There are expected to be 1.32 billion digital shoppers in 2016, so maximising sales from ecommerce is vital to reach and exceed targets in the year ahead. Whilst building a store online is relatively straightforward, converting traffic into sales is an eternal obstacle for many businesses that lack the tools or skills to deal with modern web-savvy customers. At Wix.com we support hundreds of thousands of ecommerce businesses worldwide, here are our six simple steps to drive ecommerce sales:
1. Think about mobile now. By 2024 analysts predict that there will be £53 billion spent annually on mobile devices. Be ahead of the game by starting now to think about making it easy for your customers to buy on mobile. A responsive design will help target on-the-go modern day consumers. You may also consider offering your returning buyers a mobile app to download, to smooth the process even further.
2. Build stunning. One of the most common ecommerce pitfalls is understanding that shoppers can only see your product, rather than physically touch or try it. Imagery is therefore one of the most vital cogs in the wheel of the sales process. If the store design and photography is lacking, even the best marketing spiel in the world will be of no use.
3. Don’t lose your customers on your site. A difficult checkout page is one of the biggest pet peeves for online shoppers. Menus need to be clearly organised and the store pages clean and simple. An SSL certificate will also help address any security concerns. It is important to allow quick checkout options, such as a ‘guest checkout’ for those not looking to register or sign up to your business. The best ecommerce sites navigate customers through the choppy waters, straight to the heart of their store.
4. Provide multiple payment options and free shipping. The actual payment process must be easy and clear to complete the sale. Offering plenty of payment options allows customers greater flexibility. These can include: PayPal, credit and debit cards, and offline payments. Luring shoppers in with free shipping can also help finalise a sale. With 28% of shoppers willing to actually abandon their shopping cart if presented with unexpected shipping costs, the increased sales activity will more than make up for the extra postage costs. Just remember, if you decide to offer it, shout about it!
5. Be Social. In 2016, the influence of social media should not be underestimated. Integrating with social networks is key to getting people to your site. Empower brand evangelists with easy sharing buttons to help grow your reach. Arm yourself with strong social media skills and make sure you’re active on social platforms. Don’t forget, - ensure the messaging is on point and consistent.
6. Use your online customers to power sales. Customer experience is set to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020. Being readily available to quickly answer any issues or questions, including an FAQ section, and displaying clear returns/exchange policies are easy steps to improve customer service. the cost of getting a new customer seven times more expensive than retaining an existing one, continue to grow your customer relationships with relevant material such as newsletters and personalised emails/offers. Rewarding returning customers is a great way to become customer centric and boost revenue.
7. Measure performance and experiment. Today- analytical tools are no longer rocket science. Use simple straightforward tools to get an insight into which products are performing well and which are leaving much to be desired. Don’t be afraid to test and experiment. Try discounts and coupons; see which ones work to boost sales and identify those that don’t.
By David Schwartz, head of ecommerce at Wix.com, cloud-based website development company with more than 77 million users around the world, offering a suite of ecommerce tools. For more information on ecommerce tips see Wix.com.