Tips for ramping up sales online
Research by OnDeck shows that few small businesses have been able to avoid the tentacles of the Coronavirus pandemic, with 81% saying they have been affected.
In times like the present, it pays to think differently about your business, and if social distancing measures are preventing customers physically coming to your shop or business event, making the most of technology can help you keep the sales ticking over.
Sprucing up the digital shop front
If you want to ramp up online sales, digital marketing expert Mitch McCormick advises SMEs to make certain their websites are up to scratch. “Thanks to social distancing measures and lockdowns, your website is now your shop front and needs to entice customers from their first impression, all the way through to your online checkout or customer enquiry form.”
Mitch recommends that an SME’s website should at a minimum clearly explain what a business does, must include high-quality images and be easy to navigate. “If you’re unsure if your website ticks all the boxes, consider getting a website audit or engaging a professional web designer to create the website you need,” he says.
There are also some free tools available online which can help you get the basics of your website right. Google Lighthouse, for example, can be used on Chrome browsers to rate your website’s performance, accessibility and whether it follows some basic web best practices. It will make suggestions based on the audit, and from there you can decide whether you need professional help to make improvements. For most issues, you can resolve them pretty simply yourself.
Consider different payments methods
When shopping online, consumers prefer varying payment methods. Mitch advises, “Your online checkout should provide customers with the option of paying by credit card, PayPal or alternatively offer buy now/pay later options.
“By providing customers with payment choices, you won’t lose them because of limited payment options when they reach the checkout.”
If you offer great customer service terms such as free returns or money-back guarantees, make sure these carrots are clearly visible, particularly on important pages such as your shopping cart, Mitch recommends.
Monitor buying habits and margins
If your business is transitioning towards online selling, you’ll need to take note of your customers’ purchase habits. You may see a shift in your most popular products and services as customers go online, “so pay close attention to your analytics and revenue data so you can focus on promoting what your customers truly want,” advocates Mitch.
Like most businesses, margins are incredibly important for online businesses. Mitch says, “If you can reduce costs by transitioning to more affordable shipping methods or increase profits by offering up-sells on your website, you can drastically improve your bottom line.”
Digital word of mouth can make or break your online sales. “Set up a free Google Alert to notify you when people mention your business online and carefully monitor all customer reviews and enquiries,” Mitch recommends. “Likewise, you can also set up a Google News Alert to keep an eye on whether journalists are talking about your business too.”
The fastest way to attract new customers online is by running advertising campaigns by means of Google Ads and Facebook Ads. “Consider getting help from a professional marketer to get the best possible return from your investment in online sales,” Mitch urges.
Could an OnDeck loan help?
If you need a hand with financing your online sales and marketing strategy or to refresh your website, an OnDeck small business loan may be the answer.
Learn more about OnDeck loans
Prepared by OnDeck Capital Australia Pty Ltd ABN 28 603 753 215 (“OnDeck”) for general information purposes only. Content may belong to or have originated from third parties and OnDeck takes no responsibility for the accuracy, validity, reliability or completeness of any information. Information current as at September 2020. You should not rely upon the material or information as a basis for making any business, financial or any other decisions. Loans issued in Australia are subject to the terms of a loan agreement issued by OnDeck. Loans are subject to lender approval. OnDeck® is a Registered Trademark. All rights reserved.