You probably believed you had what it takes to become an eCommerce entrepreneur. You decided to open up your eCommerce store, sat down, started planning, chose a platform and perfected it to fit your business model. After thoroughly searching, you found a product (just like a diamond found in the rubble of a coal mine), you contacted the manufacturer, and set up a meeting to order some sample products. After carefully checking and analyzing your product offering, you decided to make a small order to test consumer response.
But, no response. Don’t lose hope just yet! Still no response? But why? What did you miss?
You missed the one simple but most important thing, SALES! You can have the best product in the world, but without a focus on sales, you will consistently have poor results.
What is Sales?
The definition of “sales” is all the activities that contribute to selling a product or service to a business or consumer. But in reality, the process is very complex and profound.
Closing a sale requires a lot of work, including finding potential clients, connecting with them, and offering them solutions. To better serve the consumer and boost sales, we’ll look at several sales models, popular sales stats, and sales processes.
In August of 1994, Dan Kohn launched a website named NetMarket and made the first online purchase. According to an article by Peter H. Lewis for The New York Times, on August 11, Kohn sold a CD of “Ten Summoner’s Tales” by Sting to a buddy in Philadelphia. The friend paid $12.48 plus delivery and utilized data encryption software to securely transfer his credit card information.
The online (through the internet) process of purchasing and selling products or services and transferring funds and information to execute these transactions is called eCommerce.
eCommerce stands for electronic commerce and is often used to refer to the sale of physical products or services online. Still, it can also describe any commercial transaction facilitated through the internet.
How to Increase eCommerce Sales?
Quarterly online retail sales in the United States reach $130 billion, over 10% of the total retail market (that number is also increasing globally). That’s a lot of people looking for online products and services!
If you’re creating an eCommerce business, you must first devise a strategy to boost sales so that you can carve out a market share. But, one won’t have a business without customers. So, consider this one of the most crucial things to set your sights on.
Here are some suggestions for boosting your eCommerce store’s sales:
Carefully Plan the Buying Cycle.
Remember that customers go through a buying cycle and might revisit previous phases before deciding to purchase a product or service. It is crucial to keep customers engaged by sending them material relevant to what they are looking for.
“The buying cycle refers to the stages a customer goes through while shopping, which in this case is when he/she visits your online store.”
The buying cycle should be planned and strategized very carefully. If you approach the buyer only in the final stage of the buying cycle, where they have already lost interest in purchasing anything, it is too late. It would be best if you tried to connect with them in the middle stages so that you can help them make up their mind and, in doing so, may increase your sales. But, be careful and avoid over-approaching.
Use target marketing to outsmart the competition.
Sites like Google Shopping generate a lot of money because they are efficient. Every day, search engines provide billions of results, many of which are for services and goods similar to yours. The issue is the level of competition present. Paid advertising, when executed correctly, may put your online shop in front of the appropriate people and give you a leg up on the competition.
Collect (or provide) data before visitors leave your site.
Even if a customer isn’t ready to purchase immediately, you should still talk to them when they visit your online shop. Consider why a user would visit your website only to immediately leave it without taking any action (whether they are weighing their alternatives, they perceive your product to be excessively pricey, or they need further information before making a purchase).
Your goal should be to provide them with something that makes you stand out from the competition and keeps you in mind as they continue their search. It would be ideal for collecting some potential leads, but at the very least, you should give them something that will be helpful to them in their search.
Make an effort to regain the business of customers who abandon their carts.
Shopping cart abandonment frequently occurs, although it’s not always permanent. For some consumers, a little push in the form of retargeting or a gentle reminder in the form of an email is all it takes to return to their cart. However, before reaching out, you should consider addressing some of the most frequent reasons customers leave their carts.
Product Description, Purpose & Its Importance
Getting visitors to buy products is the whole point of the product description.
Your product description on the product page serves a far more insightful purpose than just listing characteristics, contrary to popular opinion. The goal is to remove any barriers to purchase that may exist for the client. Interested consumers aren’t purchasing your goods because of concerns they have, however.
Customers are constantly debating whether or not to buy from you because they have doubts about whether or not the product is genuine, safe, effective, or offers better value elsewhere. The purpose of your description is to remove any doubts from the reader’s mind by providing evidence of why your product is ideal for their needs. However, the challenge is in identifying those needs.
Never underestimate the power of social media.
Social media shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to making money online. On Instagram, 60% of consumers say they discovered a product through Instagram Shoppable Post.
A social media plan and the appropriate tools, such as a calendar and analytics dashboards, are essential for a successful e-commerce social media campaign. The most comprehensive plans will describe your company’s social media advertising and in-depth engagement strategy.
