Kevin Costner had pretty good luck when a ghost whispered to him, “Build it and they will come.” That worked for a baseball diamond in the middle of an Iowa cornfield—in a movie. In ecommerce, once you build it, you have to give them a reason to come. What’s more, when they get there, you have to give them a reason to stay and buy. Fortunately, human behavior is fairly predictable in that regard and time has proven that these five tactics increase ecommerce sales.
1) Shopper-friendly Design
The design of your site is key to generating conversions. The goal here is to capture their interest and hold it all the way through making a purchase. Pull them in with strong images supported by succinct copy and video demonstrating the product in action where appropriate. When the product comes in different colors and patterns, show them all. Pages should be easily navigable and user testimonials should accompany each product. Make the call-to-action button highly visible. Don’t make customers jump through hoops to make a purchase. Keep forms as short as possible, the checkout procedure should be simple and customers should never be forced to register to complete a transaction.
2) Show What’s In It for Them
The only reason you’re reading this is because you’re anticipating some benefit for the time you’re investing here—right? Your customers are the same way. Always make your copy speak in terms of the specific benefits they will derive. “The XYZ Bluetooth/FM transmitter brings your old car radio up to date. Now you can stream all of your favorite music directly into your FM radio from your smartphone.” The words “You” and “Your” should always be featured prominently so the copy can get them to see themselves using the product. When people imagine themselves enjoying something, they’re more likely to buy it.
3) Send Relevant eMail
The best ecommerce website builders have features that will keep you informed of abandoned shopping carts. They also offer your customers the ability to create wish lists of items in which they have an interest. You can mine this data to increase sales with targeted emails. “If you’re sill interested in the XYZ Bluetooth/FM transmitter (on your wish list or in your shopping cart), you can buy it now, get 10 percent off and free shipping.” You can also use that information to apprise them of sales you have on similar merchandise. Always make sure your email communications speak to a specific interest they have, contain a call to action and instill a sense of urgency.
4) Speaking of Which…
People are far more likely to make a purchase when they feel an item is scarce or they might miss out on a deal. Instilling a sense of urgency moves people to action. Limited time price discounts, perks such as free shipping if they buy now and/or quantity counters with a low availability number tell the shopper they might miss out on something if they wait. Sprinkling copy with phrases like “a limited offering” creates a sense of scarcity. This will move them to make a purchase.
5) Solicit Product Reviews
Word of mouth is the best advertising of all, plus it can benefit your SEO. Search engines tend to favor frequently refreshed sites containing a lot of content. A constant stream of new product reviews will do that for you. The fact that they also tend to include long tail keywords relevant to your offerings is an added benefit. But wait, there’s more. People feel more confident about trying something new when they learn others have taken the plunge and came away with a positive result. For this reason, good product reviews from trustworthy sources can go a long way toward increasing your ecommerce sales.