Increasing online sales
Selling online has many clear benefits; reduced overheads, lower marketing costs and the ability to reach a wider audience to name a few. However it is not enough to put some products on a website and expect them to sell themselves. Selling online is an ongoing process, which takes work and a great deal of know how- especially in the competitive confectionary industry. Here Yell’s web design team shows how to increase sales online.
Building awareness of your site across the web will help attract new customers and hopefully mean more sales. Probably the best way to start marketing yourself is by ensuring your visibility on search engines. You can do this naturally, using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), to ensure your site fits the requirements search engines look for when deciding which result to show. Search engines look for a number of factors including relevant content, a good structure and links going to your site.
You can make sure your site has relevant content just by writing a short paragraph on your products, your company and what makes you stand out. A blog will also help; simply write regular posts about your company and new products you have and you should automatically use the same words people will search for when they want to find your business, for example ‘Easter eggs’.
Another way to ensure visibility on search engines is to pay for advertising space at the top of a page (PPC), this will vary in price depending on how many websites wish to appear for the same search terms, which search engine you choose and the overall quality of your site.
Once customers reach your site they will still need some persuading before they make a purchase. You can increase the likelihood of them buying from your site by ensuring it is well designed and easy to use. Clear headings and navigation across all pages can help with this. Signpost where to find each type of product you sell and group similar items together. Make the processes of adding an item to the basket and checking out as easy as possible. Many customers may fall at the last hurdle and fail to make a purchase if they find the checking out process confusing or time-consuming.
As making a purchase online lacks the human interaction many shoppers are used to, some people can feel wary about buying online- especially if they are making a large wholesale order. Having a phone number on your site can help to reassure visitors enough to make a purchase. Having a list of frequently asked questions can also be helpful, but this should not be used as an alternative to a phone number.
Once a customer has made a purchase there are steps you can take to ensure that they remember your brand and come back again and again. Using social media is a great way to promote brand loyalty in existing customers as well as market yourself to new ones. Yell research shows that 40% of internet users would connect with a business through Twitter. Popping up in social networks they use, with news or exclusive offers, will remind users of your brand and tempt them to make another purchase while they are at their computer.
You can also use e-mail marketing to send a reminder about your website straight to existing customers’ inboxes. Simply add them to your mailing list when they make a purchase, then use a mail service to send everyone on that list an update every month. Using html e-mails will make them stand out from everything else in their inbox and will act as a direct gateway to making another purchase from your site.