People with labour-intensive jobs often envy the businessman or woman running an e-commerce site. After all, setting up the webpage is the trickiest bit, and as long as you have the right products, you’re left sitting there with your feet up watching the money roll in. Right?

If you are one of the thousands of business owners in the UK running an e-commerce store, you will probably have heard this theory one too many times, and you’ll also be aware that it couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, creating an attractive homepage and investing in the right kind of products is an enormous challenge, but what’s even more difficult than that is getting site visitors to actually complete a full customer journey and hit the order button. Here, we take a look at a few of the ways you can increase sales on your website.

Go Through The Customer Journey Yourself

It’s a cold, hard fact that a pretty-looking homepage won’t generate the kind of sales numbers your e-commerce site needs to continue ticking over.
It may get them clicking, but it probably won’t get them converting.

If your customers aren’t completing their orders, then it’s worth putting yourself into the customer’s shoes for a while and going through the site yourself. You can download some great web tools that show you exactly where your customers are clicking and how they are behaving, including Heat Maps, Attention Analysis technology and PageSpeed Insights.

It’s also worth taking a long, hard look at the navigation on your e-commerce website. If you have any kind of difficulty trying to locate a particular page, or find yourself scratching your head at certain points during the purchase process, it’s clear that some big changes are in order. Never be afraid to admit you were wrong when you first designed the site – even the best entrepreneurs make mistakes. Just be willing to go back and repair them.

Make sure that everything on the navigation bar is clickable and tappable too, meaning desktop, laptop, and tablet users can all navigate their way around your site with ease.

Reward Your Regulars

Regular café customers are treated to a free latte or scone from time to time for their loyalty, and your e-commerce site ought to adopt the same kind of mind-set. For the vast majority of sites, the “80/20 rule” applies; this states that 80% of sales come from 20% of customers. With this in mind, keeping your loyal clientele sweet with regular discounts, reduced shipping costs or special offers is one of the keys to success.

While rewarding your regulars is a great way to convince customers to keep coming back, it also creates a healthy buzz about your company that will spread far and wide, including to new customers, and will potentially increase sales as a result.

Use Emails Wisely

A great way to boost sales on your website is to create an engaging email campaign that will encourage customers to keep coming back.

One of the very best types of emails you can send out to customers is the “abandoned cart email”. On any e-commerce site, a lot of customers will venture as far as the checkout and see something that puts them off, such as the overall price of their order or the shipping costs.
An abandoned cart email will be sent to a customer when they close the tab, reminding them that they left something behind. These emails can be customised to encourage 
the customer to come back to the site and complete their order, by offering reduced shipping costs, a discount coupon or even an additional item free of charge.

Another email worth sending is one that encourages customers to write a review on a recent product they have just bought. This will show customers that you value their opinion, and will also generate increased interest from new customers. Statistics have shown that customers are drawn towards products with a lot of reviews as opposed to ones that haven’t been rated by the masses. The more reviews your products have, the more likely customers are to click and ultimately convert (provided they are positive reviews, of course!).

Powerful Product Descriptions

An e-commerce site with powerful, well-written product descriptions will always perform better than a webpage that uses a handful of keywords on product pages.
Take the time to write lengthy copy on your products and describe them in detail, pointing out the advantages of the item, how the customer can benefit from it, and why your version of that specific product is better than the rest on the market. In many ways, meaty product descriptions are the equivalent of having an excellent salesman in a store: they give the customer all the information they could possibly need to make an informed decision on whether this is the right item for them.

Also, the more words you have in your product descriptions, the better it is for SEO and the higher your site will rank on search engines. The likes of Google and Yahoo prioritise sites that offer customers a lot of descriptive information about products, so get typing!

Integrate Social Media Channels

If you’re not integrating your e-commerce site with social media, you’re going to miss out on a lot of potential business. Make the effort to place share plugins for Facebook and Twitter on your product pages, provide a social sign-in that encourages guests to use your e-commerce site via social media, and put an Instagram feed on your homepage to show off sexy images of your finest products that can be readily shared. Doing all of the above will ensure your e-commerce site receives a healthy degree of exposure all across the web, and will also allow you to promote your products to people when they are innocently flicking through their social media newsfeeds. This will inevitably drive increased levels of consumer traffic to your homepage, which will ultimately lead to a higher number of conversions and sales.