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Increasing online sales is the primary goal of countless businesses, large and small alike. Whether you run a mom-and-pop retail business or work for a vast ecommerce giant like Amazon, increasing sales through online channels is a little like bowling a strike – it looks a lot easier than it actually is.
Fortunately, there are dozens of ways you can make more sales online, many of which you can implement right away. Some of these tips focus on specific strategies you can implement, whereas others are more generalized. In this post, we’ll be looking at 25 such strategies, so whether you sell physical goods or run a service-based business, here are 25 actionable techniques you can use to increase online sales performance.
1. Be Honest in Your Sales Copy
This might seem painfully obvious, but it’s amazing to me how many sites write checks their products can’t cash. Not only is honesty in your copy crucial to your business’ reputation, it also fosters and encourages trust in your brand. Don’t make claims you can’t substantiate, and don’t use hyperbole lightly – today’s consumers are hypersensitive to marketing BS, so be honest, straightforward, and approachable in all your sales copy, from your homepage to your email campaigns.
This principle also applies to how you position yourself as a business. Ever come across a site that’s obviously run by one or two people, but features copy that would be better suited to a multinational enterprise company? This approach not only makes you look foolish, it also damages your brand’s credibility. If you’re a small company, take pride in that and be upfront about it – many consumers are turning to smaller businesses precisely because of the more individualized, personal service they can offer. Don’t try to be something you’re not.
2. Get More Ad Clicks with Ad Extensions
If you’re selling stuff online, ad extensions are a no-brainer – this feature (available in both AdWords and Bing) allows you to make your ad bigger with more places to click. And it doesn’t cost any extra! AND it increases your ad’s click-through rate! Amazing, right?
In the above example, the links to “Men’s Sunglasses” and “Women’s Sunglasses” give people who are looking to buy a new pair of Ray-Ban’s two additional places to click. This saves the potential customer a step and makes it easier and faster to find exactly what they want (so they go to your site instead of a competitor’s).
3. Show Off Customer Testimonials and Trust Signals
In today’s social media environment, customer feedback has never been more important. Fortunately, this means that your satisfied customers can provide you with one of the most valuable weapons in your arsenal – testimonials.
Legions of satisfied customers are considerably more influential than even the best-written sales copy, so make sure you include gushing testimonials and reviews from your hardcore brand evangelists gushing about how wonderful you are. These might appear on your product pages, landing pages, pricing page, even your home page. For more info, check out my post on the power of customer testimonials.
Similarly, the inclusion of trust signals can be an excellent way to increase online sales, as it creates a more favorable perception of your brand in the mind of the prospect and can potentially overcome hesitations preemptively. If your business has any professional accreditations (even something as routine as a Better Business Bureau certification or membership to your local chamber of commerce), put these trust signals front and center on your site. If you have an impressive list of satisfied clients, make sure your prospects know about it.
4. Create a Sense of Urgency
It’s important to be honest and transparent about who you are and what you do, but there’s no rule against creating a sense of urgency to persuade prospects to buy from you right now.