When you build a commercial website to sell a product online, it’s important that it actually gets you sales.
While it’s tempting to make the prettiest or most elaborate website, that often has little impact on the actual sales that your website generates.
There are so many factors that go into whether your website sells product or not. Here are a few ways that you can optimize your website to increase sales.
1. Ask for the Sale
One of the most common mistakes that web designers make is that they don’t ask for the sale clearly enough on the website. Many websites are good at providing basic information on a product or educating their visitors with great content. Where they are often lacking is in asking for the sale.
This means that you need to implement multiple calls to action on your web pages. This might mean having a prominently featured “Buy it Now” button towards the top of the page.
Here is an example from a cosmetics brand Florame:
In most cases, it’s wise to have multiple calls to action on the same page. For example, you might have a “Try it risk-free” button towards the top and a “Get a free 60-day trial today” button further down the page. The more times that you can ask for the sale without overdoing it, the more sales your website is going to generate.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for the sale within your content. You’ll never get it if you don’t ask.
2. Build Your List
Many websites make the mistake of trying to get the sale on a user’s first visit to their website. They spend so much time trying to make everything perfect, so that their visitors will buy on the first visit.
Depending on the product, this simply may not be viable. A better strategy is to try to build a list of subscribers and market to them again and again. As you develop a list of people that you can send content to, you start to become the expert.
People trust experts and they are more likely to buy from someone they trust. Implement a method to getting people’s contact information early in their visit to your site. You don’t want to beat them over the head with it, but it is important.
Whether you use a pop-up form or a more subtle “Subscribe to our mailing list” section on the page, just work towards building a list with your site.
Here is an example from Zoomlite, a travel luggage provider, on one of their blog posts about travel safety:
3. Offer a Free Incentive
One of the best concepts you can use when it comes to growing a list or getting customers is reciprocity. If you offer your guests something free just for showing up, they will feel obligated to return the favor at some point in the future.
In many cases, simply giving your guests a free report or ebook will be enough to endear them to you forever. If you give them really valuable content that they can use to solve a problem, then it will help your chances that much more.
Don’t be afraid to give them too much of your information for free. Instead, try to over-deliver in your efforts to provide valuable content to your visitors. It will pay off in the form of increased sales in the future.
Bluewire Media are the masters at this with their free 33 marketing templates:
4. Review the Purchasing Process
Another problem that many websites have is that their checkout process is really confusing. You might have to get through 5 or 6 steps before the sale is actually completed.
Every additional step that you put between a visitor getting to your site and the end goal of a completed sale makes it that much more likely that your visitor will leave. If your visitor leaves without buying anything or even giving you their contact information, it’s a loss for you.
Try to look at your checkout process through the eyes of one of your customers that has never seen your site before. Take out any unnecessary steps and try to make it as simple as humanly possible. As the checkout process gets easier, sales tend to go up on a corresponding manner.
Amazon is the leader in this space:
5. Split Test
When you build a web page, it’s up to you to give it your first best guess as to what you think people will respond to. Sometimes you’re right and sometimes you get it wrong. If you get it wrong, it’s not the end of the world. Instead of just giving up and packing it in, try some new things and see what works.
Many webmasters use a strategy called split testing to see what works best in closing the sale. This strategy involves creating two different versions of the same page and sending an equal amount of traffic to both of them.
You can then see how people respond to the pages and adjust accordingly. If you see that the conversion rate of one page is 50% higher than the other page, you’ll know which page people respond the best to. Then you can change the page that’s not working that well to be closer to the one that is, and test out another variable.
In this manner of constant incremental improvement, you can really create a fine-tuned machine with a great conversion rate.
Overall, there is a lot that goes into creating a successful website that sells a lot of product. If you continually look for ways to improve the sales performance of your website, you’ll eventually find the success that you desire.
Author: Mel Devent is a passionate blogger who enjoys writing about all things digital marketing. She is currently working as a Marketing Associate at Blogger Sidekick, helping small businesses build authority brands with content marketing. In her spare time she loves scuba diving, watching movies and catching up with friends.