There are a number of techniques Online Stores can implement to increase their sales. As research and development digging deep into analyzing consumers’ buying habits online, there has been a flow of new features to influence consumers to buy more online.
I have been observing these so-called Online Stores (also known as Online Shopping Mall, e-Commerce Store, e-Shop, e-Store, Virtual Store, etc.) for sometime now. It’s a wonderful experience to see how they are competing with each other to catch the heavy share of the market. But I was more interested to find out what all features they have for buyers to ensure maximum sales.
Hence, this post is meant for those who are starting up with their own online store. If you already have one, check this post to see if you have missed any feature to boost your sales and profits from your online store.
14 Features To Boost Online Sales & Profits
#1. Secure Shopping:
The first thing any customer would want while buying online is to protect their personal information like email id, phone number, credit card details, etc. So, the most important feature for any online store is to provide a secure shopping experience – a better SSL Server! You should have SSL certificate for your online store from your web host. It validates your site’s security and has a direct relation to losing and getting a customer.
#2. Affiliate Program:
Launching an affiliate program for your own online store can significantly boost online sales. Affiliate program is another selling technique where interested individuals can sell your products for a commission. Basically targeted to Bloggers and Internet Marketers, an affiliate program helps in reaching out to a wider audience through word-of-mouth and other promotional activities carried out by bloggers and marketers. While you miss out a chunk of profit as commission to these sellers, you make more profit due to increase in the number of sales.
#3. e-Gift Voucher:
e-Gift voucher is a simple feature that can attract many buyers. It’s a credit based voucher that allows buyers to send gift vouchers to their loved ones who then can redeem the amount for any products they like. It’s an innovative gifting system.
This feature has been on the rise. e-Wallet securely stores customer details, mainly billing and shipping and provides a better buying experience. It’s a pre-paid credit system where buyers make payment for one time and then shop at anytime with a few clicks. Once a user signs up for a e-Wallet, there always have chances of repeat purchases.
This feature is used by almost every online store. A wishlist simply allows users to create a list of their favorite items that they might buy at a future date. This feature helps in generating prospective customers and increase sales.
#6. Payment Options:
The availability of variety of payment options also have direct relation to sales. Would you like to lose a customer just because he/she doesn’t have a credit card? This is unlikely. Moreover, not everyone wants to make payment online. That’s why, Cash On Delivery option has an important role in increasing online sales today.
#7. Free Shipping:
Due to increasing competition, online stores also do offer free shipping to attract customers. Online stores offering free shipping always have more chances of sales than the ones who charge for the same.
#8. Promo Codes:
Offering special discount through promo codes are very common and is a popular way to increase online sales. The method is again powered by online marketing activities such as direct mails, advertisements, etc.
#9. Reward Points:
This feature was popular sometime back and now it is seen only in certain online stores. Reward points influence customers to buy more to earn rewards which can be redeemed in the next purchase. It helps in repeat sales and build loyal customers.
A little different from Reward Points which is earned when an item is bought, another feature found in some online stores is Refer-A-Friend to earn points. This works as a word-of-mouth marketing and helps in more online sales.
#11. Email & SMS Subscription:
In one sense, subscribed customers are those who buy online frequently. Subscriptions make promotion easy. While email subscription is a proven way of creating more online sales, SMS subscription is also on the rise. They are also said to be the form of online marketing that have the highest conversion rate.
#12. Live Chat:
This is not very common but is a promising feature that can boost online sales. This can be a value added feature that can convert prospective customers into a loyal customers. Live chat should be available for buyers to inquire anything about any item before purchase.
#13. Order By Phone:
I found this feature on a couple of e-Commerce sites where customers can order anything by phone and make the payment on delivery. This can also be an alternative to the Live Chat feature.
Testimonials from regular buyers can increase confidence level of new buyers. This is not exactly a sales technique but can help from losing prospective buyers.
These are my findings. What more features do you think can increase sales in online stores? Any comment would be appreciated.
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