Knowing how to increase online sales can make your business boom. Here are 25 ways to drive online sales:
- Set online sales goals
- Make your site mobile-friendly
- Focus your branding message
- Target your ideal buyer
- Identify similar audiences
- Customize your marketing
- Post blog content to draw organic traffic
- Create multimedia content
- Share content with your social following
- Promote content to your email list
- Optimize your ads
- Simplify your navigational structure
- Use a lead magnet to attract subscribers and followers
- Strengthen your sales offer
- Test price points
- Offer payment options
- Offer free shipping
- Give guarantees
- Use compelling calls to action (CTAs)
- Make your shopping cart easy to use
- Follow up with prospects
- Use cross-sells and upsells
- Cultivate repeat business
- Ask for referrals
- Split-test campaign effectiveness
Read on to learn how to boost online sales using these strategies.
1. Set Online Sales Goals
In a market where your competitors rely on big data for business decisions, one of the most important online selling ideas is using key performance indicators (KPIs) to set measurable sales goals.
You can quantify your sales goals by using metrics such as:
- Organic sessions: How many users visit your site from search engines?
- Bounce rate: How often do users leave your site without taking any other action?
- Pages per session: How many pages does your average user visit per session?
- Average session duration: How long do users stay on your site?
- Top exit pages: Which pages do users click from when leaving your site?
- Conversion rate: What percentage of users take a desired action?
- Sales revenue: How much revenue does your site generate?
- Cost per lead: How much does it cost you to add a lead to your database?
- Cost per acquisition: How much does it cost you to secure a paying customer?
- Marketing return on investment: How does your site’s sales revenue compare with your promotional costs?
There are many other metrics you can use to measure sales success. Select KPIs that align with your brand’s sales goals.
2. Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
After visitors arrive on your site, online store optimization can increase their likelihood of making a purchase. With more users accessing the Internet from smartphones, making your site mobile-friendly has become essential. Google has developed detailed guidelines for making sites friendly to mobile users. These guidelines cover 5 major areas:
- Designing your home page and navigational structure to make it easy for users to see what’s important and access what they want to view
- Making your site easy to search
- Supporting visitors on their customer journey and allowing them to register or purchase at their own pace
- Making it easy to fill out forms
- Designing your site so that it’s easy to view and use on mobile device screens
These guidelines involve technical considerations as well as design considerations. Google provides a mobile-friendly test tool to evaluate your site and identify areas for improvements.
3. Focus Your Branding Message
One of the keys to how to get more sales for online business is honing your core branding message. Your branding theme, also known as your unique selling proposition (USP), sets the tone for your entire marketing campaign. It defines who you are, what you offer and who you’re offering your products or services. Changing your message can shift who your audience is and how they perceive your brand.
Strengthen your message by making sure that it expresses:
- What your brand offers
- Why your market should buy it
- Why they should buy it from you instead of another company
To make what you offer more appealing, you can use a few strategies:
- Offer what you sell at a lower price point than your competitors
- Provide more value than competitors
- Deliver better service
- Target an underserved niche
For online deployment, condense your branding message into a short slogan that can be used in ads with limited space and on short message service (SMS) platforms such as Twitter.
4. Target Your Ideal Buyer
Another one of the best marketing ideas to increase sales is to target a persona based on your ideal buyer profile. You can create an ideal buyer persona by considering questions such as:
- What are the demographic characteristics of your target audience?
- What are their personal or business goals?
- What personal or business challenges do they face?
- How could your product or service benefit them?
- What objections might they raise against buying your product or service?
You can develop multiple buyer personas for different segments of your target audience. As a visualization and memory aid, give each persona a name.
While developing your buyer personas, you may find it helpful to review your existing customer base and look for patterns among people who already buy from you. Using customer relationship management (CRM) software can make this task easier by allowing you to do a statistical analysis of your customer base.
5. Identify Similar Audiences
After you’ve developed an ideal buyer persona, one of the top ideas to increase sales is to use it to identify audiences on social media with similar characteristics. Facebook provides a great sales strategy example of how to use this method.
Facebook has a feature called Lookalike Audiences, which allows you to find users with characteristics and behaviors similar to your best existing customers. YouTube has similar features for targeting video campaigns at users with specific characteristics, such as viewers who already have a strong interest in topics relevant to your brand.
6. Customize Your Marketing
You can often make your marketing campaigns more effective by tailoring them to a niche within your audience. One way to do this is by using your social media settings or email list management app to limit a message to a segment of your audience. You can drill down even further to an individual buyer level by using CRM software to customize campaigns based on profile history.
