How to boost online sales in 2021

Let’s face it, for eCommerce merchants online sales are everything. As we enter 2021, it’s a good time to stop and think about the specific actions you took to boost online sales in 2020.

Understanding where you went wrong and determining what you’re going to do differently will be vital in fueling growth. Payflex spotlights some ways you can boost online sales fast and increase your revenue.

Rethink your shipping policy

Free shipping is a powerful incentive, which is why it has become impossible for eCommerce retailers to ignore it. Consumers have grown to expect free shipping to be available either as a bonus for spending a certain amount, or as an automatic feature of the site. 

Adding shipping costs to the online shopping process, especially at the very last step, means a large chunk of buyers leave without making the purchase.  In fact, 63 percent of cart abandonments are due to extra costs for shipping. 

Consider building the shipping price into your product price. Another option is setting a minimum order amount to qualify for shipping to make sure you don’t come out at a loss. Whichever option you choose, offering free shipping is sure to increase online sales, which will more than make up for the revenue spent paying for shipping. 

Take the pain out of payments

When it comes to payments, customers expect to use the method and channel they are most comfortable with.  A recent Paysafe survey found 60% of businesses agree that offering a variety of payment options is more important now than ever, especially since shoppers have leaned more toward digital payment options as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 At the same time, the pandemic has catalysed the growth of alternative and flexible payment options like buy now pay later (BNPL). BNPL is  playing an increasingly important role in motivating consumers to make purchases, particularly among millennials. A recent Pyments study found close to 40% of millennials would be very interested in using BNPL solutions if they were more widely available within digital wallets. Therefore, if you want to boost online sales, you need to offer a variety of payment options that will appeal to the unique needs of a variety of different customers. 

Offer tailored recommendations

Tailoring the customer experience is a great way to boost online sales. Epsilon and GBH Insights found that 80% of consumers want personalization from retailers. Similarly, 71% of consumers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal. Equally, 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them. 

 Recent McKinsey research found when done right, personalization allows retailers to do more than merely survive: it enables them to thrive. Harness data analytics and tools and technology to get to know your customers. This will help ensure you’re able to deliver a seamless experience across multiple touchpoints in the consumer journey. 

Pay attention to your product copy and images

The importance of compelling product copy and excellent product photos cannot be overstated enough.  Almost 90% of customers say product descriptions are a major factor in their purchasing decisions. But it can be so easy to get them wrong. When putting together descriptions, make sure they paint a clear and insightful picture of the product and its key features and benefits. 

At the same time, imagery is one of the most important aspects of your eCommerce sales strategy. In fact, 93% of consumers considering visual content to be the key deciding factor in a purchasing decision. A picture is going to do a lot of the hard work in getting your products sold. Make sure all imagery is high quality and beautifully styled and shot. What’s more, harness emerging technologies to integrate 360 degree imagery, immersive videos, and ‘virtual try on’ capabilities into your site to heighten the customer journey. 

Focus on reviews & testimonials to boost online sales

 The significance of word of mouth can never be  overlooked even in the digital era. Which is why customer testimonials are such a powerful tool for eCommerce retailers. Online shoppers don’t get the opportunity to view your products in person and physically hold them. As a result, they need greater reassurance that your product will meet expectations. In fact, the Spiegel Research Center found 95% of shoppers read comments online before making a purchase. At the same time,  when a product gets five reviews, the likelihood of it being purchased increases by 270%. To ease shopper uncertainty, encourage reviews and testimonials from other customers who have bought the same item. This will help them overcome any doubts they may have had and guide them toward a purchase.

Spotlight your top selling items

A clever way of increasing online sales  is highlighting products you know your customers are looking for. Showcasing your website’s top sellers is an excellent way to spotlight popular products that are in high demand. It also makes other customers aware of what other shoppers are buying. Knowing that a product is a best seller is a strong incentive for a shopper who may have been  on the fence.