Czas czytania: do 12 minut
According to the “E-commerce Market in Poland” report from Gemius, there are about 350 newly opened online stores each month just in Poland. In turn, 77% of Poles shop online. Despite this great sales potential, it is also important to note a vast competition in the form of more than 55,000 actively operating e-stores.
Dynamically growing supply therefore creates the necessity to operate in a highly competitive environment. That translates into an almost an obligation to constantly improve one’s offering, along with the way the entire online business operates. Discover 10 effective ways to increase sales in online store.
Way 1: find the right products to sell in your store
The first of these is a fundamental issue. Ensure that your store has products that customers actually need. To achieve this, you need to systematically check several things:
Analyze both which products customers are willing to buy and which products are not so popular. If necessary, organize a warehouse sale to get rid of unprofitable inventory.
Secondly, look at the phenomenon of seasonal products. Some products are more popular at certain periods of the year. For example, demand for sandals tends to rise in early April and fall in early September. For you as a retailer, it’s a signal to get new products in this category into your online store by March.
The sellout, on the other hand, is always best to prepare for the last days of August. All this to increase the chance of selling all the sandals you have in stock.
To analyze seasonality you will find it useful to use Google Trends platform, from which the chart above was taken. With the help of this tool, you will find out how popular selected search phrases are at a certain time. If you are selling on Amazon, for example, equip yourself with sales forecast tools such as Streamline.
Diversify your product range to offer your customers products for any season. This requires access to multiple suppliers with whom you can integrate your store. This is where Droplo can assist you. A platform where you can find hundreds of suppliers and which provides automation of many sales processes. In addition, it fully supports the dropshipping model.
Way 2: make your store look attractive
According to the report “The ecommerce market in Poland in 2022,” even 16% of online shoppers pointed out that an aesthetically attractive and functional website is a factor that motivates them to make a purchase. Laying pressure on this aspect has therefore great importance.
What is implied by the term “functional site”? There are several aspects that you should keep in mind. First of all, make sure that the user, upon entering the home page, immediately knows how to buy. In doing so, the most important section must be in the first view after opening the homepage. In the case of an online store it could be e.g. a banner with promotions, news or a “bestseller” section.
The length of the purchase path is also quite important. From the moment a product is added to the shopping cart to making a purchase, there should be as short a path as possible. At the same time, the design of the shopping cart itself should encourage the user to perform an appropriate behavior.
In the case of stores with an extensive assortment, an equally important issue is a properly constructed main menu. It is worth using the largest entities in the e-commerce industry.
Perform a short task.
Enter Media Expert, Media Markt, morele.net or Empik.com. According to a Mediapanel survey, these are some of the largest e-commerce websites in Poland. Pay attention to the structure of their main menu. As a customer, you will be able to easily find the products you are interested in, right? And that’s exactly the effect you’re after.
Way 3: take care of your online store’s SEO optimization
Another proven recipe for increasing sales is to improve visibility in search results. After all, for what is even the best-designed store if a customer simply can’t find it in a search engine?
The basic rules of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are:
- Search for keywords related to your products.
- Create product descriptions that contain very specific keywords.Example: a Ryobi angle grinder must have a description that includes the appropriate saturation of the phrase “Ryobi angle grinder”.
- Ensure that the category descriptions contain all the necessary search phrases related to the product range. For example: dishwasher spare parts should contain such phrases as: “spare parts for dishwashers”, “dishwasher parts Bosch / Electrolux / any other brand” or just “dishwasher parts”.
- All graphics on the page should include an alternative description (the so-called “alt attribute”) along with the search phrase.
- Speed up your website, especially for mobile devices.
- Fill in the meta description and meta title. These are the elements that users can see in search results.
Remember that the first headline on each subpage must be of row one (<h1>) and all subsequent headlines must be of row two (<h2>) or row three (<h3>).
Create a spreadsheet in which you will break down the entire structure of the site for yourself in the form of a table. Then search for keywords related to your industry and assign the most matching phrases to each subpage. In this way you will organize the work of optimizing your site.
Perform this step even if you already know that you will decide to work with an SEO agency. In principle, this is the first stage in the preparation of a SEO strategy.
Way 4: let customers to leave you feedback
Once a customer has arrived at your online store, you still need to convince him/her that you are trustworthy. According to the report “The e-commerce market in Poland in 2022”, the deciding factor for a store’s trustworthiness is feedback from other users.
So give them the opportunity to give you a rating. Both within your site and on external channels such as Google Maps, social media reviews or Trustpilot. The more positive reviews, the better for your authenticity.
Way 5: give customers different payment options
As many people, as many preferences. Some prefer to pay with Blik, others will trust PayPal exclusively and a few will definitely rely on a traditional bank transfer. Give all these options to your customers. Research shows that the more forms of payment a store has, the more reliable it is.
What else does the research say about customer preferences? According to the report “The e-commerce market in Poland in 2022,” users are most likely to use fast transfers through a payment gateway, such as Przelewy24, PayU or DotPay (70% of respondents).
In second place are mobile payments, mainly Blik (58% of respondents). Third place belongs to card payments (43%), followed by cash on delivery at the courier’s (41%), traditional transfer (40%) and payment in person at the store (32%).
Way 6: provide a good customer service
The sixth way to increase sales in an online store is to provide professional customer service. This term includes both the way you give your advice and the channels you use to do so.
Professional advice is nothing more than the ability to support the customer in the decision-making process. Imagine you are selling laptops. A customer calls you saying he needs equipment for office work. Are you selling him the most expensive product you can find? Probably not.
