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Five Ways to Increase Online Sales

BAMBORA OPINION

20 November 2019

Victoria Galloway

With eCommerce growing and online shopping booming, competition for a slice of the pie is getting tougher. Improving a few elements of your website might just be what you need to help take your business to the next level. In this post, we take a look at some of the steps merchants can take towards increasing online sales.

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Many business owners will be wondering where the best place to sell products and services online is.

While selling via Amazon, eBay or even Instagram can prove fruitful, often your own website will be the best channel for driving online revenue. If maintaining a healthy website feels challenging, here's some motivation:

Australia Post report that, as of January 2019, online shopping is responsible for 9% of Australia's total retail sales. Don't be fooled by that stat - the 9% is massive! In 2019, total online spend topped $21.3 billion - an 18.7% increase compared to 2016 - as more than 73% of Australian households shopped online.

With online shopping booming, competition for a slice of the pie is of course getting tougher. Businesses are now competing on multiple levels, where everything from page load times to a complicated checkout might mean losing a sale to a competitor.

But, don't be put off. Improving a few elements of your website might just be what you need to put your website ahead of the pack and increase sales.

COMMON CHALLENGES SHOPPERS FACE WHEN BUYING ONLINE

Let's get right to the root of the different types of things that may deter online shoppers from following through on a purchase.

You've got a clunky checkout

With 87% of shoppers abandoning their online carts if the checkout process is too difficult, online shopping starts and ends with the checkout. Think about the amount of times you've left half way through a transaction because the checkout process was confusing, looked strange on mobile, had too many fields to fill in or didn't seem totally secure.

It doesn't feel convenient

Online shopping, with its instant ordering and detailed product descriptions means convenience has shot to the top of the shopper's must-have list.

Consumers want to accomplish more in their days while reducing the time commitment for each task - and this extends to online shopping. A convenient shopping experience looks like creating a frictionless path to purchase by integrating with systems like mobile wallets so consumers can easily and securely authorise transactions without getting their physical cards out.

Poor website navigation

Website navigation is an incredibly important part of your customer journey. And while it's easy to say 'don't judge a book by its cover', it takes 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your site. Invision report that 88% of consumers won't return to your site if they had a bad experience. The internet doesn't hand out many second chances - anything from bad web design to outdated aesthetics and low usability are major credibility killers.

IMPROVING YOUR WEBSITE'S CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE WILL HELP INCREASE ONLINE SALES

Customer experience is all about satisfaction. This is a critical factor that will keep customers loyal to any brand and should be the driving force behind any improvements you make to your site.

1. Smart checkout design
Apart from helping to reduce shopping cart abandonment, integrating a smart checkout into your website is key to generating sales. Making this checkout process as quick as possible is one of the best ways to encourage more customers to complete their orders. Ideally, you'll streamline this process to the point where customers don't have to enter much more than their name, email address and credit card information. From there, they can hit "pay" and be done. You'll also want to:

  • Offer a guest checkout option
  • Minimise any CTA buttons on the checkout page
  • Build trust through displaying security logos and PCI Compliance
  • Minimise any price shocks

Bambora's Custom Checkout offers merchants sophisticated checkout functionality that is simple for shoppers to use, with advanced push-to-purchase options like 'save my card' and custom fields.

To learn more, read our blog post on Checkout Design and its affect on sales.

2. Improve your website's load times
Slow-loading websites cost retailers AUD $3.7 billion in lost sales each year. Load times are a part of good SEO practice, with Google indicating that site speed is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages.

While it might seem challenging to improve web speed overnight, there are a few elements you can improve fairly quickly:

  • Reduce the number of redirects you may have
  • Optimise your images so they are in the correct format - PNGs are better for graphics, while JPEGs are better for photographs
  • Improve your server response times by looking for performance bottlenecks like lack of adequate memory


3. Optimise for mobile

Mobile commerce has created new opportunities to improve the customer experience and foster loyalty. When building an eCommerce site, it must be mobile responsive, intuitive and easy to navigate on small screens.

Implementing simple design-level changes like adding a sticky menu with a search option, tabs and buttons that are easy to click can lead to dramatic improvements in your mobile UX.

85% of adults think that a company's website when viewed on mobile should be as good or better than its desktop website. It's time to get serious about mobile!

To learn more, read our blog post on Optimising Payments Over Mobile Channels.

4. Offer customers multiple ways to pay
It goes without saying that every business needs to offer Visa and Mastercard. But if you're serious about maximising sales then it's a good idea to think about offering other ways to pay.

A 2019 survey by Roy Morgan revealed that three-quarters of Australians are embracing digital payments like Afterpay, PayPal, Visa Checkout and MasterPass. Google Pay and Apple Pay are steadily on the rise too. Offering these alternative payment types will help attract more customers and provide a more convenient checkout experience.

5. Improve your website's UX
Good navigation and UX sits at the core of the sales funnel. If shoppers find your website awkward, they'll leave and possibly never return. Here are four simple ways you can improve navigation:

  • Keep things as intuitive as possible. Use obvious section names and remind the user where they are in the site.
  • Use a strong call to action to encourage visitors to buy.
  • Minimise the number of clicks from landing page to checkout.
  • Try not to ask customers for too much information.

To learn more, read our blog post on UX Design and Your Business.

INCREASE YOUR SALES WITH BAMBORA

The eCommerce industry us growing rapidly every year. It's important to ensure your website is optimised for this growth and growing at the speed you'd like. Whether your sales are taking a slight hit or are doing OK, there's always room for improvement.

Bambora help a number of businesses optimise their path-to-purchase. See how we can help you improve by getting in touch with a member of our local team.


About the author

Victoria Galloway has been writing and producing in the payments and eCommerce space for a number of years, both in the UK and Australia.