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10 Psychological Tricks To Boost Your Website’s Sales

The least nudge is often all that is needed to get a wavering customer to purchase.

John Rampton

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Do you want to boost your company’s sales? Whether consumers choose to buy something or not is very often a matter of small psychological triggers. Your product might be great, but if your site isn’t set up for success, you will struggle.

Before you overhaul your site or pay thousands of dollars for a consultant, there is an easier solution: subtle psychological changes to influence your visitors. Buyers have become accustomed to shopping in a particular way, and given the high volume of incoming sales pitches they receive, filtering the noise is challenging. That gives a distinct advantage to businesses that truly understand how consumers interact with webpages.

Consequently, you should look for subtle changes you can make to boost your numbers. Doing so won’t take much time, and the impacts are easy to measure. You can run A/B tests on two different versions to see which performs better, giving you results within days so you can move forward. Here are 10 psychological tricks you can implement and test to boost your website sales and bottom line.

1. Make onboarding and shipping look free

Consumers get anchored to the initial price they see. This means if you want to charge the user for shipping or onboarding, you should include that cost in the initial price. When buyers find out about additional costs later on, it creates anxiety that causes many to shirk away from completing the purchase.

When you explain that shipping or onboarding is free, on the other hand, they will trust your brand and feel you’re doing them a favour – particularly compared to your competitors’ high-priced shipping.

Related: How to Give Your Sales Strategy the Winning Edge

2. Price your goods with a 99-cent tag at the end

rands-and-centsThis is known as the left-digit effect. When a user sees a price of R199.99 instead of R200.00, it makes a psychological difference. She becomes anchored to that 19 number instead of the 20. Plus, she places it in the 10-20 range as opposed to 20-30.

Despite it being a literal penny of difference, users will perceive your product as more affordable.

3. Offer product upgrades

Toward the end of the checkout process, offer product upgrades. Your consumer might be intent on already purchasing something for $100, let’s say. Throughout the decision-making process and checkout process, he’ll be convincing himself it’s a good purchase.

If you offer a R100 addition to insure the product at the end, for example, he’ll be more likely to buy it. He will think, “What’s a difference of $10?” because he’s already psychologically adjusted to that initial price.

4. Create a sense of urgency

Buyers are much more likely to pull the trigger when they think there’s finite time to do so.

When they believe they could buy the same product tomorrow or a week from now for the same (or a lower) price, they’re less likely to make the purchase today. When you create a sense of urgency, it leads to faster sales. This could mean showing a limited number of items in remaining stock. You could also explain that the current prices won’t stay the same for long.

These signals will push the buyer into a quicker decision. It will also make her think she’s getting a steal for either a discounted good or one that many others have already purchased.

Related: Accurately Predict Future Sales With These Two Things

5. Address concerns

Someone thinking about buying a product on your website might have concerns about his purchase. Is it worth the money? Can I find a better value somewhere else? Is it going to operate as indicated?

On your product page, you can address these concerns. A “Frequently Asked Questions” section is effective; you could also work the answers into product descriptions. You can explain why it’s worth the money and why it’s the best-value product, highlighting special features or materials. Doing so will preclude consumers from doing additional research or falling back on excuses to avoid a purchase.

6. Demonstrate credibility

This is one of the most valuable tricks in the book.

Adding some sort of customer testimonial or statistic indicating frequent use of your product will boost sales. This is especially effective when you include that piece of information near the “Buy Now” button. Knowing he’s not alone and that your brand is respected will give the customer more faith in his purchase.

7. Make customers feel highly valued

product-purchaseCustomers enjoy individual attention. You should, consequently, cater to that. It could come in the form of a specialised discount, by offering assistance with their needs or by making the entire checkout process as flexible as possible.

When they feel confident that you (or your site) took care of them throughout the purchase, they’ll be more likely to hit “Confirm.”

Related: SWOT Analysis Examples

8. Follow up after the purchase

As much as we think about the next customer in line, retaining old buyers is often much more valuable. A user who buys products from you multiple times will contribute much more to your bottom line than a one-time buyer will.

This puts an emphasis on creating loyal customers. When they feel appreciated by your brand, they’ll be much more likely to follow up with an additional purchase and even to share their experience with friends.

