As we look forward to completing the first quarter of 2019, we can see that there has been a tremendous increase in sales all over the world for various products and services. The advancements in technology have introduced new benefits that are reaped by companies and entrepreneurs alike. But, what exactly is causing this great boom in the sales industry? What factors affect sales and what does it mean to sell anything online in 2019?
These are a few of the many questions that are being asked by inquisitive minds, and if you are one of those people, this article is for you.
These advancements in technology have a huge role in the rapidly advancing scenario of sales, as the world becomes more connected and businesses get access to better ways to boost their ideas and products.
Here are a few factors that can make or break your sales in 2019:
Shipping Time and Costs
We want our products delivered to us fast when we shop online. Not only does a delayed delivery spoil our mood, but it can be detrimental for an eCommerce company, as many customers just get fed up with late deliveries and choose to cancel their orders. A fast delivery option, like the Amazon Prime service which offers super-fast delivery, is much appreciated and attractive to buyers. However, the cost of delivery should not suffer due to faster delivery. Companies that can find the perfect balance between fast and economical shipping find success.
Super Competitive Pricing
Products offered online need to be better priced than offline stores to be compelling, not just for the ones too lazy to go out and shop, but also for the buyers always looking to save money. This is the reason people buy too much during Walmart and Amazon Black Friday sales. Offering better prices than what is available at offline stores or other online websites gives your online store an edge over the competition.
Every responsible and smart consumer is going to look at reviews before making a purchase. Both positive and negative reviews have a great impact on customers and influence their decision. You should always focus on ways to improve your online reputation as well as offline reputation to build a brand. By encouraging your customers to leave reviews for your products and services, you’ll boost your brand’s credibility and foster social proof that can be beneficial for gaining new customers.
What if the customer does not like the product they bought? Easy and hassle-free return policies, if offered on products, have a positive impact and encourage customers to try the product without any hesitation. On the other hand, websites that have complex return policies are often avoided. Risk plays a huge factor in why many customers end up not following through with a purchase, so it’s important to make it clear that products on your online store aren’t risky buys for them; if a product doesn’t work out, making a return is quick and painless, so what do they have to lose?
Application or Website Layout
Websites and applications that are easy to access, browse, and navigate websites have far more takers than shabbily-made ones. Well-designed websites and apps with attractive layouts often attract more buyers. You should always lean towards minimal designs for higher conversion rates; having too many confusing elements on your website may confuse and overwhelm users, sending them away from your website and onto a more pleasant one.
Consumers are definitely going to shop more from an eCommerce website if they are getting advantages, other than good discounts. Offers such as promo codes or reward points for every purchase are excellent sales tricks to boost business. Not only do customer loyalty programs incentivize buyers to make more purchases, but they also encourage a customer’s feeling of belonging to something special, making it more likely that they’ll come back to your store again and again.
We are talking about improving our sales in 2019, so why not tap into the vast potential of the technology of the future – Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.
Artificial Intelligence possesses the power to disrupt any industry, and sales is no exception. Intermingling AI and machine learning in tools used to sell your products and services is the fast track way to success. One of the most popular uses for this technology is in Chatbots, streamlining the customer service and support process to make it easier for both you and your customers. Not only do they decrease the probability of error due to seamless calculations, but they are also more economical and dependable in the long run.
Emails might seem like a thing of the past in this digital age, but it is still one of the most successful and engaging ways to attract potential customers. However, marketing through emails is not as easy as it sounds. Your content should be engaging enough to make a potential customer want to visit your website. An attractive layout, short catchy one-liners, short descriptions of attractive offers or products, and a final, strong call to action is the recipe to success when it comes to email marketing. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-constructed email, because it may be the key to skyrocketing your online store’s conversion rates.
Social Media Marketing
We can’t discuss emails and leave out the star marketing tool of digital age: social media. The likes of Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are fantastic platforms to showcase your products and make use of special offers, as their algorithms ensure that your products reach specific desired audience and, ultimately, engage a hyper-targeted marketing. Social media marketing is a great starting point to have more people visits your sites and engage with your products. You can also utilize social media to build your store’s unique brand identity, getting your name out there and making more people aware of who your company is and what it stands for.
Target Impulsive Shoppers
Creating a sense of urgency can work wonders to boost sales, even if its temporary. Work on instantaneous flash notifications for flash sales or never-before-seen prices. This is a great influence on the mind of customers and paves the way for impulsive shopping. An effective way to implement a flash sale, or any time-sensitive promotion, is by adding a countdown timer to the home page of your website. If customers see the clock ticking down, they’ll feel a real sense of urgency to take part in your promotion before time runs out.
Provide Multiple Payment Options
Sometimes, all it takes for a probable customer to ditch their buying is limited options for payments. Only accepting Visa or MasterCard might lead you to losing on potential customers, especially those who prefer alternative forms of payment. On top of including all types of debit and credit card types, it’s a good idea to allow customers to use secure payment methods like PayPal; some customers feel comfortable shopping online only if they can use a secure payment. Digital wallets are another popular way of payment and can be included for greater variety and ease.
Better Website Loading Speed
This is one of the key areas that can be easily neglected by any eCommerce seller due to its underrated nature. But, in this blazing fast age, nobody has time to wait while their cart takes ages to load. People would rather go to your competitor whose website loads twice as fast and makes shopping a smooth experience. Make sure your website loads quickly and functions smoothly by choosing the right web host. Page speed is even more important in 2019 than it ever has been, due to Google’s new mobile-first indexing; it’s especially important for websites need to load fast on mobile, so Google takes that into consideration when ranking your site.
Do Your Research
Market research is crucial to understand what the specific current trends are in your industry and what changes you need to make in order to compete. Ask questions to both present customers and prospective ones. Find out about their needs and expectations and generate feedback; a great way to do this is by asking customers for feedback through post-purchase emails. Improving your services is one of the best ways to generate more sales through customer satisfaction.
If you don’t understand your target audience, it’ll be impossible to know how to move forward with marketing your online store. This is especially important in 2019, as niche marketing is getting more and more popular as strategy. Choosing the perfect audience that you wish to target is a tricky job. Take a look at aspects to pinpoint the perfect audience:
- How old are they?
- What gender are they?
- Do they have children?
- How much money do they make?
- Do they have an education?
If you are noticing stagnancy in sales, it’s time to buckle up and get your creativity on track. Rather than going the extra mile to find new customers, focus your marketing strategies to revolve around the existing ones. Videos and pictures for products are a necessity, as they make your products more attractive and provide better visual information to the audience. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly & loading fast to rank on Google at the very least or, if you are willing to go the extra mile and have the required resources, mobile applications are another popular option.