At first, you ask what specific activities he will be performing, whether the laptop will be used only for writing or, for example, for graphic design. Once you know what the customer’s specific needs are, you advise him which model of laptop will be best for him. This is exactly what professional customer service is all about. You help the buyer, but do not force sales.
It’s also worth ensuring that this type of advice is provided through various channels. Live Chat on the website, a contact form, a hotline – these are now the primary forms of contact. Think additionally about support through Facebook fanpage, presence on community groups or the possibility of stationary service at the company’s headquarters. The more contact channels you provide your customers with, the faster you will gain their trust.
Method 7: give customers the option to return and exchange products
How else can you make your reputation as a retailer grow? Make sure you have a clear policy for handling complaints and returns. This is what law obliges you to do, by the way. According to e.g. the current law in Poland, every customer has the right to return goods purchased online within 14 days.
What can you do as a retailer to simplify this? Design a special page with a complaint form and make sure that the terms for making returns are clear and written in simple language. Also consider a longer return period than required by law. How about 30 or even 90 days after purchase? These are also an increasingly common options.
Also make sure that the return process itself is simplified. Consider the option of sending the item back for free via Parcel Post, any courier service or to the store’s headquarters. These are the ways that customers appreciate the most.
Way 8: offer promotions and discounts
One of the factors that determines whether a customer will buy anything from a certain store is an attractive discount system. The report “The e-commerce market in Poland in 2022” shows that this is a motivating factor for 43% of online shoppers.
The fact that consumers like discounts is evidenced at least by the existence of a whole market offering that meets these needs. The best examples are sites like Groupon. Introducing an attractive discount system in your store is therefore a “bull’s-eye”.
In your store you can choose to introduce several types of discounts:
– quantity based – a discount given on the purchase of a certain number of goods (for example, buy 2 yogurts, get 3 free);
– time limited – this discount is used as a short-term sales boost. E.g. “Buy until the end of the month and receive a 5% discount”;
– loyalty – this discount is used for customers who buy from you, for example, consistently for a year;
– “loss leader” – this type of discount involves reducing the margin of one product in the hope that customers who buy it will also purchase rest of the products.
When deciding on a specific discount system, remember that discounts are a de facto sales expenses. After all, you are lowering your margin to motivate your customers to buy. Therefore, it is worth carefully analyzing the pricing strategy you adopt and choose the one that works best for you.
Don’t have the right data? Apply and test selected types of discounts. This way you will find out how it will affect the economic return of your business and what effects it will bring in the long run.
Way 9: take care of marketing and advertising
When thinking about increasing sales, you also need to take care of proper marketing. This includes a number of actions to achieve one result: manage customer relations in a way to generate profit.
The right marketing strategy includes a number of actions. Those that produce the quickest results are the following:
– newsletters to customers, in which you inform them about blog news;
– mailing campaigns, which include information about new offerings and discounts;
– presence on social media groups, which includes participating in discussions with potential customers and convincing them to take advantage of your offer;
– paid campaigns and remarketing using tools such as Google Ads or paid ad systems on social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and Twitter.
Content marketing is also an effective way to manage customer relations. Its main element is a company blog, which, properly maintained, improves online visibility. With its help you also create the image of an expert in your industry.
While doing so, take care of content distribution to reach the widest possible audience. For this purpose, use the above marketing actions. Also rely on personal profiles on LinkedIn, creating brand ambassadors out of your employees. This will give additional authenticity to the fact that your store is a trustworthy place.
Way 10: analyze and monitor conversions
Improving your sales effectiveness is only possible if you know which activities produce the best results. That’s why it’s a good idea to constantly analyze everything you do to improve sales.
In doing so, you don’t have to limit yourself to a spreadsheet. You can find a number of tools that will improve your analytical process. The most commonly used tool is Google Analytics, which will provide you with information about customer behavior, events and sales from your online store.
Another free analytics tool is Open Web Analytics, which operates under an open source license. You have access to the source code, which opens the way for you to customize OWA (Outlook Web App) to your own requirements. To do so, however, you will need the support of a programmer to make the necessary modifications.
Among paid solutions, you should specify such options as Piwik PRO, Amplitude or Mixpanel. These tools require a license to be purchased. In return, you get implementation support and technical support once you use them. If you don’t feel up to configuring free analytics software yourself, choose a commercial solution.
While analyzing your sales, you should also use other tools:
- Google Search Analytics, which will provide you with information about the search keywords by which customers reach your store;
- a CRM system with which you can measure both online and offline sales (if you have one);
- an SEO measurement and planning tool, such as Senuto, ahrefs, SEMRUSH, SEMSTORM or moz.com.
With these, you will plan keywords, check the pages linking to your store, or at least what sub-pages collide with each other (i.e., display when the same keywords are typed in).
Focus on both the number of transactions and the conversion rate during your analysis. Especially the second indicator is important, because it tells you how many of your visitors decide to buy from your store. The higher the conversion rate, the better traffic you deliver to your site.
You are now familiar with 10 reliable methods to increase the sales in an online store. You’ll observe the effects as you implement at least one of them. The best online businesses, however, use all of them at once.
The discussed ways complement each other. Practice, however, proves that you will get the best results if you implement them one by one. Then you concentrate more on single action, which as a result is more beneficial.
Do you use any of the ways? Maybe you have other ideas to make your chances of increasing sales grow? Let us know. Preferably in a comment if you want to share your knowledge and experience.
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