Online selling can be one of the most rewarding experiences for you. Only if you do it right! An online store is free to set up, and involves very few risks. But, in spite of this, very few sellers sustain in the market for a long period of time. So, what goes wrong? The business’ success entirely lies in your hands! And unless you precisely have the step by step guide to making it big, it’s easy to be clueless.
Starting an online business is no joke. You will earn profits, but it is also going to be one of the most difficult things you’ve done. Because of lower barriers to entry in this field, anyone can set foot. But, this quality of ecommerce also makes it one of the most competitive areas. Several entrepreneurs with aspiring dreams try to enter the market, lured by all the profits. However, very few of them stay in the long run. It all comes down to answering the questions of-
- Why do you want to sell?
- What do you want to sell?
- How will you sell?
If you can answer this correctly for your business, there is nothing stopping you. But, you’d need to know what is trending and what is not. So, don’t worry, as we are here to help you! Take a look below at the top tips to help you get started with online selling in 2021!
Why Should You Know How to Sell Online in 2021? What Has Changed?
If you are already in the market, you might ask this question. After all, what has changed this year so much that you need to update your online selling lessons. The idea is that post recovering from the pandemic, you must know what customers are looking for. A lot has changed since the pandemic, mostly providing a boost to ecommerce. Customers are shopping more and more online. And not only this, but they are also spending more. However, in spite of this, not all ecommerce businesses are flourishing. So, there must be something in the way brands are selling. Here are other reasons-
Greater Need for Essentials
With the pandemic taking upon the world, the purchasing habits of the customer has changed to a great extent. The demand for essential goods has gone up significantly. The stores who were in entirely different lines of business now started keeping essential goods. This was because the demand for essentials has increased significantly. Therefore, the businesses keeping these goods ready to be sold are only increasing their sales opportunity. Online selling has moved from being a choice of business to catering to the current demands of the customer.
Rethink Your Funnel
With changes due to the pandemic, companies need to rethink their funnel. In other words, there is more ongoing emphasis on ‘moment marketing’. Try to reimagine your yesterday’s creative work. Then turn it into modern advertising tools such as ads, emails, popu-ups, push notifications, landing pages, product suggestions and more. Understand what your audience is looking for at the moment and then make the most of it. Chances are post COVID, customers will look for touchless delivery. Make sure you capitalize on it.
Positioning Your Offers
If you are in the line of luxury business or plan to establish one, this is for you. Even though the need for luxury products might have reduced due to the pandemic, it hasn’t completely vanished. So, if you’re in the industry you have to think of ways to position your products and offers. Maybe start by highlighting the values that your products impart over everything else. Then incentivize your customers to purchase those added value products from you.
Bring Your Products Inside
Think of ways to bring your products inside. In other words, you might be in a line of business that sells products required outside. Try to think of ways you can suggest your customers to use them at home. Even as the pandemic recedes, customers are still preferring to stay at home and avoid crowded places. For example, if you are selling fitness equipment for gyms, incentivize your customers to use them at home. This way you create a need and bring your products to customer’s homes.
Focus on Organic
Post pandemic might be a good idea to cut down on the business expenses. In other words, avoid ads and focus on the organic. Remember that building organic traffic is fundamental to your business. If you’ve been investing too much in just ads, it’s time to rethink it. Focus on the brand’s overall performance. When most businesses are cutting off expenses, it might be a good idea for you to do the same and invest wisely.
Pay Attention to Your Cross-Channel Efforts
When you’re focusing on more than one channel, several challenges crop up. However, this is where the customer experience also matters the most. Most businesses look at different channels in different ways. This means that their experiences are broken on different channels. So, when the same customer goes to different channels and interacts with the business, they find a variety of experiences, which is not good. Brands must create a uniform experience across all channels.
Create Content that Your Customers Prefer
If there is one thing that you absolutely need to consider this year, is content. Content is the king of marketing. And long gone are those days where you’d keep on creating a single type of content hoping for the customer to like it. Today, the times have changed. And so, you need to understand what type of content your customer prefers. For example, a lot of customers today want to view video content. Therefore, you need to find ways to incorporate how-to videos, tutorials or product intros into your content strategy. They help customers warm up well for the purchase.
25 Tips and Tricks to Successful Online Selling in 2021
Follow the Trends
One of the smartest ways to get ahead in the market competition is to stay aware about what is going on. Understand the current trends in the market. Then take a look at how your competitors are reacting to it. For example, there was a time when you could send one email to all your customers.