You can limit an email campaign to subscribers who haven’t clicked on links in a previous email, or you can limit an offer to customers who have already purchased a specific product.
Amazon.com uses this strategy effectively by using sales pages to display other products frequently viewed or purchased by other customers with similar interests.
7. Post Blog Content to Draw Organic Traffic
Blog posts provide a powerful tool to increase online sales by generating search-engine traffic. You can use blogs to systematically target keywords relevant to your market. In the process, you can position your brand as a thought leader and post content that lays a foundation for your sales pages.
For example, you can create a blog post that answers frequent questions your market has, with responses that showcase how your brand solves common problems.
For best results, post content regularly at a consistent pace. Use a list of your target keywords to set publishing goals and schedule posts.
8. Create Multimedia Content
For marketing on social media, multimedia content is a must. A study by social-media software provider Buffer study found that among the 500 top Facebook posts of 2018, 81.8% were videos and 18% were images. Videos also generated at least 59% more engagement than other types of content. Make sure your content production includes videos as well as images posts such as memes and infographics.
9. Share Content With Your Social Following
Content that you create for one platform can be cross-promoted to other platforms. You can leverage content that you create for your blog by sharing it on social media. You can also share content from one social media platform with followers on another platform.
For instance, you can point your Twitter followers to a video you created on YouTube. When using this strategy, create a unique caption for each channel you use to share a piece of content.
10. Promote Content to Your Email List
You also can share content with your email subscriber list. For example, you can update your email list when you create a blog post, social media post or video. This helps you keep in regular touch with your email subscribers. It also sets the stage for periodically extending special offers to your subscribers or announcing new product and service releases to them.
For instance, you can extend your email subscribers an early-bird discount offer for a new product you’re about to release.
11. Optimize Your Ads
In addition to blogging, social media posts and email marketing, you can drive traffic to your site with ads on search engines and social media. When doing so, make sure your ad is optimized for its intended platform.
For example, for pay-per-click ads, Google recommends taking a number of basic steps, including:
- Adjust your bid manually so that you have better control over factors such as whether your ad shows up on the first page of results
- Choose the right keywords to reach qualified buyers by aligning keywords with your products
- Choose phrases with words such as “buy” or “purchase”
- Filter out irrelevant search terms
- Use exact-match or phrase-match filters to target a specific niche
- Set your ad apart from competitors with distinctive prices and promotions
- Focus on benefits
- Drive traffic from your ad to a well-designed landing page
- Enhance your ad with ad extensions that display additional information
Other platforms such as Facebook provide guidelines for posting ads, too. Follow the guidelines recommended by whatever platform you’re using. For best results, seek assistance from a digital marketing agency experienced with ad placement.
12. Simplify Your Navigational Structure
Sites drive sales more effectively when it’s easy for visitors to navigate to what they want to see. To make your site easier to use and browse, place links to your visitors’ most common tasks on the top of your home page where they can be easily accessed through forms, buttons or menu options.
Organize your menu around as few items as possible. Place a link back to your home page on your logo in the top left of your screen so that it’s easy for visitors to return to it. Make it easy for users to find your online store.
13. Use a Lead Magnet to Attract Subscribers and Followers
When visitors arrive on your website, one of your priorities is getting them to join your email list or follow you on social media so that you can pursue follow-up marketing efforts with them. A powerful tool for motivating them to do this is a lead magnet.
What’s a Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is something of value you offer as an incentive for your audience to visit your site, subscribe to your email list or join your social following. Examples include:
- Free email newsletters
- Free e-books or white papers
- Free checklists offering solutions to common problems in your industry
- Free videos
- Free app trial subscriptions
Design a lead magnet appropriate to your audience.
14. Strengthen Your Sales Offer
Tweaking the sales copy on your landing pages can improve online sales. One way to improve the persuasiveness of your landing page is by strengthening your sales offer.
You can use a number of techniques to enhance your offer’s appeal, including:
- Changing the benefits you emphasize
- Offering a discount
- Offering more value by adding a bonus
- Using risk reducers, such as free trials
- Adding urgency by limiting quantity or limiting the duration of your offer
- Offering exclusive benefits or discounts for acting now
You can use these techniques individually or in combination.
15. Test Price Points
Competitive pricing can make or break your sales offer. The internet makes it easy for consumers to compare prices. You can find out what prices competitors are offering by searching manually or by using an automated price comparison app.
After comparing prices and determining a viable range, you can test different price points to see what price generates the most sales for you while still providing you with a sustainable profit margin.
