For the last years, again and again I´ve been approached countless times and asked the same exact question:
- What should I do to increase my online sales?
If you´re an owner, sales manager or eCommerce manager, I´m pretty sure you have already asked yourselves this questions at least a couple of times too.
It’s simple “to do” math:
- Offline Sales are generally decreasing, and has been so for the last years,
- Online Sales are now the biggest growth driver, with very consistent increases for the last years and no expectancy of slowing down;
- Online Sales are often associated with higher margins & better average rates;
So back to the above question, what´s my answer? I´ll divide that in 4 parts:
- Have a strong, complete and reliable sales reporting
It sounds 1st grade stuff but the truth is that if you want to increase online sales you need to know how much overall you´re making on all your sales channels and segments; after that is done, you need to break down all third party sales apart from your direct sales and specially your online direct sales apart from your voice or on-store sales. All “glued” with a last year, last week or last day (what better suits your business) comparison;
- Leverage your brand online
One of the biggest and most common mistakes with digital marketing is when you first try to go for the big buck positioning & search terms advertising. That´s like aimlessly dropping 100.000 flyers of your gourmet wine store in your local city. The odds are to spend lot´s of money and not getting lot´s of sales or even a good amount of awareness.
Being crystal clear: the single most valuable search anyone can make is your brand name. You should always aim to be present when someone (an actual or a future customer) wants/needs to engage with your brand. If they search your name, they´re likely already introduced to your brand proposition (value & promise), so be sure to be the first and most relevant result for anyone searching for you!
That takes us to the next part:
- Own your online space
Whether we´re talking about search engine marketing or social media, you should own the most relevant positioning concerning your brand and your value proposition to the market. Your website (don´t have one yet? Big huge mistake!) should tailored to answer some very simple questions:
- Who am I?
- What do I offer?
- Why is it important?
- Where / how do I get it now?
Your social media presence should not be an ill thought-off pit stop, but a good vibe, good experiences sharing community. Take the change to engage with your customers and prospects without the formal attitude (depends on the business of course).
Very important: create great and useful content for your market and be sure to spread it well, always aiming back to the source, you! This online content strategy tends to build awareness on the community for the type of product / service you provide and grants you with “expert opinion” that you can later leverage on.
Very important: please don´t forget about mobile! Sure your website´s desktop version is very important and you can´t afford to neglect it, but pay very attention to mobile search (meaning tablet & mobile). Mobile has been rising like crazy for the last couple of years and now represents more that half of all online searches according to Google data.
- PDSA Plan + Do + Study + Act
Have you heard about cycles? Cycles don’t stop and that’s pretty much the basic idea here! Plan, Do, Study and Act – ALWAYS (see image below).
To increase your online sales you need to continually improve your process. It doesn’t matter that your doing today a killer job in getting specialized traffic or you´re reaching a 20% look-to-book conversion. You still need to keep on improving or eventually you´ll be left behind.
Those are 4 very basic concepts, but they allow you to correctly setup your mindset to grow your online business and watch it getting bigger and bigger!
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