Every business in the world is united by the need to make sales. (And if you don’t care about making a profit off your personal enterprise, it’s not a business. But rather a hobby.) Perhaps your business has not been seeing the profits you want to see?And maybe you have relied too much on guesswork to make decisions when it comes to increasing profit?Ready for specific action steps you can take to get more sales? Great! Here are some often-forgotten but vital steps to seeing an uptick in sales…
- Do your market research.
This is different from casual browsing and reading of articles that loosely circle your target demographic. Nope. If you mean business, you will hire a market research firm. One that has bandwidth, experience, and expertise to do what you can’t. Which is conduct surveys, experiments, and focus groups on your behalf. And then compile, analyze, and deliver this research to you in a digestible format. Sound a lot more comprehensive than asking a spouse or a parent to tell you whether they like your product, right?
The best outcome of well-conducted market research is that you now have a clear picture of who bought your product. Why they bought it. And the reasons that were given by those who did not buy it. You may find that you have been wildly off the mark in who you targeted. Or maybe your marketing worked, but an aspect of your service turned off prospective buyers. Through this market testing, you can course-correct and better target your messaging. Which means a greater chance of closing each sale.
- Consider why a customer abandoned the purchase.
Sixty-nine percent of consumers on average abandon their shopping cart before making a purchase.This is according to data compiled by the Baymard Institute. Some of those surveyed stated that they were just browsing and had not visited the shop with the intent to buy. But other reasons given shed some further light on points of resistance. The top reasons given were as follows:
- Shipping costs were too high
- The site wanted consumers to create an account
- Checkout process was too long
- The customer could not see the total order upfront
- The site was error-ridden
Your business may not conclude sales online. But through your market research, you can still get an idea of the resistance your potential customers face before taking that final step. Brainstorm how to get customers over this hump. Some ideas include offering a satisfaction guarantee. Or a special offer for those that sign up within their particular parameters.
- Create urgency to help close sales.
Behavioral psychologists agree that a sense of urgency causes us to act first and think later. What this means for businesses should be clear to anyone who has spent time trying to convince a dithering customer. So how is urgency created when closing a sale?
A great example is through Amazon’s Lightning Deals section and their use of a countdown to show how long an item will continue to be on sale. As the seconds tick by, you can feel an increasing urge to reach for the Add to Cart button before it is too late. Along these lines, using words related to time can help create urgency, too.
Another element of urgency is the pain of why one most act. If there is no negativity associated with the urgency, the matter would not be urgent. A matter is urgent because of the perceived loss that accompanies what might happen if action is not taken. You can touch on this aspect by stating the problem that will worsen by not taking action. Or by implying they will miss the deal, e.g., “Last chance offer” or “Sale ends by tonight.”
These three simple steps will help you reverse stagnating sales numbers and abandoned shopping carts.