Increase online sales

1. Create buyer personas and optimize your site for these customers.

Use customer interviews to find similarities in your customers, and then map out different personas. Your personas will dictate every word and every image on your site. Your website layout, navigation, and general user flow should all come from personas.

2. Target your buyer personas with relevant messaging in your advertising.

Learn why people need your product, which problems it solves, and reflect it back to them. When your target group feels understood, magic happens.

3. Design a great site that looks good and is easy to navigate.

Use an experienced website designer and pay a fair price for the design. Use real photos instead of stock images where possible, if you need to use stock photos, don’t pick clichés like the much-hated, woman laughing with salad. Beautiful design sells better than ugly design. Beautiful does not mean laden with bells and whistles, often, it’s quite simple. Every page on your site should have a most-wanted action, the number-one thing you want people to do on that page. This is where visual hierarchy comes in.

4. Create a compelling value proposition.

In a nutshell, a value proposition is a clear statement that explains how your product solves customers’ problems or improves their situation (relevance), delivers specific benefits (value), and tells the ideal customer why they should buy from you, and not the competition (differentiation). Your value proposition should be the first thing that visitors see on your homepage, but it should also be visible at all major entry points to the site.

5. Understand and sell differently to people in different buying phases; people who have a problem or need but don’t know it, people who are researching options or comparison shopping, and people who have made a decision to buy.

For people who have a need but don’t know it, you need to explain the problem first. For people who are researching, the main question you need to answer is, Why should I buy from you? State your advantages and differences on your homepage and product pages, and if you sell mass-market products, and you’re not the cheapest, clearly communicate the added value of your higher price. For people who have made a decision, include clearly visible call-to-action buttons like Add to cart, or links with trigger words like Sign up, so they can easily convert into customers.

6. Reduce friction by simplifying the process of finding information and making a purchase.

Address all doubts and give users full information, so they can convince themselves. Elements that add friction: Long or complicated forms with lots of fields, like 3-page applications. Websites with horrible usability. People don’t understand how to buy or can’t find any contact info. Anonymous site. No names, photos, phone numbers, or physical address is visible. If you’re trying to hide, you must have something to hide. Ugly, amateur website.  Insufficient evidence. You make a bunch of claims but don’t back them up. Insufficient information. A chair: 2 feet tall, black, $5,000. There are thousands of sites that provide hardly any information about the products they sell. Research says 50% of purchases are not completed due to lack of information. FUDs. Fears, uncertainties, doubts. The way to overcome these is to address those FUDs in your sales copy. Interview your customers to find out what they are. Add testimonials so that potential customers are reassured by others’ positive experiences.

7. Simplify your copy using the friend test, and eliminate choice paralysis by focusing on one or two key options.

Read the text on your website out loud and imagine it’s a conversation with your friend. If there’s a word or a sentence you wouldn’t use, rewrite it. When there are too many options, it’s easiest to choose nothing at all. In addition, more choices make us unhappy. Identify a single-most wanted action for each screen, then make sure the important stuff stands out. Don’t have anything in the layout that isn’t absolutely necessary, simple works.

8. Engage visitors by giving them a reason to give you their email address, follow you on social media, trial your product, or enter a competition.

9. Add urgency by introducing quantity, time, or contextual limitations.

Quantity limitations. “Only 2 tickets left at this price!” Time limitations. “Early-bird pricing ends July 1!” Contextual limitations. “Get a gift now for Father’s Day!”

10. Follow usability standards so that your website is easier to use and people don't get frustrated to the point of leaving.