However, today marketers know it’s much more than that. If you really want to get the desired response from your customers, you have to personalize your message. Similarly, if there is a sale season around, you need to keep up. If you don’t provide your customers with lucrative offers and launch campaigns for sales, you’ll be left behind.
Sellers are often too quick to jump in the world of eCommerce. They think they’ve found a good idea. And with the lower entry barriers it is even more easy to get started with selling. However, they forget the one basic rule of selling. That is to deliver value. If you can deliver value to your customers, there is nothing like it. Remember that you might lure your customers for the first time to your store.
But, when they actually make a purchase they can realize the reality. Make sure you provide your customers with what they signed up for. When you provide your customers with quality products as promised, you give them an experience. In other words, customers love to spread news through the word of mouth. That’s precisely what earns you a reputation in the market.
Choose a Smart Niche
One of the tricks to online selling is choosing a smart niche. If you are clueless, look at the trendy niches to do business in. For example, you can check out Google Trends and understand which popular products have been selling in the past six months or year in your area. This will give you a headstart about the demand of products your customers are looking for. Then contact your suppliers and find out the rates of these products. Look at the successful marketplaces and how they have positioned these high selling products in their strategy. Remember that if you want to sell successfully, you need to find products that are worth selling.
Streamline Your Purchase Journey
Do you ever wonder what is one of the biggest reasons behind abandoned carts? The answer lies in complicated checkout processes. Most sellers want to ask too much information from their customers. But, these too many details might be scary for the customers. Imagine yourself in their shoes. You want to purchase something and get it delivered to your doorstep. But, at the same time you don’t want it to feel like you have to file a tax return form. Customers usually leave the cart if they are forced to enter a lot of information. For sellers, this means lost opportunities and sales. But, if you want to sell smart, streamline your checkout process. Tell your customers where they are in their journey. In other words, show a progress bar to your customers so that they know all the steps they have to take to complete their purchase. This makes the purchase less complicated.
Focus on Customer Service
Customer service is an important part of ecommerce. If you don’t focus on it, chances are you will ruin the entire business. Bad customer service doesn’t just cost you customers, but also your reputation. Nobody wants to purchase from a brand that doesn’t listen to its customer issues. While it might seem like little, these things matter a lot to customers. You need to reply to their queries and solve them at the earliest. Because if you don’t, chances are that your customer will move to your competitor. In addition to this, you might as well be left with bad reviews all over the Internet. If handling customer service seems too much as a business for you, try outsourcing. With good solutions available, you can outsource customer service and let professionals do the task for you.
Make Sure Your Website is Secure
A secure website lasts a longing impression on the customer. If you have ever monitored a website closely, you would have observed this. There’s a lock besides most of the website’s address in the address bar. This is no coincidence. In fact it is certification from Google, telling visitors that your website is secure. Often known as the SSL certification, it helps websites stay protected against malicious web attacks.
Most customers get prompts when they open a website and it is not secure. This makes them believe that the website is not secure, which is also the actual case. Remember that ecommerce purchases involve entering the customer’s information such as credit card details and personal information. These are sensitive data, which online cyber attackers are after. If your website is not secure, the customer’s information is prone to getting stolen. Neither you, nor the customer would want such an experience.
Encourage Social Media Sharing
Social media is one of the most popular platforms on the Internet. It is where people go to not just share pictures but other interesting information. Right from informative posts to brand information and news, people love to be associated with such entities on social media. WIth better options, even shopping is now possible on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
So, the idea is to let our customers talk about you on social media. If you own a website, add a social sharing button to the products. This way, your customers would love to share any product they like with their friends etc.
Another way to get smart with online selling is to let your customers refer products to their friends. This is the typical system of referrals. When you let your customers refer to the products, they get some reward for every sale. Similarly, the people that purchase from your customer’s referral, get certain discounts on their purchase. Referral is an amazing way to increase your sales exponentially. It is also an impressive way to increase your sales through the means of your customers. The only catch is to provide your customers with a good level of customer satisfaction. Because that is what motivates them to refer your products to others.
Leverage Social Commerce
Social commerce is one of the best ways to generate sales. Online selling can become a difficult task after sometime. That’s because your sales might become stagnant and with new competitors coming up, there might not be many options left. With social commerce, you can increase your audience base and reach out to them with your products. Moreover, Facebook marketplace and shoppable tags on Instagram are the new in. If you are not on these platforms, you are losing a lot of business. And that’s because today’s customers visit social media platforms not just to share pictures, but also to shop.