You want your social media marketing and promotion efforts for your online store to pay off if you’re going to put the time and effort into them. Here are five ways to maximize your company’s return on investment from your social media efforts related to e-commerce.
- Prioritize networks that your targeted audience really uses rather than those with the largest user bases.
- Schedule time to address feedback, inquiries, and reviews.
- Provide visual content like photographs and videos to increase interaction.
- Promote or boost postings, like on Instagram, to improve interaction, exposure, and, ultimately, sales.
- Micro-influencers may help you reach your target audience at a low cost. Therefore, you should consider teaming up with them.
Integrate social media with your store, engage with prospective buyers and help them quickly complete the purchase.
Build Relationships with Customers
Engagement on Social Media Platforms
Nowadays, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are a must-have for any business. They’re among the most crucial internet marketing tools for getting the word out about products, promoting the firm, spreading industry news, and establishing rapport with clients.
If you have a product, you should promote it on social media by creating a page and posting relevant information there. Your followers will leave remarks, and if you find some of them interested in your product, start a dialogue with them. This will help the client learn about your product, and they will be more willing to trust you, enabling the establishment of a great buying experience. Finally, there’s a good chance they will buy from you again and again because they trust you.
Communicating with people on social media does more than develop trust; it also helps build confidence and a sense of significance. Talking to consumers gives them a personal connection with your company and implies high-quality service. Other potential customers may see your social media conversations and be convinced to purchase your product or services.
Finally, one-on-one communication with your clients is an excellent way to get to know them better and show them you value their input and questions.
After a consumer makes a purchase, it’s crucial to get in touch with them again. It would be wonderful to make a phone call or send a customized email, but you may not have the time to do so. Automatic messaging and emailing tactics allow you to customize and tailor your communications.
Make a template that can be easily modified after each purchase, and then follow up with each buyer to ensure they received their order in good shape and are satisfied with the service they received.
This way, you may learn from your clients’ experiences and use that knowledge to serve your future clientele better. A personalized greeting with the customer’s name and other details may be included in the email automatically.
Email Communication/Email marketing
If you want to stay in contact with consumers, you need to start building an email list and avoid seeming too salesy in your email communications. Each and every email sent to a consumer should include information that is directly useful to them in some way. That’s how you build trust with your clientele and strengthen your relationship.
You also need a plan for communicating through email, which includes: When are you anticipating sending out emails to your clientele? If you’re going to use electronic mail, what do you want to accomplish? Precisely what will be the email’s unique selling proposition?
Sending out emails to your consumer base is also a great way to get their opinions and suggestions. It is essential to send out surveys and gain insight into the whole buying experience of customers, whether they use your service or buy a product from your website. With this, you may determine whether or not your customer experience needs improvement and identify the barriers that prevent you from delivering outstanding customer service.
Inviting customers to a product or service launch event is a great way to get to know them and strengthen your bond with them. The event will let the invited customers learn more about your company, and it will give you the opportunity to network with them in a more intimate manner, both of which will go a long way toward establishing credibility and building lasting relationships.
The most prominent example of the 21st century of event hosting is “the Apple event”; the CEO of Apple at the time, Steve Jobs, launched his dream product, the iphone, which sold 1 million units in just 74 days (Apple).
E-Commerce net sales of apple.com from 2014 to 2022 (in million US-Dollars) (Statista)
Excellent Customer Service
In the world of e-commerce, you and your consumers may only interact for a short period of time; therefore, your customer service has to be excellent. Because of this, such few occurrences must have a significant impact.
Since the quality of online customer service has been rising over the past several years, you have many different alternatives to choose from. Many different channels exist for disseminating data, such as frequently asked questions (FAQs), customer forums (CFs), and searchable knowledge bases (KBs). Self-service support is used by certain companies, but live chat and live phone assistance are your best choices if you want to keep customers around for the long haul.
This is because consumers and your company’s management team may have open lines of contact via these channels. By having direct contact with clients, your support staff will be more equipped to meet their requirements and provide a more satisfying experience overall. The most exemplary customer service is achieved via the following means:
- Make customer service a selling point: Providing first-rate service will bring in more customers. Having this information will give you an edge over other businesses that provide similar services or sell similar items.
- Give each client individualized service by enabling live chat so that support agents may simultaneously address the needs of several consumers.
- The volume of client complaints may force support staff to rush to provide the first answer that comes to mind. Representatives may improve customer satisfaction by pausing briefly to listen to their needs and concerns and then provide the most appropriate solution.
