The internet provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs. Given the right conditions, it’s possible to reach millions of customers from the solace of your own home. The operating expenses associated with selling online are much lower than the overhead costs of a physical store. As online purchasing increases, new competitors emerge. So, standing above the crowd is vital to the success of your business. Here are 5 tips to help your products sell online:
Sell Quality Products
Think of your online store as a whole. Every product you sell is an endorsement to its quality and dependability. If some products are receiving bad reviews, consider removing them from your store. When customers have a bad experience with a product, they tend to associate that experience with the business entirely. As a result, the lifetime value of that customer is reduced dramatically. Therefore, testing products with your friends and family is a great way to distinguish those lower quality items.
In addition to the quality of the product, customer experience in relation to your products is important to review. For example, if a customer receives a product late, they may not order from your business again. Additionally, if your website is clunky and hard to navigate, customers will be less likely to finish their purchase. Take the time to carefully review your customer experience from beginning to end and make changes where necessary.
Research the Market
In 2019, 32% of global e-commerce traffic came from organic search via a search engine like Google or Bing. So, needless to say, a large portion of online shoppers are using search engines when deciding which products to buy. It is important to know where you stand.
One way to review your search engine rankings is by installing the Google Search Console to your website. After you’ve set it up, the search console will begin to collect keyword data. It usually takes about 48 hours after setup for your rankings to populate. If you don’t have it installed yet, click here to find out how to install Google Search Console to your website.
It is important to review any competitors in your field. Understanding their tactics can offer a unique learning opportunity that you can incorporate into your business. Type various keywords into Google to find your top competitors. Review the top 3-5 competitors and take notes of innovation and notable details they use throughout their site.
The Google Keyword Planner can help you find high-traffic keywords for specific products. For example, if you are selling sunglasses, you can enter the keyword “sunglasses” into the keyword planner. Then, the planner will recommend other words that are closely related to your original keyword. In this example we get “ray ban sunglasses” or “gucci sunglasses”. Find other keywords that fit your product and review the businesses that rank highest for those terms.
In addition to search traffic, paid traffic makes up a large percentage of global ecommerce website visits. While reviewing the search terms, pay attention to the ads (distinguished by a green “Ad” icon). Which businesses are paying for Google Ads? Where do the ad links take you? All of this information can give you extreme insight into industry best-practices.
Pick a Niche
A store with no common goal can be confusing and untrustworthy. While some businesses like Amazon and Walmart can get away with managing a large selection of products, most small business owners don’t have the resources to manage a large store. Therefore, it is important that you decide the theme of products you are selling and stick to it.
With a highly specialized product selection, you can focus more time on product quality and marketing. For example, if you sell t-shirts, you may decide to shift your focus to pet t-shirts only. This will allow you to market your audience to a certain subset of t-shirt connoisseurs – leading to highly targeted ads or promotions. In addition, since your products are closely related, you can make more upsells and increase overall cart value.
Have a Well-Developed Website
After your products, your website is the single-most important aspect of your e-commerce store. A bad website design can be the difference between making a sale or not. At scale, losing customers for this reason can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost sales. Therefore, getting ahead of the issue is of utmost importance.
An important component of your website’s conversion rates is website speed. For example, Amazon calculated that a page speed decrease of just one second could cost them $1.6 billion in sales each year. Obviously that’s an egregious example, but if you take into account that Amazon makes $232.9 billion a year, that’s almost a 6.9% decrease in total sales for just one second of page speed! So if you haven’t checked already, there are many free website speed tests that can tell you if your website is loading properly. You want to aim for 4 seconds or less, with each second dramatically improving your overall customer experience.
** Remember to review your mobile/tablet site speed as well.
Perception is an essential determinant of what people are willing to pay (or if they are willing to pay at all!). So investing in the overall aesthetics of your website can have a huge impact on your overall conversion rates. The keys here are simplicity and consistency. Your website should be easy to navigate so customers can find what they need quickly. In addition, your website’s checkout flow should take as little steps as possible to increase the chances that customers make a purchase.
Make certain that your website uses the same consistent fonts, colors, and similar imagery on all pages. (also it’s not a bad idea to use these brand guidelines in all other marketing materials as well). Review all buttons on your website to make sure they are using a consistent design. More importantly, however, your product photos should follow the same theme. Varying backgrounds, angles, and image quality can make your product lineup confusing and disordered. Therefore, if you find any inconsistencies, decide on a design and implement it where you deem necessary.
Lastly, one of the best components of your website is the data you can collect via website traffic. Based on product sales, add to carts, product views, and overall website visits, we can determine winning products and/or strategies that we experience. It is important that you are properly tracking activity on your website. Google Analytics is a great software that tells you these important metrics and much more. The software only shows you data from after you’ve installed it to your website. If you don’t have it installed yet, click here to find out how to install Google Analytics to your website.
Have an Effective Marketing Strategy
Your marketing strategy should start on your website. Anytime you have a sale or promotion, your website should be consistent with your paid messaging. So, take the time to review your website before launching a marketing campaign. In addition, your website should feature advanced sales tactics like upsales, coupons, bundles, and email opt-ins that can make additional sales and increase retention rates.
Google in-display ads are a great option for product promotions. With Google Ads you will have access to Google’s massive network of over 2 MILLION websites. You can target specific industries or websites that fit your target audience. In addition, once someone has engaged with your business or website, you can retarget them with additional ads down the road.
Another great option for paid marketing (and our absolute favorite marketing platform) is Facebook ads. Facebook ads are a bit different than Google since most ads are shown in Facebook or Facebook’s Audience Network. But, don’t let that stop you. Facebook’s plethora of information regarding consumer interests make the platform one of the best advertising options for e-commerce.
Like Google, Facebook can retarget your audience with additional ads that encourage conversion. More importantly, however, Facebook’s algorithm can intelligently find an audience similar to people who have performed a certain action on your website. This can dramatically lower your overall costs and increase sales.
In 2020, there has never been a better time to sell products online.
KCV Strategic is a digital marketing agency that markets for businesses of all sizes. We specialize in web design and Facebook ads. Consider hiring us for your next project.