The Internet has changed how people do their business. Even small business owners are able to reach global markets inexpensively nowadays, selling anything from apparel, collectibles, to computer software, service and coaching. The core of every business is sales. Many of the strategies to increase sales offline are applicable online, but not all of them.
On the Internet, everybody has the same opportunity to succeed – or fail as the case may be – but how the online opportunity differs from offline is, you can fail fast and learn from it. Better still, after years of testing and tracking what works online, people can just learn from other people’s experience and cut the learning curve tremendously.
Here are 5 of the surefire ways to increase sales:
1. Establish a sound affiliate program
If it is just another affiliate program, then don’t expect to have different results. Focus on building a sound affiliate program, with the tools and materials to support affiliates to promote a program easily. After all, affiliates work like clockwork and should be seen as a team. Provide them with the right promotion tools and they will more likely promote the program.
Give the customers an option to join the affiliate program after purchase. Satisfied customers are one of the best marketing for any business. Spread the good words through word of mouth. Best of all, they are paid just for doing that.
2. Follow-up after first purchase
The hardest task in any business is acquiring the first sale. Make sure that capturing customers’ name and email addresses are the least information gathered from a sale. With that information in hand, follow-up with existing customers, probably through an automated mechanism like timely autoresponder.
This effort has been proven to decrease refund on products and increase customers’ satisfaction. Every once in a while, mention a related product that might be of interest to the customers. Write a review and provide real results. Such promotion is extremely inexpensive, but very effective in practice. The product can be anything, including an affiliate program.
3. Use up-sell technique
Just before a customer check out to the payment gateway, prompt for optional upgrade to the better, bigger, or nicer product for a fairly steep discount, preferably not available elsewhere. A certain number of customers will choose the option, which translates into additional sales, almost without additional effort.
4. Provide discount coupons
Coupons urge customers to come back and shop. Promotional coupons work for both advertising and some forms of joint venture. Customers love to know that they get lower price for what they buy. Coupons make it so real and tangible.
5. Cross-promote with other related products
There is no limit as to how this could be accomplished. Joint venture with other business or even competitors is feasible as long as it brings a win-win situation. One example would be to give away sample of other product or service as part of the whole package. As long as the sample is relevant to the customer, this promotion could only be seen as an added value instead of pure advertising.
There are many other tactics to increase sales but above tips have been proven to work again and again. Choose one at a time and take action. Good luck.