Boosting Sluggish Sales Online

sluggish sales

Practically anyone with an online business has suffered through a period of slow sales. It can be a tough time that takes a toll on both your patience and bottom line. If your sales are stalling, here are a few ways to boost your number of business transactions and online sales. Results may not be immediate, but if you stick with them and experiment with what works best for you, you might be seeing a sales spike in the near future.

Upsell

The infamous upsell - it's a chance to offer your customers the opportunity to purchase upgrades or supplemental products related to the item they're buying so their overall purchase value is higher. Upsells often appear in the form of recommended products, add-on items, and increased models (faster speeds, more memory, more features). Sometimes, they even cross-sell to create a bigger impact in your sales.

In order to effectively upsell, you have to suggest items that can add value or enhance the experience of the original item the customer is interested in. Think of popular fast food chains that offer extra deals when you're placing your order. They may ask if you want to make your combo meal bigger or if you'd like something to drink with the original item you ordered. These upsell masters have their tactics down pat and adhere to the cardinal rule of upselling: the cost of any upsell should ring in around half the cost of the original item the customer intends to purchase.

Discount

Who doesn't love a great sale? In fact, most online retailers have some sort of promotion going on year-round. Limited-time flash sales, clearance events, loyalty discounts, and special coupon codes help boost sluggish sales by creating a sense of urgency and fostering a "have to have it now" feeling. However, before you start slashing prices, it's wise to set some parameters for your promotions. What's the length of the sale, special offer, or discount? What items are eligible? Are there any exclusions? What's the maximum discount one can receive? These are all great things to consider when creating your discount strategy.

Update

Just like shoppers can get bored of seeing the same things in brick-and-mortar stores, those browsing online love variety. But don't worry; a complete overhaul of your entire web-based store isn't necessary. Try adding seasonal elements by showcasing specific products and offering themed promotions. Product collections are another way to make buying decisions easier and draw attention to specific items. You can also revamp your products' images and descriptions for a fresh look and better search engine optimization visibility.

Not sure what keywords customers are using when searching for your stuff? Engage in some e-commerce keyword research. This will help you better understand what keywords help search engines match and display your store's pages in a top position within search results. Great resources to help online retail beginners understand the importance of keywords are Google AdWords and Wordstream.

Personalize

Email systems are now so advanced that most of them use filters to funnel spam email away from prime inbox real estate. So what's a company's plan of action if their emails can't get past these choosy gatekeeper filters?

The key to successfully slipping your email into a customer's inbox is personalization. As the level of personalization increases, the likelihood that your message will actually end up in a prospect's inbox typically rises, as does your response rate. Remember, "it's not the number of emails, rather the content that drives the engagement," according to Daniel Barner on the ToutApp blog. "Information overload leads buyers to want one email, not ten. It's simple: send one email instead of ten-just make the one email 10 times better."

Social media expert Koka Sexton of Business2community says that social selling is now the new way to personalize the sales experience. "A Twitter profile should be as mandatory as an email address and phone number for sales people," he states, and various statistics actually verify his belief. According to the Sales Benchmark Index, 98% of sales reps with more than 5,000 LinkedIn connections typically not only meet but exceed their sales goals, while a social selling initiative for IBM boosted sales more than 400%.

However, despite choosy inbox filters and the rise of social selling, email is far from dead when it comes to urging consumer buying power. Aaron Orendorff of ConversionXL notes that 91% of all U.S. consumers still use email every single day. Beyond that, emails prompt purchases at least three times more often than social media with an average order value of 17% higher. Combine strategic emails with social selling for a personalization combo that's sure to have a positive sales impact.