Whatever business you’re running, there’s just no going around it. If you want your business to survive, you need to have good sales – that means consistent, repeatable, and scalable. So the question to ask is: how do you actually manage to do it? You look at successful enterprises – whether it’s a neighborhood coffee shop that has a long line of loyal fans every morning or a multinational iconic company like Amazon – and it’s easy to conclude that boosting sales through online channels is the way to go. But then reality comes crashing down: that it appears a lot easier than it actually is.
Whether you’re a B2B company offering services or you’re selling physical products – or somewhere in between – there are several strategies you can employ to help increase your online sales. They may not exactly be a walk in the park, but they’re not a shot in the moon, either. That means with effort, focus, and practice, you can very well use these tactics to see revenues in your business. Here are some you can easily put into action.
- It pays to be honest in your sales copy.
This is something that might seem like a glaringly obvious matter to consider, but sadly so many businesses tend to overlook it. Simply put, you can’t sustain your business’ reputation if you keep building it on claims you have no way of backing up. If you say it, make sure you can deliver. Of course you want to promote your products or services in the best possible way; that’s a given. But if you’re not sure you can support whatever you’re tempted to say, then don’t include it in your copy in the first place. Today’s customers are very discerning; they can easily spot sleazy sales copies and advertisements.
If you want to position your company with a strong brand identity, you’ve got to be transparent and open, and don’t try to pretend to be something you’re not. Not only will it hurt your authenticity, it will also make it harder to keep your promises to your customers. Want to earn respect? Start by being honest.
- Highlight customer testimonials.
It’s one thing to say your products or services are great – it’s an entirely different matter when other people say that they are. In the very fast paced world of posts, comments, tweets, likes, and shares, having glowing testimonials from your customers will go a long way in marketing your business – maybe more than you could hope to achieve even with a polished copy. That’s because positive testimonials establish your credibility – that you are who you say you are, and that you do what you say you will. If your customers are willing to put their name on the line for you, and they’re happy to refer you to their family and colleagues, that carries more weight than your company’s drafted materials.
- It doesn’t hurt to create a sense of urgency.
While you always have to put honesty in your rule of thumb, there’s actually no rule that prevents you from creating a sense of urgency in order to attract more prospects to buy. On the contrary, a lot of customers tend to respond positively to offers that have a sense of urgency in them, whether it’s a limited edition product or an early bird discount on an online course. You can tweak this sales tactic and adjust it depending on your business and the kind of products or services you’re offering. For example, if you can’t make a limited edition offer, perhaps it will make more sense to offer a discount to your first 10 buyers.
- Offer a foolproof money-back guarantee.
More often than not, especially when you’re just starting out in business and practically unheard of, one of the biggest hurdles that prevents you from making a sale is a prospect customer’s aversion to risk. This should be something very familiar – because don’t you tend to be the same when thinking of buying something from a new or unfamiliar brand? You’ll think somewhere along these lines: What if I end up not liking it? Then it will be a waste of money.
That being said, you know how it feels, so you’re easily in a position to counter such risk aversion. How? By offering a foolproof money-back guarantee. Assume responsibility for your product or service and make your prospect customers feel like they’ve got nothing to lose by making a purchase.
- Focus on a few key products or services.
You can’t be everything to everyone so don’t even try. You’ll only lose your focus and concentration that way, and instead of having more sales you may end up with less. Rather, decide on only the most important products or services you’d like to be known for and concentrate on developing and marketing them. Having just a few items on offer will also allow you to be more hands-on when it comes to addressing customer feedback, questions, and complaints. Particularly if you’re a small business, there’s no way you’ll be able to do that when you have a wide range of products you’re trying to sell.
- Streamline your checkout process.
Business Insider released an article revealing that about $4 trillion worth of online merchandise was abandoned in online shopping carts in 2015, of which approximately 63% could have still been potentially recoverable. The jaw-dropping figures are a clear indication of how important a company’s checkout process is. If you’re going to sale products online, the least you can do is make the online transaction as easy and convenient to your customers as possible – regardless of whatever you’re offering. For example, make sure that your site is user-friendly; you don’t ask unnecessary information; and you have different payment options. This helps you considerably lower your chances of having customers impatiently abandoning their shopping carts.
Give yourself ample time to apply these strategies and customize it to your business as you go along. But the important thing is to get started. Online sales won’t fall out of the sky – you’ve got to give your business the best possible chances of success, and you can do that by implementing at least one tactic straightaway and seeing where it will lead you.
What online sales tactics do you implement for your business? Share with us in the comments.