How to Maximize Sales from Your Online Store PART III


Summary & Conclusion

Now that you’ve finished this article series, you should:

  • Understand where to find objective data to use in order to improve your e-commerce website.
  • Know why branding is important and how to start communicating your brand and building relationships with it.
  • Have several ideas for techniques to help you make the process of buying from your site smoother and thus increase sales.
  • Know some tips to help you increase conversions on your site.
  • Understand the importance of mobile and know what you need to do in order to tap the vast mobile market.
  • Have several ideas for increasing sales through cross-selling, up-selling, down-selling and repeat purchases.
  • Understand the importance of customer service and have several ideas on how you can improve yours.
  • Know some of the best practices for promoting an e-commerce site through social media.
  • Can identify clear ways to incorporate email marketing into your strategies for increasing your e-commerce sales

The next step is to formulate an action plan. Decide on what actions you need to take that you’ve learned from the article and draw up a schedule by week and month of when and how you’ll implement these strategies.

As you go about making improvements to your site, continually test, monitor and adjust. Pay attention to successes and failures, and use them to craft your strategy moving forward. Repeat the things that bring results and drop those that don’t.

Always be on the lookout for new techniques or ideas that can help you improve your e-commerce site. Online marketing techniques are changing constantly and there are always new avenues for promoting a website.

Next Steps:

Review the following checklist which includes all the tips covered in this article series.

If you have any questions about this article series, or need help getting your e-commerce solution set-up and running, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me on Twitter or on my Instant Message contact form: Contact Me

Checklist

Check

Task

First Steps

Be prepared to make an honest assessment of where your business is

Use a program such as Google Analytics to continually monitor performance

Learn the key metrics

New Visits

Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate by Day and Time

Visitor Behaviour

Unique Purchases

Shopping Cart Abandonment

Make sure each analytic has a clear goal

Remember the 80/20 rule – 80% Results from 20% Effort

Identify essential analytics and use them to make changes

CLEAR AND CONSISTENT BRANDING

Deliver one simple and consistent message to your prospects

Plan your brand around what your customers think when they hear your company’s name

Create a Value Proposition

State the value or benefit you offer and what sets you apart

Keep your proposition short and simple

Look for where your target market is and broadcast your brand in those places

Take every opportunity to connect with customers

Build relationships at every possible touch-point

Stay away from self-promotion and encourage interaction

Offer help

Put the customers’ needs first

Get feedback to discover what customers think and feel about your brand

Monitor conversations and sign up for alerts

Understand and meet customers’ needs and pay it forward with help

MAKE IT EASY FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS TO SHOP FROM YOU

Remember that difficulties purchasing will send customers elsewhere

Ask those who have used your sales funnel

Ask for changes they’d like made

Offer a discount or freebie for their time

Look at successful companies such as Amazon

Study others’ sales process and see what you can use

Hire a tester to go through your sales process and find weaknesses

Enlist friends and family to go through the process and record it

Make your sales process simple, enjoyable and smooth to maximize effectiveness

WAYS TO INCREASE CUSTOMER CONVERSIONS

Consider hiring a professional copywriter for your web copy

Find others to critique and give feedback

Remember key elements of good copy

Grab the visitor’s attention with the headline

Conversational tone

Use ‘You’

Stay away from complexity

Keep it short and to-the-point

Use keywords but don’t go overboard

Emphasize benefits to the reader

Encourage your reader to take action

Add videos and graphics to increase conversions

Be tasteful and don’t clutter

Add Alt tags and captions

Include testimonials and pictures for social proof

Offer freebies or discounts for repeat purchases

Check your shopping cart abandonment rate

Consider streamlining your sales process to make it easier

Check and test your site on a regular basis

Make checking a regular part of running your site

OPTIMIZE FOR MOBILE

Make sure your theme, layout graphics and copy are clearly viewed on a mobile screen

Keep images large and text to a minimum

Make sure your shopping cart and checkout processes are smooth

Keep forms to a minimum

Use auto-fill where possible

Check link sizes

Eliminate pop-up ads

Consider building a specific mobile version of your site

Use responsive software to make your site more accessible

Test your site on mobile using different devices and emulators

Make sure your site functions well and looks good across multiple platforms

UP-SELL, CROSS-SELL AND DOWN-SELL

Consider implementing various strategies for selling

Offer customers a totally different product to that which they are purchasing

Make sure it’s something the customer could use

Offer upgrades, complementary or related items that are more expensive

Offer a less expensive item or good deal

Down-sell to build relationships and gain trust

Use buyer tracking software to offer similar items

Set up an email marketing campaign to offer exclusive deals

Provide excellent customer service

Make sure everything is in stock

Put your customer first to build relationships and strengthen your brand

EXCEL AT CUSTOMER SERVICE

Provide excellent customer service to boost sales and spread a great brand image

Make your contact info clear and easy to find

Follow up quickly

Make dealing with customers your first priority

Add FAQs and anticipate questions people might have

Keep adding to your FAQs

Set the example to the rest of your organization by making it your own top priority

Turn mistakes into customer service opportunities to prove yourself

Show your speedy and efficient response to issues publicly

Create and state a clear refunds policy

Use customer feedback to improve products and services

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes

Create protocols and make sure your staff understand them

Always strive to improve

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Maintain an active social media profile

Sign up with popular networks and get the hang of each

Choose the sites that are right for your brand

Think about where your target market is

Use social media to engage and build relationships but don’t promote

Encourage interaction and sharing

Post and interact constantly and consistently

Devote time each day

Automate some aspects, but be there to monitor what goes on

Use multimedia to encourage sharing

Ask people to share

Decide what you want to achieve with social media

Write down a statement outlining what you’ll do

EMAIL – YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS FACTOR

Make sure your email marketing platform has the features you need

Test different service providers before making a big investment

Segment your customers appropriately

Test different types of email on different demographics in your target

Set up an automated email to follow-up on cart abandonment

Offer discounts, offers and freebies to those on your mailing list

Make sure you’re offering goods you can deliver

Do a little research to ascertain the habits of your niche

Be consistent with your emails

Don’t overwhelm – find the key balance

Incorporate 80% information and 20% promotion into your emails

Keep track of analytics and tweak the parts that are less effective

CONCLUSION

Formulate an action plan

Decide what actions you need to take

Draw up a schedule to implement strategies

Continually test, monitor and adjust

Pay attention to successes and failures

Always be on the lookout for new techniques or ideas to improve

Download PDF version: E-commerce Checklist

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