5 Rules to Sell More Online

Selling online? Want to make more sales? Take notes and talk to your design and development team about implementing these 5 things as soon as possible.


1. Shipping: If at all possible use a flat shipping rate. If this isn’t possible try for a range. The worst thing you can do is wait to tell customers the shipping price. Don’t hide it, don’t ignore it, don’t pretend it doesn’t matter. We care. We want to know the full price of what we are buying, including the shipping price. Add a link to shipping information in your navigation (bottom or top).


2. Search: If you have more than a few items on your site, invest in a good search tool. What’s the point in selling something online if the customer can’t find it? Be sure you can track what people are searching for. This information is valuable to help you improve sales, marketing, service and selection. While it is true that a well-organized site has less need for a site search, you shouldn’t disqualify search. There are many busy (and lazy) shoppers out there who would gladly buy from you if they can just enter what they are looking for in the search field.


3.  Selection: Especially during gift giving times it’s important to introduce customers to a wide selection of recommended or “what others bought” products. When buying the tea kettle, they will likely pick up the fancy tea and tea cups if you recommend them on the same page.


4. Stop Sending Customers Away: Many e-commerce sites are still sending customers straight into the cart after they click buy or add to cart. This is a mistake. Don’t assume they have completed their shopping. This would be like leading a store shopper up to the cash register right after they pick something out and then asking them, “Did you want to go back in the store to look some more?” By that time they may not want to take the extra effort.


5. Scarce Inventory: This is a big one. You will lose trust with your customer if they waste their time searching for the right product only to find out at the very end of the process (or after the confirmation email is sent) that it is sold out or unavailable. Stores that are still on my black list after doing this to me several times in the past include: the Disney Store, The Company Store (I think they have since fixed their issue) and even Amazon.

One thing to note about inventory issues, you can win the customer back, but you need to have something compelling that helps them overlook the negative experience. In Amazon’s case their free 2-day shipping (as a Prime member), large selection and great prices helped me to overlook the occasional inventory issue.


One last note…
Track your sales and online activity before you make these changes, and then again over time after the changes have been made. By tracking your changes you will not only learn what works for you, but you’ll see what needs to be tweaked and have a good idea of exactly what changes produce the best ROI.


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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.