You could send a customer a personalised email asking about her experience or, better yet, get creative. If you have her address, you could send her a custom item or offer her a discount on future products.

9. Tell your story

People like getting behind a meaningful story.

Your website can effectively share your story. Through text, video or other mediums, you can demonstrate who you are. There’s a reason you started your business and likely a problem you were (and are) trying to solve.

Making that clear to your buyers will help them see the people and the passion behind the images and numbers. Plus, a customer who believes in your story might buy your product just to support your mission.

Related: What Really Drives Sales Growth And Repeat Business?

10. Use the middle effect

When you include three similar products, as opposed to two, consumers are likely to spend more. When there’s only a cheaper option alongside a more expensive option, the cheaper one will be selected, on average. Adding a third option, however, makes users more likely to buy the middle one (which would have been the pricier option in the two-choice scenario).

This works because the most expensive serves as an anchor, making the middle offering feel like a good value.

These methods are proven to work, but each case and scenario is different. That puts an emphasis on nonstop testing. You should continue to make subtle changes to see which versions work most effectively in order to reach your maximum potential. Following these steps and collecting data on your results will lead to a fast-moving cycle and higher sales.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online invoicing company Due. John is best known as an entrepreneur and connector. He was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and has been one of the Top 10 Most Influential PPC Experts in the World for the past three years. He currently advises several companies in the San Francisco Bay area.

Techniques

Why Does Good Client Service Matter For E-commerce?

Remember, bad service is remembered for much longer than any products that have been purchased. And if you provide a positive experience, you will have a loyal customer base and can use the insights gathered from interactions.

Clarissa Fleischer

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You might be scratching your head a little at the notion of an e-commerce store (yes, an online store) worrying too much about client service. After all, customers are using your website to purchase goods and avoid interacting with salespeople, right? But client service, or customer support as it is also known, is vital to running a successful e-commerce business. This is because consumers still expect the same level of care as they would from a brick-and-mortar store.

You will need to devise an e-commerce digital marketing strategy that can enhance your client service offerings. For example, you’ll need to put together an e-commerce email marketing customer base so that you can easily send out promotional emails, newsletters and reply to complaints. Your e-commerce website design should focus on the needs of the customer, so be sure to invest in a design that caters for them. Read on to find out why good client service is vital for e-commerce.

You can sell hundreds of products…

but bad service will always be remembered. For e-commerce in South Africa and around the world, client service is one of the major touchpoints that you have with your clients, meaning that you need to provide the best experience possible.

Online shoppers will likely have no physical contact with your brand, making client service the best chance to show customers that you truly care about them. Remember that customers want more than just a place to shop. They want an e-commerce business that is going to provide them with information that is relevant and help that truly solves a problem. You need a dedicated email address, Twitter handle, Facebook page or a live chat option where clients can contact you easily and efficiently.

Trust builds client relationships

By providing good customer support, you will be building trust between your customers and your brand. For example, if you provide personalised emails with product recommendations to loyal customers, they will see that you are taking note of their preferences and value their input.

As an e-commerce brand, you need to do more than brick-and-mortar stores to generate trust, which is where client service comes into play. You should look into building a customer support strategy that allows you to meet consumers at every touchpoint of their journey. This will show customers that you are a brand that is taking note of what they need. The reason for building trust is that, in the online shopping world, customers do not have to go very far (just a few clicks, in reality) to find another store with another shopping cart to fill. Focusing on what your client needs is a sure-fire way to improve consumer trust in your brand.

You will gain valuable insight

Client service is not only good for the customer, but can be good for your business too. You can gain valuable insight into the wants and needs of your customers as well as issues that you might not have known existed in your business.

Feedback that is constructive can help you to make changes in your business to improve client service and will allow you to introduce new systems for dealing with complaints and queries. If customers are repeatedly asking you if you will be offering new or different products or if they are asking about specific products that your competitors offer, you can use this information to meet their needs and keep your site up-to-date with trends and products. Even transactional emails can be helpful, as these will allow you to improve or enhance your checkout process.

It can make (or break) your brand reputation

Reputation is important, whether you are a physical store or an online one. And in the age of social media, can you really afford to offer bad client service? Today, people take to Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram to share their experiences with brands, whether their experience was positive or negative.

