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5 tips to get people to buy online

Online sales is a booming industry and the revenue is growing exponentially. One just has to look at the many retail giants with years of experience that have either scaled back or closed down altogether to see the effect it is having on traditional retailers. Those are the companies that did not adapt fast enough to changing shopping habits and the importance of online marketing. There will no doubt be more causalities to come yet some retailers have embraced the change and are using online marketing and sales to enhance their business. Many successful online sales organizations do not have a physical presence, they exist online only, and many are doing extremely well.

The challenge with online sales is that the barriers to entry are extremely low. There are no major setup costs as you would have with a brick-and-mortar retailer and the overhead is negligible in comparison to rentals, salaries, and the many costs a traditional retailer would face. This means there is massive competition online, whether you are selling baked beans or bicycles, there will be hundreds, if not thousands of others.

To be successful with online sales, you have to stand out from the crowd: you have to be different and you have to be better.

Here are 5 tips to get people to buy online.

1. Service, service, service

With property and retail locations, they say location, location, location. Online, it is all about your reputation and your customer care. I put service first on the list as it does not matter how great your website is, how good your product is and, to a large extent, how low your pricing is. If your customer care and after sales service is poor, it will cripple your online sales.

As much as the internet gives you the ability to reach a vast number of people in a short amount of time, it also gives the dissatisfied customer the same advantage. Online, your reputation is everything. People read reviews and look at ratings, so in order to be successful; your service has to be flawless.

2. Create credibility

It is essential to establish trust and credibility. This is done through quality, honest copy, testimonials from happy customers, and developing your experience and expertise.

Dealing with negative feedback and problems is also critical. Although it falls under customer care, your online reputation will affect your credibility.

3. Have a great-looking shop

Just as a traditional retailer needs to have a good-looking store that is always neat and tidy, the same applies online. Again, you want to stand out from the competitors. A website that looks good will attract more people and retain their interest for longer. You also want to keep it fresh and up-to-date. Make regular changes to encourage repeat visitors.

Not only must the site look good, but it also has to function perfectly as well. It must make browsing and purchasing as fast and simple as possible.

A quality site will also enhance your credibility online.

4. Focus on your target market

You cannot be all things to all people and trying that approach will most likely fail. As with any marketing, you want to get inside the head of your target market. Design your site and shape your copy to appeal to and engage your target market.

Promotional items and free gifts will also attract people. Companies such as GoPromotional offer a wide range of enticing, attractive options.

5. Upsell and Cross-sell

You want to maximize every customer engagement, and one of the benefits of online sales is that this is quite easy and effective. Over time you will build up a huge amount of data that you can use to your advantage.

Pair items that complement each other or recommend other items the buyer is likely to be interested in. Make sure the site tries to suggest a higher-priced alternative to the one selected as well as other items or accessories that could go with the purchase.

Online sales offer a wealth of opportunities, but you have to stay on your toes. Keeping these tips in mind will set you up to be successful, but there is a lot more that has to be done. Get to know your customers and your competitors and constantly strive to be number one.

Richard Larson

Richard Larson is the Marketing Manager at, the leading UK promotional products company. He enjoys sharing his experience on a range of subjects to enable customers to increase their brand awareness through the use of promotional merchandise.

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