If you sell products online, whether it’s a single product or tens of thousands, there are many things that you can change on your website that will increase your sales, even if you maintain the same amount of website traffic. This process is called Conversion Rate Optimization and is a highly measurable area of internet marketing that you can spend a lot of time focusing on.
Here are 21 key things you need to consider to sell products online…
- Make sure every product has its own page.
- Feature a unique description of each product you sell- do not cut and paste the manufacturers copy.
- User reviews will not only give you more unique content for this product but will help to push other people over the buying tipping point.
- Use a simple shopping cart system. The more pages and clicks between clicking "add to cart" and completing payment, the more opportunities people will have to abandon their cart.
- Three weeks after the transaction – email your customer and ask them to leave a review of the product they just bought (feedback loop, see above).
- Give an incentive to your clients to leave reviews of products on your website with a giveaway e.g. Win a $200 voucher for the best review this month.
- Use Crazy Egg analytics to monitor how people consume your sales pages: how far do they scroll down, what are they clicking on, etc.
- Produce product tour or product review videos – these will help drive up the conversion rate as they allow people to really see the product.
- If you are out of stock – offer to take customer details and call them back when you have stock available.
- Make sure your website is fast. For every second it takes your page to load – you have just lost an impatient customer (aim for 3 seconds – 6 or more seconds is too slow). You can monitor your site speed through Google Analytics.
- Monitor what people are searching for on your website – you might find demand for products you don't (yet) carry or you may find that people are misspelling certain product names.
- Make sure you have a blog where you talk about your product range, discounts and offers and exciting new products that you will be stocking soon.
- If you only take PayPal as a payment, ensure that you test the design of your checkout page, do you look trustworthy?
- Offer a money back guarantee.
- Make sure people know who they are buying from. Add your street address to the footer and your sales phone number in the top right corner of each page.
- Looking for a budget shopping cart engine that has a lot of bells and whistles? Consider using Shopify.com platform. This Canadian company continues to innovate their shopping platform letting you concentrate on providing the best products and customer service.
- Check Twitter – are people complaining, praising or looking for your products? Engage with them…
- Split test your Product page; if you send 50% of tomorrows traffic to the page with a red “add to cart” button and 50% to the same page with a green “add to cart” button – which page sells more products?
- A lot of customers will come to your site each day, look at a product, add it to their cart and then not check out. Look at adding tracking codes to your website to monitor which products sat dormant in carts and create a reason to push people to buy, like reducing the price by just 5%.
- When using Google AdWords to drive customers to your product page, do not just have a single version of the advert. Instead make 5, 10 or even 50 versions of the same advert and track which one drives sales the most and then turn off the adverts that do not perform as well.
- Facebook advertising is really good a driving people to your Facebook page but not so good at driving customers to make a purchase. If you still want to use it, make sure your adverts are targeted to only people of the right demographic. Always make sure to include an image as part of any Facebook advert: Facebook ads featuring a smiling women’s face convert the best.
Bonus Tip #1 – Product Page Layout
Don’t be afraid of having too much information about a product on one page. Simply break up the text clearly with headings and insert more “buy now” buttons at prominent places as the page grows. Remember, you are looking to answer your potential customer’s objections as to why they should not buy the product at each stage, so the more information the better.
Here are some of the things you should consider putting on your product page:
Bonus Tip #2 – Don’t Distract
Think of your Product page as a giant funnel, you are pouring customers in at the top and hoping to get them out via your payment page at the bottom. Every time you introduce a distraction you are making a hole in this funnel. Here are a few things that you may think are a good idea but are more likely to reduce your sales by causing distractions:
When trying to convert your customers to sales, try to keep these items to a minimum or on the front page of your site, to reduce the number of distractions.
If any of this sounds a bit ambitious and you would like some more guidance, Small Business BC is running Ask the Website Expert on January 18th and 19th, 2012 with Mark Tempest of Deepnet Media.
Book now for a one-to-one consultation with Mark at our offices in Waterfront Station in Vancouver or via Skype. Consultations are 45 minutes long, are by appointment only and must be booked in advance.
To find out more about this Ask the Expert or to book an appointment contact Client Services at 604-775-5572 or 1-800-667-2272.
- Product Image
- Description (make sure its unique and not copied from another source)
- Tech Specs
- Expert store review
- User reviews and ratings
- Product video review
- User images “see it in the wild”
- Downloadable Manual as PDF
- Pros and Cons list – not every item is good for every customer
- Percentage discount – How much was this product last month / year
- What’s included in the products box – any extras? Any tools?
- Warranty / Shipping information and options
- Customer’s also bought
- Related products. If your customer gets to the bottom of the page and isn’t sold, try to get them interested in another product before they leave your site.
- Product Summary – small image with summary info and buy now button (one last chance to convert them)
- Follow us on Facebook
- Newsletter sign up
- Blog page snippets
- Pictures of unrelated products
- Too much navigation or lists of menu items