Whether you are starting a new online sales empire or the sales of your current venture are starting to wane, it is time to put the following sales optimization tips to work. You can’t just wing-it if you hope to make it in Internet sales, otherwise known as e-commerce, not in today’s constantly evolving and mega-competitive online marketplace. Instead, you need proven processes and step-by-steps that will allow you to reach out to your target market and dominate the competition in all new ways. What follows will help you not only build a new e-commerce venture from scratch, but you will be able to use the information provided to improve a current sales venture; or go ahead and use both if you happen to be the super-ambitious type.
The first place to start when sales optimization is your goal is your product supply line. If you manufacture your own products, see if you can get your materials cheaper. If you purchase your products from a third party, see if that party will come down in price. If not, look for a competitor that offers the same or higher quality for a much lower price. The idea is to stretch your profit margins so that, if nothing else changes, at least you will be making more money on the same amount of sales you are currently experiencing.
Competing with Amazon’s One-Click
The e-commerce platform Amazon certainly knows about sales optimization. With a single click, most customers can buy whatever they need and have it delivered to their home or office in a day or two (sometimes the very next day).
While you don’t necessarily have to provide your customers a one-click option, you should try to streamline your sales process however possible. The first lesson when trying to optimize your sales is to make the buying process quick, simple and painless for the consumer. If at any time a consumer starts to feel put out or aggravated, they are going to abandon their shopping cart faster than you can say “Sales optimization”.
If you ask for information, cut down on the amount of info you ask. If your shopping cart Plugin feels a little too heavy and drawn out, shop around for a new one. The easier you can make the shopping experience for your prospects and customers, the more you will optimize your sales and the more revenue you will earn overall.
Lead Times & Shipping
In e-commerce, the lead time is the amount of time you sit on a product before shipping it out. The shorter your lead times, the more sales you will earn. This is because customers have begun to get used to Amazon’s ultra-fast shipping. Whereas everything you purchased on TV, in magazines or on VCR tapes took 3-4 weeks to arrive back in the day, today people expect to be holding their purchases in their hands within a few days’ time. If you can get your products out the very next day, that’s even better.
Fast and low-cost shipping is also becoming the norm, as more online customers expect it. As part of your sales optimization makeover, visit the post office, the UPS store and FedEx and speak to the managers of those establishments in an effort to strike a deal. If you are going to be engaged in the regular shipping of your products over a long period of time, one of those managers may be thrilled to strike a deal with you. You can then pass any savings you earn on to your customers, thus contributing to sales optimization and positive word-of-mouth (both online and off).
When attempting to optimize your sales, you absolutely cannot neglect the power of excellent customer service. Every time you interact with a prospect or consumer you should be trying to build relationships, to earn a reputation as a company that cares about its customers’ satisfaction and one that simply does a great job for the value it charges for.
First of all, make sure that you are offering a tremendous bargain for an acceptable amount of money. It is hard to build relationships when you are selling faulty products or gouging the customers, or both. Yet if you stand behind your products and you are confident in your price points, your customers should be able to purchase products and feel great about the money they have just spent. You can help them feel even better about their purchases by giving them discounts, access to VIP membership and perks; as well as by letting them know that they are valued customers.
If you treat your customers like royalty and you always remain professional when dealing with complaints, refunds or returns, word will carry and more customers will flock to your store. Just make sure you have completed all the other steps on this sales optimization tip-list so that you can convert the increased traffic, sell even more product and eventually achieve the sales goals that you’ve set out for yourself.