A lot of businesses have adapted to the realities of the 21st century and have transitioned their enterprises to the digital frontier. According to one estimate, there are more than 7 million online retailers worldwide and over 1.8 million of them are based in the United States. These stores sell everything from artisanal candles to Turkish breakfast foods.
This creates a lot of competition and a truly astonishing rate of failure for online businesses. As many as 90 percent of new online businesses shut down permanently within as little as 120 days. If you own an online retail business or considering starting a store online, you may need some help.
Here are seven simple and effective methods you should use to increase your sales and ensure your business remains profitable and in operation.
1. Write Great Headlines
Your business website or e-commerce store needs to grab the attention of potential customers with snappy headlines. The key to writing great headlines lies in being concise and clear about its content. The headline shouldn’t be more than 25 words long, if possible and contain a clear promise about what the reader will get out of it. This will help you draw users to your website and potentially turn leads into paying customers.
2. Make it Easy for New Customers
Once your leads have turned into customers, you need to make it easy for them to enjoy the perks of patronizing your business. If you run a monthly gift-crate or similar subscription-based business, it may get a little complicated for customers to understand what it is they’re paying for. It can also be confusing for you to manage so many customers easily. Luckily for you, there are effective onboarding systems for new customers that simplify managing this phase for everyone. Use these programs to boost your efficiency.
3. Pinpoint Needs
A lot of businesses fail because there’s not enough market demand for their products or services. Some fail because their customers don’t feel like the business is addressing their problems. Avoid these common pitfalls by doing your best to identify your customers’ needs. You can employ many strategies to get this information. You can post a quick survey on your website, send out detailed questionnaires via email or subscribe to business insight or analytics companies who regularly send out the necessary information.
4. Be Honest
Trust is the foundation of great business-customer relations. Customers hate being deceived or misled by the businesses they patronize and so you should aim to be transparent and honest with all your transactions. Don’t claim your products have more features than they actually do. Don’t promise services to your customers that your company will be hard-pressed to accomplish. This will improve your credibility and protect you from litigation involving misleading or false advertisement.
5. Make Checkout Easy
Simplicity is the customer’s friend. No one likes having to jump through hoops just to finish a transaction and no step of the online sales process is more complicated than the checkout. Streamline your checkout process by either putting everything your customer needs to accomplish on page or have them separated into a few slides. This will reduce the time the customer spends on the checkout phase and make it convenient for them to make another purchase.
6. Invest in Good Images
Too many businesses use stock photos on their website because they believe good product images are expensive. However, great photos on your site are a huge investment. They showcase your products in the best possible way, and they don’t come to misrepresent what it looks like. You can take high-quality photos from most smartphone cameras today. There is also plenty of image editing software you can use to improve the image. If you’re not comfortable with your photography or editing skills, there are companies that provide these services at affordable rates.
7. Email Customers
Despite the proliferation of instant messaging apps, an email is still a powerful tool for communication. There are still almost 4 billion active email users worldwide and most official digital correspondence is done through emails. You can leverage the power of emails by sending out regular messages to your customers. For example, you can alert them of sales you’re holding, remind them of perks they may not be aware of and announce new products or services. Be creative and careful when you’re crafting your emails to ensure customers will read it and reply.
Starting your own business is a brave step to becoming a successful entrepreneur. But business will only get you so far. Do the smart thing and ensure your profitability and success by employing the tips described above to boost your business.