From healthcare to media, pharmaceuticals to retail, regardless of what industry your business operates in, the fact is that in the 21st century online sales are likely to play a key part in determining whether or not your business is successful. Taking your business online and creating a digital sales presence can be relatively simple – all you need to do is purchase a domain and find the right server provider to host your website. However, when it comes to actually generating and ultimately growing online sales figures in order to succeed, without the right expert knowledge and assistance, it can be a struggle.
With this in mind, here at Ceuta Healthcare, we’ve put together this handy guide to generating online sales. Read on for everything you need to know about sales solutions and using online sales to increase profits and make your business more successful.
How to generate sales for online business
Generating the maximum number of sales possible is clearly key to making your online business successful. However, expanding your customer base and achieving a significant growth in sales can be a challenging and long-term process. In order to set your business up for success, there are a number of ways to generate a steady stream of sales and/or help you identify sales leads from the moment your website goes live.
– Identify your target demographic
The first step of generating online sales and leads is accurately identifying your target demographic. Naturally, your business cannot successfully reach and sell your products and services to the ideal set of customers if you don’t know exactly who they are. Whether you are selling direct to consumers, via a third party or business to business, it’s crucial you do your research and come up with a clear vision of exactly who you want to sell to, where they are located, how much money they have to spend, how they spend their money, and what they look for in a product/service similar to the one you are offering.
– Pick the right forms of marketing
When you have identified your target market, you can start to put together a marketing plan with the aim of getting your products/services in front of the right potential customers. Methods to consider incorporating in your marketing plan include promoting your business on social media, sending free samples to influencers, creating an inspiring product launch, attending industry networking events, investing in pay per click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimisation (SEO) methods, and utilising traditional advertising techniques.
– Build and maintain relationships
Once you have successfully launched your business and made initial contact with potential customers/clients, the key to generating online sales is building, cultivating and maintaining strong relationships. The best ways to do this include offering promotional discounts to your first 100 customers, for example. Additionally, creating consistent communication with potential customers is also key – set up regular email newsletters and connect via multiple social media platforms. This way you can build strong relationships and ensure your business’ products and services are never far from the minds of your target audience.
How to grow online sales
While you should continue to do everything mentioned above to generate online sales as part of an ongoing online marketing plan, in order to actually boost and grow your sales figures, there are a number of small changes you can make to your website. This process is called conversion optimisation, and can be one of the most effective ways to grow online sales.
How to increase online sales conversion rate
Put simply, the aim of conversion optimisation is to increase the percentage of website visitors that become paying customers. After all, if implemented correctly, your online marketing plan – which should include your advertising strategy, digital marketing approaches, social media presence and initially launch – should be driving up traffic to your site. In order to grow sales, you need to work on turning these visitors into paying customers. As a rule of thumb, the average ecommerce conversion rate is only between one and five per cent. With this in mind, if your site’s conversion rate is below two per cent, this is a sign there is lots of room for improvement to grow sales figures.
Here are our top 10 top tips to increase your business’ online sales conversion rate:
1. Think about your copy – ensure your commercial copy is not only compelling but concise and to the point, including key details in the first two sentences. Customers tend to only read the top of pages, skimming the rest. Pages that are full of waffle can be enough to turn customers away.
2. Place your call to action up front – when it comes to saying ‘Order Now’, ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Head to Checkout’, position text in a clear and obvious place to make it as easy as possible for customers to navigate through your site.
3. Don’t ask shoppers to create an account to complete an order – although a good way of collecting useful data, forcing customers to register with your site just to make an order is an unnecessary additional stumbling block and is enough to put some customers off.
4. Can a potential customer get to checkout in three clicks or fewer? – If not, make it happen. The easier it is to purchase from your site, the more people are likely to do so.
5. Include customer testimonials and ratings on your product pages – these can greatly increase credibility and help new customers trust your brand.
6. Think about introducing a live chat feature – a basic live chat option, that is staffed during normal business hours, allows a customer service employee to alleviate any concerns and answer any questions a potential customer who is ‘on the fence’ might have, encouraging them to go ahead with a purchase.
7. Play around with different extras or tie-ins – offering a free gift, free shipping or additional free training, with your products/services may help seal the deal. Experiment with a number of different promotions to see which is most effective – both in terms of conversions and cost.
8. Create ‘abandoned cart’ email follow-ups – if a registered customer has added something to their basket but not checked out, after 24 hours send them an email reminding them of the products in their cart. This could even include a discount or offer to seal the conversion.
9. Optimise for mobile – make sure your website is mobile-friendly. An ever-increasing percentage of online orders are placed using a mobile device, so ensuring your website is as user-friendly as possible is essential.
10. Add point-of-purchase upsell options – although this doesn’t technically improve conversion rates, it does help you increase revenue and grow online sales. Simply add links to related products at the checkout, that can easily be added to to order.
If your business sells pharmaceutical or healthcare products and you are looking to generate more online sales, Ceuta Healthcare can help. Get in touch with us via our Contact Us page to tell us your story and a member of our team will explain exactly how our expert sales solution services could help.