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Getting Online: 5 Tips For Selling Online
As the coronavirus pandemic continues on, many retailers have taken to selling online to secure their financial future. E-commerce is thriving and encouraged by the government, so now is a better time than any to take the leap.
Continuing to trade during COVID-19 is vital if you want to retain your market share. The pandemic will eventually pass, but the reliance on technology will remain. Old habits of operating offline may not return once businesses and customers realise the ease and efficiency of e-commerce.
Learning how to sell online now lays the foundations of your future success and will be a key factor in which organisations survive and fall throughout this unprecedented crisis. Here are our top tips for getting online, so you can put yourself in the best possible position for the immediate future and when this crisis is over.
Get Your Website Right
A good website should have a clean design, a smooth and intuitive sales funnel, and be completely bug-free. Online shoppers have grown accustomed to consistent and user-friendly experiences, and there is plenty of competition that will provide it. This means even the slightest glitch could lead to an abandoned cart and a lost sale.
When creating an online store make sure that you don’t have any broken links, slow loads or awkward shopping carts – you want to make the sales process as secure and seamless as possible, so the customer has zero distractions when buying from your company.
In 2020, your website also needs to be optimised for all devices. A significant proportion of your users will be shopping from their smartphones, so your user interface needs to be developed with this in mind – the days of everyone shopping from a similarly-sized desktop are long gone.
People are relying on technology now more than ever, and for small business owners, it has been a lifeline that has helped them survive and thrive in the current economic climate. However, setting up an online store is good not only for surviving in the short-term but also for investing in long-term success.
An experienced digital partner to help with your web design and development is vital. Creating beautiful and simple to navigate websites and social media channels that have users return to time and time again is what we do best.
Create Value Through Branding
Establishing the value of your business online comes down to answering the question; why does the customer need your product? For this, brand and image are everything. To pull in customers you need to create an engaging narrative around your product or company.
It doesn’t matter how great your business is; if you can’t communicate the basic need your product will meet, you will never get the recognition you require. The majority of customers will form an instant opinion of your business once they open your website, social media or view an ad, so your branding needs to be on point to stand out.
From your logo, to design, and even your copy, the first few moments of interaction with a customer will make or break the relationship.
Once you have hooked the customer, you need to stay true to this brand in everything you do. If you have a consistent image, tone of voice and selling point you will find that everything else falls into place.
At Strive Digital, we help businesses ‘stand out’ with our clever, bold marketing and design. Our wealth of creative experience can help shape your online presence, developing a brand that will last a lifetime.
Target the Right Audience
Building your brand and acquiring customers is a lot easier with social media. Being active on social channels is now a core aspect of being an online business. Your social push should start even before your website is launched, as you want to keep customers in the loop about how you will continue to serve them during the pandemic.
Post about your progress, make connections with influential bloggers; start the conversation. In times of crisis authenticity shines through, so be as transparent as you can and you will begin to build a loyal following.
Once your e-commerce store is launched, be sure to feature social media sharing buttons on your website and ask customers to share their purchases/experiences.
With everyone working from home, there is a surge of users on social media, so use this to your advantage and put organic and paid branded messages in front of millions of potential customers.
Similarly, this is a great time to build a mailing list, you can do this through ads, competitions or free giveaways. People will be more inclined to open emails now that business trading has slowed down, so this is a prime opportunity to place potential customers into your digital sales funnel.
Create Demand – Limitations and Offers
The two easiest ways to create demand for your product or service is to either create a sense of urgency or provide an eye-catching offer. Customers are more likely to jump at a promotion if you set a limitation – without the time limit they may drop off or leave items in a cart for a later date.
Adding a ‘two for one’ or 20% discount, will push them into making purchases spontaneously. Your margins may be smaller but you will have a higher volume of sales. Plus, you might then have a customer for life, and you are bringing more awareness to your business by people sharing and telling their friends about the promotion.
In effect, you will have created your own brand ambassadors who are actively promoting your business. Social media and email work best for these types of campaigns, as you can easily send out countdowns or unique discount codes to prospective customers.
If you need help with a short or long-term digital campaign, reach out to us at Strive Digital. Our experienced team know the recipe for an effective campaign and will work with you to tailor something specifically for your brand and goals.
Follow Up Your Sales
Many online retailers make the mistake of dropping their level of service after they have secured a sale. This might mean not following up on enquiries and/or complaints by customers, or not using the relationship that has been fostered to promote further sales in the future. In fact, these go hand-in-hand.
If a customer reaches out to you about a slow delivery or broken product, it is vital you treat them as if you are still looking for their custom. Not only might they refuse to order from you in the future, but they are likely to report bad experiences to their friends, or even on social media.
However, turning bad experiences into memorable good ones isn’t difficult. How often have you seen reviews stating something like “customer support couldn’t have been better – wouldn’t hesitate to order again!”. Often, if you deal with a customer complaint well, they will leave with a more positive opinion of your company than if nothing had gone wrong in the first place.
Also, customer details are valuable – especially since you know they have already been willing to order from you in the past. Use customer sales to build up your email database, and follow up all sales with future promotions and updates to try and foster a lucrative relationship moving forward.
Get in Touch
Going online can be daunting, but it is also increasingly necessary. The few companies that were surviving without an online presence are now having to face the music during this pandemic, but getting online quickly and effectively is a simple way to start turning things around.
At Strive Digital, our team have vast experience in creating secure and profitable e-commerce sites for a huge range of customers, but it all begins with a chat. Get in touch today, and let us help you to stand out.