Online sales are more than just a rising trend, it’s now the preferred way to shop. According to a poll by UPS, 51 percent of respondents said they made their purchases online in 2016 compared to 48 percent in 2015. That’s good and bad news for sellers looking to amplify their online presence. With more options for the shopper to choose from, it makes it harder for businesses to stand out from the competition.
That’s why it’s more important than ever for online businesses to offer the tools, resources and experiences shoppers want to increase their online sales. Here’s how to get started.
Use interactive self-serve options
Customers are ready to take control over their buying experience and want businesses to provide more tools and resources to simplify the process.
Marketplaces like Amazon mastered the self-serve concept by letting users choose sizes and colors of products, and peruse online reviews or ask questions to the seller. But it’s not just retail-focused businesses dominating this trend. Manufacturing company Apple Rubber offers a seal design and material selection guide to help its customers pick the products they need without picking up the phone to call customer service unless they want to. Those self-serve options put customers in the driver seat of their buying experience and make it easier to buy quickly and efficiently.
Bundle (or unbundle) your products
Instead of offering your customers just one product at a time, offer a bundled option with savings over buying each product individually. For example, Sephora bundles beauty products to put together an attractive purchase for customers looking for makeup, beauty tools and popular items. It would cost a premium for customers to buy all of the same products individually.
However, it’s not always smarter to bundle. The music industry figured out that in order to survive and thrive in the digital age, they needed to unbundle their tracks for individual purchase and streaming instead of holding onto the model of selling a CD with multiple tracks. Microsoft also uses the unbundling concept to sell its products, both bundled and unbundled, so consumers looking for Word aren’t forced to use a robust software suite they don’t need.
Use pop up offers
Sometimes buyers just need an incentive to pull the trigger and jump into a purchasing decision. Give them a reason to stick around and buy with a flash sale pop-up ad. Use attractive colors and a clean design with an eye-catching image. Offer a limited time sale, discount code or prompt them to sign-up in exchange for an immediate coupon. Potential customers are more likely to impulse buy on an item they really want than hold out and think it over until the desire has faded away.
Focus on navigation
The user experience matters when it comes to online shopping, and that starts with a site that’s easy to navigate. If your customers can’t find the products they’re looking for, they’re likely to turn to your competitor to see if it is offering the same thing in a place they can find it.
Do an audit of your site’s navigation and make sure the hierarchy is clear. Create menu options for customers to quickly find the categories they’re looking for. You can also include a search function or a live agent chat box to help your customers navigate to the right pages. And don’t overlook the check-out process. Minimize the steps required to go from product landing page to payment page, Marketing Donut suggests.
Increasing online sales takes some diligence and focus, but can make a big impact on increasing your revenue. Start by making sure your users have all of the resources they need from product images to self-serve options and end with a flawless user experience and check-out process.