10 tips for increasing online sales
We’ve all heard about how important it is to generate engagement and drive traffic to your website. However, while racking up a large amount of visitors to your site is a great start, the number of people that convert into actual sales needs to be as equally impressive before you can begin to celebrate.
Despite the growth of e-commerce, consumers are still cautious about buying products online, especially if they have never bought from the retailer before. This is especially true of jewellery, simply because of the value of the items. However, attitudes are changing fast, and with the advent of concumer behaviour such as click-and-collect, you need to be in the game. Jewellers need to do everything in their power to convince the user that they are trustworthy, with a fantastic range of products.
- Include high quality photos
Site visitors will judge your products on their images, therefore it is crucial that you have a range of high quality, large images that accurately display your products. It is always worth investing in a professional photographer if you don’t have the means to take the photos yourself, as even a premium product can look second rate with poor photography.
Remember, nobody is ever going to buy a piece of jewellery without at least seeing a decent picture of it first.
- Use video content
While including high quality photos of the jewellery you stock can influence your customers’ purchase intention, videos can provide more information and be more persuasive. A study by online video and slideshow making site, Animoto, found that 71% of users formed a positive impression of a business simply because it offered video content and 58% thought that companies that produced branded videos were more trustworthy than those that did not.
- Maximise the potential of your product descriptions
According to Google, 68% of shoppers are happier with store purchases when they have done research online before buying. Many retailers fall into the trap of including a bog standard product description which doesn’t provide the user with any other information as to what they can already see themselves from the photo.
Include a detailed description of the product, including all of the necessary details such as the weight, type of stones and metals (along with purity information), setting and cut of stone, but don’t just produce a list; this is your opportunity to sell your product to a potential customer so describe it in an engaging way. Include certain keywords in your product descriptions, as they will allow you to rank for particular keywords when searched by users in Google, but avoid overusing these as it will appear unnatural and spam-like.
Always keep the overall user experience of your site at the forefront of your mind. If visitors are greeted with poorly written, keyword-laden content, they’ll feel cheated. You’ll also put yourself in prime position for a Google penalty if you attempt to game the search engines.
- Include customer reviews
Research by Econsultancy found that 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision, therefore making customer testimonials essential for e-commerce sites. One of the easiest ways to convince people to buy your product is to include positive customer reviews, as customers trust feedback from other people 12 times more than they do from companies, according to a study by eMarketer, cited in Econsultancy. This trust goes a long way too, as stats by Reevo (cited in Econsultancy again) found that 50 or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.
- Use faceted navigation
Implementing faceted navigation can be useful for potential customers to efficiently filter a selection of jewellery. However, if used incorrectly it can often negatively impact search performance due to it creating numerous combinations of URLs with duplicate content. This causes both crawl issues for search engines and negates index signals due to the duplicate content. On the other hand, correctly implemented faceted navigation optimises the number of crawlable pages, reduces duplicate content and ensures that the appropriate indexing signals are associated with the most relevant page.
- Produce good quality blog content
Creating high quality content is essential to engage and retain customers. If you’re not already writing a blog, start. Produce content that you know your audience will want to read by including posts that address specific issues and answer questions that you know users will be searching for. Websites such as www.answerthepublic.com allow you to see all of the questions that users search for surrounding a particular topic, in this case jewellery, which could help inform your posts.
Although this isn’t a quick win to automatically drive sales, consumers will return to your website to read the interesting topics that you post about, which will add value to their experience, therefore developing stronger brand equity.
- Have strong calls to action
Anything that improves the user experience of your site will work in favour of your sales. That’s why every page on your website should have a call to action, driving people towards pages that encourage them to make a purchase. Ensure that you tailor these to each page so that they avoid sounding repetitive and spam like. For example, you could have “buy now” on the description page of a product which takes customers to the checkout, or “call one of our experts today” on a central landing page which would direct users to your contact page where they will find more information.
- Utilise social media
Effective social media use allows you to generate new leads and develop your relationship with existing customers that will compel them to repurchase again and again. Content needs to tell your brand’s story in a non-promotional voice, while showing products in fun and interesting ways that appeal to the lifestyles of your users. Post interesting content and images that will entertain, educate and enable your audience to visit your website and make a purchase.
- Improve the user experience
Improving the user experience of your site is a foolproof way to drive sales. Run a usability test and go through your website through the eyes of a customer so you can weed out any unnecessary steps or processes that could cause them to abandon their purchase. Improve onsite navigation so customers can find certain pages and products quickly and easily and try to minimise stages of the buying process to make it as simple as possible.
- Send the right emails
It is more expensive to attract new customers than it is to retain the existing ones, so make sure you nurture the relationship with the customers you already have. Just because someone has made an online purchase doesn’t mean the service stops there.
Ensure that you are sending a confirmation email after purchase and appropriate follow up emails once the product has been despatched and delivered. A couple of weeks after the item has been delivered you can send out an email asking them how they found the product and whether they would be interested in giving your company a review.
About the Author
Hannah Gilroy is a marketing executive at Bring Digital, a digital marketing agency –www.bringdigital.co.uk