Set Up Analytics
Analytics is underestimated when it comes to small businesses. Most sellers don’t use analytics to drive business decisions. However, eCommerce thrives with the power of analytics. Everytime visitors or your loyal customers land on your website, they display some sort of behaviour. Over time the collective behaviour aggregates. This could help you understand much more about your audience. If you have an analytics set up for your website, you can capitalize on the behaviour of your customers. You could use it to your advantage and stay prepared. This way you’ll know what your customers want and prepare strategies to make the most of your sales.
If you’re familiar with social media icons, then you must know about giveaways. These days social media marketing has been taken to another level through influencers. eCommerce sellers partner with influencers to capitalize on the influencer’s audience. One way to make the most of this is to host giveaways. In this process, you let your influencers offer free products to their customers that are from your brand.
This gives the customers a taste of your products and draws them to your brand. Therefore, even though they were not directly your customers, they have become now. Just make sure that you partner with an influencer who is in the same industry as your business.
Offer Time-Bound Offers
If there’s one thing that kicks off your sales, it is offers. Customers who shop online love offers. They love to shop in seasonal sales. If you can offer discounts on your ecommerce store, there is nothing like it. Online selling goes to the next level with time bound offers. If you tell the customer that the offer expires in the next one hour, they are more likely to buy it. On the other hand, if they know that there is no time condition, they might choose to postpone the purchase. In other words, creating a sense of urgency helps your customer initiate a purchase right away. Be it flash sales, or hourly deals, make sure you have the clock ticking on your offers.
Keep an Eye on Your Competitors
It’s easy to get lost in the world of online selling. There is always a new trend and your customers might be lured by the competitors. For this reason, it is important to keep an eye on them. Make sure that you know how your competitors are positioning their products, offers and deals in the market. This will help you take the next steps for your business. If there is something you feel, you should be doing too, then you must.
Looking at your competitor’s strategies helps you try to do better for your customers. For example, your competitors might be writing blogs to increase their site traffic. In this case you can create other forms of content like how-to guides, tutorials and news pieces among others. This will be taking the small step much higher, and provide more options to your customer. All you need to make sure is that the strategy aligns well with your business.
Make the Most of Marketplaces
Marketplaces are underestimated. Most sellers think that it is always a good idea to start their own store instead of selling on a marketplace. This is because marketplaces charge a sum of money for selling products. Additionally, there are several rules and regulations that sellers need to follow. And apart from that there is a huge competition among sellers, selling the same kind of products. Bu, in all these, ecommerce sellers forget one important fact.
The point is that marketplaces offer instant access to the relevant audience. This means that if you have no clue on where to find your audience, marketplace is an excellent start. There are many people who trust marketplaces like Amazon more than any personal website. And when you sell there, your online selling experience becomes more authentic. Not only does it provide a reliable reputation for your business, but also for your website.
Try Your Hands in Dropshipping
Dropshipping is one of the easiest ways to get started with eCommerce. You don’t need to store any physical inventory. All you have to worry about is intermediating between the seller and supplier. Dropshipping can be an interesting and low investment way of online selling. But, you need to take care of certain factors.
First you need to find good suppliers and manufacturers to partner with. Most ecommerce sellers make this mistake of finding low cost suppliers. In this process, they often forget about the quality of products. Therefore, when the customer receives a bad or lower quality product, their experience is destroyed. On the contrary, if you have good suppliers and strategy in place, you’ll benefit.
Don’t Underestimate Logistics
In simple terms, logistics can make or break your business. Ever received a broken product in your order? How did your eCommerce experience feel? Exactly!
Logistics can shape the experience of your customers. When placing online orders, customers want their products to be delivered faster. Additionally, they want their products delivered safely as well. These demands might seem simple. But, ecommerce companies fail to deliver these to the customer. For this reason, you must have a reliable logistics provider. Dash101 Logistics helps you ship to 26000+ pin codes at the lowest costs. Moreover, you get to ship with 8+ logistics carriers at the lowest costs. Once you pick a reliable logistics carrier, a majority of your online selling troubles are put to rest.
Compel Your Audience In a Way they Prefer
Your audience is the backbone of your business. So, when you’re preparing your strategies for increasing your sales, you need to step into your customer’s shoes. Understand what it is that your customers want from your brand. Is it a certain type of content? Or are there more offers they are looking for?
Once you understand your customer’s preferences, initiatives become easy. Chances are you might have customers that love social media. Targeting them through ads on such platforms can help in online selling. It can boost your sales. Alternatively, it can also turn one time buyers into long term customers.
Focus on the Descriptions
Do you ignore the descriptions that are written next to the products on the product pages? Chances are you are losing customers already! Product descriptions are an important part of making sales. When the customer lands on your product pages, they read descriptions. And it is what helps them make the decisions whether to purchase the product or not.
