This article is part of a series on Build a better business

In earlier articles, I have discussed in great detail about why an online shop is a great supplement to your local shop and how you can get started. If you are already a business owner, you know a thing or two about selling. You know how to attract customers and make them purchase the products you sell. Now, once you shift your business to internet, things may get a bit complicated as selling online is nothing like what you have known till now. There are several factors that are completely different than what you have experienced selling at your physical store.

Unlike local shops, products on online shops need to be more presentable. In a physical store, the consumer sees, experiences, analyses and then purchases the product. But, at an online shop — consumer has only two options of four – see & purchase. So, the look totally matters. You need to make your product listing as much presentable as possible. Only those products that make good first impression — are sold more viably.

Appearance Matters

When I say “You need to make your product listing as much presentable as possible” — this applies to both multiple products listing and single product pages. More than half of the customers add products to cart on listing pages just by looking at product thumbnails. These product listing pages which contain more than a single product are called ‘index pages’. If you are selling on Amazon kind of sites, the number of products listed on index pages can be in thousands from hundreds of sellers like you. So you must know how important a thumbnail is. The better the thumbnail, more the chances of your product going to consumers’ cart.

Let me explain this with a simple example. Following are two listings of the same product. Which one would you prefer to buy?

In this example, first image is less appealing than the second image. The second image has better product angle, clearer colors and much needed breathing space.

Now let’s add another image to the comparison.

Third image is nothing but only the second image with an added basic label of discount offer. Such labels work as great calls to action and boost chances of the listing being clicked. Ecommerce giants like Amazon – do not allow adding such labels to ensure equal competition among sellers & products but there is nothing stopping you from using these on your own online shop.

So next time you upload a product listing, make sure you add the best thumbnail possible.

In addition to the thumbnail factor, there are several other factors that can help you sell more products on your online shop. I will be discussing the important ones in this article.

Use Presentation Banners

While talking about product thumbnails, didn’t I mention how presentation can improve the chances of a product being sold! Presentation banners or simply, banners — can add more perk to this and help you gain more sales. Every ecommerce site out there – hires good graphic designers to create powerful banners & other such graphics to lure in the customers and make them feel that this is the product they would ever want to buy.

To be honest, such banners product better leads than any other conversion method available online as these include powerful CTAs, image thumbnails, star ratings (if needed) – which are the three instruments that are key to any product’s sale.

How to?

Hire a good graphic designer and facilitate him with a good content writer. These two can deliver conversion ready set of graphics and other assets that you can use to promote your product for like forever.

Use the power of Facebook & Instagram

Social networks, specially Facebook & Instagram, are pretty useful in promoting your products and leading more sales. You can list your products on your Facebook page or Instagram profile – and make your shop open to millions of customers. Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest like sites are other useful social networks which can help you sell your products.

How to?

  • Sign up for a Facebook account and create a page for your business. You can use Facebook advertising to gain more followers. Generate eye catchy posts and use various methods to lead as many clicks as possible.
  • On Instagram, you can use hashtags to generate more reach. You can also follow more people to increase your own followership. This method works with almost every social network.

Email Newsletters

email marketing

When you are working on promoting sales, you can not just ignore Emails. Email Newsletters are the most used instrument to promote any update about your products, lead more sales and let your subscribers know about new schemes that you’d be providing. Every business uses newsletters to keep in touch with its customers and you mustn’t miss it well.

How to?

Signup for Mailchimp like newsletter service and create a list. You can either import a database of emails to this list or start afresh & generate subscribers from your website. Either way – make sure that your subscribers are genuine and also that your emails are directed to only those who deserve it. For example, you can’t female only products to male subscribers and vice-versa. Try sorting your subscribers according to location, gender and any other sort that you think is good for your business.

SMS Alerts

In this era of WhatsApp, Telegram & Messenger – SMS may have lost its charm but it hasn’t lost its importance. WhatsApp like services may be on over 40% of the devices but SMS’es are universal and every device is facilitate by this. Using SMS marketing can boost your sales by huge margin. You can start by buying bulk SMS services to reach more people at once and make more people visit your website.

Know that retaining customers is more important than gaining those. Unlike every other instruments mentioned here, SMS alerts hold the power to facilitate every customers of your business with useful offers and much more. Make this connection personal and wish your customers birthdays & anniversaries to make them feel special. You can use landline texting to both call & SMS your customers from the same business number. This obliterates the need of more than one numbers – one for texting and other for calling.

Advertising

Online advertising is another useful tool to boost your sales. In addition to Facebook Ads — that I already mentioned — you can use Adwords & Chitika like ad services to target more people. If possible, you can also try print ads to boost your sales locally.

Affiliate Marketing

Some companies run referral programs in which affiliates engage more customers by promoting your site for a commission. This is currently the most favorable instrument of promotion as it doesn’t just boost your business but also helps your customers earn some more money by gaining you more customers. Affiliate Marketing works like word of mouth — the more the affiliates, the merrier the results.

Gaurav Tiwari

A designer by profession, a mathematician by education but a Blogger by hobby. Loves reading and writing. Just that.

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