E-commerce sales are like the stock market in the 2000s – always trending upward. Now, before you think about another stock market parallel – a market correction or worse yet, a crash – keep in mind that e-commerce sales have been increasing for a decade, with no end in sight. In 2015, e-commerce sales went up nearly 15%.
Here’s another interesting stat: for the entire U.S. retail market, e-commerce sales accounted for about 8 cents of every dollar spent. With online sales only expected to climb in the next decade, finding ways to connect more effectively with your customers is imperative.
Think your e-commerce site doesn’t need to be tweaked? Think again. Staying one step ahead of the competition means anticipating customer demand at least two steps in advance. To increase e-commerce traffic and boost sales, here are 6 helpful tips and tricks:
Make your product copy as readable (and relevant) as possible. In this current era of SEO optimization, metadata and other analytic-related information, there’s still no substitute for descriptive, interesting, lively, “I’d-love-to-buy-that” copy. Solid descriptions, clear bullet-point attributes and persuasive language to make a potential buyer into an actual buyer are all part of the “magic” of great copy. How can you improve your e-commerce website copy? Hire professional writers, or sign up for a seminar or conference to explore ways to get the ball rolling. Many promising e-commerce sites never really get off the ground due to inferior copy. Make sure it doesn’t happen to you.
Offer promotional codes. Promos, coupons and other special offers are an excellent way to increase your e-commerce reach. Let’s say you’re looking to drive sales for a health-related supplement. Explore options to have health podcasts, publications and other outlets tout your product – and save money – with a checkout promo code. Even something as small as 10% can significantly increase overall sales. Offer a discount for a particular product, and you’ll give your e-commerce store a chance to sell more products at regular prices.
Go mobile. As in a mobile compatible website. The PC isn’t quite dead yet, but e-commerce sales from phones and tablets are going through the roof. Nothing slows sales faster than a non-optimized website. Ensure your site works on mobile formats; it’s easy, relatively cheap and will definitely pay off (literally) in the long run.
Remember the purpose of your e-commerce site. Your website is nothing more than a “virtual storefront” for your product or service. As such, the job of your e-commerce site is to direct potential customers toward purchases, and convert those “maybes” into sure-fire certainties. Call to action buttons, upfront information and an intuitive, easy-to-use interface all help site visitors stay on track. Once somebody becomes bored or lost, they’re gone – maybe for good.
Sell socially. (As in social media.) Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites are not just for connecting with long-lost friends, posting recipes or staying current with the news. They’re also incredibly effective e-commerce sales tools. Facebook and Twitter, in particular, can increase your e-commerce visibility – and drive sales in ways you never thought possible.
Avoid unexpected checkout glitches. Don’t force customers to create an account, and be up-front and honest with shipping costs. These two factors have been noted to decrease sales up to 25%. So be flexible, and tell your e-commerce customers about shipping and handling from the get-go.
Depending on how specialized your e-commerce site is, you can adjust each of these tips as needed. But as a general rule of thumb, websites that adhere to these “6 commandments of successful online enterprises” generally enjoy profitable sales.
Have you tried something totally off the wall to increase e-commerce traffic? Which methods have worked, and which ones haven’t? Drop us a line and let us know!