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It feels like you’ve done everything you were supposed to do. You have beautifully photographed product images. Your descriptive copy is crisp and succinct. Your site is robust, scalable and designed appealingly. So why aren’t more of your visitors converting into customers? These ecommerce best practices for increasing sales will help you do just that.
This might sound backwards, but in many cases your visitors are looking for reasons not to buy. While your site might be award winningly beautiful, does it inspire trust? Does it say you’re someone who’s going to be there should an issue arise with a purchase? To build trust, feature product warranties prominently. Offer a reasonably generous 14-day no questions asked return policy. Provide information to help your customers set the product up if it’s technical in nature. In short, do everything you can to demonstrate you’ll have their back if something goes sideways.
Testimonials go a long way toward establishing trust. Encourage customers to leave feedback regarding their buying experiences. If you’ve won awards, feature them prominently. Solicit product reviews and above all, look for ways to humanize your site so it stands out from all of the faceless entities out there shilling for dollars.
If browsers can see others have purchased a particular product, they’ll feel more comfortable buying it too. Show visitors what other customers are looking at, feature best sellers prominently and offer FAQs to answer any potential questions visitors may have. Feature a “bought” statistic as part of the product description. If stock is dwindling on an item, show a “number remaining” statistic. If people are concerned they’ll miss out, they’re more likely to purchase.
Let’s go back to those beautifully photographed images for a moment. Before you commission original photography, or purchase stock photography, try to get a very clear idea of who your target customers are and make sure those people are reflected in the imagery on your site. If you have a broad selection of products, your home page should reflect this — tastefully. Rather than focusing on a particular product, make sure your net is cast as widely as possible so visitors get a good reckoning of what you’re offering.
Once they decide to make a purchase, make buying from you easy to do. Every one of your product pages should have a “Buy Now” button. When the impulse strikes, you want your customer to be able to act upon it without having to look around for a way to initiate the buying process.
Eliminate pre-sale registration requirements. When someone has made the decision to buy, don’t put any roadblocks between them and the consummation of the purchase. Yes, it’s great to have a robust mailing list, but let them buy from you first, then offer the option to register after checking out.
Similarly, the best website builders for ecommerce offer a multitude of payment options. This makes it easier for buyers to reach in their wallet and pull out whatever credit card they have, rather than trying to find the only one you accept.
Even after they’ve made a purchase, invite them to continue shopping. Every page on your site should lead to another shopping opportunity, whether it’s suggesting complimentary products, or offering insights into what else other people who bought the same item purchased. Said succinctly, you want to make sure your site reflects the oldest axiom in sales: Always Be Selling.