If your customer support is bad or inconsistent, customers will likely head to your Facebook business page or write something on their own profile for the world to see. And how you deal with this is also a part of your customer support. Be sure to always strive to provide customers with a positive interaction no matter the situation. Even if the customer is not always right, they should never have negative connotations with your brand.

Clients come first

Client service is one of the most important aspects of any e-commerce business. While you might think that all your consumers want is a place to shop without having to deal with crowds (an introvert’s dream), they expect the same level of client service they would receive in an actual store.

Remember, bad service is remembered for much longer than any products that have been purchased. And if you provide a positive experience, you will have a loyal customer base and can use the insights gathered from interactions.

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Techniques

3 Ecommerce Trends You Must Prepare For In 2019

The ecommerce explosion continues, but there’s also an element of evolution. To take your ecommerce presence to the next level, take advantage of these emerging trends.

Tiffany Delmore

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Retail ecommerce sales continue trending upward, and consumer confidence has reached an 18-year high. Conditions are ripe for brands with an established ecommerce presence, but that doesn’t mean business as usual will always suffice. Instead, the organisations that excel will be those with a forward-thinking approach to ecommerce.

Ecommerce is thriving because enough companies have kept up with changing technology and consumer expectations. For example, as mobile purchases increased in popularity, ecommerce retailers began specifically catering to this shopping avenue. Mobile purchases constituted the majority of ecommerce sales in 2016, and eMarketer estimates that 72.9 percent of online purchases will be made on a mobile device by 2021.

Device preferences aren’t the only thing in transition – search methods are also quickly evolving as technology becomes more sophisticated. According to predictions from ComScore, 50 percent of all search queries will be made via voice by 2020. And it’s likely that more people will be audio searching for buyable goods soon: Devices such as Google Home Hub and Amazon Echo Show are integrating voice and image search so that shoppers can see what they’re asking to buy. Ecommerce retailers that can’t cater to a voice-activated future (Read: optimise for natural language search) will quickly lose ground to their rivals.

Ecommerce companies are also partnering with payment processors to make online purchases as frictionless as possible. By offering payment options such as PayPal, Venmo and Amazon Pay at checkout, customers can leave their credit cards in their wallets, so buying becomes even easier.

No matter how mature your ecommerce presence might be now, you need to keep looking ahead to ensure future success. To elevate your ecommerce efforts in 2019, take advantage of these three emerging trends.

1. Sell your wares on social

Effective marketing is about optimising your messaging to appeal to your target audience, but messaging won’t matter if the audience never sees it. Meeting your audience members where they spend their time is crucial, and here’s a tip: If your customer base is online, it’s on social media one-third of that time.

If you’re not selling on social media, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Most social media platforms now support integrated buy buttons that transfer users to your website to complete a sale, and apps such as Instagram and Snapchat offer shoppable stories, too.

Retail brands like Jordan have also capitalised on event-related social commerce opportunities. For the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, Jordan partnered with Snapchat to offer access codes to an exclusive sale of the special edition Air Jordan III Tinker shoe. Users could only receive a code if they were near the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and the sneakers sold out in 23 minutes.

Related: 6 Steps To Building A Million-Dollar Ecommerce Site In 60 Days

2. Remix the buyer’s reality

Mixed reality technologies have yet to see mainstream adoption, but they have made huge strides in that direction. Vertebrae’s launch of its AR/VR ecommerce platform Axis aims to prove that the tech is much more than a novelty, and IKEA’s Place app provides shoppers with an AR-powered glimpse into what IKEA products would look like in their own homes.

“Augmented reality and virtual reality will be a total game changer for retail in the same way as the internet. Only this time, much faster,” says Michael Valdsgaard, leader of digital transformation at Inter IKEA Systems.

AR might not be everywhere yet, but ecommerce retailers that successfully incorporate AR capabilities into the shopping experience stand to gain a significant advantage over their competitors.

3. Strengthen your Amazon strategy

Amazon has established a pre-eminent place in the ecommerce ecosystem, and Salmon’s “Future Shopper Report” indicates that 68 percent of American shoppers head straight to the site when browsing for products. What’s more, even when customers plan to buy from another site or store, 80 percent read Amazon reviews and check prices there.

