10 Ways to Increase Sales Online
Cost effective methods to boost online sales.
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Did you know that there are more than 20 million ecommerce sites?
The world of online retail is extremely competitive. As a business owner of an ecommerce website, there are many things, both big and small, that can help you gain a competitive edge and boost your sales.
Depending on where you are in your business cycle, you may need to rely on financing methods like taking out a short term business loan to fund your efforts. Or, if you have enough cash flow, then you can reinvest into your business to increase profit.
We will break down 10 useful, tried and true optimization tips to boost your online sales. Then, we will get into various financing methods should you need some quick cash fast.
10 Optimization Tips to Boost Your Sales
- Optimize your site: Website optimization happens in several ways. For starters, it’s been shown that over 30% of website visitors will exit your website if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds. Some estimates even peg that for every 100ms delay in a site loading, 1% of customers will drop off. This proves how important it is to have a site that loads quickly. While there are different methods to increase site speed, one of the first things to do is to optimize site images to be small enough so they won’t delay loading the page. Beyond optimizing site speed, you’ll want to make sure that your website is responsive. This means that it can be viewed across different screen sizes, from desktops to laptops and tablets to mobile devices. You can accomplish this by testing across different device types like Android and iOs, as well as screen sizes.
- Boost SEO: You’ve probably heard about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) before. Most people have, but many don’t become experts in the field. That being said, it’s good to know some basics. SEO is a ranking system by which search engines like Google notice your site and return it in the results when someone performs a search. It’s based off of an evolving algorithm, which is impacted by keywords and more. To boost your SEO, you can hire SEO or content creation experts, but you can also start with small things like making sure all your website pages have a meta description. You also want to make sure that your content is of high quality and actually represents what your business provides.
- Use social media: Whether you have funding or not, social media is a great way to build your brand awareness and communicate with customers. Social media also helps to add to your credibility and allows people to easily refer you to friends through word of mouth advertising and tagging your business pages. It’s recommended to remain active across social media platforms, so a good place to start is with a Facebook Business Page, Instagram Business Account and Twitter for Business.
- Free shipping: Free shipping falls into a choice your business can make within its pricing structure. There’s a psychological factor associated with receiving free shipping. It’s a big part of the appeal for why people are willing to pay for Amazon Prime. Even if the price is baked into the cost of the good or equal to a percentage off, more often than not, people will be more willing to buy from a business that offers free shipping. This can also play as a competitive advantage for your ecommerce site to help beat out your competition.
- Tailor CTAs: A CTA stands for call-to-action, and it’s a direction to a consumer to take a step or action. For example, this would be a button that reads, “Buy Now.” If you can customize your CTAs to speak directly to the person reading it, you can boost your conversion rates. While this doesn’t necessarily mean every single person receives a different CTA, it means that you can group people within categories in the sales funnel. This means that visitors, leads and customers all receive tailored messaging.
- Declutter site navigation: You’ll want to lead your website visitors to take the action you desire, like for them to add an item to cart. To do this, your website design plays a crucial way in the way they navigate the site. One thing to look out for is a cluttered page or navigation menu. Rather than overdoing the site navigation, be sure it’s an easy-to-use way-finding tool. This way, customers will be led to exactly where you’d like them to go.
- Trust data: In today’s business world, data exists at every turn. But, data is only as powerful as what you choose to do with it. Be sure to set up website analytics by using a tool like Google Analytics. You can better understand how visitors get to your site, what they do on the site, and how long they spend on each page. With this type of information, you can glean insights to make the user experience better to convert sales.
- Ask for feedback: One of the most important aspects of business is satisfying your customers! While every business owner knows this, they don’t all spend time listening to their customers. Solicit feedback from your customers via surveys, phone calls, emails or whatever method makes sense for your business. Many businesses will offer incentives like a discount code for their next purchase if a customer fills out a survey. This is a win-win as you boost customer retention, make a sale, and can use the feedback to make the customer experience even better for your prospective clientele.
- Email marketing: Email marketing can start as soon as you have a potential customer’s email, or a lead. Then, you can increase your email marketing efforts by segmenting your audience into their respective place in the sales funnel. According to Hubspot, marketers who segment their audience notice as much as a 760% increase in revenue. Part of this is playing into the tailored CTAs tip from above. You get to speak directly to your audience and offer solutions to their respective needs through segmentation.
- Partnerships: If you’re just getting started or rapidly growing your online presence, consider forming a partnership with a better known brand. With a partnership, you can easily expand your reach and increase brand awareness at a lower cost than other marketing efforts. Both businesses can form a symbiotic relationship. These kinds of partnerships make the most sense when your business offering complements that of another. Consider an athletic clothing company partnering with a gym or an outdoor adventure company, for example.
Finding Financing for Your Online Business
As an online business owner, you may find yourself in need of quick cash to finance your business costs. While traditional bank loans are an option, many new businesses won’t qualify because of the strict requirements. However, there are alternative forms of funding like taking out a short term business loan to get the capital you need to increase your sales.
What is a Short Term Business Loan?
A short term business loan is a type of loan that supports a temporary business capital need. Many businesses who aren’t approved for lines of credit will look to short term business loans. This attractive funding option tends to have a lower credit limit than a business line of credit, but they also provide businesses with funding fast.
They get their name from the repayment structure, which tends to be short term. Rather than paying back monthly or yearly, short term loans are often repaid on a daily or weekly term. It’s important to look at the annual percentage rate (APR) which affects how much you’ll owe back on what you borrow.
Quick Facts: Short Term Loans
- Loan amount: Most short term loans are for the amounts of $5,000 to $300,000 because they are meant to cover short term needs.
- Repayment: Short term loans tend to be paid back in 6 to 18 months. This could be considered a good thing because you won’t carry debt for long, or it could be a downside as you’ll have to secure the money to pay back the loan quickly.
- Eligibility: On the upside, the eligibility requirements are much more lenient when it comes to short term loans versus traditional bank loans. This is why it’s such a great option for many new businesses. The approval and funding time is also much more fast than traditional loans.
Types of Short Term business loans
There are a variety of different types of short term business loans, including:
- Term loans
- Invoice financing
- Customer advances
- Payday loans
- Lines of credit
- Business credit cards
At Uplyft Capital, our focus is on merchant cash advances, a type of short term business loan that can provide you with approval and funding in less than a day. A merchant cash advance’s repayment structure is based on your business’ credit and debit card sales over a period of time. This means, you borrow money and then pay it back with a percentage of credit and debit card sales. It’s a great source of funding for businesses who need cash fast, have steady sales and are looking for alternatives to traditional loans.
Ecommerce businesses have skyrocketed over the years. New ecommerce sites make their way into the digital world on a daily basis. These digital storefronts have a grand opportunity to boost their sales with a variety of approaches and actions. For many, this will require some upfront capital for their short-term needs. That’s where a short-term business loan like a merchant cash advance can come into handy!
Once you devise the strategy by which you will grow your online sales, you can estimate your need for capital (if cash flow can’t cover the costs). Then, you have the option to apply for any type of short term business loan you wish to finance your expansion!