Through the last several years selling has been undergoing a striking shift. The necessity of selling products online has become more apparent. The biggest opportunity for future growth and development within your business is probably related to e-commerce.
Online sales are growing constantly and dramatically by about 15% a year. Even for big and well-established companies, this is not the time to bury your heads in the sand and ignore ongoing changes. Selling tips which bore fruit yesterday are useless today. The rules have already changed.
The so-called millennials – those who were growing up on the wave of technological revolution – are promised to be the largest generation of consumers so far. The big issue that has put strain on many companies and entrepreneurs is how to reach this large audience? Many people simply aren’t in tune with millennials’ interests and needs.
One key factor is millennials spend a considerable part of their life interacting with their phones and devices. Apart from that, this generation of consumers has brought about that technological shift which caused previous generations to adapt. Thus, the number of people who use phones and computers to handle everyday problems is going up fast.
In view of this, boosting online sales and developing effective digital marketing have become two major challenges for companies and entrepreneurs all around the world.
Let’s find out the best tips for selling online which could increase your conversion rate and bring in more clients.
Tip # 1: Build trust
Probably, the most difficult and challenging task for online selling is to assure customers of your credibility. We’re living in the age of deception, “fake news” and malicious hackers. The internet is flooded with different content, much of which seems fishy at best. However, many people give in to their doubts caused by deceptive information.
The result of the recent survey in the USA is a shining example of how damaging this sort of information could be. It shows that only 66% of millennials firmly believe that the Earth is round. The rest of them, as the outcome of the influence of the so-called flat Earth theory, call this scientific fact into question. This instance reveals that the customers have a low level of trust and it is hard to establish a genuine relationship with them.
Things are getting worse when it comes to shopping on the internet. There are dozens of online stores selling similar products. Unfortunately, some of these shops may turn out to be fraudulent, which adds fuel to the flame, making consumers far more suspicious and cautious. However, there are some ways to cope with this problem and win your clients’ trust.
1. Use content marketing
The best way to build relationships with consumers is by helping them out. By providing relevant information and answering customers’ questions, you show your competence and get over your clients’ hesitation.
The quality of your content plays a big part. It should be interesting and engaging. Otherwise, it’s just going to put people off.
Involving users in creating your content is a great idea. People tend to trust each other more than an advertisement. Apart from that, it allows you to save your time and money and enlarge your audience fast.
Using memes and video is also a good way to attract customers. Entertainment has always been the thing which unites people and contributes into building trust.
While drawing up your marketing strategy, keep in mind this unwritten law, that only 20% of your content should directly promote your online store. The rest of it should be enlightening and amusing.
2. Use personalization
Personalization is a way to win consumers’ trust which e-commerce entrepreneurs often underestimate. Personalized emails are about 30% more likely to be opened by recipients.
It’s obvious, that people feel less hesitant when dealing with someone who knows them already. Calling your customers by their names gives them the necessary psychological comfort and reinforces their confidence in your credibility.
So, use your clients’ names in emails to offer them the products which they may like – there’s a good chance it will push your sales.
3. Ask your clients’ opinion
People tend to feel more comfortable when everything looks familiar, where things work as they were expected to.
Therefore, you need to adjust your online store to your clients’ expectations. However, the question is – how do you figure out their needs? Actually, the answer is simple – ask them about it! Carrying out a survey is the easiest way to solve this problem.
Of course, you shouldn’t bother your customers too much. Which means it’s not the best idea to conduct the research every week or month – once in a quarter will be suitable.
Also you have to make people interested in answering your questions. They’re going to be more inclined to take a survey, if you offer them a chance to get some benefits from it.
The last important aspect is that your survey shouldn’t burden people, which means
- There shouldn’t be many questions;
- Questions should be short;
- Open-ended questions must be optional.
Tip # 2: Use social networks
While scientists around the globe are arguing whether or not to include social networks’ addiction in the list of psychiatric disorders, one fact is undeniable – people are spending more and more time on social networks. The average internet user spends more than two hours on each different social platforms. Furthermore, the more accounts people have, the more time they spend online. Thus, checking social media has become part of our lives just like taking a shower or having a meal.
Taking this into consideration, ignoring social networks in your marketing plan is highly likely to be harmful to your online sales. We’ve already mentioned the importance of content marketing before, so social media is a great platform for your content.
The generation of millennials is obsessed with products’ brands. Every brand has its own story. Tell customers your story – what inspired you to start your business, what it resulted in, etc. Treat them as if you had a conversation with your clients in real life – don’t try to offer your products right from the beginning. You need to find common ground with customers, make them aware of your brand uniqueness. By setting up channels and groups on different social platforms and posting interesting and engaging content, you can attract people who will spread the word about your online business and bring in far more clients.
Another effective strategy to boost your online sales with social networks is cooperating with influencers. You could have come across such people on social media. They can be photographers, bloggers, artists– anyone who has from 1.000 to 10.000 followers and more. Having one of them promoting your goods is a way to get access to a big number of their followers who trust them and follow their advice.
Combining these two methods could start paying off in short notice and produce jaw-dropping results to your sales.
Selling tip # 3: Use upsells and cross-sells
These two selling techniques are crucial for increasing your profit. When you’ve won clients’ trust and they are ready to buy from you, it might seem that your work has come to an end. However, this turns out to be the best time to earn some extra money by using upsells and cross-sells. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Upselling is when a seller offers his or her buyers generally similar products with more advanced features and qualities compared to the goods they have chosen, which will cost the client more money. For instance, your clients are about to buy a laptop, but you recommend choosing a laptop with a better storage volume, which will cost them a bit more.
Cross-selling implies the offer of additional items which are supposed to improve qualities, appearance, etc. of the products your customer is going to purchase. An example of these extra items could be a case for the mobile phone that your client is buying.
As long as you use these two selling methods carefully and properly, you’ll be able to see positive results soon. On the other hand, if you misuse upselling or cross-selling, it may damage trust between you and your buyers. To avoid that and save what you struggled to build, you should stick to the simple tips mentioned below:
- As a rule of thumb, don’t try to cross-sell items which price is more than 60% of initial product’s price. The practice shows that attempts of cross-selling more expensive products make consumers feel nervous and suspicious. Even if you manage to sell such products, it will negatively affect your future relations with these clients.
- Offer a discount for increasing in quantity. That’s common practice to push up sales. You could see an offer to buy 3 items paying only for 2 or similar one almost in every store you visit.
- Sell rationally. If someone buys a smartphone, it will be reasonable to offer them a case for it rather than a TV.
- Always make sure your clients are aware that they could get a similar item with advanced qualities for a bit more money.
- And don’t be pushy while upselling or cross-selling, let customers be decision-makers.