Clearly, mastering Amazon is critical. Trevor George, founder and CEO of Amazon marketing agency Blue Wheel Media, says that the only way for sellers to win on the platform is through ads: “The future of Amazon is advertising, and if a brand wants to make money now and into the future, it needs to be able to navigate Amazon’s advertising platforms.”

According to George, that means investing in auto-bidding tools such as Prestozon or Ignite, isolating the right search terms, and incorporating negative keywords so your appliance company isn’t spending money to appear in searches for Easy-Bake Ovens.

The ecommerce boom isn’t waning anytime soon, and capitalising on it requires a thoughtful strategy that keeps your brand ahead of the competition. Keep social commerce, mixed reality shopping and Amazon advertising on your mind through 2019.

Read next: Watch List: 15 SA eCommerce Entrepreneurs Who Have Built Successful Online Businesses

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Techniques

How To Get Ready To Sell Your Business – Advice From Marnus Broodryk

If you’re thinking about selling your business, there are some critical steps you need to make first.

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MAKING THE SALE

A successful transaction will mostly boil down to having a solid business with great systems in place that is making decent money and the starting point for these transactions will be financial information.


Some entrepreneurs are ‘starters’, they like to start a business, get it off the ground and then flog it. Others are ‘growers’, they look for existing businesses and have the ability to grow them beyond their original value. Both will probably get to the same end point: Selling the business.

But entrepreneurs are often misled when it comes to the sale. They have put everything into the business and it is worth a huge amount to them because of it. But buyers are seldom willing to match the price, because what is being sold, and what is being bought, are not the same thing. Sellers see the emotional and financial investments they’ve put in; the buyer mostly looks at one thing: Profit.

Effort does not equal profit. The balance is out.

Related: 20 South African Side-Hustles You Can Start This Weekend

Prepare for the challenges of selling

Once you get to market you will soon realise that there are, unfortunately, fewer buyers than you’d like. Unlike listed companies, you can’t sell shares easily and quickly on a public platform. Instead, you need to find an interested individual or business, many of whom just aren’t buying what you’re selling.

Some of them are, but that doesn’t guarantee a sale. Most SMEs must put their faith in a cash deal, since banks will never finance anyone wanting to buy them. In reality, this means that you may have a genuinely interested buyer for your business, who won’t be able to get finance for it from the bank. So, after a few months, you’re back to square one. After a few rounds of this cycle many entrepreneurs will just sell out of desperation, forgetting what the business could actually be worth.

Selling a business can be very emotionally draining and this will be compounded by many people who will waste your time and mess you around. You spent a large portion of your life building this, but others will not see it the same way you do. Ensure that you prepare and mitigate against all of those issues, and have the stomach for the fight.

Always keep the end in mind

If you are looking at exiting your business, it is crucial to allow enough time to prepare yourself for it. Maybe you’re simply tired of your business and you just want to get out, but, because the business is not in a great state at the moment, you’re too fed up to care, and you simply don’t have the energy to fix the issues.

You’re at risk of letting your business go for next to nothing. All the hard work for hardly any reward.

Related: Selling Your Business To Your Business Partner

If you have the end in mind, and prepare for it, it can be a very different, more lucrative story. A successful transaction will mostly boil down to having a solid business with great systems in place that is making decent money and the starting point for these transactions will be financial information. You need to have proper financial records for your business and you need to be able to show the potential buyer how much the business is making and how it is making it. It sounds so elementary, yet most entrepreneurs don’t have financial information when they want to sell their businesses. If you think you may want to sell in the future, make sure you’re keeping solid records now.

If your business’s financials are messy, start cleaning them up at least twelve months before trying to sell your business. Remove all your personal expenses from the business and ensure that all transactions are properly recorded, and that your taxes are up to date and accurate. Work with your accountant to prepare a sales pack with all your financial information, including details of your clients, employees, suppliers, what your strong and weak points are and how the business could grow in the future. It’s at this stage that you can pick up on issues and resolve them before taking your business to the market, making it a much more attractive product.

With some (more) hard work, you will be in a great position to sell your business, you will have serious buyers and the valuation that you deserve for all your hard work. If you don’t, why bother?

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