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Beyond Payment Processing: How to Increase Sales on Your Website

While it’s important to have the right payment processor and while it’s equally important to work on reducing fraud on your website, something much more important is getting sale. If you can’t make a sale on your website, there’s no point in having a payment processor.

According to data from the 2011 National Small Business Poll from the NFIB, the two principal impediments to small business growth are business uncertainty and weak sales. The report went on to conclude, “The single most important indicator that would renew small-business owner confidence in business conditions is increased sales in their businesses

Weak sales can cripple your business and most importantly your confidence, but you can’t have too much sales. Here are ways to increase sales on your website.

Drive More Targeted Traffic to Your Sales Page

This one is a no-brainer; without traffic to your website, there are no sales.

If you’re not getting traffic to your website, start learning how to get traffic or hire someone to help you with it.

There are various ways you can increase traffic to your blog and some great ways are:

  • Start doing SEO
  • Start blogging
  • Guest blog on industry blogs in your field
  • Master social media
  • Create viral videos and events
  • Buy advertising

Have One CLEAR Call-to-Action on Each Sales Page

What do you want people to do when they are on your sales page and how clear are you about this?

When it’s not clear what a user has to do on your website then they instantly go to a default state where they do nothing; that’s the easiest thing they can do compared to having to think about what you want them to do on your website.

More importantly, you shouldn’t have more than one call-to-action on each sales page; if what you want people to do when they land on your sales page is to click a certain button to buy a certain product, make it clear that that’s the only thing you want them to do and ensure there isn’t another action competing for their attention.

For example, if the main action you want to drive on your homepage is sales, remove that opt in form! If you want more opt ins, you can focus on letting people know that the main thing you want them to do is to opt in.

When people have too many choices to make, they’ll make none; this was effectively proven by Sheena Iyengar in a Jan. 24, 2000 Columbia University study; in this study, research assistants dressed up as store employees and offered samples of either 6 or 24 flavors of Jams.

Potential buyers who were observed in the study were then asked to sample and make a choice from either 6 or 24 flavors of jams; only 3% of the customers who sampled from the 24 flavors of jams bought while 30% of those who sampled from the 6 flavors of jams purchased.

In more clear terms, that’s like 1,000% increase in sales; imagine how much impact this can have on your business!

Eliminate all Fears and Objections through the Use Social Proof

Social proof is a powerful force of nature; just the fact that people know that a lot more people have bought what you plan to sell to them could double or triple sales.

When people want to buy, they have a lot of fears and objections as well as a lot of questions racing through their mind; “Is it safe?” “Will this work for me?” and a host of other questions.

You can tell them how great your product is and it won’t make a difference. In fact, you can tell them how much good they’ll be doing the world and it still won’t make a difference. However, by letting people know that others – like them – are using and raving about the same product you’re trying to sell to them, you can increase sales significantly.

This was effectively demonstrated in a 2008 Arizona State University study by Robert Cialdini; in other to test the effectiveness of placards placed in hotel rooms encouraging people to reuse towels and save the environment, 4 different messages were placed in placards in different hotel rooms. The 4 messages are:

  • Help the hotel save energy
  • Partner with us to help the environment
  • Almost 75% of guests reuse towels
  • 75% of the guests who stayed in this room reused towels

Most people will expect the message on saving the environment to have converted better, but surprisingly it didn’t. Message 1 converted at 16%, message 2 converted at 31%, message 3 converted at 44% and message 4 converted at 49%.

The more people were made to realize that other people like them were reusing towels, the more likely they were to reuse towels.

People want to “feel among”; we all want to use the latest things, the best things…what everybody else is using. By effectively leveraging social proof, you communicate to buyers that they’re not alone in making the decision to purchase and that a lot of people are using and enjoying the product they are about to buy. This alone can double or triple sales on your website.

Eliminate all Risks

The more risks potential buyers have to take, the less likely they will buy.

By eliminating every risk that stands in the way of your buyer you can significantly increase your chances of selling more.

There are several ways to eliminate risks potential buyers have to take and here are some ideas:

  • Let them know that their payment details are safe; with the massive rate of online credit card fraud people are experiencing, you can make a lot more sales by assuring them that their details are safe. The best way to do this is by using a reliable payment processor and letting your visitors know that their details are safe thanks to the processor you use. This alone removes their objections and fears in terms of payment security, leading to more sales.
  • Offer a strong guarantee; when they have absolutely nothing to lose, what will stop them from buying? Guarantees can come in various ways; it could be a money-back guarantee, it could be an offer to exchange the product for something better if they’re not satisfied and you could even offer to double the amount they pay if they don’t like your product, depending on how confident you are about what you want to offer. For example, here’s a post that explains how someone got significantly more sales for his client by being more liberal with the money-back guarantee offered.
  • Offer to personally step in and help; you could offer to step in and help by yourself or you could get your staff involved, depending on the size and nature of your business. The worst thing that can happen to a customer is to buy a product/service that they can not use; when you offer to help, this risk is completely eliminated.

Conclusion

What challenges are you experiencing on your website as far as sales is concerned? What are you doing to increase sales on your website? Let us know below.

Also, part two of this post will be published next week with more tips to help you increase sales on your website. Stay tuned!