Acquiring customers and selling is tricky when you're an online business. Personalizing your content, getting SEO right, and communicating your USP effectively are areas where you need to watch out.
Online sales continue to increase steadily as a percentage of total retail sales year after year. In fact, Statista projections show that nearly 14 percent of all worldwide retail sales will be made online in 2019.
Unfortunately, many e-commerce stores are guilty of making sales-killing mistakes again and again, often times without realizing it. These simple selling blunders could cost your business big time, diminishing your returns and hurting growth opportunities.
Is your sales and marketing team playing baseball with a hockey stick? Let’s take a look at some easily-rectifiable errors that frequently slip through the cracks.
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1. Paying insufficient attention to SEO
SEO is no doubt one of the most powerful sales tools a marketing team can utilize, but only if they know how to use it correctly. Boosting your website’s ranking in search engines is one of the best ways to capture more customers; however, doing so requires lots of planning and strategy if you are going to show up on the list of results.
Google has repeatedly emphasized that they look at content as a key signal when deciding rankings. On sites that sell online, this translates highly optimized product pages and contextual SEO aimed at conversions.
This means that web, product and marketing teams must work together to strategically optimize their website’s content according to searcher intent. This includes product descriptions and blog posts, as well as meta data and schema markup that search engines recommend (which play an important role in getting more clickthroughs to your site from the search results).
Sadly, one of the most common ecommerce mistakes that many websites make is simply not including enough text content that cater to long tail keywords. Failing to include the right terms in your content kills sales because it limits the number of customers who get their queries right when searching for your product or service. Tools like SEMrush Keyword Magic or Ahrefs Keywords Explorer can help you find primary and secondary sets of keywords to target. They also help you determine real customer intent that existing content on your top ranking pages can match.
2. Ignoring personalization opportunities
Data from Accenture’s 2018 Personalization Pulse Check revealed that 75 percent of consumers would be more likely to buy from a company that supplies offers and recommendations specifically for them or recognizes their purchase history. Customers want and expect personalization from online companies these days, and yet many businesses fail to deliver. There is a dire need for brands to move from “communication” to “conversation” while trying to get their message across to consumers.
Keeping track of customer data or sending out personalized recommendations is not as complicated as you may think. Recording customer information after each transaction – both online and offline – can be extremely valuable to include in your web copy, landing pages, or email campaigns for better conversion rates, but many businesses fail to use this goldmine of data.
Be sure that your customer purchase history is not going to waste. Your marketing team should use this plethora of information to send out product recommendations that are specific to each customer to encourage repeat buys.
3. Projecting a hazy value proposition
What sets your business apart from the others? Why does a customer need your product or service?
Your unique value proposition (UVP) is the promise that you make to your customers. It explains the benefits of your product as well as brand. It tells your customer why they should buy from you and not from any other company.
And the USP of your business should not just be spelled out on the home page of your website. Every product, service, category or supporting page should scream it out at your customers.
In order to sweeten the deal, you could add a lower price guarantee, free shipping, or no questions asked return policy to your USP. Online customers are bargain hunters, and data from Statista shows that about 40 percent of consumers research multiple websites to find the best deal before they make a purchase. If there is no obvious reason why they should purchase from your website, they will very likely look elsewhere.
There are lots of motivating factors that will lead to a completed sale. Narrow down what your business’s exact value proposition is and make it clear to your audience.
Selling is an art form that no one has truly perfected. There are so many ins and outs, little details, and psychological factors that play into it, making it a deeply complex practice. Online sales add another layer of complication by removing that up close and personal factor.
It is quite easy to miss these sales killing errors when designing an ecommerce webpage, but identifying the problem is the first step. Once you have nailed down the mistakes that are eating into your sales numbers, the problems are usually simple to fix and they can bring in some excellent results.