Unless you’re in the enviable position of being completely satisfied with the number of sales your website is making, you can always use a little expert help to push your figures in the right direction. There are many ways you can boost your sales online, however, some of the ‘expert’ advice you’ll see online, is anything but expert.
Try and avoid the latest fads and short shelf life fixes and concentrate on the time tested, well proven strategies, which are likely to give you the biggest results over time. Strategies that once they are in place, will benefit you for the lifetime of your website, not just in the short term.
The following 4 strategies from Phil Coleman, Copywriter at global self-service platform ClickSure, are incredibly powerful and can make a huge difference to visitor engagement on your site, resulting in a healthy boost to your sales.
1.Start using affiliates today.
Affiliate marketing enables others to promote your business online and drive customers to your products and promotions. It’s also one of the most lucrative online marketing strategies available to businesses and you should be using it.
Facts don’t lie, in 2013 UK businesses spent over £1 billion on affiliate marketing, generating £16.5 billion in sales (source) – this is a proven strategy, not just a phase that will go away. Driving traffic to your site is one of the biggest challenges for businesses online. The beauty of affiliate marketing is…
· Traffic is targeted to your niche as it comes from websites associated with your products
· Visitors are already interested in your products
· Customers are “pre-warmed” as the benefits of your product will already be familiar to them
No other traffic source can guarantee these sorts of results.
If that isn’t enough, affiliate marketing is also extremely cost effective for businesses. The latest figures show that for every £1 invested, advertisers can expect a £14 return! (source) Plus, affiliates work on a commission basis, so you only pay when traffic they drive to your site results in a sale.
A 2014 study revealed that 89% of consumers do their research online before buying, while 71% will view product information, even if they don’t make a purchase on that site. Meaning affiliate marketing can play a huge part in converting browsers into customers.
This is because affiliates pre-sell and review your product, which attracts the 89% of surfers researching before they buy. Often, reading your affiliate’s review can be their final push into buying your product.
Affiliates build your product landscape online. They are there to ensure the traffic that reaches your site is not random, but targeted, educated and pre-warmed, so it is much more likely to convert.
2.Time to get social
It’s not exactly breaking news, but social media usage is growing every day and most of your customers will have at least one social media account. So should your business. However, many businesses are missing the boat and failing to capitalise on this valuable resource.
Most importantly, many businesses are using social media ineffectively. It’s not just about throwing anything onto your social media profiles and hoping for the best.
Here’s how your business can succeed using social marketing:
Make Facebook your target
Facebook is the largest and most used social media site by customers and businesses. (source) Apart from keeping in touch with present and potential customers, Facebook is also an effective targeting tool. Use Facebook Offers or Local Awareness ads to reach more locals in your area with offers and discounts.
Engagement and customer service
One of the reasons social media is so popular, is consumers see it as a direct line to your business, so embrace that! Rather than just engaging and promoting offers, ensure you are answering questions quickly and effectively – it will go a long way towards building brand loyalty.
No one would buy from a boring looking shop, so ensure the content you’re putting out is engaging and informative – it’s more likely to get shared too!
3.Take mobile seriously
With more and more people accessing the internet via mobile devices, it’s more important than ever to be mobile friendly. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you need to prioritise this right now following Google’s Mobile- First Index.
If you’d like a step by step guide on optimising your website for mobile, you can read one here
There are many benefits to targeting customers on mobile, as it’s a highly effective strategy for boosting sales. For example:
· Consider text messages
Texts have a very high open rate - 99% in fact – which’s higher than email. They are also a great way of reaching local customers on-the-go.
· Mobile offers
Why not offer your customers exclusive mobile-only coupons? You can also be strategic about when they receive offers, for example offering a free drink between 5pm and 7pm at a local bar will always be successful.
4.Giveaways to gain customers
Newsflash – customers like free stuff and special deals! Offering coupons, limited time promotions and competitions is a great way to drive sales and increase brand loyalty too. Coupon websites, which drive quality traffic to your website with promotions, are just another form of affiliate marketing, which we covered earlier.
Whether coupons are appropriate depends on your product niche. For example, a good tactic for service-based industries like hairdressers can be to offer a free consultation, while restaurants can offer a free drink.
Your coupon or promotion strategy is also important to achieve the maximum results. Consider time specific promotions to drive sales at slower times. For example, you could offer a coupon that can only be used on your slowest business day.
Contests are another proven way to engage with customers and get your products in front of new ones for free. Launch a competition on social media that encourages your followers to share or like an image or product. This opens the door to friends of your followers who may not be customers, yet. Remember the average Facebook user has 338 friends, so when they start sharing, the reach potential is huge. (source)
Whatever you decide, there is no denying how a few vital online marketing strategies can drive extra sales and even retain current customers.
Certain strategies are more appropriate than others, depending on your business; however utilising affiliates, increasing engagement and having a clear targeting strategy will help push up those sales figures.