There’s nothing better than working one on one with a customer to help them find the perfect product to fit their needs. That’s what small business is all about. You ask them what they came in to find, and help them find just that. Then they leave with a new product and you’re both happy.

But how do you successfully fill a customer’s needs when you aren’t face-to-face with that customer? How do you increase sales if you can’t talk to the customer in person and explain how great your products are?

Here are four ways you can give customers a great online shopping experience that will also increase your sales. And you can do it all from your computer. Today.

 

What do you do on your homepage?

If a customer were to walk into your store, you would most likely have a display of new products. Employees might even point them out. Do the same thing on your website. Create a featured products section on your homepage so your customers can see the latest and greatest things you want to recommend to them. Call the section whatever you’d like, “New Products”, “Hot Items”, “Recent Products”, or simply, “Featured Products”. Whatever you decide to name it, be sure to have a section on your homepage that online visitors will see right away so they don’t miss out on your products and you don’t miss out on potential sales.

 

Read 7 Steps to Nailing The Perfect Homepage Here

How is your online store looking?

Every store owner knows that there is a strategy to the way you set up your products. You create displays of products that go together to make things more convenient for customers and to encourage them to buy more. Everybody wins. The same principle applies on your website. By suggesting related products to your customers, you are helping them out by providing a more personalized,  convenient shopping experience, while helping your store out by increasing the amount the average customer will spend. If your current website provider doesn’t allow you to add suggested products, you may want to find one that does.

Are you fully utilizing the power of email marketing?

Do you use email marketing to promote your products? Customers often want to know when you have new products in, when products go on sale, etc. You already have an interested audience, all you have to do is collect customer email addresses and email them about the great things your store has going on. According to Convince and Convert, people who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than people that do not receive email offers. Email marketing is easy to do, and well worth the effort.  We’ve even created a guide to help you. Read Your Guide to Email Marketing Success Here.

How often do you recommend products on social media?

Take advantage of the human connection provided by social media. Be sure to respond to any inquiries about products in a friendly, helpful way.

In addition to that, take the opportunity to start the conversation about your products by posting, tweeting, pinning, etc, a photo of a new product when it comes in, when it goes on sale, when it’s seasonally appropriate, or when it goes home with a happy customer. Of course, you’ll want to use your best judgment in doing this in such a way that doesn’t come across as overly salesy.

Musician Supply does a great job of using social media to show off their great products, while also showing personality and not being overly salesy. In the example below, they show support and excitement for an aspiring musician, while also showing off their great Ibanez guitar. Using the hashtag #Ibanez within their text where it fit naturally was also a nice touch. If they had stuck the hashtag on at the end and given it company with ten other hashtags, it would have lost some of its genuine feel and would have a more salesy look.

 

 

 

Time to Apply

While you can’t give your online customers the exact same experience they would enjoy in your store, you can give them a great experience online by providing them with multiple opportunities to see all that your store has to offer. Many of your online customers will come into the store, and many of your in-store customers will shop online. That’s the goal. Start implementing the strategies discussed above today, and you’ll see your sales increase this year. You’ll also see an increase in repeat customers, and an increase in customer satisfaction. Customers will enjoy the experience they’re having with your store, and they’ll come back.  They might even bring their friends.

 

About Author

Holly Wade

Holly Wade is a lover of words and marketing. She can’t read great writing without smiling, and she can’t watch a commercial without analyzing its success as marketing content. She gets a little carried away every time she goes to the library, and she always sides with using the Oxford comma. She’s loved writing for Rain Retail Software since she started in 2010 after graduating from Brigham Young University.

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