Having a digital sales strategy today is not so much of a nice-to-have but rather an essential in giving your start-up online business the best chance of success. With the number of ways to sell online matching the rate at which consumers are moving online to purchase goods and services, there’s never been a better time to set up or refine the way you sell online.
With competition at fever pitch, the psychology of how to sell online successfully in 2019 throws up a mixture of new and time-honored sales strategies.
Targeting, Clarity, Speed
Targeting the right customers with a clear message, quickly, is one of the most important elements in online sales success.
There can be few things as frustrating as putting effort and time into making your online marketplace look amazing, only to realise you are not reaching the customers who would find your services of interest. Having high-quality back-links driving traffic to you from third-party sites; the use of paid online advertising which is aligned to your audience; and the integration into your pages of the specific keywords your customers are using to find products will put your business on the front foot. Having a call to action at the end of communications is essential, but if the wrong type of customer is reading it, your hours of design work will go unanswered.
Online customers are no different from their high street counterparts. They want to be wowed – and wowed quickly. This means that you need instant clarity as to ‘why’ a customer needs to purchase from you – and purchase now. Offering something for nothing at the start, for example, help, assistance, discounts and free trials are all strategies that are known to work online to great effect.
Did you ever get offered a free sample of something in a shop and it tipped you into buying some of that same product? The same goes for online businesses. Giving customers ‘free’ or ‘extra’ services or products is now standard, and if your site doesn’t offer these, your potential customers will not have to go far to find one of your competitors who will.
With varying views as to how long customers will wait to find out if a product is one they want, one thing is for sure. They won’t wait long. Do your customers know at lightning speed, within seconds, how they will benefit from buying what you offer? If the answer to that is yes, then you have a foot in the digital door.
Sell online with Trust
Did you ever buy from someone you didn’t trust? The likelihood is that if you had alternatives or were unsure, the answer is probably ‘no’. Imagine now, a customer who doesn’t have face-to-face contact or even a voice on the phone to begin with, and it’s easy to see why trust is a major key to unlocking sales online, particularly with a new start-up.
As much as the look of your site, the price, robust customer service support, bone-fide address and landline number may all be essential, the smaller detail may put a potential customer off. Poorly worded content, one spelling error, a comma in the wrong place, slow loading speeds or one unexpected unrelated pop-up can be a make or break not just for the major search engines but your potential customers.
Authority and Reviews
Having an authority to support your start-up and reviews by third parties to endorse your products and services are two major elements in how to sell online in a way which will keep your customers engaged and your search engine rankings healthy. Acquiring content from authoritative sources, for example, professional bodies or government sites is invaluable. This may be either in the form of informative articles or direct communication.
You need real people with credibility who say that what you are selling is worth having. Put simply, people want to be associated with success and are also more inclined to align themselves with a trusted authority on a subject, particularly online.
Quantity and quality
Getting your online offerings in front of as many people as possible means embracing social media channels and any other online market you can take advantage of. The purchase of goods and services through social media channels has rocketed in recent years and whereas most start-ups will be connected in some way, not all of them will fully exploit these channels from the outset.
Keep track, refine and keep listening
Using site analytics will tell you how your site is being used from day one and where it can be optimised to help your customers get a better experience. Keeping track of this data and using it to refine your customer journey can be as important as keeping track of your customers through an efficient CRM system.
Lastly, and as important as any other aspect of selling online is listening. Listening to what customers want at the start, basing your products or services on it and continuing to listen to their feedback to refine your offering. The right online sales strategy will mean that your start-up has a fighting chance of being around for the long term.
Now you’re clued up on what it takes to sell online, why not get started? At lcn.com we love to watch businesses succeed online, so take a look around and grab everything you need to get your business off the ground in 2019.