16. Offer Payment Options
Once a shopper has decided to buy from you, it’s critical to make the payment process easy for them. One important way to do this is by offering multiple payment options. Popular payment methods include:
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- ACH processing
The more of these payment methods you can accept, the more options your customers will have and the more likely they will make purchases. Be sure a payment gateway is set up securely so that your customers don’t have to worry about security concerns.
17. Offer Free Shipping
Free shipping has proven to be a hit with Amazon customers, and other companies have followed suit.
You can use a number of strategies to make free shipping cost-effective:
- Require a minimum purchase amount to qualify for free shipping
- Offer free shipping only on select high-ticket items
- Allow free shipping for customers who select a slower shipping method
- Use free shipping for limited promotions
- Include free shipping with a customer loyalty program
- Sell through Amazon or Amazon Marketplace and use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
Before offering free shipping, make sure that you do a cost-benefit analysis to determine how it will affect your profit margin.
18. Give Guarantees
Customers may be hesitant to buy if they have concerns about whether your product or service will work for them. You can alleviate these concerns by offering guarantees that reduce the risk for buyers. Guarantees can take a number of forms, including:
- Money-back guarantees
- Risk-free trials
Use the form of risk reducer appropriate to your product or service.
19. Use Compelling CTAs
The language you use for your CTAs can influence how effectively your sales copy performs. A WordStream analysis of 612 top-performing Google Ads found that these CTAs drew the best responses:
- Get (35% of top ads)
- Buy (20%)
- Shop (18%)
- Try (14%)
- Learn (9%)
- Build (6%)
- Sign up (4%)
- Discover (2%)
What the 3 top responses have in common is that they all invite the audience to take a buying-oriented action. Another noteworthy finding of the study was no top-performing ad used “click” as a CTA.
20. Make Your Shopping Cart Easy to Use
Your sales process can be going smoothly right up to the moment of checkout when suddenly a shopping cart malfunction costs you a sale. Avoid online shopping cart hassles by making it as easy as possible for customers to check out.
You can take steps such as:
- Allowing returning visitors to stay signed in from their previous visit
- Minimizing fields that customers need to complete in forms
- Allowing returning customers to automatically select information saved from previous visits
- Avoiding making customers start over if their connection times out
- Providing customer service assistance which can be accessed during the checkout process
Use these strategies to reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate.
21. Follow Up With Prospects
Converting a prospect into a customer can be a slow process that requires multiple touches. Following up with prospects consistently will increase your odds of making a sale.
You can automate your follow-up process by sharing content with email subscribers and social media followers on a regular basis. Use your email autoresponder to schedule specific follow-up sequences with new subscribers.
You can personalize this strategy by using a CRM tool to track a customer’s interactions with your brand and initiate a follow-up sequence geared towards their buyer profile. Another way to follow up is by sending emails or text alerts to shoppers who abandon their carts without completing a purchase.
22. Use Cross-Sells and Upsells
You can multiply revenue from your initial sale to a customer by using cross-sell and upsell strategies.
A cross-sell is the sale of a product or service that complements the buyer’s original purchase. For instance, a company that sells web design services might offer search engine optimization as a complementary service.
An upsell offers the buyer a higher-priced product that replaces or builds on their original purchase. For example, a telecommunications company that previously sold a customer a smartphone model might offer them an upgrade of the model at a discount.
23. Cultivate Repeat Business
Loyal customers are the best source of consistent sales revenue. You can use cross-sell and upsell strategies to generate repeat business from the same buyers. Another way to generate repeat business is by diversifying your line of products or services. Consider whether customers who have already purchased from you may have additional needs that you could meet with your current product and service line or new lines of products and services.
24. Ask for Referrals
Another way to generate more sales is by asking your customers for referrals. You can build referral requests into your lead generation strategy by inviting customers who purchased from you and were satisfied with your brand to recommend you to others.
To motivate referrals, you can offer incentives such as discounts or bonuses.
25. Split-Test Campaign Effectiveness
To optimize your sales results, use tracking and testing to improve the effectiveness of your campaigns. Using the KPIs you established to define your sales goals, track the performance of different versions of your ads and landing pages, a practice known as split-testing or A/B testing.
Elements you can test include:
Test one element at a time to isolate variables that affect the performance of your ads. By making continuous small improvements, you can increase your sales results.
Increase Your Online Sales to Multiply Your Revenue
Applying the strategies outlined here will help you increase your e-commerce traffic, convert more visitors into customers and make more online sales.
Review the methods suggested here and identify the ones that would most benefit you. Then implement them one at a time to start attracting more customers, making more sales and multiplying your profits.