Selling online is a competitive business, it’s so easy to setup an online shop these days – that’s why it’s so important to get your proposition right. Here are a few tips for growing sales…

Don’t drive everyone to the same page, if you’ve got different campaigns running (PPC, social, e-mail, digital ads etc) setup optimised landing pages for each target, this will allow you to measure the effectiveness of each more easily, and tailor the offering accordingly. Studies show that by segmenting your traffic, significant uplift can be achieved:

  • 42% increase in click-through-rates
  • 89% increase in conversions
  • 140% increase in revenue
  • 25% reduction in bounce rates

Use urgency and scarcity to instil a sense of immediacy. Urgency occurs when a buyer feels the need to act quickly because of how important something seems to be; Scarcity occurs when a buyer feels the need to snatch up a product or service because supplies are short, but demand is high. Examples include:

  • Only 1 day left!
  • Special buy!
  • Limited stock!
  • Promotion ending soon!
  • While stocks last!

Travel websites do this particularly well, sites like Booking.com, Expedia and Easyjet will use triggers like xx people booked this hotel in the last 24 hoursLast booked 5 minutes ago12 people are looking at this route – these messages immediately convey a sense of panic!

When Sony wanted to promote their “Sony Credit Card” they could have simply sent out emails telling users about it. But they didn’t. Instead, Sony highlighted how “the cardholder could receive up to $250 in rewards and $100 credit for any friend referred.” This simple reward based strategy “rewarded” Sony with a 300% conversion boost and 2.8 times more people using their card.

Vouchers, coupons and referral schemes all help to engage customers – points programmes and cashback deals are also great ways of retaining loyal customers.

According to a Google study in 2012, visually complex websites are seen as less effective, and simpler designs tend to do better. In another study by Business Insider, 25% of people reported they didn’t buy because the “website [was] too complicated”.

Successful UX (user experience) design is key to a high performing website. Think about your users, who are they? Develop personas for each (simply a description of each type of user – think about demographics, personality, likes, dislikes, influences). Think about what each user type wants from your site – what are the main drivers, motivators and buying triggers?

Using wireframes, map out each page creating hierarchies for each page element. The positioning of menus, messages, images, calls to action, buy buttons, offer text, promotions, shipping costs, tax, product attributes, product descriptions and customers reviews can have a huge impact on conversions.

Use A-B testing to test the effectiveness of different page layouts, seeing what works and what doesn’t. Page optimisation is a process of fine tuning, reviewing and then fine tuning again until the right outcome is achieved [ie. optimised conversions].

Amazon claims that cross-selling and up-selling related products contributes as much as 35% of their revenue.

‘You may also like’ suggestions can boost sales by as much as 20% according to research by Forrester; on sales of several £m, that’s significant.

Given that mobile now accounts for 40% of retail sales and that most people spend nearly 60% of their time consuming digital media on mobile devices… a responsive website is a no-brainer. Mobile optimised websites also rank higher in major search engines; particularly with the introduction of Google’s ‘mobile first’ search algorithm in which preference is given to mobile sites.

In a recent report by Future of Retail Study 2016 [Walker Sands] 88% of consumers said that free shipping would positively influence their purchase decision. In a separate study, research by ComScore found that Free Shipping Days typically increased sales by 32%.

Free shipping over a certain value, for example, spend over £30 and get free delivery, can be a good way of encouraging the shopper to spend more.

Did you know – 61% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision (Econsultancy study, 2016). According to Reevoo, 10 or more reviews per product can mean a 5% increase in conversions; and, according to a report by iPerceptions, 63% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a site that has user reviews over one that doesn’t.

Reviews add credibility and reassurance – it gives those shoppers who have never engaged with you the confidence to buy.