Checklist that will help you increase online sales
Hey guys, after I recorded 60 videos in just a little more over 2 and a half months (you can find them HERE), it was about time I start resharing the content with turning those videos in articles.
I was talking about the things we do daily at DEFAULT design — it’s the only way to constantly have the content.
Today I want to share with you how you can increase online sales, with the checklist which will help you achieve it. If you prefer video, find it 👇
People ask me all the time if there’s a method or a process that they can apply to their business and websites to increase sales.
Wouldn’t that be awesome to know?
Well, let’s get into that answer, but before we start, it is important to note that this method works across all industries and niches.
Specific measurable goals
You need to start with setting up measurable goals before even getting the checklist. Make sure you have the specific measurable goals set. If you don’t have them, it would be highly difficult to measure the improvement. If you don’t have a single goal on the website that you can focus on, you can’t follow the process. Either you are selling something (let’s say sneakers, clothes, so products) or you want to get subscribers.
Don’t forget to connect your website with Google Analytics and set up your goals in it.
Before we get into the checklist, we need to clear a few things out. There’s no shortage of opinions in the world. Sadly, most of them are misguided or even mishandled. People are seeing the world from where they are and they’re thinking that everybody else is like them.
“Man, I never ever click on Ads!”.
“Nobody’s sharing emails.”
“I think this CTA should be blue because I like blue color.”
And so on..
Let me tell you a secret.. You are not the world!
It’s only your single opinion. You are not your customers.
And because you’re not your customers, you can’t get conclusions about the user’s behavior based on your personal preferences.
It’s natural to want to do that, but try to resist it. Focus on evidence-based marketing.
The internet is not in its infancy anymore. We had many many years of testing, trying, figuring out what works online and what doesn’t. There’s an entire framework for testing programs, realms of academic researches.. Mountains of data.
Here’s the summary of the key element that will help you get more sales aka more conversions on your website.
1. Create the buyer persona
It’s important to know whom you’re talking to.
2. Drive relevant traffic to your website.
SEO seems to be very popular and people want to have more people on their websites. That’s ok, nothing wrong with the increase of the website traffic, but what if those visitors are actually people interested in what you have to say and offer? Bringing people to the website is just a first step in the Conversion Marketing cycle. The number of people visiting the website isn’t important. Who those people are is extremely important.
3. Design the great website
Not the website that looks great, but the website which converts. Design is specifically for your customers. You‘ve already created your Buyer Persona, remember?
4. Create a compelling value proposition
Giving value to your customers is so important and, having that in mind, offering the right value proposition. If you don’t have one — you have nothing.
The value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered. It’s the main reason your prospect should buy from you, and not from your competitors. It’s important to understand that.
The value proposition is the clear statement that says how your product/service solves your customer’s problem or improves their situation. It proves to be relevant.
It should deliver specific benefits.
You need to differentiate yourself from your competitors and be clear about why your customers should buy from you, and not your customers.
Your Value Proposition should be the first thing visitors see on your website — on your homepage and on other main pages of your website. If you don’t have it or it’s too complicated and visitors don’t understand it, you’re gonna lose them. It means no sales.
Optimizely is great in crafting a great Value Proposition.
What is it? Website Experimentation platform.
What’s the benefit? Outperforming competitors.
Who’s it for? Marketing and product teams.
All clear and relevant.
5. Understand buying phases.
Understand how people are buying and which phases they are going through so you can improve your offer and measure.
Let’s look at the next situation. You go to the website, and, as soon as it opens, bam, the pop-up is on the screen asking you to do something to leave your data. WTF? You didn’t even have time to see what their website is all about! They are going straight after the sale or after your data (so they can try to sell you afterward through email). This is bad!
They have given you zero information on who they are or why you should register, in the first place. So why the fuck I’m going to register then?
Understanding buying phases is about understanding how people work. Most of the times we have 3 different groups:
- People who have a problem or need but aren’t aware of it
- People who are doing the research to find the different options when it comes to a solution to their problem — comparing products, services or companies. They know they have a problem.
- People who have already made their decision to buy
Depending on your industry, there might be a few more groups. I’m always recommending that you should have customer surveys so you can learn about the different phases in which your customers are.
You need to sell differently to those groups.
1. The first group is pretty much hopeless. It’s highly difficult to sell them anything because you need to sell them the problem in the first place. If you’re going after sales, they aren’t the group that you’ll go to first.
2. The second group is the people who make the majority. They need to find your compelling value proposition or you’re going to lose them. If you’re not clear on how you’re different and better than your competitors, especially if you’re not the cheapest. Right? ;)
They don’t like to think. Instead, they like to compare based on the few simple parameters. If they don’t see how you’re different from others, they are gonna choose based on the price, so the cheapest one. Have that in mind.
