Online Sales: Best Practices and Pitfalls to Avoid
by gardenpatch Insights on Feb 15, 2023 9:00:00 AM
There are several Dos and Don'ts that a new or relatively inexperienced sales manager should be aware of. If you make mistakes today, you can use this guide as your reference. I'm writing it, especially for those learning sales management for the first time. But you can also find this helpful article if you have been in the business for a few years.
Let us start by stating the obvious. If anyone tells you there are no dos and don'ts when winning at eCommerce, they are wrong. The only reason you can make purchases and enjoy products and services online is the effective rules that retailers have set. Everybody is trying their best to close deals in today's technology-driven marketplace. So retailers, small business owners, and eCommerce companies must utilize an effective online sales strategy.
Knowing that you have found the perfect product to sell online gives a great feeling. Excitement can build as you take the steps toward getting your product to customers. Inevitably, though, you make mistakes as you launch your product. To start, it's worth noting that there are various kinds of online sales, all of which have advantages and disadvantages. However, there are some more common reasons why people may need help making money with their business. And developing a plan that helps you to avoid these pitfalls is what you need to ensure your online sales business succeeds.
Let us say, for instance, that you are setting up an online store and want to make your first sale. Or, maybe you've been running an online store for a year and would like to know some best practices to increase sales. Both scenarios involve some relationship with your customers. Many people think advertising and marketing strategies are the only ways to reach buyers. But you can also do a lot to improve customer experience and overall brand image. And it doesn't have to involve spending too much on advertising and media exposure.
So now you're fired up and ready to commit your heart, mind, and soul to make your business successful. Even the most well-intentioned entrepreneurs sometimes ignore certain best practices. But if you want a positive outcome, you must ensure you do a few things right. So, let's look at the dos and Don'ts to avoid conversion mistakes.
Optimize your product listings
If you've ever sold anything online, you understand the importance of having your product appear on page one for your relevant shoppers. However, optimizing your product pages to attract buyer attention may seem daunting. Fortunately, many features are built into eCommerce sites through platforms like eBay and Amazon to help you stand out in search results. at the same time, there are still a few things that you can do that will help you optimize your product listings and increase your conversion rate.
Start by familiarizing yourself with the different products available in your marketplace. List the most common ones and learn how they sell. Then, follow these simple steps:
Add analytics to your listings
Setting up Google Analytics on your listing pages and adding a "view all" button can improve your online sales and add better analytics to your listings. Analytics can help you make better decisions about pricing and product descriptions. They can also help you understand how your customers behave on your site.
You want to know everything about each sale you make. And you want to be able to analyze the results so you can improve your business and process. But with all the data popping up on your screen — and it's often hard to keep track of what's important — it's easy to get overwhelmed. The most important thing you need to do is add analytics to your listings. It only takes a few minutes and will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Get customer reviews
Buyers expect their purchases to be safe and secure. So you must answer to popular questions such as, "Is this product as described?" Customer reviews can help you do just that. Social media apps like Facebook and Instagram are great channels for getting reviews and chatting with customers in real-time. A social media platform like Instagram or TikTok can cause immense business growth.
Focus on order fulfillment.
Keep them in the know about whether you're sending your customer a course in their email or delivering a physical product. Never leave customers wondering when they will receive their orders. The best sales strategy is to set expectations and deliver.
So, you've got to be willing to engage in social selling, implement customer feedback tools, and test your product offerings until you know what will work best for your customers. Most importantly, focus on order fulfillment and be clear about sales tax. Remember, people who shop online today want their orders placed, shipped, and delivered home as soon as possible. Give them what they want, and they'll return for more.
Optimize your visual content
Images- One of the top reasons people abandon an online shopping cart is the low-quality images on the product page. So ensure you're utilizing high-quality photos that suit your brand's style.
Format- Many buyers don't want to read through long product descriptions. So give priority to bullet points that help them scan through the text of the listing.
Titles and descriptions - Customer experience is vital in business, especially online selling. So pay close attention to know when product titles and descriptions need to be updated. Plus, this also helps your site look more professional, which would help increase your chances of selling your product quickly.
Promote sales through social media channels
Share discounts with your social media followers and fans. Always advertise sales on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and use banners to promote sales within the network. You can also build relationships with influencers to get a wider reach.
