3 Ways to Increase Your Sales Online
In my job I have the pleasure of speaking to a lot of different card & gift businesses.
Some are small, others big brand names that you’d almost certainly recognise if I were careless enough to mention them (which I won’t as it seems a bit rude).
Although all these businesses are thoroughly unique, they do have one thing in common.
That is, they all want to sell more.
I realise that selling isn’t everyone’s favourite topic, it’s far from being mine. But the sad reality is that we all need sales to keep us in the business we love.
Now when it comes to selling online or offline it can all get a little complicated. When we start taking into 7 different marketing techniques each with the own processes and best practices, online marketing and online selling can seem like a nightmare.
Putting all this detail aside though it’s worth remembering, there’s only 3 basic ways to increase your sales.
Which is what I want to talk about.
There may be options within the main 3 but any method of boosting your sales should come back to one of these 3 techniques.
So if you really want to sell more online you have to start by looking at how well you’re doing with each one of these 3 options.
1. Increase Your Number of Customers.
If you go from having 10 customers a day to 20 customers a day your sales figures will go up.
Increasing your number of customers comes down to 2 factors online; traffic and your conversion rate.
Traffic is the term given to people visiting your website.
If for example 100 site visitors gave you 1 customer, doubling your visitors to 200 would give you 2 customers.
Your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors that make take action (in this case make a purchase) on your website.
Using the same example from above, 1 customer for every 100 visitors is a 1% conversion rate. If you increased this to 2% you would be getting 2 customers for every 100 visitors.
Traffic + Conversion
Combine these two together and you’re no longer just doubling your customers, you’ve now got 4x as many customers are what you started with.
2. Increase the Amount of Money Your Customers Spend.
If your customers go from spending £10 each to £20 each, your sales are going up.
Raising the order value is a great way to increase your sales figures and as with increasing customer numbers there are two solid ways to achieve this; up-selling and cross-selling.
The idea of up-selling is to get your customers to buy more of the product they are interested in.
A shopper buying a small box of chocolates may be up-sold a large of box of chocolates. Similarly someone who has chosen to buy a greetings card, may be offered the chance to buy a pack of six greetings cards.
By up-selling the customer, an order value of £2.50 for one greetings card may increase to £15.00 for a pack of six cards.
Like up-selling, cross-selling will also increase the value of an order; this time however instead of a bigger or larger quantity of the same item, a new product is cross-sold.
Regulars to the Amazon website will recognise this as the “People Who Bought This Also Bought” section.
With cross-selling you attempt to show the customer related or similar items that they may also like to purchase.
For example, a customer who has decided to buy a gift item may be offered gift wrap or a greeting card to add to their order. This would take a £10 gift purchase to a £15 order value for gift, card and wrap purchased together.
Or a customer buying a geometric print tote bag may be offered a matching purse, umbrella or ipad case to “complete the look”.
3. Increase How Often Your Customers Buy
If your customer base go from shopping with you once a year to four times a year, your sales will increase.
This final method of increasing your sales relies on a strong follow-up process for your customers. Increasing frequency of purchase is all about turning a one-time customer into a repeat buyer.
The good news about this method is that once someone has made a purchase with you, they’re more likely to buy from you again.
Getting customers to buy again relies of a few factors:
A Product that Meets (or Surpasses) Expectations
The first factor you need to deliver is a product that meets (or surpasses) expectations when they place their first order.
If the first order they place with you is of poor quality or isn’t what they expected you harm the chances of them buying from you again. They may even ask for a refund on their first order.
For this reason your website images and description should always be helpful and accurate.
You should also pay attention to the quality of your products, packaging and delivery process, so your items are received in tip top condition.
If a customer’s first experience is good, or even better than they expected they will be happy to buy from you again.
Good Customer Service
Next your have to deliver excellent customer service. If the first order didn’t go well, it’s unlikely they will buy from you again.
Finally you have to consider your ‘follow up’ process. If a customer forgets you, you’ve lost them.
Whether you include a voucher in the delivery encouraging them to buy again or regularly follow up with targeted marketing emails you need keep on their radar for when they are ready to shop again.
What to Do Next
So let’s recap! Those 3 key ways to increase your sales are:
1. Increase your customer numbers
2. Boost the amount a customer spends
3. Turn one time buyers to repeat buyers
How are you doing with each of these?
Review your sales process for each of these 3 sales factors.
Create a plan to add each factor into your sales & marketing strategy