5 Easy Ways to Boost Online Sales

Customers Shopping

When you’ve spent a lot of time working on your online store, it can be frustrating to find that your not making many sales. Whilst orders probably won’t appear overnight, you should start to see the results of your hard work once your website has been live for a while. If this hasn’t happened for you, it could mean that there’s an issue with your website that is driving potential customers away. This is called the ‘bounce’ rate; when a customer visits your site and then leaves without browsing your content. Here are 5 easy ways to boost online sales:

Loading times

In a world of instant gratification, we all expect quick results. If our parcels aren’t delivered the next day for example, we get agitated, constantly checking for shipping updates.

When customers visit your website, they have the same expectations. If it takes more than 5 seconds to load, they will probably get frustrated and try somewhere else. It is critical that your website and its content is properly optimised so that any potential customers don’t leave before they even get the chance to see what’s on offer. To check this, ask yourself these simple questions:

  1. “Are all the images on my website optimised?” – The file size of images has a significant impact on loading times so the smaller, the better.
  2. “Do I have any unnecessary plugins installed?” – You may have tried a few different plugins during development and left them activated by mistake. If you have a lot, this will slow down your website.
  3. “Is the code on my website optimised and loaded correctly?” – WordPress manages this for you, but for a custom built site you need to make sure your code is efficient and loaded correctly. JavaScript is a common culprit for slow loading times, which is why it’s recommended that this is loaded at the end of your <body> tag.
  4. “Is my hosting plan sufficient to meet my needs?” – It can be tempting as a small business to go for the cheapest plan, but if your planning to sell your products online you need a site that can handle the store system and lots of traffic.

Responsive Design

With more of us than ever shopping on our mobiles, it’s important that your online store looks good across a range of devices. Visitors will not be impressed if they click your website and it doesn’t display properly, and this will significantly decrease the chances of converting them into a paying customer. This is one of the easiest ways to boost online sales and maximize conversion. Spend time testing your website on your phone, tablet, and PC to make sure you aren’t unnecessarily losing out on custom. There are lots of great tools available online that can do this automatically which I will cover further down in this article.

Attract the right visitors

One of the most common reasons for a higher bounce rate is when you get visitors who were looking for something else, to begin with. If your not properly targeting the right audience this will happen. You can fix this in three ways:

  1. Improve your SEO. Choose keywords that specifically target the audience who would be interested in your content. Try not to be too general or you will end up with a lot of visitors who weren’t looking for your type of business. Here are my 5 Essential SEO Tips For New and Small Businesses.
  2. Write quality content. Blogs are great at building up quality content on your site and proving your expertise to customers. However, you may not have the time to maintain one. In this case, make sure that the text on your site is readable and spellchecked.
  3. Brand storytelling. Draw your customers in by creating a backstory for your business and products. This will add to your uniqueness and charm and make people more likely to buy your products over others.

Let the customers do the talking

Most websites usual include short testimonials from customers who are happy with the products or services they receive. You may already have this, but it could be so much more effective by incorporating storytelling elements to make this another opportunity to draw in the audience and sell your brand. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • Video testimonials. Customers tend to engage more with video content than images or text. If you can, get a few customers to record short videos explaining why they love your brand so much!
  • Product showcases. Another great way to really sell your products is by having the customer model them for you! Organise a photo competition on social media encouraging customers to send in pictures of their items. This adds to the authenticity of your brand when visitors see that lots of people love their purchases.

The power of social media

When trying to target your specific audience, the power of social media cannot be overstated. It is important that you are present and active on these platforms as they increase brand awareness and provide further opportunities to boost online sales. They are an engaging way to showcase your products, allowing people to interact and share their thoughts on your business with others who may be thinking of buying your products too.

Don’t forget to cross link your Social media pages with your website. Make your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles clear anywhere a customer might be able to find you so that they can visit them.

Useful tools to analyse customer behaviour and boost sales

Navigating all of the reasons a customer might not be engaging with your brand and ultimately buying your products can be confusing. Luckily, there are many tools which can help give you insight into this and boost your sales. Here’s what I recommend:

  • Google Search Console is a free service which provides a vast amount of data on the types of customers who visit your website. This includes the type of device they are using, the browser, which pages they most often visit, and what time of day you get the most traffic. It also includes information on your bounce rate. This is an extremely useful tool which can help you understand why customers aren’t spending a lot of time on your website. For example, if you know that you don’t have a responsive design and most of your visitors are on mobile, this would explain a high bounce rate.
  • IONOS SEO Checker is a great tool that will automatically scan your website for potential SEO issues which may impact your ranking on Google. It can identify potential issues with the quality and quantity of content on your pages.
  • Google Mobile Friendly Test will tell you whether your site is optimised to run across a range of devices including mobile. If it isn’t, the tool highlights areas of improvement for you to work on. This is an important tool for making sure you aren’t losing out on customers who may experience long loading times and broken pages.
  • Hootsuite is great for managing multiple social media profiles and keeping your content consistent. It allows you to write posts and share images and videos on all of them at the same time. You can also schedule content to be published meaning you can write posts in bulk and automatically have them shared.

This article covers some of the easier ways to increase traffic to your site and boost online sales, but there are too many to list here. Customer behaviour is complex, my suggestion would be to monitor the performance of your store using the tools I have linked to. I hope this has been helpful!

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