Online selling tips for beginners in 2019

Here are 7 of the best online selling tips for beginners (new ecommerce enterprises), but could also help with existing online shops.

Online Marketplace

To sell successfully online, it’s easy to imagine that the only things you need are good products or services, and an attractive website.

If it was that straightforward, there would be a lot more millionaires around!

Some of the best new business ideas have crashed and burned, despite the entrepreneurs involved developing great-looking websites.

So, how can you avoid ecommerce pitfalls and get the sales coming in? Find out by tucking in to these juicy online selling tips for beginners in 2019:

1. Know the nature of the beast!

One of best online selling tips is to gain a good understanding of the world of ecommerce.

By 2040 95% of purchases will be made online

By 2040 95% of purchases will be made online (source: https://www.nasdaq.com/article/uk-online-shopping-and-e-commerce-statistics-for-2017-cm761063)

There’s no doubting that it has massive potential as a way of connecting products to customers. People are buying more and more online. If it carries on growing at this rate, it is predicted that by 2040 as much as 95% of all purchases will be made using the internet!

Currently, UK consumers spend an average of £1,600 online each, per year.

(source: Smart Insights)

However, before you decide to invest in a website and carve your share of that consumer spending, it’s recommended you consider whether your type of product lends itself best to retail based on “clicks” or “bricks”. Ecommerce is rapidly growing, but there are still some things customers prefer to buy in person.

If you go ahead with an ecommerce website, the online spending habits of your target market need closer inspection.

2. Are customers finding you?

Some of the best ecommerce sites flop due to the fact no one can find them!

Make sure you signpost to your website every chance you get and certainly on social media.

Getting found, also hinges on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). This is when you build key words and phrases into your website – and create good content.

SEO AnalyticsGoogle will give your website a higher ranking, so it appears higher up when customers search for your type of products or a location.

Also, you may want to consider some paid-for advertising on Google and social media, to direct traffic to your site. Make sure this is well planned and delivered to avoid wasting cash.

3. Small print can be a stumbling block

Ordering online and having things delivered to your door is growing in popularity, but your customers will be looking for reassurances that you’re efficient enough to handle that.

As many as 67% of online shoppers report that they read up on returns policies before completing a transaction!

(source: Invespcro)

They are also going to be scrutinising your delivery charges and timescales. These are the sort of operational details that can make a big difference in levels of abandoned shopping carts online.

Of course, you won’t do yourself any favours if your website looks outdated or boring either!

Small print

As many as 67% of online shoppers report that they read up on returns policies before completing a transaction!

So, the take home in terms of online selling tips is to make sure your procedures and policies are clear and customer-centric.

Also, your reputation rests on you looking good.

4. Who, what, why

Another common mistake in ecommerce is to pack websites full of lots of information and images, including some fabulous slideshow graphics and a scattering of pop-ups!

The expression that comes to mind is, “you can’t see the wood for the trees”. Your customers will struggle to find what they are looking for.

Can't see the wood for the trees

Don’t pack your website full of lots of information and a scattering of pop-ups! Your customers will struggle to find what they are looking for.

You must know your target audience well, then make sure that your products are laid out clearly, with their benefits displayed loud and proud!

In a nutshell, know who you are talking to, push exactly what you are selling and make sure you give good reasons WHY they should buy from you.

To begin understanding your users, it’s good practice to use a UX design technique called designing personas. There’s a free persona template you can download here for just that task.

5. Fast response times

You have 15 seconds or less

You have less than 15 seconds to grab a website visitor’s attention, before they tap away.

What a shame if you’re losing sales because you are “too slow” for potential customers. This comes down to how quickly your site loads (helped by fewer whistles and bells) and how easy it is to navigate around.

Can customers click between product types – and instantly see recommendations for associated items or attractive add-ons?

A smooth payment process

Also, make sure the transition to your payment page is seamless. If customers have to click too many times or wade through superfluous amounts of security and privacy notices, they will lose interest.

Make sure when they raise a query on your website or via email, customers receive a prompt response.

6. Dynamic content

Clarity is important when it comes to the content of your website, but so is keeping it fresh and building in “added value”.

This means using strong images, news, blogs and additional product information to keep visitors interested – and hopefully attract them back for repeat visits.

Obachan

An excellent use of white space here on the Obachan site.

Don’t pack too much into your site though, and use white space well. This is the empty area around text and graphics to focus attention on it, or to help move customers visually from one point to another. More on why white space is important here.

7. Are you watching?

Even when your online sales start to grow, never lose sight of the importance of analytics.

This is the behind the scenes information that helps you to understand the behaviour of website visitors.

Analytics can tell you the levels of your website traffic, and where those leads are coming from.

Google Analytics Traffic

Analytics, can also show you at what point you lose people! This is data you can use to see gaps or obstacles in converting leads into sales, to continually improve your website’s user experience.

So, keep it clean, quick and to the point; happy selling!