7 Practical Ways to Boost Your E-Commerce Sales

The evolution of technology has left its mark on every industry and shopping is no exception. In fact, it has completely changed the way we used to shop two decades ago. The popularity of online shopping has grown tremendously in the past few years. According to statistics, E-commerce sales stood at 2.35 billion dollars, which will double by 2020. With more and more people using their mobile devices to connect to the internet, the future looks brighter for the E-commerce industry.

If you have an online store or planning to dip your toes into E-commerce business, then this article is for you. In this article, you will learn about seven actionable ways to take your E-commerce sales to the next level.

1. Build and Protect Your Reputation

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.”—Warren Buffet

This quote by Warren Buffet comes to my mind whenever I hear of reading the word reputation more so when it relates to business. Building a good reputation, maintaining it and improving it is most tedious tasks but they are very important if you want to increase your E-commerce sales. Which E-commerce store would a customer go shopping online when they have many choices in front of them? They will usually go to a most reputable E-commerce store. A well-reputed E-commerce store will not have to work as hard to attract customers, as non-reputable ones have to do. This is what a good reputation can do for your E-commerce business. Staying true to your values and delivering on your promises goes a long way in building a good reputation and maintaining it.

2. Use Every Channel to Reach Your Audience

Not every online store is lucky enough to have huge loyal customer base or a good reputation that can persuade customers to buy from your store. If you are a new entrant in the E-commerce market, your best bet is to promote your E-commerce store, products and services through every channel that your target audience is on. For instance, if your target audience spends most of their time on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, then you should advertise your E-commerce store there. Similarly, if they are using emails more often, why not use email marketing. To do that successfully, you will have to dig deeper into data to find out what your user’s preferences and buying behaviors are.

3. Cross Sell and Up Sell Your Products and Services

Another great way to generate more sales is to cross-sell your products and services. Have you ever purchased a product from Amazon? If you have noticed, they cross sell different products at every stage of your purchase. Customers, who are buying blu-ray players, see the ad of Amazon’s Instant service and extended warranties. This is not all; they also incorporate a wrapping service within the check out process. You can use the same approach to good effect but remember that the products or services you are trying to cross sell should be relevant to the product purchased. This will increase your sales revenues by increasing the value of every shopping cart.

4. Affiliate Marketing

If you can afford it, hire affiliates to push your products and lure them with incentives to do so. Although it might cost you some money if could increase your sales and profits, then it is not a bad deal. The best thing about affiliate marketing is that you will only have to pay whenever a sale is made, before that, it is all free marketing. Find affiliates who are already selling products in your business niche. Simplify the whole process for affiliates because the easier it is for them to sell your products, the more sales you are going to get.

5. Offer Discounts, Giveaway, and Coupons

Nothing creates the buzz like a healthy discount. Admit it, we all love discounts, giveaways, and coupons. If you are the new entrant in the E-commerce industry, the best way to attract new customers is to offer them free giveaway for sharing your online store with friends and family members on social networking sites. Similarly, coupons and discounts can have the same impact. If you want your E-commerce store to shot to fame in no time, then there is no better way than this one. Offer something that other E-commerce stores are not offering and see the response.

6. Simplify Your Checkout Process

Why do we purchase products online? It is because it is much more convenient, right. But, what if, the design is so confusing, return policy is not clear, the check out process is complicated. Would you ever purchase from such E-commerce store? I am sure the answer is in the negative. This is where the custom web design agency that specializes in E-commerce design can help you out because these things need to take care of during the development process. Make the check out process as simple as possible to prevent abandon cart as the most customer leave the cart when they see a lengthy form opening in front of them.

7. Excellent Customer Support

If you think that gaining, a competitive advantage in an already saturated industry like E-commerce is difficult, I don’t blame you because most new players think that way. The fact of the matter is that minor elements of your shopping experience such as your customer support can make your E-commerce store stand out from the crowd.  Let us hear what Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos said about his customers, “The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth’s most customer-centric company” This approach is what made Amazon what it is today, a market leader in the E-commerce industry. Put the customer first and solve their problem and they will come back to you when they have to purchase any product.

If you know about any other way to boost your E-commerce sales, feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.

Dropshipping Mistakes to Avoid

Dropshipping has become increasingly popular with many large and small retailers all over the world. The main benefit of this business model is that it allows retailers to sell goods without maintaining an inventory. However, despite its numerous advantages, dropshipping has its own share of drawbacks.

Here are some of the common mistakes you need to avoid in dropshipping:

  1. Not researching

Many people get into dropshipping without taking time to understand exactly how it works. Getting into this business blindly is likely to result in failure and wastage of resources. Therefore, before jumping into the bandwagon, you need to carry out some research. What are the legal requirements for becoming a dropshipper? How much time will you need to invest? What are the business costs? Who is your competition? Which items are most profitable? The good news is that there are many dropshipping guides that can help you understand the dynamics of the business.

