Ten Tips to Increase Online Sales.
September 7, 2023
We are now firmly at the business end of the year; Q4 is about to begin, and now is the time to get your eCommerce website battle-ready. If you are not selling across multiple marketplaces already, then that is something you will need to consider.
Ten Tips to Increase Sales
If you are selling multi-channel and you want to improve your sales on marketplaces, then consider these ten essential factors:
1) Optimise Product Listings: Ensure your product listings are complete, accurate, and appealing. Use high-quality images and detailed descriptions that highlight product features and benefits. Remember, when it comes to listings, more is more. Customers like details. They want to know as much as possible before they part with their money, so give as much as you can. Why will they look elsewhere if they can get all the information they need from your listing?
2) Competitive Pricing: Research your competitors' pricing and adjust your prices to remain competitive. Consider offering discounts or bundles to attract price-conscious shoppers. If you are using re-pricer tools, be careful; these can just be a race to the bottom. Think about bundles, pairing up complimentary products and items that work together. Look at a basket as a whole and work with your team to develop ideas to increase overall basket values.
3) Keyword Research: Use relevant keywords in your product titles and descriptions to improve discoverability in marketplace search results. Utilise tools like Google Keyword Planner or marketplace-specific keyword research tools. Look at content marketing; write about your products and publish them in your blog. Become a resource as well as a shop. This works brilliantly for home and garden, DIY, craft, and hobby sellers.
4) Positive Reviews: Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews. High ratings and positive feedback build trust with potential buyers and can lead to increased sales. This can’t be underestimated; customers want to feel good when spending money, and trust ranks highly on the feel-good factor. Get those reviews piling in. Go for it!
5) Quality Customer Service: Provide excellent customer service, including fast response times to enquiries and efficient order processing. Happy customers are more likely to make repeat purchases. One of the critical differentiators that StoreFeeder has is our service. We treat our customers like partners. We value those relationships and pride ourselves on consistently delivering high-quality customer service. Make it your differentiator and watch the repeat business come flooding back.
6) Shipping Options: Ensure you offer various shipping options, including fast and affordable choices. Communicate estimated delivery times to set realistic expectations. Communication is critical here; ensure you get the best service from your courier. Keeping customers updated with where their orders are is invaluable—offering free postage when you can helps too.
7) Inventory Management: Keep your inventory levels updated to avoid stockouts or overstocking. Utilise inventory management software to track stock levels across marketplaces. We cannot emphasise enough the importance of good inventory management (insert blog link); this is the key to avoiding disappointed customers. Especially in Q4 , people want to know that those gifts will arrive in time for the big day.
8) Competitive Shipping Fees: Evaluate your shipping fees and consider offering free or competitive flat rates. High shipping costs can deter potential buyers. As per point six, if you are shipping large parcels, you should get decent deals from your couriers. Also, consider using a shipping management tool (link to ours) to ensure that your packing and despatch team gets the correct label and service for the order. Over time, this will save you a lot of money, all of which hits your bottom line.
9) Promotions and Marketing: Run targeted promotions, discounts, and advertising campaigns on marketplaces to increase visibility and attract more shoppers. It will not hurt you to invest in SEO and paid ads; if you have not done it before, take a serious look at it – also explore Google Shopping. This element of Google’s search engine has taken off and is driving sales to businesses utilising it.
10) Multi-Channel Management: Use multi-channel management software like StoreFeeder to streamline operations and efficiently manage inventory, orders, and listings across multiple marketplaces and your website. We don’t want to make this blog all about us and to quote every BBC presenter ever, “other multichannel management systems are available”, but we have been working on this platform for over ten years. We have learned from our customers that managing your eCommerce through a system like StoreFeeder grows your business! It’s a fact that, on average, customers using our platform have seen a revenue increase from their first year to the latest year of 267%. StoreFeeder is akin to having additional staff.
Tips to Increase Revenue, Quickly
Focusing on these critical areas can enhance your presence on UK marketplaces and drive more sales for your eCommerce business. If you are already selling across multiple platforms but the marketplace sales are slow, do the following questions resonate with you?
Why am I not getting sales on Amazon, eBay and other marketplaces?
How can I increase sales quickly?
There could be several reasons you are not getting sales on Amazon, etc. Here are some common factors to consider to sell more and quickly increase sales:
A) Competitive Market: Amazon is highly competitive, and your product may face stiff competition from other sellers. Ensure your product listings are optimised, and your prices are competitive. If you are not already an Amazon Prime seller, consider applying, the benefits of that Prime badge translate to sales.
B) Product Listing Quality: Poorly crafted product listings can deter customers. Ensure your listings have high-quality images, detailed descriptions, and relevant keywords. If you do not own the listing and are a third-party listing, look at your overall offering; why would one customer buy from you instead of another seller?
C) Pricing Strategy: If your prices are significantly higher than competitors for similar products, it can discourage sales. Revaluate your pricing strategy and consider offering competitive prices or promotions. Do not get tied up in a race to the bottom, though; make sure you set floors and ceilings for pricing. If you are still not selling, see point D:
D) Reviews and Ratings: Positive reviews and ratings build trust with potential buyers. Your product's lack of reviews or negative feedback may impact sales. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews—Prioritise service, where you can go the extra mile and surprise your customers. One of our customers slips a small packet of sweets into every order. It does not cost much but sets them apart from their competitors.
E) Inventory Management: Running out of stock can lead to missed sales opportunities. Conversely, overstocking ties up capital and may lead to long-term storage fees. Keep your inventory levels optimised. This is the time of the year when people rely on things arriving on time; manage your inventory well to avoid disappointment.
F) Fulfilment Method: If you use Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), ensure your products are in stock at Amazon's fulfilment centres. If you fulfil orders (FBM), maintain a reliable shipping process.
G) Advertising: Amazon, eBay and other marketplaces offer advertising options like sponsored products and brands. Consider using these to increase your product's visibility. Putting some budget into these options will pay off in the end; it’s not the be-all and end-all, but combined with the other tips and ideas, you’ll start to see cohesion within your selling.
H) Marketplace Policies: Ensure you follow the marketplace policies and guidelines. Violations can result in account suspensions or product removals. You do not need an account suspension ever. So, do your best to toe the line.
I) Product Quality: The quality of your product is crucial. If customers receive low-quality or damaged items, it can lead to negative reviews and returns. One negative review will hit your average hard. We keep stating it, but trust is essential in this game. Great reviews deliver great sales.
J) Market Research: This is one that many sellers do not put enough time into. Monitor market trends, consumer behaviour, and competitor strategies to adapt your approach accordingly. Using multi-channel management platforms will save you time with picking, packing and despatching – use that time to do your research.
K) External Marketing: Consider promoting your marketplace listings through external marketing channels like social media or email marketing to drive more traffic. As stated above, Google Shopping is delivering excellent sales for companies.
L) Seasonal Factors: Sales can vary seasonally. Some products may experience higher demand during specific times of the year. Get your plan in place well for any seasonal changes in the marketplace. Forewarned is forearmed! Plan quarterly for your seasonal fluctuations.
It is essential to regularly evaluate and adjust your Amazon and marketplace selling strategy based on performance data and changing market conditions. Additionally, consider using tools like Amazon Analytics and Seller Central reports to gain insights into your listings' performance.
Take the above points and implement the ones you feel will best suit your business and your growth. In the meantime, give us a shout if you want to understand more about how a platform like StoreFeeder can help your e-commerce business. We’re a good bunch and know a bit about eCommerce, too.
Thanks for taking the time to read the blog. There will be another one next week.