If you’re looking to increase online sales in Canada, it’s vital to know the best ways to attract and retain customers in an increasingly competitive environment. Follow these tips to help improve your online visibility and reputation, optimize your website for e-commerce, streamline procedures and turn visitors into purchasers.
Check Your Website Speed
Customers won’t even look at your products if they’re kept hanging around for more than 4 to 5 seconds while your website page loads. Check your website speed on Google Analytics and if you don’t have the technical knowledge to speed up your site, seek expert advice.
Optimize your Website for Mobile Devices
With the increase in mobile Internet usage, customers are becoming more likely to browse your website and make purchases via their smartphone or tablet. Consider crafting an e-commerce site specifically for mobile users so that information displays correctly and functions effectively on smaller screens, and is fingertip friendly. If you lack the technical expertise, use an e-commerce platform such as Shopify, BigCommerce or Volusion to build and host your website.
Produce Knockout Product Descriptions
Give each product its own page with at least one good quality photograph, more if your customers need to see the item from different angles or a close-up view. If possible, upload a video showing the product in action, or being modelled. Describe the product in reasonable detail so the prospective purchaser can appreciate its benefits and visualise the item in use.
Make more money per sale by suggesting add-ons to your customers’ purchases or offering bundle packages. Adding small items that they’re likely to need but might have overlooked, such as batteries, cases, and refills, can save them time and money in the long run.
Include User Reviews
Customers like to see what other purchasers think of your product or your company before committing to a purchase. Set up a system that emails your clients a few weeks after their purchases and encourages them to leave reviews on your product page. Shopify offers an app that automates this for you. An incentive system, such as entry into a monthly draw for a $100 voucher for each review, can help increase the uptake.
Have a Secure, Easy-to-use Shopping Cart
Ensure you have a visible “Buy now” or “Add to cart” button on your product page that clicks through to payment with minimal fuss and offers a secure payment system. Adding a Shopify checkout system to your existing website gives customers a seamless shopping experience that integrates with more than 100 payment gateways worldwide, including Bitcoin and PayPal, and uses the same levels of security as banks.
Enable Customers to Track Their Orders and Facilitate Easy Returns
Shopify can also integrate orders with major shipping carriers and provide tracking information to customers. Canada Post Solutions for Small Businesses integrates payment and shipping through either Shopify or PayPal.
Encourage Customers to Create an Online Account
Enabling customers to create an account when they check out helps encourage repeat business and makes return purchasing more streamlined as they don’t have to keep re-entering personal information. Have a “Guest” checkout available for one-off purchasers or those who prefer this option.
Set up Abandoned Checkout Recovery
Shopify lets you pick up on abandoned shopping carts and email your customers with a reminder, encouraging them to finish making their purchases. Adding tracking codes lets you check whether certain items are regularly abandoned, as this might indicate a need to lower your prices.
Establish a Loyalty Club
Have a pop-up window on your website that offers visitors an inducement such as a 10-percent discount off their next purchase if they sign up to receive emails about your products and offers.
Monitor Customer Searches
Keep track of what type of people are looking for on your site. This might provide ideas for new products or tell you when people are regularly misspelling a product name. If they’re searching for a product that’s out of stock, offer to take details and contact them when you have the item back in store.
Link to Social Media
Link your website to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest accounts. Encourage customers to share when they’ve made a purchase. Post regular images and videos of your new product launches, and reward your followers with discount codes to drive them to your website. If you use Shopify, you can add a Buy Button to your Facebook and Pinterest posts to maximise impulse purchases. Also, use social media to show the human side of your company, your values and ethics. Ethical activities such as organising a charitable event, volunteering in the local community, or committing to using recyclable materials for your latest product can increase your appeal to socially conscious customers. Facebook lets you target your posts to a tight demographic in terms of age, gender, and location, to help reach potential customers.
Write a Regular Blog
Position your company as an expert in its field by posting regular blogs full of useful updates, insights or advice likely to be of interest to your target audience. Good online content helps drive visitors to your website and can mark you out from the competition. Add a Shopify Buy Button to your blog for instant purchases.
Follow this advice, keep up to date with the latest trends in online selling and you can easily start driving more visitors to your site and converting them into customers. Then see your business continue to grow through repeat business, word-of-mouth and social media recommendation, and SEO.