  1. Poor branding

Branding is very important for attracting repeat customers and generating goodwill. This is why it is very important to make a lasting impression on your customers throughout the buying process. You can reinforce your brand by using branded packaging slips or marketing package inserts. If within your budget, you could also create branded accessories such as labels and tapes that can be used for packaging. Don’t forget to follow up with surveys and thank you notes after the purchase. This will ensure that your brand remains on the mind of the customer.

  1. Not having a clear returns policy

Having a well-articulated returns policy is very important for enhancing customer satisfaction and boosting conversions. When a customer decides to return something, you need to know how to deal with it. To stay clear of inventory, it would be advisable to send the item back to the vendor. However, some vendors might charge a fee for restocking or even reject items that are not in good condition. Alternatively, you could receive the returns yourself and then resell them.

  1. Working with unreliable vendors

Your success in dropshipping will be influenced by the kind of vendors you choose. Vendors who are not reliable will frustrate your customers, waste your time and leave you with losses. This is why it is very important to make the right choice from the onset. Have a pre-selection criteria of what you are looking for in a vendor. Take time to read reviews to find out what people are saying about different vendors. Once you’ve made your decision, be sure to have a written vendor agreement that outlines expectations in areas such as inventory updates, shipping times and returns.

  1. Poor choice of products

When it comes to choosing products, stocking too few items is a common mistake you need to avoid. If customers visit your store and don’t find what they are looking for, they will simple leave and go elsewhere. Having enough options will make your site appear more visually appealing and enhance the chances of making more sales. You should also avoid focusing mainly on seasonal products.

Concerned about Handling Expenses during Retirement? Here’s all you need to know!

The first and foremost concern about retirement planning is handling your expenses without a regular paycheck coming in. For a majority of people, there is negligible to no change when it comes to basic expenditures such as shelter, utilities, food etc. The first and foremost concern about retirement planning is handling your expenses without a regular paycheck coming in. For a majority of people, there is negligible to no change when it comes to basic expenditures such as shelter, utilities, food etc.

To begin, you need to gauge an approximate amount of income which will last as long as needed. Next, you need to gather all the information about all the sources of income post-retirement such as your retirement accounts, social security etc. And, you also need to know about any other options of income apart from your savings pool.

Towards this, you can start by knowing certain important dates. These dates will tell you when you can avail the benefits from your various retirement accounts. Here’s a brief overview about it –

• Social Security : You have to reach the normal retirement age before you are eligible for the benefits of social security. While you can start receiving its partial benefits at 62, but it decreases the amount of payout over time. So, if you wait until say 70, you can gain more.

• Medicare : It is advisable to start signing up 3 months before your birthday month and also refer to the other deadlines which apply to the signing up of part D of Medicare. You are eligible for Medicare at 65.

• Retirement Accounts : A majority of these accounts allow you to withdraw without a penalty at age 591/2. Traditional IRA accounts mandate that you begin taking the Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) when you are 701/2.  However, Roth IRAs don’t.

You can handle the withdrawals from these accounts in three ways. You can either withdraw ‘x’ amount from your IRA every month. Or you can completely withdraw all the IRA savings to buy an immediate annuity, which is a contract with an insurance company that assures you a certain income for the rest of your life. Or, you can do both – use certain amount of the money for buying an annuity and save some for other investments, and also withdraw as per your needs.

One major difference between traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs is when the savings must be withdrawn. Traditional IRAs require you to start taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) at age 701/2. Roth IRAs, on the other hand, don’t mandate withdrawals during the owner’s lifetime. So, if you don’t need the money, Roth IRAs can continue to grow tax-free throughout your lifetime, making them ideal financial vehicles.

Apart from these, there are few other key points to remember which can help ensure that your retirement savings don’t run out quickly. They are as follows:

  • Chalk out a detailed budget and keep a close track on every small and big expense against it. The basic and necessary expenditures should be considered first. And then you can assign the remaining fund for your retirement ‘wish list’.
  • You need to be very careful about spending your retirement funds. Don’t step into your retirement with unrealistic expectations about how much you can withdraw. A little self-control in the first few years will help you maintain your savings pool for more years to come.
  • While overspending is common, you should also remember to not spend too little. This means you should not overlook the needs for important things such as healthcare, proper diet, maintenance requirements of your home, etc. If at all you need to spend less because of limited funds, you should inquire about other financial aids such as public programs which support retired individuals.

Healthy money management is important to lead a financially-healthy retirement life. Learn and get to know more about the changing post-retirement financial trends and alternatives. Always stay abreast of such topics so that you can use your retirement fund wisely. You can also seek the services of a professional retirement planner who can help you manage your expenses post-retirement well, so that you can enjoy your retired life the way you have envisioned.