If you have a business or startup selling goods or services online, it can be difficult to start generating regular sales. Some of this comes down to quality and time. You need to make sure your goods and/or services are unique and appealing, and even then it may take time for them to catch on with a base of customers. Beyond quality and time though, it is also up to you as the business owner to try to incentivize purchases through additional means.
Like most aspects of running a business, this is easier said than done. However, we do have some ideas as to how you can go about making people who visit your site more likely to become customers.
One of the best ways to incentivize
Use Social Media
This site has touched before on the idea of using social media as a means of marketing your business and this is the primary use for it. Merely having a presence, such that you stay visible to followers, can work wonders to help a business grow. With specific regard to incentivizing purchases though, social media can have a more direct effect. You can send alerts to followers when new products or services are made available, if new sales are going on, if inventory on something is running low, etc. It’s basically a means by which you can gently prod your past or prospective customers and remind them that now might be a good time to make a purchase.
Accept Multiple Payment Methods
If you set up an online store of any kind and accept only one or two payment methods (say, credit cards and PayPal), you’re doing yourself a disservice. It simply stands to reason that a given number of customers will prefer using a method you aren’t offering, simply because there are so many such methods available these days. The interesting example to look at here is the online casino industry, which doesn’t consist of “stores,” strictly speaking, but does involve a great deal of purchase incentivizing. The bulk of casino sites offer credit card payments and PayPal, but you can also find additional payment processing services – sometimes about a dozen of them on a single site. Beyond that, some sites are even accepting alternative payments like bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies! Now, it takes some effort and investment to handle all of this, but it is at least a good idea to make sure you’re offering four or five popular options.
Make Your Return Policy Visible
This is a small point, but when people shop online the one thing that bothers a lot of them is that they’re apprehensive about potential returns. All of the convenience of online shopping can evaporate if the return policy is hard to find, complicated to execute, or even simply doesn’t exist. To alleviate fears of these issues – and thus make purchasing more appealing – make sure that your policy in this regard is visible, clear, and appealing.
Display Purchase Alerts
This is another concept that’s gotten very trendy on modern retail sites, and it’s a pretty neat little trick. Referred to as “Recent Purchase Notification Functionality” in a strong piece on advanced notifications at online stores, it’s simply the idea of having a small note flash across the screen whenever a customer buys something. The emerging sunglasses brand Blenders is a nice example. Browse the site for just a few minutes and you’ll see persistent, yet not annoying notifications on the bottom of your screen saying things like, “Bob in Tuscon just bought Jayhawker!” (Jayhawker being one of the styles available). It just makes it easier to get excited about the product, while also making purchasing seem easy, and establishing a sort of subconscious desire on the part of the customer not to miss out.