How to increase online sales
In a world where people spend more and more time online and where online shopping is growing, it is natural that more and more companies seek to sell their products and services over the Internet. Selling online is a great option to reach customers who are physically far away and can lead to increased profits. Although it seems easy, cultivating an e-commerce presence takes time, dedication and a lot of work.
In today’s world, we know that having an innovative product and excellent service is essential to the success of the business but are they enough? Success stories from companies that build their own strategies for e-commerce show that it is possible to increase sales for all types of products and stand out in the international market.
To sell more online, it is necessary to invest in many other areas including advertising, SEO, customer service, and social media, among others. A marketing strategy is essential to succeed!
To sell online, companies have to advertise online since that’s where their customers are. In general terms, the ad strategy can be divided into two markets: remarketing and prospecting.
Remarketing ads are focused on consumers who’ve visited your website but didn’t make a purchase. As they browse other parts of the Internet, ads will appear encouraging them to come back to your website. These ads are often focused on the benefits of products and on special campaigns with limited offers.
Prospecting is targeted towards new customers—people who’ve never bought on the website. For this target, the ads are more aggressive, often focused on low prices and product quality. Parts of the ad will have a very strong Call to Action (CTA), to make the consumer click and finalize the purchase in a few steps. “Today Only!” and “Ends Tomorrow!” are some of the examples of CTAs used in this type of advertisement.
There are millions of people on the Internet all the time, and to create accurate online ad campaigns, it’s important to be clear about who your target audience is. Knowing your target audience involves knowing which social networks they use, what websites they usually access, what their online and offline consumption habits are, and so on. Only then is it possible to define an online campaign that will fully influence your target and increase sales?
If the company is present in several markets, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of each one. Having an international team with professionals from different countries where the company is present can be a solution. This way, it is possible to understand the customs and consumption habits of each region, adapt each ad, and create accurate marketing strategies. The focus of the company should be to serve the customer well, as this close relationship can bring more online sales.
Once you get to know your target audience, it’s time to take action and get your campaigns and ads online. Google AdWords is one of the most widely used online ad platforms in the world because it has several advantages. It’s accessible to everyone (in a few clicks it’s possible to create an ad), is cost-effective, allows you to target the audience, and you can control costs and monitor results in real-time. In AdWords, you can choose from a variety of formats and websites, which makes targeting even easier.
Google is not the only ad platform. With over 1,968 million active monthly users, Facebook is the social network with the largest number of users worldwide. Advertising on Facebook is also easy and fast, with the ability to use audience segmentation and have control of costs. When creating an ad on Facebook, it’s important to keep in mind that people are not there to buy, but rather to have fun. Ads that have a touch of entertainment value that draws the public’s attention, seem to be the most successful.
Ads on other social networks
Although Facebook and Google are the most used platforms for ads, it is important to realize that there are so many social networks. Develop your company’s strategy so that it includes social networks where your potential customers are. LinkedIn and Instagram may be good options, but YouTube, Twitter, and Spotify are some other examples of platforms that have a large audience you can explore. Analyzing which social networks your target uses help to not waste money!
In many companies, much of their sales are obtained from email marketing. It is important to have company emails scheduled, organized and, if possible, divided by categories. Current customers, potential leads, profession, city or state of residence are some of the examples of target separation that can help create exclusive offers. The more you know about your customer, the more effective communication will be, because you can present value propositions relevant to each type of consumer.
The Importance of A / B Tests
Your website is your store. Just like in physical stores, A / B tests are done constantly. All variables are tested to see which ones get the best results from consumers. Product shown, showing or not showing price, type of promotion, ad colors, copy—these are just a few examples of the tests performed. To perform an A / B test correctly, you must only change one variable in each test version. You will be able to measure the results and have relevant insights.
Organic Reach: Social Media and SEO
Not only does paid advertising make a good online sales strategy. Organic reach and customer relationship is imperative to increase sales and win over more consumers.
An e-commerce strategy can be based on 3 pillars: SEO, Social Media, and online customer service.
SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is imperative for any company that has an online presence. Before, publishing websites and blogs would involve thinking about SEO. Now, everything that is published on the web should be thought of as a potential influence on SEO. With everything optimized for SEO, the chances of the company and its products and/or services appearing on the first page of Google are much higher, which will certainly boost sales. All this at no cost!
The consumer-brand relationship grows more important each day, so social media must be approached from a strategic point of view. Having a strong presence on social networks will strengthen the brand in the minds of consumers, strengthen the relationship and, consequently, increase sales.
Customer service is of paramount importance in both pre and post-sale operations. Providing different ways for your customers to get in contact with your business is essential for online businesses as it is a way to increase trust in the online store. Phone, email and even social networks such as Facebook can help maintain a relationship with the consumer while they are in the midst of the purchase process.
To meet these three pillars that are important to the sales of the company, it is key to have a team dedicated to each of the areas and these teams must work together.
Define your goals
No action can be considered a success if there is no goal to be fulfilled. So, whenever you start a new strategy, it is important to define one (or several) goals that must be met, as well as the deadline.
Measuring the results of your actions is imperative! Google Analytics is the best tool you can use. It is a free product that is easy to implement and has free online courses. With it, you can measure the results of the strategies in real-time and also make complete reports in a simple and fast way.
Each month, make complete reports of what was done in your marketing and the results. In this report, remember not only to measure sales, but also to measure site hits, bounce rate, and even brand awareness. With this report ready, it will be possible to see which actions are best for the company, which should have its strategy rethought, and which should be discarded or changed.
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Content written by Felipe Arruda – Marketing Strategist