Online stores have been around for quite a while now. These days, even retailers that have been in business for decades have online shops, even localized online shops, in order to bring the convenience and accessibility to their customers.
Unlike regular, brick and mortar shops, the approaches to making sales online don’t rely on the skill of a salesperson. Being that there is no direct contact between a salesperson and a customer throughout the whole process, the techniques are vastly different.
We are here to discuss some of the techniques successful online shops have resorted to and managed to make a positive impact.
1. Social media presence
Establishing a basic social media presence is free. If you build a following on social media networks you decided to focus on, you can create a long-term presence that requires very little investment.
Social media is a great place to engage people through content marketing, get reviews, engage in customer conversations, and create new leads. Social media is also great for branding opportunities and promoting discounts, sales, new products, etc.
Another big thing is the fact that you are going to face a dose of negativity on social media. Smart shops usually jump on this opportunity to provide customers with great support publicly and, through this, improve brand trust. Mistakes will happen but there is no need for them to have a negative impact on your brand.
Satisfied customers usually attract more customers. This is the basic rule of sales and that’s why we have that old saying “The customer is always right”. In the online environment, there are multiple ways to make these reviews publicly accessible.
Star reviews are the most common way of doing this. Testimonials are a bit more elaborate and detailed way to review a store, outlining the most important experiences. There are also customers who will tag or mention the brand they had a great experience with (or a bad experience with) to let their followers and friends know how they feel.
If a review comes from a genuine customer, it is far more likely to attract new customers than any regular advertising approach, so make sure you motivate your customers to leave reviews.
3. Improving email receipts
Email receipts are usually there with a goal of confirming a purchase for the customer but they can be a great asset when it comes to improving sales. There are more than a few ways to do this:
- Discounts – It is a well-known industry fact that shoppers spend more during their second purchase than they do on their first. This is why it makes sense to include a discount code in the receipt after a customer makes his or her first purchase and get them back into the sales funnel.
- Cross-selling – Adding recommended items based on the customer’s previous purchases converts an email receipt from an irrelevant, mark-as-read, type of email to a message with actual value.
- Feedback – The perfect time to ask for feedback is after the first purchase. By including this request in your receipt email, you’ll be able to identify the pain points customer have early on and improve your sales.
4. Wishlist focused sales
Digital window shopping isn’t anything new. Most shoppers will populate their wish lists with items they want to buy in the future but can’t afford at the moment. Shops can leverage this by prompting customers who have a particular item on their wishlist that it is going on sale or out of stock. This will give the whole situation a sense of urgency and usually motivate a percentage of them to make a purchase.
5. Referral Program
Establishing a referral program is a great way to get cheap, direct, promotions, but also to keep existing customers happy and loyal. A referral program is basically rewarding your existing customers for promoting you to other people. They get some kind of reward when the people they referred to convert. The rewards may come in the form of money to spend in the shop, actual products, discounts, and so on. This is a bit tricky to set up but if you plan things properly, the results will become apparent very quickly.
These are just some approaches that online shops use to attract new customers. There a lot more out there are these that are mentioned here are just short overviews. Mastering sales in the online environment require a lot of testing and analysis in order to establish what works for your particular situation. Also, these may vary based on the season, target audience, type of product you are promoting, and other factors.
Still, it can be quite easy to forget that you are dealing with actual people, so never just make decisions based on raw numbers. This kind of approach may mislead you into making decisions that will alienate your audience, so be careful. Good luck with your sales!