Go hard on the value exchange
You can create referral programs or offer incentives for referring new customers. Or you can give rewards for selling multiple items in one order. Both of these are great ways to increase conversions! And they're great beginnings of a customer loyalty program.
Don't skimp on quality
You want to sell high-quality products because they give you a competitive advantage. Whether you're selling jewelry, clothing, or records, that's a given. And you want to have a wide selection of offerings, too. Without high-quality products, you'll be at a disadvantage. High-quality products help you to achieve better outcomes with your sales. The higher the quality of your product, the more likely the customer will buy it and the more likely they will have a positive experience with it.
Think about it. Customers are already extending a lot of trusts when they make online orders. So have a clear product description on your website that clearly shows your product and what it does. You are likelier to make the sale if the customer knows what they're buying from the jump.
Don't neglect to collect customer data
There's no question that data collection is crucial. Collecting customer data is how you figure out what your customer is looking for. If you don't know what they want, how can you give it to them? You need to collect as much information about your customers as possible. Users are generally pleasantly surprised that they can skip filling out a form or entering their email addresses before buying from your store. And that happens when you have been collecting customer data. When it's that easy, they'll be back in no time for the next purchase.
Furthermore, you should always track your customers' actions throughout your sales funnel. The data from this can inform your strategy for weeks and even months. So keep in touch with them. Send them information about savings events and any changes in business hours or other conditions.
Plus, it's a great way to let customers know when exciting things happen. Having your customers' contact information is the best way to let them know if you have a Labor Day, Halloween sale, or event that will provide them with added value. Another idea is having a dedicated section on your website for sales. With this approach, even random visitors can take advantage of specific promotions and start with a great first impression of your business. Also, this is a great way to collect retargeting information and get more traffic.
Don't forget to develop a pricing strategy
The most common mistake beginners make is not having a pricing strategy. It's not all about having the lowest price. Your pricing decisions need to make sense for you and your customer base. Your pricing strategy involves setting different prices for your products to achieve maximum profit while being upfront about your final price and any applicable taxes.
Prices may vary based on the quantity ordered, time available, or product attributes. So make it clear which section of your website features deals and what deals are only for a limited time. So if you're selling cosmetics, you can look at examples like Sephora's sale section or Samsung's Offers section if you sell electronics. Or take a look at Nordstrom's clearance section if you're into fashion. The aim is to provide enticing savings events to engage your customers without causing harm to your business.
In addition, prospective clients shouldn't have to request the price if they're selling on social media or out of a physical gift shop. This information should be easily visible. So be upfront about taxes so you don't just have a high cart abandonment rate.
Pricing is an essential aspect of any business. And that's true for both physical stores and online stores. It's what sets you apart from your competitors.
Don't rush your business growth
Avoiding highly competitive product categories in a fierce marketplace is a good idea when you are a brand-new small business. A situation like this can leave you with much emotion and little data. Here you are going up against the big names. In a highly competitive place, market share matters more than price.
If you're selling clothes, you want to avoid competing against a luxury brand as a startup. You might not optimize your margins in these situations because the competition is so fierce. This is where you might encounter what we like to call an eCommerce shark. They usually dominate their industry through years of brand and relationship building with long-time customers.
You want to start small and build your way up to more volume. Take time to develop several new items. Sometimes, this may mean focusing on more inviting niches to smaller players. In other cases, you may need to focus on lightly trafficked places or where the competition is less fierce with more attainable goals.
Plus, getting your product listed alongside your competitors here is much more challenging than in non-competitive fields. If you're starting, you might not have the capital or expertise to compete in highly competitive markets. So, if you're considering launching an eCommerce store, it's wise to avoid highly competitive markets until you have built that sort of authority and reputation.
The most important thing about selling online and building your e-commerce business profile is understanding your consumer, whether you're selling subscription services or kitchen appliances. You need to know their likes, dislikes, possible objections, the best way they prefer to make a purchase, and even their demographic. And it's easier than ever to find this information with the Internet at your fingertips.
A sale is exchanging goods or services for monetary or other benefits. It is also considered one of the fundamental activities to increase company profits. Outside of the revenue goal, sales teams aim to increase market share.
Many sales platforms exist online today, yet it's not easy for all small businesses to make money. However, you can be part of the group that does make money selling online. The truth is more and more people are shopping on the Internet, which has made doing business online a lucrative venture for resellers to drop shippers, hardware companies., and more.
gardenpatch can help you to close more deals and make more money online. Talk to an expert today!