“If you build it, they will come?”
When it comes to online stores, this age old wisdom doesn’t quite hold true. While creating an eComm site is relatively easy, getting website visitors to make a purchase can be a challenge. Your eCommerce website needs to impress customers and be easy to navigate, browse and buy from. Luckily – you’re not the first online shop in the world!
To sell online like a pro, you can take a cue from some of the biggest eComm stores. Whether you’re selling a few handmade items from your living room or operating a large retail store with an inventory in the thousands, here are eight tips from the experts that you can try out on your own online store.
Most of the big online retailers understand the market power of social networks. Regardless of how large your marketing budget is, word-of-mouth is still one of the best ways to boost sales in any industry.
Etsy lets users easily share a picture and a link to any product on their social networks. You can do the same with Wix’s ecommerce solution, and expose your store to a whole new, untapped market.
Just because your customers aren’t physically with you, doesn’t mean you can’t offer outstanding customer service. Take the famous online shoe retailer, Zappos, as an example. They offer 24/7 customer service, and announce it loud and clear on the header of their website. You can do the same by posting your phone number or adding a chat app to your site. By being readily available to your customers and quickly answering any questions they might have, you increase the chances that they will buy online.
Another way to offer great customer service is to have a no-frills return policy. This extra piece of reassurance can make all the difference in convincing a customer to make a purchase online, especially if they’re new to your store.
Sure, providing free shipping will cost you a little bit of money, but the allure of free delivery can boost your sales more than enough to make up for the difference. In fact, even if you have to raise your prices a bit to cover the additional costs, we highly recommend offering this bonus to your customers. Many popular retailers including eToys, Victoria’s Secret and Amazon offer free shipping for purchases over a certain amount. Customers love a deal and this is one way to easily set yourself apart from competitors.
One of the challenges of selling online is that shoppers can’t touch, feel or smell your products. You have to rely on photographs to deliver the sales pitch on your behalf. High quality pictures displayed in beautiful full-screen galleries can and will make all the difference in whether or not a customer buys. Just take a look at the irresistible images on sites like IKEA or Crate and Barrel.
If you have a Wix site, you can add up to 20 images per product. Use this opportunity to showcase each product from many angles, or to demonstrate how it’s used. Consider hiring a professional photographer for a few hours to photograph your inventory, because a good picture is worth 1000 words, and even more in dollars.
If you can’t afford a photographer and are planning to use your own photos, make sure you’re on the right track by learning about these great product photography hacks.
According to Business Insider, $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned in online shopping carts in 2015. Many online shoppers will leave their wares unpurchased because the payment process isn’t clear, or because they don’t like the payment options offered by the store. Give your customers the ability to pay how they want and you increase the chances they will go through with their purchase.
Offer as many different payments options as possible, from PayPal, to credit cards to offline payments. We also recommend making your payment options clearly visible on your site. Just take a look out how Shoon places icons for accepted forms of payment right in their website’s footer.
Many online shoppers are browsing on the go, from the line at Starbucks, the train to work or the bus to school. To catch that mobile crowd wherever they are, you want your store to look great on any device. Take Asos as an example. It’s easy to browse and buy their products straight from your phone.
WixStores lets you create a mobile-optimized version of your eCommerce website for free. We recommend setting up that mobile site and visiting it every few months to see how it looks on your phone. Better yet, ask a friend or relative to try shopping in your store from their mobile device and ask for some honest feedback. A mobile-friendly store can go a long way in boosting your sales.
More and more online retailers are reaching out to their customers with newsletters and emails chock full of sales and coupons. One great way to build a loyal consumer base is to reward returning customers and give them a heads up about upcoming sales and promotions. The Gap offers 25% off to anyone who signs up for their newsletter.
Wix ShoutOut integrates directly with your website, so you can send out newsletters to all of your network straight from Wix. An newsletter is a great place to include coupons and special offers.
You can also save lots of time and effort by setting up SmartActions on your Wix account. For example, every time someone shops in your store, send them an automated thank you email with a 10% off coupon for their next purchase.
Having a website that you update daily, weekly and seasonally is a great way to increase your sales. For the more ambitious store owners, consider offering a daily deal à la Walmart. Even if you can’t update your site every day, take advantage of seasons and holidays to promote your products and online store. Announce sales on your homepage or through enewsletters sent to all your contacts. Holiday promotions will be sure to get customers interested and a website that’s always changing will entice shoppers to check back regularly to see the latest sales.
With Wix.com, it’s easy to set up an online store. Unlike a physical store, your eComm site is open 24/7, accessible across the world and – best of all – incurs no electric bills. So open up your online store today, cut that red ribbon and let the sales begin!
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