If you’re not selling online, are you really selling? This is a question you likely asked yourself in the beginning stages of building your business. And if you’re an executive of a company who has been selling online for a while, you may be trying to figure out how to sell more online. Even if you have the most revolutionary product lineup, getting into the hands of your audiences is not easy.
As the pandemic demonstrated, nearly everything is available online and ready to ship to your door instantaneously. From toilet paper to milk, bedding to televisions, everything you could possibly want, need, or desire can be found online. This fact is mindblowing when you think about how shopping used to be strictly done in-person. Now you can pre-order your groceries from the comfort of your couch and order school supplies for your kids at the same time.
The online marketplace is cluttered with literally millions of brands competing for the same consumers. Differentiating yourself as a brand can be tricky, no matter if you are a small business or a large retailer. If you’re looking to increase your brand’s sales online, then you’ve come to the right place. Below are three ways to boost your sales and get consumers coming back for your products time and time again.
1. Make Friends with Amazon
Despite your personal feelings toward Amazon, the truth is, selling on Amazon can be extremely beneficial. Consumers who are willing to try a new product will likely first search on Amazon to see if it’s available. Free, expedited shipping for Prime customers is a gamechanger for consumers in this must-have-it-now landscape. And while buying on Amazon may be simple, selling on this e-commerce site is a different story.
Before you start selling on Amazon, be sure to read all of its rules and regulations. Skipping this step may lead you to a suspended amazon seller account. This often happens due to lack of performance, like policy violations or a lack of sales. It can also happen, however, if you have multiple selling accounts or you are selling something prohibited by the site. Having a suspension can be a frustrating experience, and it can take days if not weeks to get your account restored.
Your best bet to selling successfully on Amazon is to do your homework. Make sure your business is set up with proper documentation. Once you’re on the e-commerce site, be responsible to your purchasers. If something is delayed due to inventory, communicate this with your buyers. Also, if you receive a negative comment, be sure to respond to the feedback on the site directly. These small tips will boost your Amazon seller profile and hopefully keep you far away from a suspension.
2. Be Active on Social Media
Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok are making it even easier for users to stop what they’re doing mid-scroll and purchase products. As a business, you want to capture users’ attention when they are most vulnerable and most likely to purchase. You can do this by being an active brand on social media. This can look like creating funny or memorable Instagram Reels or having an enticing giveaway.
If you aren’t socially savvy, that’s alright. There are plenty of tutorials online to get you started and inspire you to create buzzworthy content. If you’re still at a loss, you may consider hiring a social guru either as a full-time employee or contractor. Having a dedicated social media person on your team can ensure your business is at the forefront of latest trends. This will pay off quickly when you see how many new customers are finding your brand through social apps.
Another thing to note: make sure your checkout experience is simple. The more seamless the checkout experience, the more likely someone is going to buy right away. If the process is tedious or laborsome, users will click back and continue scrolling. The likelihood of them coming back to your site to purchase is slim to none. Monitoring your consumers’ purchase journey is one key way to ensure they are completing their orders quickly and efficiently.
3. Manage Your Inventory
This last tip is especially relevant today. Shortages have become relatively normal since the onset of the pandemic. Currently, everything from baby formula to tampons to Sirarchia is in low supply. The reason for these shortages stems from a weak supply chain. Raw materials are limited, human labor is varied, and shipping or transportation is unstable. This can lead to your business suffering from less or delayed inventory.
As a business, being upfront with your customers is key. If you are facing inventory shortages, it’s important to let your customers know before they checkout. This can look like putting a banner on the top of your website communicating this to them. Nobody wants to be surprised after they’ve already paid to find out the new item they bought will be shipped weeks from now. The sooner you communicate issues with your consumers, the more they will trust you as a brand and repeat business.
If you are selling on multiple platforms — like your website, Amazon, and social — then keeping up with your inventory is key. You may want to look into an inventory management system to help you and your team keep track of what is available. Moreover, implementing this system can help you track what items are in demand and when you need to order more.
Selling online isn’t as simple as selling lemonade at your neighborhood block party. You have to get in front of the right audience in the moment they are looking to buy. You also have to create a seamless shopping experience and communicate openly to increase customer satisfaction. While you will definitely face hiccups from your online marketplaces, remember that honesty is always the best policy. Represent your business and show up for your customers with respect to become a favorable brand in their eyes.