Product descriptions help you define your products. Remember that the customer wants to know how your product fits into their needs. And product descriptions are the best way to define it. Another thing to make sure regarding product descriptions is SEO. Make sure you have the right keywords to add in your descriptions. This will increase your search ability and make you rank better on the search engines like Google. Therefore, making it easier for organic traffic to drive in.
Say Yes to eCommerce SEO
eCommerce SEO can benefit online selling in many ways. Remember that you need content to present your best foot forward in ecommerce. With SEO you can add to your business’ potential. In other words, if you’re selling on your website, you need to rank in the search engines. If you rank high, your customers can find you easily. Remember that for most of the customers, their purchase journey begins through Google. They type keywords in the search bar and then explore what comes up. If you have good SEO, your website will rank high. And the customers will be more likely to open it.
It doesn’t matter if you are a new seller or have been in the market for sometime. SEO is something that is a must. It doesn’t require much. All you have to do is pick a tool, find the right keywords and then start adding those keywords to your content. You should put the keywords on your product pages as well as the homepage.
Placing the CTA
Your call to action is one of the most important parts of your business. It helps you compel the customer to make a purchase decision. But, it shouldn’t be vague. At the same time it shouldn’t be difficult to find for the customer. Your CTA is what drives your revenue. Therefore, as a seller you must put your efforts into it.
When customers land on your homepage, your CTA should be prominent. But, for it to be effective, you must figure out your goals. If you want your customers to sign up, make your CTA say it. SImilarly, if you want them to check out your sale, make the message clear. A lot of customers are lost because they don’t know what action to take. Your CTA must not make that mistake.
If you are generating content, market it. Your content is of no use if your customers cannot find it. In other words, bring your hard worked content to your customer’s inbox. Since email is still one of the effective methods to warm your customers, use it. Newsletters containing blogs can be effective in driving conversions. When customers realize that you are providing them with value, they will love to read and eventually purchase your products. This will serve you two purchases. It will drive more traffic to your content. On the other hand, it will increase your sales and help drive revenue.
New Product Updates
Product updates are another interesting way to make your way through online selling. When you send product updates to your customer, you make them interested in your products. This makes them browse your ecommerce store and stay engaged with your brand. Sending product updates is effective to both new and loyal customers. While your new customers might find something they would like to purchase, your old customers will purchase more. You can also place new product updates by calling them your best selling products. Try to understand what works the best with your customers, and position your content accordingly.
Build Customer Support Soon
If you’re new in the market, you might want to skip investing on customer support. After all, what use does it have for a few customers. This is where most sellers go wrong. They think that customer support is of no use when the customer base is small. But, remember that whether you have a small customer base or a large one, buyers will have queries. Some will want to know more about your brand, others will want to return and more. You need to have a robust customer support team, no matter what. This will send a positive message across to your customers. And at the same time it builds your reputation in the market.
Swear by Product Recommendations
Product recommendations are the most amazing way to drive sales. But, it has to be a constant process. In other words, you must not lose an opportunity to recommend your products to your customers. This way, you will enhance your online selling potential. And your customers will love to shop from you because of their experience. For example, if your customer purchased a pair of shoes, suggest them a pair of socks. You can also send product recommendations to your customers through email or purch notifications. But, make sure that you don’t spam them.
Apply Strategies You Would Do to Retail
Selling your products retail will be a great experience. But, with ecommerce on the boost, brick and mortar stores are falling. However, as you adopt this new selling strategy, don’t forget the principles of retail. Most of the retail experience is replicated in online selling. You just have to be smart enough to recognize the areas.
For example, while you can’t have salesmen in your ecommerce store, you can introduce personalization. Similarly, make sure you have the same customer support team, you would have for your retail store. The idea is to prioritize your customers no matter where they are- online or offline. Once you do that, your customers will begin trusting you. And it is one of the most important things in any kind of business that you want.
Online selling can be one of the biggest challenges. On the other hand, it could be one of your greatest rewards. The only difference lies in the efforts you put in. If you know the cheat sheet to excel at online selling, there is nothing stopping you. Make sure you don’t ignore the small mistakes that ecommerce sellers often make. Because with the number of competitors out there, it won’t take time to get thrown off the race. Put your efforts early into the business. And don’t forget to prioritize your customers. Make sure that your ecommerce store compels the customer. If you’re not sure how to get started on that, don’t worry. You can leverage Dash101 to create your ecommerce website within minutes. Get your hands on the best selling tools without any delay!
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