- Equip your support staff: Customers will not have a good experience if they are passed from one group of agents to another. Please give your support staff the expertise they need to rapidly resolve genuine client issues.
Customer Loyalty Programs
Developing a loyalty program that rewards both current and former clients is another method for strengthening customer ties and growing your business. Discounts and incentives might be used to attract them to join the program. Customers that purchase from you regularly should be rewarded in some way.
Acknowledge your clients’ special days by sending them heartfelt greetings on their birthdays, holidays, and wedding anniversaries.
Applications that streamline processes for e-commerce enterprises may help boost their relationships with customers. However, it is the responsibility of any online business, regardless of the approach used, to cultivate meaningful connections with its clients.
These suggestions, which range from conducting in-depth surveys to offering around-the-clock service, can assist you in establishing and maintaining a loyal customer following.
Everybody likes and appreciates a competitive rivalry, from school to sports to business. We have elite rivals in each format, like the New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox or Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates. Whether you are a giant company or a small business, no matter which group you belong to, one certainly would have competitors. A little competition is healthy and can even lead to positive innovation & creativity.
Of course, the fun part of any business competition is taking customers from your rivals, and one can do that through effective marketing.
But, before you can target the audience, you need to find out how to identify it online. Through social media, we know that audience interests range is extremely broad since platforms like Facebook let you choose individual interests. Depending on your competitor’s brand, choose to target his audience and pitch them your product or service.
However, one needs to be extra cautious with this strategy because this works as a double edge sword. When you approach a client and offer them your product or service, they might end up disliking it and instead become more loyal to your competitors, so make sure that your product or service is on par with (or exceeds) your rivals.
Green Economy. Green eCommerce.
With the increasing expansion of eCommerce, a more sustainable and environmentally responsible option is required. Consumers expect that items have minimal negative impact on the environment. GWI reports that sixty percent of internet users will pay extra for environmentally friendly items. It is gratifying to learn that eco-friendliness is essential to customers, even some we may not anticipate. When it comes to their willingness to purchase high-priced, environmentally friendly items, millennials and older generations aren’t too far apart. However, price-conscious consumers and those with modest incomes will continue to choose eco-friendly items.
Incredible Online Shopping Stats (eCommerce)
- In 2022, online purchases in the United States are projected to reach $1 trillion for the first time. Before the epidemic, we did not expect e-commerce to achieve this milestone until 2024. (Insider Intelligence)
- Forecasts indicate that the worldwide value of eCommerce sales will reach $7.39 trillion by 2025. (Similarweb)
- Sales at department stores and other non-essential merchants fell by 25% in the first quarter of 2020 and by 75% in the second quarter of that year. (Similarweb)
- The eCommerce revenue can generate over $1,3 trillion by 2025 & be projected at $768 billion in 2021. (Similarweb)
- In 2021, it was predicted that 74.3 percent of the population would be made purchases from an online store. This prediction has now reached 80.4% for the year 2025. (Similarweb)
- The global eCommerce market is expected to total $5.55 trillion in 2022. (Shopify)
- Amazon has an impact on 40% of all e-commerce sales in the United States. Sales via its online store in the United States are expected to increase by 15.3 percent to more than $3.6 billion in 2018. (Insider Intelligence)
- E-commerce sales in Latin America reached $85 billion in 2021, up 25% from $68 billion in 2020. (Statista.com)
- From an estimated $46.2 billion in 2020, the Indian e-commerce sector is predicted to balloon to $111.4 billion by 2025. (ibef)
- In 2022, 266.7 million people are projected to buy goods and services online in the US only (Oberlo).
Bright Future of eCommerce
E-commerce has a promising future and getting your company up and running online might be much simpler than you think. If you have the appropriate approach and resources, you can take advantage of the expanding e-commerce market by catering to the needs of hungry online buyers.
However, as new opportunities appear in the eCommerce environment, competition has driven the return on all components plunging within this landscape, including the conversion rate of digital advertisements and the break-even time for new merchants.
Meanwhile, customers’ needs and requirements are becoming more specific and demanding with each passing year, including expanded product and service availability, clearer order processing, increased consumer confidence in the reliability of brands and so on. As a result, more and more companies are investing in video and live shopping, and social commerce has become the hub of online shopping for consumers all around the world to obtain highly visualized, informative export and quick access to the items and services supplied. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) services are investigating online communities to strengthen personal connections with clients, increasing engagement and retention and decreasing astronomical ad campaign costs.
If you’re interested in exploring the capabilities of AtmosAI’s Business Operating System and would like to see how we can help you with your eCommerce store, you can get started here or by reaching out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.We offer a personalized discovery call and demo for those who are interested.