Put your advantages on your most important pages, like homepage and product pages.
If you’re selling mass-market products, like TVs, Laptops, perfumes and you’re not the cheapest, communicate the value of your price. Why people should pay more to buy from you and not from your competitors who are selling them cheaper?
Researchers are looking to find different options and your job is to give them enough information so they can decide to buy from you. If you rush the sale asking for the signup before they have enough information, you will scare them away. That’s why the signups are usually in the middle or at the end of the page.
3. The people from the third group are looking for the clearly visible call to action buttons like add to chard or links with trigger words like sign up. Your job is to make sure that those buttons are accessible and easy to find.
I mean, you helped them discover their problem, you gave them the solution to their problem, you educated them on how to solve their problem using your product/service, and at the end, you don’t tell them to buy it. People forget that so many times!
6. Reduce friction
Reduce anything that stops people from buying or gets their attention away. Every piece of copy, every piece of design that is turning them away from the buying process.
7. Focus on clarity
Be as clear as possible on your offer.
People won’t buy what they don’t understand. In fact, they fear what they don’t understand. Racism, xenophobia comes from the fear of the unknown and they are all around us.
Whatever you’re selling, you’re selling it to a buyer who is a human (at least for now :)). You mustn’t forget that.
If the text on your website or the language in your video is easy to understand, written compellingly to the target audience, your conversions will go up. You can always use a “friend test”. Read the text out loud, imagine that you’re having a conversation with a friend. Are there words that you would eliminate if you’re talking to a friend? If there are, go ahead and eliminate them. Focus on being clear. No big words or mambo jumbo stuff. If the text on your website isn’t fun to read and it takes effort to understand, you’re definitely doing it wrong.
8. Eliminate noise and distractions
The more choice you give people, the harder is for them to choose anything. Just put yourself in that situation! I bet you’d choose nothing, right?
Noise and distractions aren’t just about how many products you have. It’s about how busy your layout is, how many competing designs elements are there, and how many things ask for user’s attention. There’s a “rule on noise” which says — the closer you get to closing the sale, the fewer things you should have on your screen. Once the user goes to the checkout page, you shouldn’t have anything on that page that doesn’t directly contribute to the conversion.
Take a look at Amazon. You’re trying to buy something there, you go to the checkout screen, there’s no sidebar, no main menu, no related products — they just want you to click “place your order” button. And that’s what it’s all about! Identify a single, most-wanted action for each screen, then make sure the important stuff stands out. Remove from the layout everything that’s not necessarily connected with the desired outcome or with the conversion. Simple works.
9. Engage visitors
Visitors need to be engaged on your website. They need to do something on their own so they can feel like a part of the whole story.
Your conversion rate is something between 1% and 3%. Even if it’s 5%, and that’s really high, it means that 95% of your website doesn’t buy anything. They came to your website, maybe even through paid advertising, but they bought nothing at all. They just left. And now what? You’ve lost them for good?
Well, not necessarily. In many ways, the best way to increase online sales is to avoid one at first. Remember buying phases? Engage them instead of asking them to buy right away or get their emails (the best solution) so you can keep talking to them. The more expensive and complicated the product is, the more time people need to make a decision. Always have that in mind. We need time to think, to process, to actually exchange opinions with people around us.
This is why you should get their emails, give value at first, prove your expertise, get them to like you, etc. All those things come before asking for a sale.
Let me give you an example.
I have a beard so I’m following the Beard Brand. They are selling products that can help you take care of your facial hair. Even with the inexpensive product, they still go for an email first, asking users to get into the quiz funnel on their homepage. What’s the best beard style for you? That’s the question they’re asking you. Based on your answer, they have a personalized offer for you. They have the basic information about you and they know what they can sell to you.
Except for emails, you can go for a Social Media following, asking them to like your pages.
Besides that, immediate product trials also work, in case you have a possibility to do it (great for SAAS) and sweepstakes (enter this to win certain price).
BuzzSumo lets you enter any topic or domain and see their tool in action. They say “Analyze which topic performs best for any topic or competitor and find the key influence to promote your content. Go ahead, put it in the research.”
10. Add urgency
Always add urgency because your offer is limited and there’s a time limit for them to buy your product or service to solve their problem or their frustration.
11. Follow usability standards
All those things on the list are equally important. Separately and together. You gotta start with the foundation and simple changes. When it comes to conversions, simple changes can get you far.
I hope this was useful. Please let me know if you need help with implementing changes, getting leads or increasing conversions. I’m here to help.
p.s. previously published HERE