Increasing Online Sales: A Few Points to Keep in Mind

A long-time Volusion customer asked a very open-ended question recently. He asked how to increase sales on his site. The supervisor that was asked this question quickly wrote out a few points to send to the customer and just in case it may help someone else, here are some quick tips to help in your own online selling endeavors.

  1. Website design is a big area of opportunity. Online shoppers quickly size up a website based on its design. If the site looks cookie cutter and unpolished, the customer could choose to purchase from a competitor’s site with a similar price for no other reason than the website design. A nice website design evokes trust, confidence and value in a shopper’s mind.
  2. Check your pricing against your competitor’s products. If your competitor’s are selling the same items at a lower cost and you are not able to display additional value, then you’ll most likely lose that sell. This is something that needs to be checked constantly.
  3. Run some promotional specials – people love sales. How many times have you heard a friend say, “It was on sale, I had to buy it!”? These specials can be in the form of a monthly sale, weekly sale, or of course based around holidays…July 4th sale anyone?
  4. Send newsletters with coupons to customers who have ordered in the past.
  5. Try to figure out your customer’s search and buying behavior. Track and analyze site stats and any Google Adwords campaigns you may be running. The ROI tracker should come in really handy for this and you can also use the Google tracking code within Adwords.
  6. If you are utilizing Google Adwords with less than stellar results, then maybe you shouldn’t advertise under the most expensive keywords for your industry. Instead go for more detailed searches and word phrases that are more descriptive. For example, I would consider “toys” too broad on a limited budget, where as “Dora the Explorer doll” pointed directly to the product page- a better strategy which would yield a higher return everything else being equal.
  7. Check your competitor’s sites for keywords they use and check the Keyword Suggestion tool for more ideas on keywords in general.
  8. Make sure to monitor, test and tweak all keywords/ads and creatives. It should be part of your daily routine if you really want to out shine your competition. People’s search behavior is constantly changing. You have to adapt to in order to succeed. If you sell a commodity type product, then your knowledge and ability to market effectively is one of the biggest keys and values of your business.
  9. Some other marketing ideas are writing articles about your product and trying to get them published on sites/ blogs for free. This builds goodwill and can drive traffic to your website. Of course adding that content to your website is also a great idea. It is even a great help in search engines.

I’m sure you’ve heard of a lot of these steps before and they are not new to you. In order to make them happen it takes planning, time and the ability to execute. To organize your plan of attack I recommend writing out all of your ideas. Next, choose the top 10. Then for each idea write down sequentially every step and action in detail and what it will take to accomplish that goal. This will break down the process so now all you have to do is execute one simple action at a time.

Happy selling,
-Stacie Leonard, Volusion

2 Responses to “Increasing Online Sales: A Few Points to Keep in Mind”

  1. Lee Williamson

    Great article. We have been able to increase our online revenue by 20% in the last 2 months. To achieve this we esentially made the site a complete resource for the product we sell, bath salts, rather than a just a site selling products like everyone else. Now we get customers to stay on the site much longer because they can learn all about salts, we offer recipes, and post articles 3 times a week, there is a forum and much more. The guy above is right, keep them on the site longer and they are more inclined to buy. Don’t give your customers a reason to shop elsewhere.

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  2. Doug

    It’s simple, get back to basics, keep your customers on your site longer and they’ll be more likely to buy something! One great example of this that I noticed recently is using Flash creatively to make online shopping experience feel more like browsing the paper catalog. I was glued to the site for a good 30 minutes just flipping pages 🙂 I think both Preface Media and Scene7 do these.

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