By Chantal India, on 19 April 2021
Boosting online sales is one of the aspirations of all marketers but competition can get tough. When the user has millions of products just a click away, how can you differentiate your brand and stand out?
One of the keys lies in the techniques you use in your sales plan. These tools help you present your product in a more attractive way, reach your target audience, and make it easy for your customers to buy again and again.
10 Sure-Fire Techniques to Increase Sales Online
1. Know Your Buyer Persona
This is a basic must-have because to reach your ideal clients, you first need to know who they are.
Creating a buyer persona is an essential sales technique and should be one of the first steps in developing your brand's marketing strategy. If you don't have one yet, it's never too late to get your team together and get to work.
A good buyer persona should include at least the following information:
Who is your client? Information about your client's general demographic profile such as their job, family situation, identifiers (personality, how he/she prefers to be contacted, etc.).
How can your company help? What are their primary and secondary objectives and/or challenges.
Why? What are their motivations for choosing your products and/or services?
How are you going to reach them? What are your marketing and sales messages.
If you already have a website for your brand, a very useful way to start developing your buyer persona is to consult information about your visitors provided by Google Analytics. Here you can find out their age, the gender they identify with, their main interests, and the user profiles that convert the most.
2. Optimize Your Online Store
Within an online sales plan, you can accommodate different channels, such as retail stores or Amazon-like sites. However, investing in your own online store gives you direct contact with customers and allows you to get a lot of valuable information about them.
For your online store to be successful, you need it to be well designed and optimized. A page that is slow to load, unclear or hard to read will have a very negative impact on your conversions. In the same way, a site where users can clearly find what they are looking for and buy in a few clicks will multiply your conversion rate.
In order not to waste qualified traffic that comes to your store, take these key aspects into account:
Mobile accessibility. It used to be said that people used their cell phones to consult information and their computers to shop, but this is no longer the case. Today, more and more purchases are made directly from mobile devices. To create a good experience on all devices, it is necessary that your site has a 100% responsive design and very short loading times.
User experience (UX). This is important when it comes to generating a positive experience for people who interacting with a system (in this case, your website) and optimizing processes (for example, subscription or purchase). This type of experience not only improves conversion rates, but is also part of your brand image.
SEO and SEM. If you want to sell more online, it's of the utmost importance that users find you easily, so search engine advertising (both organic and paid) is your ally.
3. Create Differentiated Landing Pages
Landing pages are the center of operations of all online sales techniques since they are the place where we seek to direct qualified traffic to convert, for example, through a search engine advertising campaign or Social Ads.
To create effective landing pages, the first step is to find a structure that works. In general, the simpler and clearer a landing page is, the better. That's why it's good to invest in creating a separate landing page for each of your flagship products or at least a page for each related product range. This way, it will be much easier for you to analyze what is happening and understand how to optimize your online marketing.
4. Make it Easy for Your Customers
Users are used to getting what they want with just a few clicks. If your purchase process has any pitfalls, it is very easy for them to abandon it and go to the competition. To prevent this from happening, pay close attention to these points:
The buying process. In general, the fewer clicks the better as long as the process is clear and gives the user the information they need at every step. A great example in this industry is Amazon, which has designed a system where users can buy a product with a single click, making it harder than ever to resist.
Payment methods. Keep in mind that each user has their own preferences in this regard so you need to have all bases covered: credit cards, PayPal, wire transfers, or possibly even cash on delivery.
Additional charges. Nothing annoys a user as much as going to pay for an online purchase and realizing that the price is higher than they thought it would be. If you are going to apply extra charges, always indicate it as clearly as possible.
Shipping costs. Whenever possible, make shipping free of charge.
Return policy. One of the brands that does this best is ASOS, which offers free returns (no questions asked) for 28 days after receiving an order. Whatever the conditions are, it is always important to make them clear and deliver what is promised.
Delivery dates. Clearly indicate when the order should arrive at the customer's home and make sure to follow through.
5. Take Care of Your Image
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and nowhere is that more true than in online sales. Since users are not going to be able to see, touch, or try on your product, you need to give them as much visual information as possible.
Have clear photographs of the product from different angles and be sure that they fit with the overall aesthetics of your website. If you want to go further, 3D videos and product demonstrations can be a great help in convincing potential buyers.
6. Add Value
To stand out from the competition, you need to add something extra to your products and services. One of the best ways to do this is through content creation.
Creating content related to your brand will help you increase the visibility and SEO positioning of your website, while also positioning you as an expert in the field. One of the most typical and effective ways to do this is through a branded blog whose contents can be disseminated through different social channels. To make it successful, take note of these two tricks:
Develop a content plan. Like any other sales technique, your blog must match the general objectives of the company and have a well thought out strategy behind it. Before jumping in, you need to have a content plan that includes the frequency and type of publications you will be putting out.
Alternate between different formats. There are many options that go beyond simple written text posts like videos, infographics, downloadables, image galleries, etc. Be sure to include a variety of formats in your content plan and analyze which ones work best with your audience.
Word of mouth is one of the most effective sales techniques. We naturally tend to trust other users more than brands themselves so recommendations play a very important role when selling online.
When designing your website, there are two basic techniques you can implement to reinforce this:
Include clearly visible share buttons. This way, you will encourage users to post your content (or even your products) on their social networks which, in turn, will naturally attract more visitors.
Add testimonials and recommendations to your website. Seeing other people's stories helps visitors better connect with your products and services and see how they could be useful to them. In the case of B2B marketing, you can also include the logos of brands that have already trusted you.
8. Harness the Power of Email Marketing
Email marketing is a classic part of online sales plans and continues to prove its effectiveness year after year.
Email offers you a direct and personal way to communicate with your audience, which can be adapted to different strategies and moments in the buying cycle. Take note of these tips to get started:
Segment your database. As part of your recruitment strategy, you should make sure you have at least the basic data on your subscribers. From there, you can use their behavior to further expand information about their interests and personalize communications as much as possible.
Be responsive. As with your website, your emails need to be easy to view on all types of devices. Some will be able to display the latest interactive elements, while on others you'll need to have a B version to make sure the message gets through.
Design different user journeys through email marketing. Once the user subscribes, you will have to welcome them and send them the first introductory message. If they have already made a purchase, you can embark on a journey aimed at building loyalty. In short, it is a matter of understanding where they are at the moment in order to create a journey that makes sense.
9. Use Social Ads to Promote Your Brand
Social ads are an excellent platform to implement a variety of sales techniques such as subscriber acquisition, app downloads, remarketing or even displaying a customized product catalog.
They also have a lot of targeting options that you can't find on other platforms. Since social networks have a lot of information about users, you can take advantage of this to launch very specific campaigns. For example "men from X area who have had a child in the last year."
If we combine the power of targeting with the various formats and types of campaigns, we see that this kind of advertising allows us to reinforce our online sales with maximum precision.
10. Create a Sense of Urgency
Another of the great classic marketing tricks is telling the user that they only have a limited time to take advantage of a particular offer or that stocks are limited. This way, the visitor feels that they need to take advantage of the offer as soon as possible.
If you decide to use this, display the limited offers prominently on the home page of the website and in your advertising campaigns on social networks and search engines. It is also a very good idea to create a specific landing page for each of the offers.