Six ways to increase your sales online

12th May, 2016

As the market continues to see huge growth in e-commerce revenue across all industries year after year, many businesses have shifted their focus online and are looking for ways to increase online revenue.

If you are running an e-commerce store or selling online, these six simple e-commerce tactics will help increase your online sales.

1. Have a great content and SEO strategy

Putting plenty of useful content on your website is the first step to attracting traffic to your website via search engines.

Think about the questions your potential customers might be typing into Google. Things like ‘what is the best [insert product category]’ or ‘how do I [insert product function]’ could work well, depending on what product or service you are selling.

Get noticed online by building your ability to provide value to your customers with content, either directly on the website or with an on-site blog.

Teaming this with even a simple SEO strategy can yield excellent results. SEO is the practice of promoting, enhancing and building your website’s content to rank well in search engine results. It requires work on both internal (content, links, infrastructure, etc) and external (link sharing, social, etc) aspects of a website.

READ: SEO insight: keyword rick of quality of content?

2. Include introductory copy on category pages

Most e-commerce stores tend to not have text content (ie. words and sentences) on their category level pages.

This leaves a huge gap in the SEO effectiveness of your category pages that are usually used to target high-volume keywords. This is because search engine crawlers are more effective at understanding words and sentences than images and videos.

Having some introductory text on all your category level pages gives context to the search engines about what each of your category pages are about and could potentially give you a significant boost of organic traffic to your site.

This is just one of the many SEO tactics you can use to improve your organic rankings. Since it’s relatively easy to implement, this could be the one action to give you the best results for the least effort.

3. Work your database

Are you collecting a database of your current customers’ email addresses? If you are, have you been promoting to them?

What other information are you collecting about your customers to help you send them the most useful offers for them?

Email campaigns to existing customers are so effective that every online retailer should be trying them. Many studies have shown that selling more to an existing customer is many times easier than selling to someone that hasn’t bought from you before.

Communicating new sales promotions and products to existing customers via email would be a good place to start for your email campaigns.

As with all other digital marketing activities, testing subject lines and product imagery in your emails will help you identify what achieves the best open rates and clickthroughs.

4. Get a web analytics package

Getting a web analytics package gives you the power to measure, collect and analyse your web traffic. This is critical to understand the effectiveness of your website and any digital marketing activities.

A well set up analytics package can help you understand how effective your site is at converting traffic into paying customers and how well your digital advertising campaigns are doing. At entry level, I would recommend checking out Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is a free web analytics product has plenty of functionality that would suit a new online store or business. Setting up is easy and can usually be done in minutes just by adding a few lines of code to your website’s template.

Full e-commerce tracking and form tracking, however, might require some assistance from a web developer. If you are the type that likes to get stuff done on your own, here is Google’s resource on GA installations.

Knowledge is power. Although having an analytics package won’t magically increase your online sales, it will give you the insight necessary to improve your digital marketing — which should reflect positively on your bottom line.

5. Offer free shipping

There are plenty of case studies that point to the effectiveness of offering free shipping. Some e-commerce retailers even claim that offering free shipping has improved their sales by up to 90 percent!

Don’t take their word for it though, try it out over a couple of weeks and measure the changes on your website before going all in.

Another option would be to offer free shipping for a certain dollar amount spent. This could potentially raise average order values just because shoppers like getting something for ‘free’.

Try these two shipping options and see which one — if any — returns the best result.

6. Include testimonials and reviews

One of the key factors in a shopper’s decision to avoid buying something is risk aversion. If they haven’t shopped with you before, how are they supposed to know if they will be satisfied by your product and delivery?

This is where trust signals like customer testimonials and product reviews can really help to reduce anxiety around risk when a new customer thinks about buying something on your website.

Try including product reviews at the product page level and positive customer feedback at the checkout section to improve add-to-cart rates.

As a secondary tactic to building trust, try googling “Your Site + review” and make sure there are no negative results that come up. If it does, try to contact the comment owner to see if you can rectify the situation.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas to start testing and ultimately improves your online revenue.