While e-commerce is one of today’s fastest-growing industries with global retail sales hitting $4.9 trillion in 2021, there’s no guarantee for every business to succeed in the field. In fact, according to different studies, 90% of e-commerce businesses fail within their first 120 days. Thus, apart from setting up your online store and all the social media pages to draw traffic to your site, you must be prepared for the possibility that you might not get sales right away.
But fret not, because this doesn’t necessarily mean that your precious e-commerce business is doomed to fail. There are actually a number of things you can do to jumpstart sales for your online store and here are just some of them:
#1 Look for Gaps in the Customer Journey
Sometimes, or perhaps even most of the time, the problem isn’t with your product or your marketing tactics. The problem might actually be with the customer journey itself.
Take a step back and look at the process of how customers find your site and eventually make a purchase. Are there any areas where they might get confused or frustrated? Is the purchase process too long or complicated? Any hiccups in the customer journey can result in lost sales so it’s important to identify them and make the necessary changes.
Conduct Surveys and Beta Testing
One of the best ways to identify any gaps in the customer journey is to ask your customers directly. You can do this by conducting surveys or beta testing with a group of target customers who can go through the entire process of finding and finally, buying your product on your online store. Their feedback will be invaluable in helping you improve the customer experience on your site, as well as your marketing strategy.
#2 Check Your On-Site Search Functionality
Search functionality is one of the most important parts of your store or website. Not all customers are willing to go over your whole product catalog just to find what they’re looking for. In fact, most customers will likely use the search bar to look for specific items, especially if they already know what they want.
Thus, it’s important to make sure that your search bar is prominent and easy to use. More importantly, it should be able to deliver relevant results based on the customer’s search query. You can optimize your search functionality by using the right keywords on your product pages and using relevant filters or adding suggestions as your customers type in their queries.
#3 Improve Your Homepage and Product Pages
Think of your homepage as your window or storefront. It’s the first thing that your customers will see when they visit your site so it’s important to make a good first impression. Likewise, your product pages are like your shelves where customers can browse through your products.
Thus, it’s important to make sure that both your homepage and product pages are well-designed, informative, and user-friendly. Your homepage should be able to give visitors a good idea of what your store is all about, as well as showcase your best products. Meanwhile, your product pages should provide shoppers with all the information they need to know about a certain product, such as the price, features, shipping information, and even testimonials or customer reviews.
#4 Create Landing Pages That Convert
Your website’s homepage and product pages are important but they aren’t the only ones you should be focused on. In fact, when it comes to e-commerce, a great landing page can actually be more important in driving conversions.
A well-designed landing page can help guide your customers to the specific product or category that they’re looking for. It should also have a clear and concise call-to-action that encourages your customers to take the next step, whether it’s adding a product to their cart or signing up for a subscription.
To craft an effective landing page, you need to first understand your target customer’s needs and what they’re looking for. You should also have a clear idea of what you want them to do on your site. Once you have that figured out, you can start creating a landing page that’s optimized for conversions and will make it easier for your customers to find what they’re looking for.
#5 Make Sure Your Prices Are Competitive
Everything’s looking great so far? Well, maybe the problem isn’t with your online store or website but with your prices. Remember, customers nowadays are well-informed and they know how to find the best deals online.
Thus, it’s important to make sure that your prices are competitive and in line with the current market rates. You can do this by conducting a pricing analysis of your competitors. This will give you an idea of how they price their products and what factors they consider when coming up with their prices.
Offer Cashback Incentives or Discount Vouchers
If you find that your prices are higher than your competitors’, you can offer cash back incentives or discount vouchers to sweeten the deal for your customers. This will help you attract more buyers and drive more sales even if you’re not able to lower your prices because you wouldn’t want to compromise your products’ quality or your margins.
#6 Review Your Shipping and Returns Policy
Another factor that can drive away potential customers is complicated or unappealing shipping and returns policy. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why people abandon their online shopping carts.
To avoid this, make sure that your shipping and returns policy is clear, concise, and easy to understand. It should also be customer-friendly, meaning it should be easy for your customers to return items if they’re not satisfied with their purchase.
If handling returns on your own is too complicated or time-consuming, you can consider working with a print and fulfillment service provider like Awkward Styles. Aside from taking care of the printing and shipping of your products, you won’t have to worry about returns because we have a system in place that makes it easy for your customers to return items and get a replacement.
#7 Give Customers Multiple Payment Options
Ever been in a situation where you really want to buy something online but the store only accepts one type of payment method? It’s frustrating, right? Now imagine how your customers would feel if they encounter the same thing on your site.
To avoid losing potential customers, it’s important to give them multiple payment options. The most common payment methods used by online shoppers are credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal. But you can also consider other options like Google Pay and Apple Pay.
The important thing is to make sure that you’re using a secure payment gateway to process your customers’ payments. This will help build their trust in your online store and encourage them to check out their carts.
#8 Make Customer Service Available 24/7
Another way to build trust and encourage customers to buy from your online store is by making sure that they can reach you anytime they need help. And while it’s impossible to be available 24/7, there are a few things you can do to make sure that your customers can get the help they need even when you’re not around.
Set Up an FAQ Page and a Live Chat Feature
One of the best ways to do this is by setting up an FAQ page on your website. This will allow your customers to find possible answers to their questions without having to wait for a response from you.
Another option is to install a live chat feature on your website which you and your customer service representatives can use to communicate with your customers in real-time. This is a great way to address their concerns or questions right away and prevent them from leaving without making a purchase.
If you’re a one-man team and you can’t be available all the time, you can use chatbots to take care of your customers’ needs. You can write your own response templates and set up rules on when and how the chatbot should respond to customers. Just make sure that you set it up properly so your customers will still have a good experience even if they’re dealing with a bot.
#9 Leave No Cart Behind – Use Cart Abandoned Emails
Got a number of carts abandoned? Maybe your customers just need a little more push! And you can do just that by sending them cart abandoned emails.
If your store is powered by Shopify, you can use apps like Jilt Email Marketing and Email Marketing-Amplified to monitor your abandoned carts and reach out to your potential buyers with ease. This way, you can recover some of your lost sales and boost your revenue.
#10 Make Your Approach More Personal
Whether it’s in your emails, social media posts, or even the copy on your website – make sure that your approach is more personal. Since you know your target market, it’ll be easier for you to find the right tone and voice that will resonate with them.
Your customers should feel like you’re speaking to them directly every time they see your content. This will help build a connection and make it more likely for them to buy from you. You can also use smart CTAs which are tailored according to the customer’s journey and provided data to further encourage them to make a purchase.
#11 Spark a Sense of Urgency
“Promo Ends Tomorrow!”
“Only 3 Items Left in Stock!”
“Limited Time Offer!”
You’ve probably seen these phrases a million times before but there’s a reason why businesses keep on using them. And that’s because they work!
When you create a sense of urgency, it helps motivate your customers to buy from you right away instead of waiting for later. This is especially effective if you’re running a sale or promotion. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it as this can backfire and turn your customers away.
You can use such labels in your social media ads, landing pages, and even in your email marketing campaigns. Just don’t be too sales-y about it and make sure that your offers are truly worth it.
Keep at It! This Is Just the Beginning
Not getting many sales during your first few weeks or months is perfectly normal. It takes time to build up traction and get your business off the ground. But as long as you keep working on it and don’t give up, you’ll eventually get there. Remember, this is just the beginning and there are a lot more growth opportunities to come! So, keep at it, and don’t forget to have fun along the way.
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