. And businesses were quick in embracing new trends and marketing techniques that drive results.
But here’s the real deal.
The solutions that you invest in should get you a payback. Providing customers the power to create a product for themselves has a significant impact on conversions. The seamless experience that you deliver on your website is what sells.
At Brush Your Ideas, we are on a mission to help businesses extend their capabilities with the power of personalization. Our product design solutions create opportunities for businesses to sell in the new normal and improve customer satisfaction. We can help you stay ahead in the pandemic era and beyond. Let’s get in touch to give your eCommerce store the need of the hour – the power of personalization.
All product and company names are trademarks™, registered® or copyright© trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.