In this post, we continue our journey through the best ways to increase your e-commerce sales. If you missed the first installment, you can catch up in Part 1.
7. Make It Easy for Customers to Buy
No matter how great your product or service may be, if your online store is difficult to navigate or unpleasant to look at, you dramatically reduce the likelihood that a shopper will stick around to make a purchase.
A few things that should be on your checklist:
- Make the text easy to read. Avoid narrow fonts and scripts and keep everything at 12 pixels or above. This not only makes your text legible but also means search engines won’t mark it as suspicious.
- Keep your navigation simple. Label menus clearly for desktop users and integrate them into the design for mobile users.
- Have staff and customers test the site before you launch, and continue testing regularly once it’s running.
A key component of this is your POS experience. A connected payment ecosystem such as Poynt allows all of your amazing e-commerce initiatives to easily translate to brick-and-mortar sales.
8. Encourage Customers to Create Their Own Content (and Leave a Review)
One of the major incentives for people to make a purchase on your site is “social proof”—people using your products out in the world and leaving rave reviews about them. In fact, 91 percent of shoppers say that a good review will make them more likely to patronize your business.
So how do you get user-generated content? Know your networks and invite users to share the kind of content that best suits each platform. Facebook, for example, is great for video and personal stories. Twitter and Instagram are excellent platforms for images, quotes, and testimonials, and LinkedIn is a good venue for longer, more thoughtful posts. When sharing user-generated content, make sure to tag the author or creator and give credit. The more you engage with your audience, the more likely they are to share about your brand again.
And how about good reviews? It’s pretty simple, really: Do good work and take ownership if and when you fall short. Maintain an active presence on sites such as Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, and Trustpilot. When people rave about you, thank them. When they criticize you, reach out and see what you can do to make things right.
9. Take a Personalized Approach
When customers give you their email address or mobile number, they expect to hear from you, and they expect the message to be tailored to them. This is a friendly practice that not only builds good will but also makes money.
Personalized communication can boost sales by up to 10 percent, 2-3 times faster than messages without personalization. And the real shocker? Only 15 percent of businesses do this effectively. This leaves a wide-open field for you to deploy your data in service of giving people exactly what they want.
One opportunity for personalization is your customers’ locations. For example, customers in northern New Hampshire need rather different clothing in February than those in southern Texas. Women’s clothing company Alloy Apparel customizes its “what’s popular” homepage slideshow based on the user’s zip code.
10. Give Customers a Smooth Mobile Experience
A mobile-friendly site is a given these days. But an optimized mobile experience involves incorporating it into your site’s design from the beginning.
This can take the form of designing bigger “add to cart” buttons or reordering your images for easier scrolling. Anything you can do to minimize the need to zoom in will make your mobile customers happy.
Skincare company Frank Body keeps its “add to cart” button on the bottom of the screen so that a shopper doesn’t have to scroll back up when they are finally ready to buy that body scrub or hair gel.
11. Bring in Repeat Business with a Customer Loyalty Program
One of the most efficient ways to increase e-commerce sales is to bring repeat customers back to your online store. Even though they make up 11 percent of your total customers, they contribute 22 percent of your revenue and spend 15 percent more during the year than one-shot patrons.
How exactly you keep them loyal is up to you. Here are a few of the most popular options:
- Points. This works well for businesses that rely on frequent, small purchases, such as Target, Starbucks, or Nordstrom. Points systems are typically easy to use and understand, and they encourage return trips.
- Tiered rewards. This encourages long-term commitment and purchases at a higher level. Examples include JetBlue’s TrueBlue, Marriott Bonvoy, and Sephora’s Beauty Insider. They have multiple tiers, each with its own set of perks that compel customers to spend more to move to the next level.
Outerwear giant REI charges a one-time fee of $20 in exchange for private sales and invitations to exclusive events. In addition, members get coupons and part of their total yearly spend returned to them in store dividends.
One of the best ways to encourage customer loyalty and increase e-commerce sales is to provide an integrated payment experience at checkout. Poynt gives your e-commerce wings to fly to even greater heights.